Manage Expectations with Pre-Construction Meetings

Fewer surprises will come up if there is good communication.

To ensure that the homebuilding process goes smoothly, it's important that both the homebuilder and buyer understand each other's expectations and responsibilities before construction starts. A lack of understanding can result in construction delays and eventually an unhappy customer.

Builders expect their customers to understand the rules for building homes — what can and can't be done. The customers need to know that within those rules there are times when they'll need to make decisions. If the customers do their work on time, the builders can do their work on time. The result is a quality home that's delivered on time — the way everyone envisioned it.

For the builder and the buyer to reach a mutual understanding, it's important for them to sit down and discuss each other's expectations. The best practice is for the builder and the homeowner to have pre-construction meetings. These early meetings will range from the very start with the sales representative, through the point where they choose their styles and colors, to a pre-construction meeting with the construction superintendent that goes through, again, what the process will be in terms of homebuilding. This way, the customer understands the process. And if you communicate with them on a weekly basis, there are fewer surprises.

Historically, construction began as soon as building plans were drawn up. However, the work flow was interrupted every time the homeowner had to make a decision. As a result, homes rarely finished on schedule, and customers were often unhappy. By making decisions in advance, the work flow is fluid from start to finish. Customers understand what can and can't be done in the building process, and their expectations are more realistic — thus ensuring a better overall experience.

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