Greetings NJ –
Hope this post finds you well and gaining clarity in your life each day.
Remember – each obstacle is an opportunity for learning and growth and betterment. No one said it was going to be easy though…J The Buddha didn’t have Storm Sandy to deal with.
I have a few thoughts today on communication and specifically how important it is to the rebuilding process. If you can set up some basic levels of expectation in the beginning of the process, you will be much calmer and happier throughout.
Mark your calendar: Sandy Seminar, Thursday 4/25/13 at 2:30 at Kate & Ally’s Restaurant in Forked River. We will be hosting an architect, realtor, attorney, mortgage professional (Steve Brasslett, Ivy First Mortgage) and myself and it will be an open forum for discussion. Seating is limited and there will be refreshments served. Call to reserve your space.
Here are 8 basic parameters that you should expect when dealing with a professional consultant or vendor of any type, whether it be an architect, builder, engineer, or contractor (or really, anyone else for that matter):
- This person or firm should be able to communicate with you in the manner that you are most comfortable with. I placed this thought first for a reason. As the client, you should expect communication your way, whether it is by phone, email, text, fax, mail, facebook, linked in or note in a bottle. Do not change your habits to suit the consultant – find a consultant that makes you comfortable with how you regularly communicate.
- At the very least, you should have all documentation copied to you via email. If you want a hard copy of everything sent as well, request it, but keeping good email records is an important ingredient. You will sleep better. Also at the very least, keep good notes. Ben Franklin said, “The faintest pencil is better than the sharpest memory.” It is very easy to forget conversations and discussions.
- You should expect to be updated regularly, but not unnecessarily. The process should be explained and a general time line outlined. Regularly monitoring and discussing the numerous steps in the process is very important. Sometimes (too often in NJ) you are simply waiting for the glacial wheels of progress to move and there is nothing to report.
- One person in your family should be the main point of contact with your consultant. This does not mean that the entire family isn’t involved in the planning and concept stage, just that one person is the primary point of contact throughout. It makes your life easier.
- A good consultant should have no issues or objections to your rational, intelligent assistance throughout the process. The process of construction is complex but not esoteric – it can and should be understood by everyone involved. Generally the more eyes and brains monitoring the situation, the less errors there are. You should expect to assist as much as you can – the project will be the better for your efforts.
- If it cannot be explained to you in plain English in small words, it is probably horse puckey. Do not tolerate jargon, slang, abbreviations or other unknowable referents. If you don’t understand something, ask that it be clarified until you do understand. If it cannot be explained to you, generally the person who is speaking is not sure of what they are saying.
- It is perfectly ok to hear “I don’t know, but I will check on that and get back to you.” No one knows everything. As long as there is a willingness to research the facts, there is no shame in not having every piece of data immediately accessible. Intelligent people know what they do not know.
- You should expect a response to an inquiry within 1 business day, provided that you are willing to both leave a verbal message, as well as follow up with an email or text. It is easy to miss a phone call or voice mail, but is not acceptable to miss a voice mail, as well as an email, text or fax. It is not acceptable to not have regular access to your consultant, or a designated colleague throughout the process to get feedback on thoughts, changes and comments.
Hopefully these ideas will help you. They are relatively simple but also very important. If you use them, the inevitable stress of rebuilding might be a little less.
Stay well NJ.
Rebuild, Renovate, Raise or Repair Your Home from Storm Sandy
Rebuilding NJ One Home at a Time…
Residential Construction & Development for over 20 years in NJ
314 Rt.9, Forked River, NJ 08731 Mailing: PO Box 627, Forked River, NJ 08731
609 693 8881 x 102 Fax: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619