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Pro-Tips and Industry Insights

How To Avoid Client Conflict: 4 Documentation Tips

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When it's your word versus your client's, no one wins.

99% of client conflicts in homebuilding or construction projects are a result of poor communication or a lack of documentation. This is where the right system and habits can make all the difference.

Here are 4 steps to improve communication with your clients, save time, and avoid sticky situations down the road.

1. Document Conversations Immediately

We all know just how differently two individuals can recall the same conversation. Plain and simple, you cannot build from conversations with your clients. After a verbal agreement has been made, don't move on just yet. Make sure you document everything that was decided and agreed upon before the client walks away.

 

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2. Get Signatures

Each decision, every change order, is a mini contract within your larger project, and no contract is complete without a signature. Think of your client's signature as a green light. Without it, you can't go forward. Both you and your client will feel confident once the agreed upon change is documented in detail and literally signed-off by the client. (See more tips for managing change orders.)

 

3. Make Documents Accessible

Documentation can be a serious time saver when done right, or a serious time eater if your team can't find what they are looking for. Be sure that all of your documents, including detailed agreements and signatures, can be accessed quickly whether you're at your desk or on the job site. Since everyone on the jobsite has a cell phone in their pocket, it just makes sense to make it all digitally accessible, which is why construction management apps give your whole crew instant access to project data.

 

4. Keep It All Organized

To maintain this process in the long run you'll need to keep your data exactingly organized. Rather than spreading your data out over various information silos and juggling share links, access to spreadsheets, email attachments, and so on, try a homebuilding management app. This will give you a central hub for each project so you can get to whatever you need within a matter of seconds.

 

Since your company's reputation relies so heavily on maintaining happy clients, these 4 steps will be vital to the growth of your business. Construction management apps are designed with this in mind. Implementing the right system for your homebuilding projects will save you from all sorts of uncomfortable client conversations down the road.

 

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About the Author:
Sven Gustafson
President, Stonewood, LLC - Custom Home Builder

As a 4th generation custom home builder with a software development background, Sven created BuildTools to help his company have a "connection point" for everyone in the building process.