Earn more per project by seeing possibilities that the homeowner can’t. I recently went through a home renovation that included two complete bathroom makeovers and a partial kitchen remodel. During the interview and bid process, I related to the contractor my specific needs and design plan. He suggested a few minor changes that would be more suitable and cost-effective, but other than that, he simply did what I asked him to do.
My friend, however, who is also the realtor who sold me the house, made a smart suggestion to seal a hallway closet that abutted the bathroom and use that space for bathroom shelving. This made perfect sense because (a) there were too many doors in the hallway, making the space look smaller and (b) I desperately lacked storage in the bathroom.
Why didn’t my contractor come up with the brilliant idea? Perhaps it’s what we call tunnel vision. You go into the project by first listening to what the customer wants, you tell them whether or not it’s doable and then you create their vision. But if you looked around, you might get ideas that will greatly enhance the space and make it more functional for the homeowner.
Now, I know there are hoards of contractors who do make suggestions. But for those of you who don’t, it would not be considered an insult if you did. Most homeowners don’t have vision – they can’t see beyond the walls. I know, I’m one of them. If you can make my life easier by making the space in my home more functional, then I’m all ears.
So, here’s my suggestion to build more value and earn more money per project. Let’s say you’re working on a job and you pass by a staircase with unused, wasted space underneath (and the people have a lot of clutter). Suggest how the homeowner could utilize that space more efficiently with built-in storage. Bam – more money for you. Or you’re working on a job unrelated to the kitchen but notice that the kitchen is dark and small. Suggest installing skylights and removing a section of the wall to form a window through an adjoining room – wham-O, more $$.
Trust me, I’m a homeowner who needs you. These suggestions will pay off. Don’t just go into a job for the sake of the job. Go in for the client and help make their home a better place to live.