Do some contractors add more value than others?
Are you looking for a general contractor that will bring more than expected? If a contractor bulldozes his way through the job, you may be less than happy even if the project was completed. There are so many little things that can add value to the contractor you may be seeking.
Being a contractor in the Sacramento, CA area, we have had the opportunity to serve many different clients, homeowners, property managers, corporate businesses and government agencies to name a few. While each of these clients have different decision makers, time frames and needs; many of them share areas where value can be added by a contractor.
The largest client group for Tromler Construction is Apartment Management. We have been servicing apartment building for property management companies throughout Sacramento for decades. The projects can include virtually all the different trades, but what we do for each client remains the same. The typical transaction goes something like this.
How we add value for the apartment management client
- We get a call or e-mail from client – If possible, answer the phone or call back quickly. The client values their own time, reaching the contractor should be easy. Be cordial and respectful to the caller.
- Get all the important information – name, numbers, address, e-mail are all important early. Getting all the information early will help in staying in contact in the future.
- How did they find me? – This is important on a couple of levels. They made an effort to find us, what were they willing to do to find a contractor? Are they aware where we can be found? What did they search for exactly?
- Get some details about the project – We solve problems, what is the problem that the client needs resolved? This conversation will also help in knowing what to bring to the job walk. Ladders, moisture meters, flashlights and product samples aren’t always on the truck; we can help the client same time if we are prepared for the site visit.
- Schedule an appointment with the decision maker – Many times we are allowed to view the problem on our own. If we are meeting someone, we try to let the client pick the best time for them first, adjust our schedule to meet their needs.
- Pre-meeting confirmation call – The client will be more at ease if we call them to confirm in advance. This can also be a reminder for them.
- Job Walk Meeting – Value the client’s time – show up a few minutes early. This goes a long way! Personal appearances are important too. We are well groomed, clean, and wear presentable clothes.
- Present an estimate – Getting back to the client quickly allows them to make a choice quickly. Ask questions or make changes. Waiting can put a burden on the client.
If we get the job…
- Contact the on-site manager – Introduce myself, request notice for permission to enter the unit, explain what we will be doing. This keeps the on-site manger in the loop, and helps the decision making manager by being thorough.
- Start of work – Arrive on time, set up the staff, and introduce who we are. We don’t want people concerned about strangers walking around the property. We will be on our best behavior on site because this will be a direct reflection on management. No radio, smoking, drinking or profanity.
- Inside the apartment – We try to go overboard here; we are in someone’s home. Don’t touch anything that isn’t ours. Dust protection, drop clothes, safety cones, and everything that will make the experience inside that unit perfect. If that tenant is happy, it is very likely that everyone else will be also.
- Daily clean-up of construction debris – We pull out all of our things, clean up everything that we created, even if we are returning the next day.
- Communication with the tenant – We notify the tenant personally, handwritten note, or even a phone call to let them know when we will be returning and what to expect. They should be notified by the management but we want everyone to be informed.
- Communicate with management – Describe the progress made that day, and what we will be doing next if not yet completed. We let the management know exactly what we told the resident and share any concerns. Did we find something that we did not anticipate? Pass this on too.
- Drop off keys – We have been entrusted with the keys, we return them daily.
- Upon completion – When we finish a job, management should not have to call us back. The site is spotless, tenant is happy with our work ethic and respect of their space. All questions and concerns has been addressed.
A few more things…
- Be aware of our surrounding – I’m not a spy but I know that management may
want to know some information that I may see while working on site. Signs of mold, pet damages, and wild behavior may all be things that is important for someone to know.
- Billing – Invoice promptly, management will be happy to pay for a well done job.
- Follow-up contact – We like to thank the decision makers with a phone call, post card, and sometimes a small gift as a thank you for their business.
These are the things that we do for each and every client that we contract with in the Sacramento area. As a General Contractor these things are important to us because it adds value to how we do business with apartment property managers and other clients.
Tromler Construction can be reached at 916-765-5366.