Friday, May 31, 2013

Three Common Mistakes People Make When Planning a Home

When you're designing a house you want it to be exactly like how you've envisioned it, but sometimes home design ideas work better in theory than they do when you're constructing it.  CustomSmart Home reviews always reflect how we get our clients involved in the home building process, and we've help countless Tennessee residents design and built the energy efficient homes they've always dreamed of.  We've looked at a lot of floor plans and have designed a lot of houses, and these issues always seem to come up during the design process.  Do yourself a favor when you design a home, and avoid these common design mistakes.

Too Much Storage Space

This may sound crazy to some of you, but there is such a thing as having too much storage space in your home.  Ironically, having too much storage space can actually make your home look and feel more cluttered because that walk-in closet and spare bedroom takes away much needed space from other sections of your house.  The space that's used for the walk in closet in the master bedroom could be space used to make the bathroom less crowded, or could be used to make the kid's bedroom more spacious.

Putting the Master Bedroom Too Close to Other Rooms

Ideally the master bedroom of a home should be designed to give the occupants the maximum amount of privacy they can have in their house.  When you put the master bedroom downstairs next to the kitchen or next to the kid's playroom upstairs, you're taking away from your privacy by putting the room near rooms that are typically loud.  Try to put the master bedroom towards the back of your home and avoid having them right next to the stairs.

Making a Room a Corridor

In older and smaller homes it isn't uncommon to have to walk through a room in order to reach other rooms (example: traveling through a bed room or guest room in order to get to the family room).  Some people like to pass through rooms instead of hallways because they think it makes the home feel cozier, but set ups like this destroy the natural traffic flow of your home.  You want to minimize the amount of hallways you have in your home, but you don't want to eliminate them all together.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tips for Finding A Home Builder

People say that it's difficult to find good help these days, and if you're working in the construction industry you probably agree with that sentiment.  Lizzio Development Group and other construction groups have had their share of workers, and when you hire your employees you want to make sure that you're getting the best help possible.  If you're planning on hiring more employees for your building company, try following these tips when you decide on who you'll hire.

Choose Someone Who Fits Your Style

If your company builds residential homes in rural areas, construction workers that have only worked on city projects probably wouldn't be the best fit for your business.  It's good to have some variety with your employees, the different perspectives and experience could give your company some fresh ideas.  You do want some variety, but you don't want someone who is operating on the opposite end of the spectrum. 

Think About Complexity

This ties in with choosing someone who fits your construction and working style.  All construction projects aren't created equal, and there are some projects that will take more time and effort to finish than others.  If your work tends to be complicated you should hire people who have more experience in your field. 

Get References From Previous Clients

References are a strange thing in the world of construction and architecture.  Many people in the business use their physical work as their reference ("just Google image search ______ and you can see my work for yourself! "), or they'll use other fellow workers as references and not the actual clients they've worked for.  Ask for contact information from their previous managers and clients, and judge their work and work ethic by what they say.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tips for Home Builders

In the construction business building homes and buildings is only part of the job, professional builders need to make sure that they're keeping their clients well-informed and happy.  Custom Smart Home reviews reflect that the company takes time to talk to their clients, and other home builders need to make sure that they do the same.  If you want to improve your business and keep your clients satisfied, try to remember these tips the next time you deal with your clients.

Speak Up

The saying, "the customer is always right" can apply in many situations, but when it comes to the world of architecture sometimes the customer could use some advice.  As a professional architect and construction worker you know what elements are needed to make a good home, but your clients don't have the same knowledge you do.  It's your job to build them a home they'll be happy with, but it's also your job to give them a home that's well built.

Give Frequent Updates

You know how long it takes to properly build a home, but your clients don't.  It's understandable that clients want their homes built as quickly as possible.  If you give your clients frequent updates about the progress of the project they'll know that their home is gradually coming together.  Home builders should also make sure that they keep their clients up to date on how much they're spending.  If you do, there won't be any unpleasant surprises for them when their final bill comes.

Have a Plan for Unforeseen Problems

Divorces, natural disasters, job losses, and death don't take breaks when projects are going on.  You need to make sure you know what will happen in case something happens to you or your client when you're working on their project. There are countless construction workers and home builders who have had their clients back out of projects in various stages of completion.  If you don't stipulate in the contract what will happen in case of a problem, you could find yourself in a legal battle that can take months to settle. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Three Tips for Better Customer Communication

Custom Smart Homes didn't become one of the top green home builders in Tennessee by ignoring their customers.  Listening to customers is an essential part of every business, and having good customer service skills are crucial for every professional.  If you find that you're having trouble dealing with customers, follow some of these customer communication tips.

Prepare for Emotional Responses

Most customers that contact customer service representatives either need help, or they're upset about a product or service.  Workers need to understand that the people they're dealing with are most likely frustrated, annoyed, unhappy, or a combination of all three.  One you realize that you're going to be working with people who feel very strong emotions it should become a little easier to deal with them.

Never Interrupt

Your mother always told you that interrupting others was rude, and if you interrupt an unhappy customer for any reason when they're talking you'll be sure to upset them.  It doesn't matter if you're interrupting what they're saying to offer a solution to the problem, many customers will think it's very rude that you're interrupting them.  Since you aren't taking time to listen to what they have to say, they may think that your company isn't interested in hearing what their customers have to say.  Let them speak their mind, and only add in your two cents when they're finished giving you there's.

Speak Clearly

Take time to read the following exchange between a customer service representative and a customer:

You: "You don't have the latest version of our software installed?"
Customer: "Yes"

Do you know what the customer's answer means?  Are they answering yes because they don't have the latest version of software installed, or are they saying yes because they do have the latest version installed? It's impossible to tell, and the way you word your questions will drastically affect how you handle your customers.  Try asking open ended questions when you're asking customers questions (example: What software programs do you have installed on your computer?).

Do you have questions about our energy efficient homes, or about our Tennessee home building services? Contact Us today so we can answer your questions.