Clients are annoying

The temptation to make lists at this time of year is strong. Logically, I made one for you, but it’s unlike any list you’ve seen before. This list contains complaints rather than resolutions. An informal online survey we conducted reveals that, apparently, clients are the most annoying part of your job. Frequently mentioned on the list are the way clients undervalue good design, and how they use cost-per-square-foot to compare builders. Here's the rest of the list: Pet Peeves in the Custom Home Market • Having to be a client’s personal therapist • Subs that don’t call back • Subs that show up late or not at all • Dirty job sites • The bid system • Cost-per-square-foot comparisons • Clients who find fault with everything • Clients who don’t understand cost • Clients who can’t make decisions • Client’s with no vision • Clients who undervalue the planning process • Clients armed with piles of magazine photos • Clients who expect you to read minds • Clients who “draw up†their own home design • Clients who meddle throughout the entire process • Clients who don’t value good design • Builders who don’t understand good design You might be wondering where this list came from. A few weeks ago, we asked a few architects, designers and builders to tell us what annoys them about doing business in the custom home market. Some answers were submitted via e-mail. Other pet peeves were posted within the Residential Design & Build social networking group at LinkedIn.com. Complete reader responses can be seen on pages 22 and 24 of the January 2010 issue, so keep your eyes open for it in a few weeks. Another frequently mentioned pet peeve is a lack of knowledge about good construction and design practices. Architects and builders who don’t educate clients along these lines were called out several times. Want to share your own pet peeves? send me an e-mail, or, scroll up to the first paragraph of this blog entry, look to the right and click where you see, “Leave a comment†or “Post or view comments.â€

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