Instead of the sound of hammers and saws, today I visited the front desk of McSpadden Custom Homes and hung out with Deb Lane the office manager for a bit.
At first it might have seemed more laid back what with the lack of workmen and all but believe me that is anything but the truth!
A quiet hotbed of activity is what I would call it – with Deb at the center. Doug calls her “Central Station” and I can see why! Where every project is in the process, where every
client is with their meetings, where every staff member is literally . . . Central Station sounds about right.
We were talking about client meetings: this is where the client meets with all the vendors and chooses their cabinets and appliances for their gorgeous custom kitchen that will overlook the lake; the lighting, tile and plumbing fixtures for their beautiful master bathroom with the oversized tub, etc. This is an exciting time for the client of course – who wouldn’t love picking out beautiful things for their new home? – but it is also an informational essential. After meeting with all the vendors the client will come back in and meet with the McSpadden team and find out how much this will cost and how much of the entire house budget their choices were. This is a great example of the McSpadden approach of “sitting on the same side of the table” with the client instead of across. We want the client to know exactly where they are allocating their budget – no surprises later.
And this led to an interesting story. Last summer some potential clients started working with McSpadden to build their dream home. They went to the client meetings, chose their spectacular cabinets and tile, and then came back to meet with the McSpadden team. When told what the totals were and how that fit into their budget – or rather how it “busted” their budget – they were not happy and decided to go to a different builder. Well, a year later, they called back and asked if we would consider working with them again. It seems the new builder was not interested in the least with specifics . . . “oh, we can worry about that later” or “not a problem at all, we will figure that out afterward”. The home owner decided they preferred clarity (and the bad news as it were) up front a lot more than they thought they did! They are now under contract with us and we are breaking ground this summer.
(need a photo)