Some people might say sharing too much information with too many people too frequently is a bad thing—but I beg to differ. In this episode of Coffee Break Q&A, I discuss the core reasons why daily communication is fundamental to everything we do at NS Builders. Our goal is to keep everyone in the loop—the customer, the architect or designer, and the entire NS team—so that we all know in real-time how a job is progressing.
And we make that happen by using Buildertrend—a project management program that allows me and the entire team too quickly and seamlessly communicate.
Check out some of my favorite features on Buildertrend, and you’ll see why I can’t go a day without logging in.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMER
Customers crave communication. They need updates and progress reports like a runner in the Boston Marathon needs carbs. Some building projects—new builds or major renovations—feel like a marathon to the customer. There’s a long road ahead of waiting patiently for their house to be completed or their kitchen to resemble a kitchen again. As the builder, you can do much to alleviate their stress by simply providing regular updates.
Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Anticipate questions they may have and concerns that keep them up at night. Then take the time to thoughtfully address those concerns—as often as needed to keep them satisfied. For some customers, they are happy with a weekly email update; others require a daily fix. Some common questions we get at NS Builders: What happens if I want to make a change? How do I know how much work is getting done in a day/week? How often will I be billed? Can I stop by to do a walk-through?
This is where a brief daily log or weekly recap email with photos of the work progressing is genuinely appreciated. It’s like show-and-tell for the customer—they see progress, see what they are paying for, and see their vision turning into a reality. So, never underestimate the value of communicating—even overcommunicating—with your valued customers.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR ARCHITECT OR DESIGNER
Working with a gifted architect or designer is equally as important as working with a great builder. The process should happen in a parallel manner—not as competitors, but working in collaboration. And I’m a huge advocate for starting this early in the project, getting the builder involved, and openly discussing how to make plans come off the page and work in the field. Addressing any logistical building roadblocks, the architect and the builder should be willing to work together to solve any problems. And as the project manager, you are the mediator. Your goal is to keep all parties focused on completing a successful project and sticking as closely as possible to that preliminary budget.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEAM
The NS Builder team uses Buildertrend every day to get real-time updates on how the project is progressing—on both the schedule and the budget. As the owner of the company, I’m also interested in all aspects of a project—hours tracked, updating the budget as we capture additional job costs, how close we are to meeting deadlines, problems that have come up, the discussion back and forth between team members on how to address it, and about a thousand other little details.
This is the time for open, honest conversations to take place. Allow the team to make suggestions, talk about what went right and what went wrong that day, and encourage everyone to stay on track. And don’t forget to update your off-site subcontractors as well. Make sure everyone has the information they need to do their job. This will save a considerable amount of frustration and potentially wasted materials.
Remember, when done correctly, it’s never a bad thing to be accused of overcommunicating (you’re in good company).
Ready to start your own project? Discover how easy it is to communicate with us at NS Builders. Contact us today! We can’t wait to hear from you.
PS: Want to know what our clients think about us?