It’s a great time for designers because it seems like there is more business for us right now than there has ever been.
Many of those jobs are for remodeling but taking them on requires a different mindset or system to set up properly.
One of the things that construction jobs require a lot of is personal support, which is the ability to be there and answer questions and ensure details are done correctly. Often, when you make the Construction Support offer to your client once the drawings and specifications are complete, they come back stating that it’s all good because the contractor knows what they’re doing.
Then, a few weeks later, the contractor is calling you three times or more a week to ask questions and seek advice. And because you brought them into the job, you feel a responsibility to respond, but the client isn’t paying you for the time you spend doing that.
That ends up representing a lot of unpaid hours.
Of course, you want to help the contractor if they need rescuing. However, it isn’t fair to drop the work you’re doing for clients who have paid you to go help that contractor out for something you’re not being paid for.
It’s a boundary issue, and it’s important to take care of the clients who have already hired and paid you for work.
This scenario raises a conflict. The reality is that when you allow this to happen, not only do you not finish the work you were paid to you, but you also end up doing paperwork late at night.
It’s those unplanned situations that cause this to happen. You have to realize that rescuing unpaid contractors costs you an enormous amount of time and money.
You can eventually get money back, but once time is gone, it’s gone for good.
I’ve heard stories from many designers who have clients who don’t want to pay for support, but the designer wants every part of the job to go right. They end up being there a few times a week or sometimes every day for a couple of months, and it’s all unpaid.
Even though you’re passionate about your work and you want it to represent what you’re trying to do, it’s terrible to give up that much of your time in a situation where you’re not paid.
Consider that getting paid at $100 an hour for 20 hours per week at 50 weeks a year is $100k just in consulting time. You can’t afford to just blow this off.
The design business is about holding some boundaries, and when you watch the video above, you can learn a few different scenarios on how to get around this.
One way is to include a few construction support appointments in your original offer. You don’t argue with the client about it. You simply state this is how you work. However, you also want to have clear communication with your client when the contractor needs your assistance. After you have supported the contractor be sure to tell the client how you solved the problem and how it benefited them.
You will want to do this for as many appointments you’ve allowed for in your original offer. When the contractor calls you, and all those appointments have been used up, you tell them that you can’t offer any more assistance until the client agrees to it.
Then, you can go back to the client and explain that all the support appointments have been used up. Because the client is aware of what you’ve been doing and how much it’s benefited them, they are more likely to agree to pay you for more construction support.
The best way to present this is with a package for 5 or 10 prepaid visits. That way, you can ensure everything goes well and that their investment and remodel is worth what they’re spending because you got the details right.
The moral of the story is to not take ‘no’ for an answer in the first place. Show your value, and then make the offer for your prepaid support package. It will get your job done and get you paid what you are worth.
I will be teaching strategies like this in my upcoming FREE webinar called Own That Remodeling Job and Get Paid What You’re Worth.
Be sure to sign up today!
Just click the link below, sign in and choose the date that is best for you.
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.