On July 22, 2020, our CEO Eamonn O’Rourke and Leeroy Beeby, Co-founder of Level, were featured as guest speakers on a webinar hosted by Construction Consulting to talk around regaining consumer confidence in “the new normal.”
Bryan Kaplan, CEO of Construction Consulting, led the conversation around what consumer confidence really means to a residential builder - trust. He clarified that trust was not lost in the builders, but rather in the way every industry operates.
Homeowners are also losing confidence in their personal finances, and it doesn’t help that builders have to raise prices to account for the impacts of COVID-19 on their bottom line. So this webinar gave builders advice on how to have these hard conversations with homeowners, with Eammon and Leeroy lending their insights on the supply chain challenges builders were faced with as the pandemic spread, and are still facing now.
Eamonn shared data about how the residential construction industry fared in the first quarter given the pandemic. Leeroy spoke about how important it is to preserve mental and physical health on the job site, and how technology can support these types of changes. Everyone agreed that technology should play a central role in how builders adapt to this new building climate.
Job Site Tech That Strengthens Your Business
Since COVID-19 reshaped the world, builders had to shift their focus. Changes in priorities were seen across the board as companies needed to reevaluate their finances and contingency plans. All the while, takeoffs still needed to get done, and some builders just needed to spend some well-needed family time away from work. Since coming back, hammers are in full swing. With 40% of the webinar attendees reporting that they are “bursting at the seams” with work as compared to pre-Covid times, the panel discussed the practical ways that companies can integrate technology to adapt to these changes.
Supply chain issues and labour fluctuations have made tech-enabled material delivery solutions, like RenoRun, valuable to trade partners that have felt these shortages in the middle of already-delayed projects. To further streamline operations, companies like Level allow builders to leverage virtual project management, and create effective solutions for better communication not only with teams on site, but also with homeowners and clients.
Seek to Understand Before Judging
Level, is dedicated to a culture of non-judgement, and they remind all teams to “seek to understand before judging.” As builders and business owners, this couldn’t be more true than a time like right now. Teams are in flux with health and safety concerns, limits to the number of people on job sites, and workers choosing to take time off and stay home.
We found a mixed response regarding the eagerness of workers to return to work as projects resumed. Bryan noted the importance of having conversations with team members that help managers understand what priorities and concerns they have with regards to new measures and their safety. He says that everyone has their own threshold and there is no right or wrong. Everyone’s mental health is profoundly affected by this pandemic, and builders can’t disregard their own self-care either. Taking a step back will create better team leaders in the long run.
Transparency is the Biggest Confidence Booster
Whether it’s with your team, or your clients, transparency needs to be integral to your workflow as a builder during this time. Dealing with the unexpected, while common to everyone on a job site, will be all the more common as we continue to implement new protocol and safety measures. Being transparent with your team throughout the project makes dealing with these unexpected issues a lot easier.
Builders will need to help their clients understand that the costs of completing a project are increasing. Laying out the limitations, cost changes and circumstances to clients ahead of time, and on an ongoing basis, allows builders to align client expectations with what they can deliver. That open and trusting relationship will only be more valuable with social distancing creating additional project delays, and material shortages continuing across North America.
The Top Four Tips for Regaining Client Confidence
Even though builders are busy with the reopening, keeping themselves and their crew safe is more important than ever, and that takes different forms right now. Ultimately by strengthening building operations, and protecting the crew, business owners are in turn protecting the home owner. These actions will result in their confidence in us as builders.
For those who didn’t have time to catch the webinar, these were the top four tips that were shared to help builders increase confidence with homeowners in the new normal:
Streamline with Tech
Enable effective communication with remote software, like Level, that caters to the construction industry. This will make handling multiple projects and changing timelines easier.
Reduce your teams unnecessary exposure by doing away with material runs using third-party supply and delivery right to the job site with RenoRun. Prioritize the health and safety of those on site and remember that may include homeowners and clients.
At the core of every successful project is transparent communication. Continuing to work with systems that facilitate great communication is as important as ever.
Be A Leader
Educate your team, your trade partners and your clients. Building confidence in your brand starts with you.
All screenshots by author, taken July 2020.
Image 1,3: Via Bryan Kaplan Webinar
Image 2, 4: Via Twitter