My wife Laura and I have two children Riley and Reese, and live in a nice home in NE Portland. Our family lives close by and we gather frequently. I learned early on to be honest, ethical, timely and blunt. If all heads aren’t nodding I know I need to change the approach so everyone is clear about what is going to happen. People are always glad I am on their team.
I am up front with clients as to what could and may happen as a result of the project at hand. People want straight answers, honesty, and a budget and schedule staying close to stated format. This will suffice even the harshest of clientele. This is how I have always operated.
My marketing started long ago by showing a client exactly what they wanted so the choice was similar to buying a car. “I know what I want, now let's pick options and a color.” For me, the portfolio was the single best marketing tool, followed by references. Now the website is sole supreme ruler!
My contract dealings lie in residential and commercial construction. My current residential contract is quite short compared to my competitors. It has typical wording to protect us both should something go wrong. My attorney fine tunes it, and he is a very honest and reasonable man. My past commercial contracts were heavily worded, with stringent scope and schedule guidelines, and I was responsible for reading every page to insure there were no hidden items that we could not adhere to as well as tasks we were not covering in scope.
Other key roles: pre-job meetings with my subs, material acquisition, onsite safety to insure all potential issues have been addressed, creation and execution of change orders, progress meetings with client, final punch list walk through, etc.
For the most part, everyone has his or her specialty or niche they are most comfortable performing. Knowing how to get everyone working together is the trick, which is the single most important task in my role. It goes beyond who is paying for this; it goes beyond how long is this going to take; it is not fueled by the next project we move to. It lies directly in helping each other to be clean, efficient, and considerate of others, working toward the same goal. I achieve this with my people by way of pre-job meetings, lunch dates, and recognition of achievement. I intend to keep everyone smiling.
After every project regardless of it’s size, I load all photos on a thumb drive, from before to finish and the construction documents, and supply it to the Client. They can refer to it in the event someone needs an answer in the future or just wants to see where something is we covered. Just my way of a double backup method that helps everyone.