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Business Advice7 min

Tips for Contractors: Reputation Management & Gaining Trust After Weather Events

If a significant winter weather event happens in your area and there are many homes that sustain damage, it can be a great time to help ensure homeowners know your business is available. But spreading the word about your business and interacting with potential clients in the right way is key to gaining trust, especially when some could take advantage of homeowners wanting a fast fix.

We caught up with Erik Perkins of the Perkins Builder Brothers for his advice on how you can make the most of these situations, both for your business and for your clients.

What Does Weather Damage to Siding Look Like?

In colder winter months, some types of siding can be more susceptible to damage. “Vinyl siding gets very brittle in cold weather,” Perkins says. “I’ve seen damage from anything contacting the side of the house when it is very cold, which can lead to punctures or cracks in the siding. I’ve also seen fiber cement siding crack in the corner of cuts around window and door trim.”

Your clients may experience these types of issues and begin looking for reputable contractors in their area, which is where you can come in with a strong contractor reputation and contribute to solving the problem. 

Fostering Connection With an Initial Evaluation

One key to gaining trust when clients may need your business most is availability. “I always try to have availability over the phone during working hours, even if that means stopping what I’m doing for a minute to pick up the phone,” Perkins says. Clients in this situation will likely bring some stress and worry to the table, and your availability, understanding and support will go a long way.

Typically, the first step in assessing weather damage to siding is an inspection. Perkins and his team always recommend that someone comes to the client’s home to evaluate next steps. “Sometimes something that seems like a huge problem to the client doesn’t need immediate attention, while other times something that seems small to the client could be a huge problem,” he says. Once an inspection takes place, you can discuss the benefits of replacing siding.

lp-siding-contractor-holding-lap-siding-board

3 Tips for Building Trust With Clients

Perkins offered a few tips for fostering a positive, honest relationship with clients, especially in light of a repair or tough situation. 

  1. Be straightforward: “We’ve always tried to be very straightforward with clients, whether it be good or bad news.” 
  2. Be available: “I find that just being available to talk with someone about their concerns means a lot.”
  3. Manage expectations: “I think it’s important to manage the expectations of both the client and the builder on a project so that everyone is on the same page. This has always helped us avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.”

Relevant replacement products can also show that you understand the client’s needs and want to help put their minds at ease for the future. That’s where one of the most durable siding solutions on the market, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, may come in.

lp-smartside-home-winter-snow

Your clients may ask “what’s the best siding for cold climates?” and pointing to a durable material will be particularly assuring. LP SmartSide siding is designed to help protect against freeze/thaw cycles, impacts from hail and more, all of which can address winter weather concerns. LP SmartSide engineered wood siding products are also backed by an outstanding siding warranty to add peace of mind.

Prioritizing Client Needs Amid a Busy Schedule

Ultimately, severe weather events are unpredictable. Clients may come to you with urgent needs that interrupt your planned slate of work. 

“Damage to an occupied home sometimes needs to take precedence over other building projects, especially when further degradation to the home could be happening due to severe weather damage,” Perkins notes. “It’s always hard to step away from a busy schedule, but we have found that people are very appreciative when they can get a repair done so their mind can be at ease.” 

When you’re straightforward, available and eager to help, you’ll gain trust and help your clients serve as excellent partners with you for their projects. Their great experience will help build your reputation as a contractor in the area—paying dividends long after the project is done.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Sign up for LP® Remodelers Edge, our loyalty program for remodeling contractors.

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