4 Keys To A Successful Relationship With Your Trade Pro

ProSource | 9/23/2015 | Expert Advice

If you've had a new home built in the past, you're aware of the potential pitfalls when working with a trade professional. If not, you've probably heard stories from friends.

Whether you're making a decision with your builder, designer, remodeler or other expert, there's always a chance for a tug of war. ("But I'm paying for this!" "But that just can't be done"!)

All this is not to say that trade pros are bad people to work with; quite the contrary. In truth, each is amazing, as you'd expect any creative person to be. And at the same time, they're business people who must keep an eye out for themselves and their employees.

Then there's you – a customer who is paying the bills and knows, or thinks you know, what you want. This type of human dynamic is a natural setting for even an ever so slight disagreement. It would be odd if there wasn't some give and take.

However, most times, such issues are happily, if not easily, resolved. And just like in any creative endeavor, a little confrontation can be beneficial and usually winds up contributing to the quality of the final product. In this case, that would be your home.

So with great hope that your trade pro relationship(s) go as smoothly as possible and lead to the home of your dreams, here are a few tips that will result in a terrific team effort:

  1. Don't be a boss; be a partner. In fact, tell him or her up front that your goal is to facilitate a partnership in which you vow to respect each other's opinions and trust each other's judgment. Sounds like a marriage, right? But in truth, if there's chemistry in your discussions from day one, you'll be on a good path.
  2. Communicate! This is really part two of forging a partnership. Discuss up front the importance of being open with questions and … this is key … listening! Logistically, it's also important to keep written records and even going so far as to document conversations. This is a business arrangement, right? Just be sure that you've made it clear that you think such records and documentation is a good thing – and not a way to "keep an eye" on your hired help.
  3. Don't be a micromanager by watching over your trade pro(s) every second. Respect their space and be mildly flexible with schedules when it comes to weather, emergencies, and so forth. Recommend that you review progress-to-date at key pre-determined stages.
  4. Be clear up front what both sides expect in terms of budgets and payment schedules. And never – NEVER – hesitate to discuss any money issues. It's sometimes difficult, but it makes life easier down the road.

Ultimately, you want to feel like your relationship was valuable. Believe it or not, it's easier than you think. Partner with the right person, communicate, let your people do what they do best, and be honest, open and respectful about money. You can start by finding great trade pros at ProSource.

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