client satisfaction

Ep.33: The Reboot Week with Dave Domenichini

A full week where no production, no work on projects at all, might seem like any remodeling company’s nightmare — the kind that wakes you in the middle of the night. For one company, though, it’s a reality that’s worked like a dream.

In this episode, Dave Domenichini explains the hows, whys, and benefits of building in a Reboot Week to Tim and Steve. All production for that week stops — not even subs are working — as he gathers his management team for meetings to go over what works, what can be improved, and to concentrate on new ideas.

Dave started D.R. Domenichini Construction in 2004 with one employee in Morgan Hill, CA. He slowly built the company to its current size of 12 employees — seven in the field and five salaried managers. In the beginning, he wore many hats and had many job titles. As the company grew, he was able to hire people to fill those roles so that he could focus on business development.

Reboot Week gives Dave and his management team time to work on the business, not in the business, and review and plan to implement new systems and training. “It’s like when you’re spinning your wheels in a car,” he says. “You’ve got to let off the throttle to get traction.” Dave explains why it works, the problems it’s solved, and how to sell it to the hourly staff that won’t get paid for that week, as well as:

  • Gathering actionable information
  • How to prepare your clients
  • Searching for the “Golden Nugget”
  • Building in fun
  • Creating the agenda
  • And much more…

If you’re thinking about how much it costs to take a week off of active work on jobs, Dave says don’t — he thinks about how much it would cost him not to do it.

Ep.26: Managing Your Clients Through Weekly Meetings with Pete Carey

One of the biggest factors in creating success as a remodeling company is keeping clients happy, and a big part of that is how you manage your jobs. Keeping a pulse on the emotional well-being of your clients with weekly meetings keeps the client on your team, while you manage the job.

Pete Carey drops by to talk to Tim and Steve about how to schedule and run weekly meetings, and why it works.

Pete started working as a carpenter for Riverside Construction in West Lafayette, IN, in the fall of 2001, thinking he’d be there for six months. Instead, he’s been with the company ever since. In April of 2018, he moved into the position of Production Manager, and is enjoying the new challenges that come with the role.

You’ve all worked on jobs that were successful in terms of budget, schedule, and finished product, but the clients were still grumpy at the end. Weekly meetings can help avoid that — but you have to make them productive. It’s not just another meeting for the sake of having one, you’ve got to make sure it’s a vehicle for the larger goal of caring for your clients’ emotional well-being. Pete guides you through the process that works, including:

  • How to set expectations with the clients
  • The two statements and one question that lead to productive meetings
  • How to train Project Managers to run them successfully
  • The key to letting clients know you care
  • Accentuating the positive
  • When to bring in help
  • And much, much more…

Empowering and trusting your Project Managers to set and run weekly meetings is a huge step in creating raving fans and boosting referrals.

Ep.24: The Relationship Between Design & Construction with Anitra Mecadon

There are so many people involved in remodeling projects, with different skillsets and specialities and personalities. On the construction team, there’s often misunderstanding or frustration with designers and architects. Great designers have innate talents and abilities, great craftsman do too. Everyone brings a significant piece to a successful project.

The key, as it is so often, is in communicating to build relationships.

In this episode, Anitra Mecadon brings her perspective as an interior designer, and talks to Tim and Steve about breaking down the barriers between all parties involved in remodeling projects.

In addition to being an interior designer, Anitra is also a television host and spokesperson for National Gypsum. She hosted five seasons of “MegaDens” on the DIY network and has appeared on other shows on DIY, as well as HGTV.

When a designer brings you a complicated plan, appreciate that while sometimes it’s not easier to execute, the final result will almost always be better. By talking —and more importantly — really listening to each other, designers and contractors can form a united team to get the best results for your clients. Anitra gives you tips and methods to get there, including:

  • What can get lost in translation between all the parties
  • Making clients feel confident in the finish selections
  • How to work with new products — even if they’re just new to you
  • Remaining flexible
  • How to talk through disagreements
  • And much more…

Anitra also gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what really happens on those home-improvement TV productions. We’re thrilled that Anitra will be with us at the Purple Production Conference in New Orleans, Sept. 27.


  

Ep.23: Controlling Scope Creep With Sales Change Orders with Will Giesey

There’s a traditional divide between Sales and Production. It’s always a challenge — they have different goals, processes, and personalities. Typically, Production is left out of the conversation when it comes to scope creep, leading to delays and change orders during construction — and disgruntled clients.

Will Giesey and his team are changing that situation through careful communication, new processes, and using change orders negotiated by Sales during the design process to set client expectations and streamline the Production process.

In this episode, Will brings along his Production Manager Ryan Stiffney to explain the process to Tim and Steve.

Will founded Bellweather Construction in 2002 in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and studied fine art at Lawrence College, including concentrations in design and architecture. He holds multiple certifications with the National Association for the Remodeling Industry and other related credentials.

Ryan worked in the trades through high school and college. Ryan became Bellweather’s production manager in 2017 and handles internal sales-to-production project hand-offs, client communication, and trade partner relationships.

By introducing the idea of a core scope of work, with change orders occurring during the design process, Bellweather has been able to cushion the blow of escalating prices on their clients while maintaining margins. Get the details on how they make it work, including:

  • The importance of communication
  • Who should sign off on the contracts and why
  • How to explain it to clients
  • Why it works to vet good clients
  • The three phases of change orders
  • Why talk isn’t cheap — or free
  • And so much more…

For Bellweather, more time in the design process leads to a better Production process — and satisfied clients. For more on Bellweather, check out the website.

