3 Things to Discuss with a Client before a Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel

According to a recent study by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), many who completed a kitchen or bathroom remodel wish they had known more about what to expect during the process. Setting expectations is a critical element to establishing yourself as a professional. Build strong relationships and prepare your clients from the start with these three tips.

1. Prepare your clients for the number of decisions to be made

Design. Style. Products. Budgets. Scope of work. When to start. The number of decisions for a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project is staggering, especially if the client is not prepared for it. As remodeling experts, it is our responsibility to prepare a client for what to expect when it comes to all the decisions to be made.

Visual aids can be a tremendous help. Whether it is a checklist of what to expect, a sketch or mood board, providing the client with visuals can help them gain a better understanding of what is needed from them. This can also include tools such as a Kitchen Planning Guide or Bathroom Planning Guide, which can help a client begin to see what type of products and services decisions will be needed, or websites where brand options and project Photo Galleries can showcase available products and finishes, while also shaping design and style preferences. It can also include providing them with answers to frequently asked questions about kitchens and bathroom FAQ's when remodeling, encouragining them to engage and ask even more questions. 

Have open discussions about costs, budget, space usage, and requirements for the new space, including both needs and desires. Transparent conversations about budget build trust and guide clients toward tailored solutions within their vision and financial limits, or initiate dialogues about adjusting goals to align with budget. Clients value recommendations that optimize their budget without compromising on each decision, including proposing a contingency fund for unforeseen project expenses. This safeguards flexibility and adaptability throughout the project journey.

2. Prepare your clients for the difficulty and invasiveness of installation

No matter how many times you tell the client, they are never fully ready for the day they come home and find their old kitchen or bathroom is gone. The emotional connections to those space, particularly the kitchen, are strong. Prepare them for that moment and make sure they don’t lose focus on the excitement that lies ahead.

Preparing your clients is more than just educating clients about the complexities of the actual installation. Yes, it is critical to make sure they understand the structural modifications, wall adjustments, plumbing rerouting, or electrical updates to happen. Transparency here prevents surprises.

What clients don’t foresee is the disruption beyond the work itself. Not using the space you are accustomed to, having people coming in and out of your house, both planned and at times unplanned, the dust that gets almost everywhere even when the best efforts of prevention are in place. It can be especially difficult during meal times, where access to simple things is relocated, disrupted or put on hold until the project is complete.

Have a candid, honest conversation with your clients ahead of time, and more than once, to get them to understand and fully grasp the impact installation (and the demolition before it) will have. Sending them Reico packing boxes ahead of time can be another gentle reminder to help them be prepared.

3. Prepare your clients for the time is actually takes to fully complete the project

We are all fascinated by how long things take. But we are fixated with how long we think things actually should take. We know why a countertop is not delivered the same day as the cabinets, but does your client? As remodeling professionals, it is our responsibility to help our clients clearly understand how long it will take and why.

Start with a comprehensive timeline, breaking down the project into distinct phases and milestones. This roadmap offers clients an overview of the project's expected progression. Stress the significance of timely decision-making and approvals from clients. Their active involvement and understanding contributes to maintaining a strong relationship.

That’s the easy part..

As remodeling professionals we know from experience that something will disrupt a project. Supply chain disruption, material availability, weather conditions or an unexpected development on site can and will influence even the most planned out timelines. Prepare your client, both in time and expense. You can’t mention this enough. The more frequent and transparent you are with the client, the more prepared they can be for these potential disruptions.

Setting expectations is foundational to creating an excellent client experience. These are conversations that must be had multiple times to fully engage your client and help them understand and be better prepared for the decisions, disruptions and time their kitchen or bathroom remodeling project will require, and are essential to nurturing a strong client-contractor relationship.

Contact us today to discuss your business and how Reico Kitchen & Bath can assist you in delivering excellence to your clients and creating strong relationships to keep them coming back.

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