From the clients perspective they need a job to be done, a leaking tap for example. The process would be to search for a plumber, contact them to arrange a meeting or to get a ballpark quote. That’s all that you think you would have to do. Right?
You've given them the opportunity, now the ball is in their court. Unfortunately as a client you can’t afford to think like that. I’m not going to paint all trades with the same brush but the best way to make sure you get that price or have them meet you is to keep doing the friendly reminder follow up calls to make sure you are on their radar.
If you’re thinking something like “Why should I do all the chasing, if they want the job they have to chase me!” Yep, I have found having to do all the chasing very frustrating until, my husband (a project manager) gave me a different point of view, it's not that they don't want the job it could be because:
- They usually have to wear many hats in their business such as secretary, bookkeeper etc so they may be spread out too thin
- Calls would be usually taken while they are in the middle of a job ie; up a ladder or jammed under a kitchen sink
- Contact details may be scrawled on a scrappy piece of paper or a block of timber that inevitably gets lost in the ute under a pile of empty Ice Break bottles.
While all of the above aren't acceptable excuses for poor management they are the reality. The point I’m trying to make is your job of chasing a contractor is not over after that first phone call.
Most contractors are being pushed and driven by builders and project managers, so the key to getting what you want is to appoint yourself as the project manager and start chasing to get your job done.
Giving a friendly reminder follow up call before losing your cool will go a long way to keeping the contractor onside and to the job done.
Written and illustrated by Sarah Woods, Interior Designer and Building Planner. Sarah offers courses and coaches clients to become 'Renovation Ready'. www.thebuildingplanners.com
For more advice and ideas on home projects and planning check out:
Complete Home: How to submit a development application
Expert Advice: 6 tips for working with your architect
Complete Home: Get it Right From the Start