Your job as a general contractor in Florida is to simplify the construction or remodeling process for the homeowner. In many cases, homeowners have had a bad experience or have heard horror stories by a friend who’s had a remodeling project go badly. This is usually due to an unreliable general contractor. Therefore, the best way to win a job is to build the customer’s confidence in your business. They are more likely to choose your services if you answer their questions, ensure your paperwork is in order, share good references, offer a written estimate and set up clear terms of payment.
1. Answer All Their Questions Quickly and Efficiently
The way that you conduct yourself in your dealings with the client, gives them a good idea of what they can expect for the rest of the project. Prior to the homeowner signing with you, ensure that you answer all their questions as fully and as quickly as possible. This will allow the client to see how you will conduct yourself as their advocate once the contract has been signed.
Answer all questions thoroughly and make it easy for them to understand. Homeowners want to be confident that they comprehend the implications for the project. For example, they want to know their expected cost and the estimated timeline for the project. Be as transparent about the whole process as possible, so that your client feels comfortable moving forward with you at the reins.
2. Ensure That All Your Paperwork is in Order
A homeowner or building owner, especially for larger projects, will do their due diligence researching your company. Therefore, it is essential that you have all your paperwork in order. This means ensuring that you are up to date with all licensing and insurance requirements. This can be managed yourself or outsourced to experts such as Contractors Reporting Services. The necessary documents include:
· Local license registration and renewals
· Workers compensation exemptions
· Workers compensation coverage
· Financial stability reviews
· Corporation set-up and amendments
· Annual reports
· Business tax registrations and renewals
3. Share Your Best References
Your client is trusting, when they sign a contract with you, that it is going to be a stress-free experience. You can move them closer to signing by supplying written and telephonic references if necessary. By being pro-active in this part of the process you gain more control over who the client listens to, as well as reinforcing why your business would be the best choice. Draw up a list of good references in advance and share contacts who are relevant when asked. Relevant contacts would be the satisfied clients for whom you have completed similar work in the past.
4. Be Willing to Offer Estimates in Writing
Offer a free estimate in writing and provide it to the client as soon as possible. Be sure to include as much detail as you can, so that when the client is comparing quotes from different contractors, they can make direct comparisons for like services. Here you should include a list of products to be used (be specific including product names and part numbers for premium products), the services that are included and the cost of labor. You should also be upfront about the project’s timeline and any milestones.
5. Set Up Clear, Fair Payment Terms
When setting up the terms of the contract, one way you can grow the client’s trust is to clearly and systematically detail how and when they will need to pay. Typically, at the start, you would request a percentage be put down by the customer and then payments would be released in increments as the milestones are completed. A sign of a reputable contractor is being willing to work until the job is complete prior to requesting the final payment.
By following these five best practices, as a licensed general contractor in Florida, you give yourself the best chance of being chosen as the winning bid for a contract.