Answers to designer quiz:
In each situation what’s the next step?
1) Customer wants to get some estimates from contractors before they have you come out and measure since they are removing a load bearing wall. Next Step is. . .
Schedule measure immediately and before contractors come out. Knowing the design, they want will help contractors give accurate estimates. Not to mention we can estimate what our contractors would charge for them to compare before they even pay the 20% deposit.
2) Customer has an appointment to select appliances and would like to have you measure after appliances are selected. Next step is . . .
Schedule measure immediately and before they pick appliances. Appliances may change after design is chosen which will save time appliance shopping. Plus, they will have a budget after design is done and know where they are finance wise.
3) You have measured and completed the design and the customer wants to get some estimates from outside contractors before paying the 20% deposit. Next step is . . .
First give customer a construction estimate. Paul can help if you are uncertain of costs. Make sure customer understands that giving the contractors plans, drawings and notes will make the estimates less expensive and more accurate. Suggest paying the 20% if the estimate you or Paul gives sounds feasible. Then customer can have two of our contractors estimate and get better bids from other contractors. If they say “what if the estimates we get back are much higher?” Assure them that we get estimates constantly and know how much construction should cost. Recommend less expensive contractors like Rich, Walt, or Ed Blackman in these cases.
4) Customer wants inset cabinets or other expensive custom design features but is living in a less expensive home. Next step is . . .
Give this customer a realistic budget BEFORE measuring, designing or doing designs in a custom line. If they are OK with the numbers proceed. If not recommend compromising on materials.
5) Customer wants to do the project in 15 to 24 months. Next step is . . .
Measure ASAP. Knowing the design and getting a realistic budget will help them plan. IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO START.
6) Customer had water damage and is waiting for insurance to give them an estimate. Wants to schedule measure after they get the insurance estimate. Next step is . . .
Measure ASAP. This will help them decide if the insurance estimate is too low. And encourage them to get an independent insurance adjuster if that is the case. Insurance companies waste money, give bad advice, wrong information and wrong procedures. They do not usually have the customers best interest at heart. Waiting here puts customers on the wrong track.
7) Customer has a design they like and wants you to price that design out. Next step is . . .
Measure and always charge the $150 deposit. Do the design you think best and show it to the customer. Price out their design after they see the recommended design so that they can compare.
8) Customer is a flipper or contractor and has a design they want you to price out their design. Next step is . . .
The Same! Measure and charge the $150 deposit. Do the design you think best and show it to the customer. Price out their design after they see the recommended design so that they can compare.
9) Customer is building an addition and is waiting for the architect’s final plans before moving forward with the kitchen measure. Next step is . . .
The Same! Measure and charge the $150 deposit. Do the design you think best and show it to the customer. Price out their design after they see the recommended design so that they can compare. Use the proposed dimensions of the addition in your plans or and preliminary architect drawings. The more work the architect does before you start working on a design with the customer the harder it is to make the changes needed. Give this job to another designer if needed.
10) A customer’s friend recommended you and would like to see the design you come up with. Next step is . . .
The same! Measure and charge the $150 deposit. Do the design you think best and show it to the customer. Price out their design after they see the recommended design so that they can compare.
How many answers did you get close to correct?
8-10 You are a superstar
6-10 You are leaving money on the table and loosing projects and possibly wasting your time.
0-5 Lazy and less helpful habits (or for Camilla and Juilet – things that you still need to learn) will cost you tens of thousands of dollars in commissions.