 

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Ep. 15: Making Money on Change Orders with Brad Hogan

No matter how meticulously a job is planned, change orders are inevitable. They can either cost you or make money — the good news is, you get to choose!

In Episode 15, Tim and Steve learn how to make the profitable choice by putting the right systems and communication channels in place from Brad Hogan of Hogan Design & Construction.

Brad’s the Production & Sales Manager at the Geneva, IL, company, and organization and leadership have always come naturally to him. Brad started as a carpenter, and worked his way up to his current positions. He’s developed, changed, and implemented new systems to make Hogan Design & Construction stand out in the industry.

We all know there are going to be changes and change orders on jobs. Avoiding miscommunication at the beginning — at the handoff from sales or in pre-construction — is one key to keeping change orders from costing you.

Brad’s insights into turning your change orders into more profitable jobs include:

  • How to structure your contract to avoid conflict
  • Empowering your project manager or lead carpenter to handle change orders
  • Preparing the client for unforeseen complications
  • Establishing clear communication channels upfront
  • How to get a higher markup on changes orders
  • Holding the line with subcontractors
  • And much more…

Getting a handle on your change order process is crucial to your bottom line, and Tim, Steve, and Brad are here to help!

Click through to find out more about Hogan Design & Construction.

Thank You for the Shout-Out!

We’re excited to see The Tim Faller Show named as one of the 5 Remodeling Podcasts You Need to Listen to, by Pro Remodeler Magazine in their July edition.

THE #1 PRODUCTION EVENT FOR IMPROVING THE BOTTOM LINE 

After an amazing turnout last year (more than 100 attendees) we are excited to host the 2nd Annual Production Conference, held alongside the 2018 Remodelers Summit in beautiful New Orleans, coming up in September. Register Today! 

 

Ep.10: Customer Satisfaction; Communication & Setting Expectations with Sal Alfano

It’s always great when you can get industry veterans together for a chat… and in Episode 10 we get a chance to visit with an experienced writer, editor and thought-leader in Sal Alfano.

After almost 40 years in the business, Sal’s insights into what he hears from remodelers and home builders across the country, coupled with his own experience as a remodeling client himself makes for an outstanding episode.

Sal Alfano spent 20 years as a carpenter, remodeling contractor, and custom home builder in central Vermont. He joined the staff of JLC in 1991, where he was named editor-in-chief in 1994. From 2001 to 2014, Sal served as editorial director for numerous industry trade magazines and websites, including JLC, Remodeling, Replacement Contractor, Coastal Contractor, Professional Deck Builder, and Upscale Remodeling. Currently, he is executive editor for Professional Remodeler and ProTradeCraft.com. Sal and his wife, Elaine, live in Montpelier, Vermont.

Tim, Steve and Sal really dive into changes that they have all watched over the past several years; specifically how clients view the industry and their expectations on pricing, communication and transparency of the process.

Sal shares his thoughts on:

  • Importance of quality craftsmanship, communication (internal & external), etc.
  • Getting production crew involved in the design process early
  • Project efficiency and planning, sequences, etc.
  • Transitioning from the production world to the publishing business
  • His own experience as a home owner and consumer of remodeling services
  • Shifts in products, processes, policies in production
  • Homeowners wanting transparency and sharing of information
  • Importance of industry media and resources for contractors to share and learn
  • And more

 

Super Early Bird Registration for the 2018 Production Conference Closes June 15! Save $200 By Registering Today!

After an amazing turnout last year (more than 100 attendees) we are excited to host the 2nd Annual Production Conference, held alongside the 2018 Remodelers Summit in beautiful New Orleans, coming up in September. Register Today!

 

 

Ep.07: Establishing Trust Through Successful Pre-construction Meetings with Chris Peterson

As remodeling projects transition from the sales and design phase into actual production, an effective pre-construction meeting can either make or break your chances of a successful client experience.

Pre-construction meetings, if run correctly, allow you to establish a relationship with the client; setting clear expectations, roles and responsibilities, setting milestone dates, communication contacts… and in doing so, building trust.

In Episode 7, Tim and Steve welcome Chris Peterson to the show to really dive further into ways to make this pre-construction meeting successful, something he and his team at Schloegel Design Remodel have been doing for decades.

Chris started in the construction field right out of high school, joined Schloegel in 1996 and has worked his way up through the ranks (carpenter, project manager, production manager) and is now VP of Production and Co-Owner of the business.

Schloegel Design Remodel is an award-winning firm based in Kansas City, MO and has been “transforming residences” since being founded by Jake Schloegel in 1980.

Tim, Steve and Chris share thoughts on not only the importance of these meetings, but how Schloegel has been using them over the years. These include:

  • Setting goals for the meeting
  • Holding a PRE Pre-construction meeting where the production team meets to set strategy of how to work best with the client, identify any red flags on the project plan, etc.
  • Giving background on how these meetings have evolved over time
  • Establishing Checklists and setting policies
  • How to handle changes in scope or project details, pricing, etc.
  • Measuring success of the meeting
  • Who participates in the meeting (client and production team) and their roles
  • Setting an agenda and preparing the client for the meeting
  • And More!

Whether your company is currently holding these pre-construction meetings or not, this episode is a great way to either get started with your own, or perhaps make changes to the way you are handling this critical hand-off between sales and production. Enjoy!

 

Are Your Meetings Successful?

After listening to this episode, we would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have other ways that you can share that have helped hand projects off between design/sales and production? How have they helped? Use the comments section below to provide feedback, we would love to hear from you!

 

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