Self-Sufficiency in 2010

Most remodelers I know are amending their business model for 2010. This is due to all the changes in the real estate market in the last 24 months. Financing is much harder to get, and home values have gone down. Most homeowners are being much more cautious in the projects they are doing on their homes. The good news is that you already have the basis for your new business model. They are all of your past customers.

The Home Asset Management Plan is a unique concept that takes a comprehensive view of a past customer’s home and property from the top down. The cornerstone of the concept is the strong relationship of trust and confidence that your remodeling company has earned through past work. The goal of the program is to provide past clients with a reliable and trustworthy “partner” or “advisor” for maintaining and enhancing the value of their home, assisting the client in creating a personal vision for their property. The plan “binds” these three basic components:

  • Maintenance — Routine inspections and service focusing on such items as HVAC, lawn maintenance, sprinkler systems, alarm systems, filter changing, energy cost reduction, etc.
  • Repairs — Small non-recurring maintenance projects such as replacing a window, repairing a door, etc.
  • Remodeling and building new structures — This will include full-service remodeling of kitchens and baths, room additions, home offices, major renovations, etc., as well as building a guest house, adding a garage, perhaps constructing a vacation home, creating a pool house, adding an outside entertainment area, and other such projects.

The plan should contain a list of projects with project schedule and estimated costs, and will become the action plan for the next 12 months as well as the planning document for future projects within the next three to five years. The plan will grow and change over time. It is intended to invite an ongoing interactive dialogue with the client.

The mind-set change: Upon reading this for the first time, you may have the reaction, “we are doing most of this now, what is the difference?” Instead of looking at a client as a good source of work, and knowing they will call you when they are ready to do some remodeling, the asset management plan takes a “proactive” approach, and has you create a plan where you regularly contact them. We don’t wait for the clients to call with their next project but are proactive in setting up a meeting with them to jointly develop a three- to five-year plan for resolving their facility needs and desires before they arise.

How is this different from what you are doing now? The answers are:

  • We are “proactive” instead of reactive (waiting for a call)
  • We take a “global, comprehensive view” instead of a job-by-job view
  • We “jointly develop a proactive plan” with the client
  • We develop a “long range plan” (at least three years)
  • We help the client create a “vision”
  • We address family needs They are our “client for life”
  • We have a “WIT” (Whatever-It-Takes) attitude

The idea behind this concept is to provide your services to homeowners for all their property-related needs in regard to their ongoing home maintenance, repairs, as well as general remodeling. The concept allows you, the general remodeler, to act as a trusted advisor to assist your past clients in managing their most expensive asset, their home.

Objectives of the Home Asset Management Plan:

  • To provide the homeowner with a knowledgeable, reliable partner for maintaining and enhancing the value of their home and grounds.
  • To assist the homeowner in developing a vision of how they would like their home to be, and produce a comprehensive plan with costs and a schedule for realizing these wishes.
  • To eliminate the headaches and stresses associated with selecting specialized trade contractors, scheduling work and finding reliable workers for all maintenance, repair, and remodeling projects, while keeping the homeowner involved in the planning process.

Your past customers are your best source for additional work. They all have projects that they need or want done. For an example of the binder that might be created as part of the Home Asset Management Plan, e-mail me and I’ll send you a plan sample so that you can get a better idea of how to implement this within your own company.

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