I have a question for you today.
Have you ever had a client that you couldn’t seem to please? Maybe you had to present 17 different chairs or 21 different sofa fabrics just to get the project started!
When working with a client like this, you turn into a personal shopper rather than a designer. You are NOT a personal shopper, and being treated like one doesn’t feel very good.
A couple of things could be happening here:
The client may genuinely have a hard time making decisions and may not have a clear idea of what she wants.
She may just really like you and want to keep you around because she finds this design process really fun!
So how do you, as a designer, get the job back on track?
First, you need to check in with yourself to ensure you have your programming right. Did you talk with the client enough to have a clear vision of her goals for the space?
If you feel like you did that well, you need to write an agreement with more boundaries and a solid framework, so the client understands exactly what they’re getting from you and you know what you’re providing. It works both ways.
Let’s say you’re working on one room with a $60-80k budget. Your agreement could state that you will hold four appointments at her house to put the job together. There is no reason to go back there 12 times, and you certainly aren’t getting paid for those extra visits!
Setting clear expectations about your deliverables from the beginning will help avoid situations that turn you into a personal shopper rather than a designer.
This becomes really important in a remodeling project because there are so many decisions to make. To keep the project on track, you have to work through these decisions quickly and build out the entire plan BEFORE demo day.
When directing remodeling projects, you can be very specific with clients about the meeting schedule and the topics that will be covered so that everyone knows what to expect and what they need to do. Be very clear that decisions are to be made during the appointment, not after the client takes things home to think it over.
Being transparent and confident about your process and the way you work is the key to having an outstanding remodeling job that makes you, your clients, and even the contractors happy.
Are you interested in learning more? I’ll be covering this topic in The Real Deal: Own that Remodeling Job and Get Paid What You’re Worth.
I hope to see you there!
Tickets for The Real Deal are now available – but you’ll need to act fast to get early bird pricing!
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.