How to be Both a Pro and Consultant

Home renovating is a tricky business. Most homeowners dream big, and it's not unusual for a their list of wants to push the limits of what's possible. A great remodeling pro understands how to help the homeowner reconcile their dreams with budget realities to achieve their project goals.

To do so, you need to ask them the right questions and be prepared with the right answers. In adopting a consultative approach, you’ll be able to enhance your reputation for quality and professionalism, while increasing the possibility of repeat business and referrals.

Understanding Their Goals

By the time the homeowner calls you, they usually know what room(s) they’re going to remodel. They might even have a strong vision for what their final results will look like. But just because they know what they want, doesn’t mean their budget will allow it. Your job is to get a better understanding of their vision for the room, the list of features the room must include, a list of features they’d like it to include, and a list of features that could potentially be left out.

From this discussion, you should be able to present a detailed estimate that gives them a clear breakdown of how much it will cost to get everything they want – compared to how much it will cost to get everything they need. In doing so, you’ll be able set clearer expectations and avoid confusion as the project moves forward.

Understand Their Lifestyle

Your job is to help homeowners realize their home improvement dreams, so asking them about their lifestyle is a great way to ensure they’ll love the results. You’ve completed enough jobs to know that there are a number of different ways to approach the same room. Getting a clearer understanding of how the homeowner really envisions using the room versus their idealized vision will allow you to suggest solutions that can ultimately make the room its best space.

Know the Market

As a home improvement pro, your customers count on you to deliver exceptional vision and craftsmanship. However, you can deliver them much more than that by keeping abreast of the latest market trends and industry news. Knowing the average ROIs for your area of expertise allows you to help the homeowner make decisions that will deliver the most bang for their buck. Keeping abreast of the latest industry and design trends helps you suggest products and design features that the homeowner might not have considered.

Know Their Neighborhood

One of the costliest mistakes a homeowner can make is to over-improve for their neighborhood. Having an understanding of how much homes are selling for in their area, as well as how they’re laid out, is information that could come in handy when trying to help the client decide what design to go with and which features to include. Knowing the market lets you help them choose the right renovations for their neighborhood that will set their home apart and raise its value.