The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot



A recent experience got me thinking about how companies all-too-often fall back on financial incentives when dealing with an unhappy customer, yet totally miss the point and fail to solve the problem.

Allow me to explain: I’m a long-time reader of the Chicago Tribune, but a series of delivery problems from the paper never showing up to arriving hours after I left for work lead me to first cancel the daily paper, then, finally, to recently give up the ghost and cancel the Sunday as well.

The Brady Bunch is a font of life lessons from the importance of compromise to why you should never lie to your parents to ... uh ... never walk out in the backyard without keeping an eye out for a football.

So once again I find myself turning to The Brady Bunch when it comes to dealing with the challenges of selling projects under the Lead Repair & Painting Program rule.

For the last couple of years I've been speaking to groups of remodelers about crafting a social media strategy for their firms and one of the things I always say to do is to create a social media policy for your employees.

One thing I didn't know about until this last weekend was that you need to be careful your social media policy doesn't violate labor laws. (thanks to attorney Jeremy Lewin, who shared this info at the NARI House of Delegates meeting Saturday.)

The 100 Best Kitchens & Dining Rooms

This new book from Beta-Plus is a nice collection of design ideas, but definitely more of the coffee table variety than for the pro.

That said, it could definitely be a source of inspiration for you or your clients. There's a nice mix of contemporary and traditional designs, but to be clear this is a book of European homes. Not surprising, as it is from a European publisher, although the book is being marketed here in the U.S.

When you look at your trade contractors, your suppliers, product distributors, what do you see?

Are they a line item, an expense, a necessary evil or are they true partners?

It’s easy to look at your drywall guy, your lumber yard or your window supplier as someone with which you simply do business with, but finding new ways to partner can be an important way to succeed.

Employers have had it pretty good the last few years when it comes to managing employee turnover and keeping workers happy.

The state of the economy has made it difficult for unhappy employees to find other opportunities. Many companies have taken advantage of this to see just how much work they can squeeze out of the few employees left.

Having arrived in Orlando for the International Builders Show and NAHB Winter Boards, a few quick updates and observations:

Over the last few months, I've talked to a lot of remodelers that are opting to use the cloud to store their files and share them with subs and clients.

The idea is that it gives companies an easy way to back-up files and move them without spending a lot of money on servers, extra hard drives, etc. It's a great idea - I do it myself, using Amazon's cloud service, as well as Dropbox.

This month we named our Remodeler of the Year — Anthony Home Improvements in Elkins Park, Pa.

We chose the company for a number of reasons, but reason No. 1A is the company’s ability to adapt to a changing climate, something many firms have struggled to do.

One of the most depressing/astounding/frustrating things about the current race for president has been the complete lack of attention to housing.

The candidates aren’t talking about it. Visit their websites and you’d be hard pressed to find any prominent mention of the topic of housing, mortgage finance or residential investment.

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WINTER 2022

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Sales leader and author Mark Richardson shares his advice for how custom builders, and leaders throughout residential construction, can improve the effectiveness of thier staff meetings

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