2. Keep the Magic Going During the Project
Working in someone else’s home is an intimate act to begin with. Especially if that person is building or remodeling after a natural disaster, a divorce or the passing of a loved one, you’ll want to be completely sensitive and discreet about any private information you become privy to.
“You work so intimately with a client, and…they become your friends; they become family,” says designer Deane Duffek of Laguna Beach, California. “Transparency, honesty, integrity are very important, because at the end of these projects, we’re snow skiing together.”
Working in people’s homes also requires a leap of faith on their part. Honor that trust by meeting deadlines, sticking to the budget and other agreed-upon elements, maintaining an open mind and offering options instead of rigidly insisting on any aspect of the design. Also essential: keeping clients in the loop about project status, deliveries and timelines on a regular basis. This can prevent the kinds of misunderstandings and mistakes that lead clients to look elsewhere for any future design projects. Houzz Pro is invaluable for this; it lets you share mood boards, 3D floor plans, daily project logs and more in a snap — or, rather, a click — right from your smartphone, reducing the chances that anything will go awry.
“We use our Houzz Pro tools to stay organized — sharing [project information], streamlining that information, automating as much of the information as we can, and streamlining that communication to our clients,” Duffek says.
See 10 other essential tips for working with clients in this article.