During this Isolation Period
With everyone at home and in isolation let's not forget the elderly that are also at home and possibly in need of repairs and fixes. Safety issues around the home that they cannot do for themselves, and because of Social Distancing we don't want to pose unnecessary threats by exposing them to viruses especially when providing them a job quote.
We are living in a new time of keeping Social Distances. Hopefully this time will not last for too long, however, it is important to be aware of keeping safe and respecting each others personal space and what's going on in our environment in the interim. Although our habits and practices might change, life goes on which includes ware and tare, or accidents that cause damage to our property where minor or major repair or renovation work needs to be done.
As contractors, we need to keep up with the times and know how to provide quality workmanship and services to our customer, while keeping safe from accidents as well as viruses and disease while on the job. We need to operate with wisdom with every task that we are called out to do.
Here are 3 ways that we can do to protect yourself (and your clients) while providing quotes and services to customers:
1) Providing Quotes by Phone: Although in this day and age, technology is left, right, and center, not all customers are using computers as their primary way of communication. Many older folks still rely on the good old reliable landline to keep in touch. It might take a little more effort on our part to work with them, however, it is what it is. We can provide our customers with a telephone consultations the same way Doctors have learned to help their patients that are unable to visit with face-to-face. Simply speak with your customer and have them describe the damage or repair work that needs to be done, and make sure to ask them what the cause of the problem is (hopefully they know). The most important part of this conversation is to determine if there are any safety issues to consider to understand the urgency of the project. Without rushing them, make sure to get all the information you need to give your best judgment. A quote sight unseen most likely cannot be given because there are too many variables. That is the bottom line. However, the main purpose here is to make sure they are safe. Give them a general idea of what needs to be done and provide them with your labour rate for the repair and advise that materials are subject to further inspection.
2) Teleconferencing/Video Chats: This is a much better way to see what's going on. When you are working with older clients who are more hip with technology, using online tools will help you get the job done. Quite often it could be a family member (daughter or son) who is making the request for a quote on behalf of their parent. By utilizing online conferencing apps allows you to speak, see, and discuss the issues that the customer is dealing as a group and use the camera on their PC to show the area that needs to be repaired. Again, what is most important is to consider any potential safety issues. Using your best judgement, a quote can be provided.
3) Email Communications: Customers are able to take pictures and video clips of their property, along with detailed descriptions, measurements, plan layouts, materials, pics of other examples, and full explanation of what their needs, budget, and expectations are. Ass long as there is enough information provided, a contractor is able to review and prepare a quote that a customer can work with.
Of course, most quotes, seen or unseen are always "subject to" conditions and circumstances that go beyond the contractors control. The initial quote is the best starting point though.
Next time: How to Provide Property Services While Keeping Socially Distant.
Oseye Cohen, A.I.M.A Real Property Administrator 12 Gates Property Services www.12gatesps.com
The Handyman's Helper
Office: 647-345-3456 PROTECTING PROPERTIES. MINIMIZING LOSS.