My wife and I are in the process of buying a new home. We are first time home owners so we are very new at all of this and what it entails. While we were enjoying the fun part of going around looking at houses, we were under the assumption that we would be paying for the house and the taxes. Now, as we have finally found our dream home, we are finding out about lawyer fees, inspection fees and astronomical closing costs. Of course we were made aware that these costs existed, but never how high they would be. Sure puts a damper on the excitment of owning our first home.
When we are making out a scope of work for our clients, this is the last thing we want them to feel because it not only takes away THEIR excitement, but can often make it look like they were swindled in their eyes. They think they signed up for one things and bam...we hit them with another.
I always try to think ahead for my client... from beginning to end. They may think they know exactly what they want, but during the installation process, see what else they should have added. We should know based off all of our other installations, what they may end up wanting along the way and be proactive about it. This is especially true for a client who is moving into a new home or building a newly constructed home as they may not have a completed vision just yet.
For example, if a client's home is just being built, they might not see the vision of a TV and home theater set up outside. But you, seeing this space, will know immediately that the home owner might see this as a potential entertaining area and inform them so that should it come up in the future, it is something they already knew would be a possibility and what it would cost them.
I like to present my clients with two estimates. The first estimate based off of what the client and I discuss that they definitely want from their set up. The second, based off of where I can see them upgrading along the way. This way, they will already have an idea of where the cost will be based on these upgrades and will be confident that I covered all possible bases, not leading them to believe one price and end up charging them another.
Don't let your clients be caught off guard by sky high additional costs because as we all know, a small addition after wiring is run can be costly for the client. It is so important to be thorough and proactive because it not only keeps them at ease, but shows just how much knowledge you have in your business. Home Theater is created to bring enjoyment to a clients life so don't put out that flame of excitement but arouse it through your ability to foresee their future desires and the ease of making it happen.
Todd Anthony Puma is president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City.