So let’s review…
You’ve conducted a phone interview with a few potential companies to do your kitchen remodeling or kitchen design work. Some will require you to come to their showroom (which we’ll go over next), and some will come out to your home to provide information and an estimate.
Now, it’s time for another “tell”…
DID THEY SHOW UP ON TIME?
One thing I preach to contractors is showing up on time for the appt. Once again – it’s that first impression that means so much. If they can’t be there for the appt – what can you expect once they get your money?
Of course, there are legitimate reasons for not being on time. The sign of a professional is the one that calls BEFORE the appt and let’s you know approximately how far behind they will be. Calling at the appointment time and saying they are 45 minutes away is not acceptable. Obviously, something more important kept them away from you. Do you want to be second best when making a major investment into your home?
So, now the representative is at your home. It may be the owner, a sales rep, a designer, who knows. Regardless of their position, what matters is what they do at the appointment.
You’ll want to look for someone who asks LOTS of questions. When doing a major kitchen remodel, there are lots of “what-if’s” that can happen. For the company, they’ll want to make sure all of these are covered so nothing unexpected comes up.
There are thousands of different things that can happen during the appointment. So how do you know if the company is doing the right thing?
Once again, it usually depends on how the appointment ends.
You should expect them to do measurements, provide information on their company, show you pictures of other kitchens they’ve remodeled and kitchen cabinets they’ve installed… but does that mean they’re a good company to go with?
At the end of the appointment, there are typically five things that can happen. I’ll write them out in order of appeal for your satisfaction:
#1 – they schedule a time for you to come to their showroom. – This is the best scenario. This means the company was willing to invest their time to do research on your project first, gather data, and want you to come to their showroom so they can provide further details for your project, and show you what they can do. Two thumbs up if the company goes this route!
#2 – They want to schedule a second appointment to review what they can offer you – once again this is a good scenario. They’ve invested their time into learning about your project,they want to do further homework, and come back to you with a plan for your kitchen remodel. Usually, this is an indicator that they do not have a showroom. This is not a bad thing. Many contractors I work with find a showroom as a huge overhead expense and they can perform better without the worry of paying that bill.
#3 – They want to mail you a proposal – I give this the “half-ass” award. It’s good that they made the first step to come out to your home and evaluate your needs. It’s good that they plan to do research and provide you with a solution. But they’re follow-up methods are lousy. Why would they invest so much time and effort up front, just to send you a piece of mail? Usually, this is a sign that they are super-backed up and you’ll be on a waiting list… or they have no interest in the job and are “brushing you off”.
#4 – They try to “close the deal” right then – This is a big turn-off for me. Sure, everything in his world is sold to someone by someone, and your kitchen remodeling project will be no different. But it’s just to early in the process to go for a sale. If this occurs – I would be hesitant to consider this company. To ask for the sale, they have to provide you with a pricetag, and the complete solution. There simply is no way to package everything up this easily. Of course, if you’re just looking for a new countertop it’s a possibility, but much more than that and you cannot ask for the sale yet.
#5 – They decline your job – strike three for you. But count your blessings. At least they had the professional courtesy to turn your job down than to take on a project that would be a headache for them and you. Thank them for their help, and ask them what a good job for them normally is. This way, you can send them a referral if one comes up. Cross them off of your list and hope the next company can provide a solution.
OK – so next we’ll go over Rule #3 – going to their showroom.