22 Dec Being a “Reasonable and Fair” landscape lighting client can result in a fantastic landscape lighting system on your property
By Mike Gambino
Last week’s blog article focused on negative landscape lighting client characteristics and how less than “Reasonable and Fair” behavior during a landscape lighting project can make for an unpleasant experience and cost the buyer in the end. In the spirit of the season today’s article will take the high road and discuss how buyers get more value by simply being “Reasonable and Fair”. We’ve realized over the years that it’s essentially important for clients who enter a project with the right mindset that they should be rewarded. Why? Because projects inevitably seem to go more smoothly for customers who are “reasonable and Fair”. Materials arrive as scheduled and are the correct size, color and quantity. Team members are eager to show up and strive to do exceptional work. Work gets completed on time and on budget. But what exactly makes a “Reasonable and fair” landscape lighting Design and Build customer? Here are some traits that “Fair and Reasonable” customers inevitably share:
- They don’t select a landscape lighting design builder based on price alone. A good customer appreciates that good design builders are professionals and that ultimately, you get what you pay for when it comes to quality and expertise.
- Mutual respect. After having gone through the proper process to select a contractor, they honor that professional’s ability, experience and time just as they expect their contractor to respect their time and business. They treat the relationship very much like they would a doctor/patient relationship. This is not to say that their ideas will not be implemented. On the contrary, ideas are encouraged however the experienced professional designer builder does this everyday and when he knows something will not work for whatever reason that should be final and respected. Advising what you want and letting the pro figure out how to go about accomplishing it is usually the best route to take.
- Trust and openness about the project’s scope and budget. Being upfront and honest about your budget will save you money, time and heartache. I have written about this often in past blog articles. A Professional landscape lighting design builder understands that a number of factors and material selections can dramatically impact a project’s cost and will work with you to meet your desired budget, if it is realistic. Remember that in addition to what you see being accomplished on the jobsite, there is lots of hands-on activity occurring behind the scenes; materials are being selected and ordered, follow through and follow-up contact with vendors and product deliveries are being coordinated, and timelines with workflow is being planned and scheduled.
- Hand in hand with that honesty goes open-mindedness. Being open to learning about new ideas and being realistic about scope, materials and costs are key to a smooth project. I can’t count the number of times we have “delighted” (pardon the pun) clients by implementing ideas that they were initially unsure of into their landscape lighting design.
- They exhibit a general understanding of the process. No one expects a homeowner to be a landscape lighting expert. It’s the responsibility of a professional landscape lighting design builder to establish a clear understanding of your project’s procedures, phases and timetable. Yet “Reasonable and fair” clients strive to follow the process and be aware of what needs to happen, when and if something doesn’t go exactly as planned have patience and understanding that this is normal during any home improvement project and in the end all will be fine.
- A willingness to do their part to make the project successful. It takes a high level of desire and commitment to obtain a successful outcome, anything a client can do to make things less stressful and go more smoothly is greatly appreciated by the professional landscape lighting design builder.
- The ability to be decisive once presented with the facts. When it comes to selecting materials or making a critical decision, the ability to act quickly will keep a project on track and moving forward in a timely manner.
- Asks questions. If you don’t understand something, just ask. A true professional should never have an issue with explaining the reason for something. Keeping concerns to yourself only hinders communication and can build resentment.
- Flexibility. A landscape lighting project can sometimes be a complicated, technical undertaking involving many details and phases both on the jobsite and behind the scenes. The one constant in these projects is change. Some phases will progress faster than planned while unforeseen issues inevitably will appear during the course of a project. Common causes of delays, like weather (luckily we rarely have issues with that here in southern California), can be nerve-wracking for homeowners and designer builders, but if you keep your mind on the ultimate goal and realize that some time shift is normal, you won’t get bogged down in minutia and lose sight of the big picture.
- Likeability. Both you and your landscape lighting designer builder should like each other and be able to work together. If that relationship isn’t based on trust and respect, the process won’t go as smoothly as you would like.
Of course, no matter how wonderful you are to work with, it can all be for nothing if you are not working with a licensed and insured professional landscape lighting design build specialist. So make certain that the team you choose is made up of professionals who are qualified to work on a project of your scope.
The ultimate payoff of being a good customer is having a great experience. You’ll feel good about the project; it will become exciting and fun instead of stressful; and everyone involved will be proud of and happy about the job – which means your results will be spectacular.
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 27 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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