The Introductory Call: Your First Contact with Prospective Remodelers
Most people don’t like interviewing remodelers because they don’t have confidence in their ability to discern if a remodeler is honest. If you’ve done your homework with thoroughness and patience, you’ve spared yourself that anxiety because you already know your candidates are qualified, honest, and reliable.
At this point, you should feel confident about your list because you’ve already prequalified the names on it. If you don’t feel confident, you need to ask yourself why. Then you need to call back homeowners and get the answers you need.
When you begin interviewing remodelers, your task will be to locate one you can work with, one whose interest in your project impresses you, one who listens carefully to what you say.
The goal of this quest is to find compatibility with a remodeler whom you’ll be able to work with successfully for the 6 to 12 months a large project may take.
Once you’re ready to begin the interviewing process, call the remodelers in the order you’ve rated them. Be prepared to describe your project and state when you’d like to begin construction.
Professional remodelers are extremely busy. You may have to be patient as you attempt to set up your first meetings. If someone you like doesn’t return your first call, give him or her a second chance. If they don’t return that call, cross them off your list. Just as you want to avoid fly-by-night remodelers, you also want to avoid someone who is too popular. If a remodeler doesn’t have time to return your call now, you can imagine how stressful that could be after work on your house begins.
When you call the remodelers on your list, have three to five preliminary questions ready to ask each of them, such as:
· Have you completed a job similar to this before?
· If you have, may I see it?
· Do you have a list of references that I can contact?
· When will you be able to start the job?
· When could we meet in person to further discuss this project? (use this question only if you’re encouraged by the answers they give).
I have no set script for these calls. In fact, in the course of some conversations a remodeler may offer everything suggested above and more. Be aware of how easily the conversation progresses. When you hang up, make a few notes on the conversations. What were your impressions of the remodeler? Did he or she listen well? Did he or she answer your questions thoroughly?