Guest Blog: This Contractor Avoids Bad Reviews. Is He Lucky or Smart?
Guest Blogger: David Profitt, owner at Profitt Custom Homes, LLC is a NC Licensed General Contractor. David’s business offers construction of custom homes and remodel/renovation projects ranging from simple decks and porches to whole house makeovers, all as a Design/Build contractor.
Avoiding Bad Reviews
Anyone who has spent much time in this business knows full well the law of averages apply religiously. Out of every 10 customers, you will have two that think you're great, one that thinks you're a thief and the rest fall somewhere in between.
I suppose the word is "thankfully", the rise in social media has been offset by the economy so the events highlighted in the Dietz lawsuit news story haven't become as widespread as they no-doubt would have otherwise. I have been fortunate that over my nearly 3 decades in the business the overwhelming majority of my customers have been well satisfied with the work I did for them. But. like everyone else, I have had a few that felt otherwise.
Lucky or Smart?
"Thankfully" may not be exactly the correct word for it, as I typically put in a lot of long hours planning every project before the first shovel hits the ground, draw out the projects in cad (3D since 2001), run structural analysis on everything affected (engineer for 11 yrs before getting into building), put only known-entity skilled tradesmen on the job, personally oversee all the projects, visit the adjacent neighbors and introduce myself before stating any project that might potentially impact them, and constantly communicate with the client.
So I wouldn't attribute the low percentage of problems to just luck, but every once in a while you're going to get that one "special" client.....
Some real examples from my experience:
- The one who, at the closing table on a completed new home, decided he wanted to re-negotiate the price and not pay for his $15k in accumulated change orders. I went to a "pay as you go plan" after that.
- Or the one where the client had a one-of-a-kind rooftop cedar deck built as an add-on to the original whole house remodel. She was thrilled to death with it until a trusted friend who lived 300 miles away in a totally different building-cost market told her she had payed too much for it. Truth is I had over-charged her so badly that I actually lost money on it.
- Or the guy who wanted a financial concession out of the cabinet maker when the CM put a more expensive (turned) faux leg on his master vanity that was shown in the CM's pre-construction 3D representation. This was even though he and his wife both liked it a lot better than what they had "approved" and the price didn't change.
The more I think about it, the more I'd like to retire.