5 Ways to Show You are Right for the Job
For homeowners, a bathroom remodel is a big investment of time and money. They’re also emotionally attached, as they have been dreaming of upgrades, have collected ideas and clarified their budget. And now, it’s Go Time! They are hiring a designer. That’s where you come in, ready to share your talents, build trust with your potential client—and land the job.
An impressive portfolio is a must. Whether that takes the form of a website or perhaps even a blog, a portfolio should feature the most exceptional examples of your work. Include polished, vibrant photography and plenty of before-and-after’s to create a compelling story for viewers. Help your prospective clients see that you are not only a talented designer, but the right designer for their bathroom remodel.
During your meetings with your clients, practice the art of deep listening. According to the Center for the Contemplative Mind, “We often do not have a clear concept of listening as an active process; we often see listening as a passive, static activity. In fact, listening and a contemplative mind is open and vibrant yet spacious, and it can be cultivated through instruction and practice.” Be open, alert, and attentive, and use calm, receptive body language. Show you understand what is important to the client, repeating back key points. “So, to recap, you’re looking for X and Y…”
But also pay attention to what is not being said, which may also reveal significant design needs. For example, is one partner going to need a zero-threshold enclosure, or would be more comfortable using a fold-down seat, but feels sheepish to ask for it? The more you learn about their overall lifestyle now, and goals for the future, the better you can anticipate their needs—whether they are able to articulate them fully or not.
Help the prospective client see all of the possibilities for what the room can be. Use a tool like Virtual Spa to go over not only the basics, like dimensions and materials, but also accessories such as AromaTherapy, lighting and towel warmers. Share photos from your previous projects (here’s where that killer portfolio comes in handy) to provide even more visual inspiration as you discuss the latest design trends.
Step by Step
Set expectations for the homeowner by discussing what the bathroom remodel and steam shower installation process will entail. Break it down for them step by step, to help them visualize the project from conception to completion.
Walk them through the bathroom remodeling project’s timeline. Depending on the project, this may include a demolition phase, rough carpentry, plumbing, electric, inspections, insulation, drywall, cabinetry, tile work, and other miscellaneous items that need to be addressed.
Specific to a residential steam shower, you’ll be helping them select materials, such as natural stone or acrylic, and you’ll be working with qualified contractors, plumbers or installers to do the electrical and plumbing work for the steam shower.
For each of these topics, go over how you’ll utilize your expertise, communication skills, and experience with project management to create the bathroom of their dreams—on budget and on time.
Be A Guide
Stay informed on trends. Bathroom design trends come and go—think about the English florals in the 1980s or Hollywood-style vanity lights of the 1990s—so it’s important to show clients your fresh approaches. In the roaring 2020s, design “will be aggressively driven by wellness, sustainability, and technology in the home,” predicts Laura Muller, CEO, owner and principal of Four Point Design Build in an article for MrSteam. She also notes, “the bath will become more than a simple place of function, it will become a place for restoring and promoting supreme health and wellness by integrating the natural healing principles of light, sound, motion, scent, and touch with technology and water.”
For an experienced designer, a bathroom remodel is simply part of what you do. But remember that for homeowners, it can seem daunting. Help them avoid overwhelm by going over their budget (do they have that vital 10 to 20-percent buffer for unforeseen challenges?), fielding all their questions, and being available if they want to visit a showroom with you. For more tips on how to encourage confidence, read “5 Tips for Avoiding Overwhelm During Your Remodel.”
The average bathroom remodel takes 23 days, or about four-and-a-half weeks. It’s a small time frame in the grand scheme of life but being down a bathroom for a while can certainly feel like a hardship for some homeowners. Reduce that sensation by being sure they anticipate and acclimate to what it will be like during the remodel and how the timeline will work.
Give useful suggestions, such as how to clear belongings out of the bathroom prior to the start of the demolition work—it always takes longer than people imagine it will to fully empty and relocate the contents of cabinets, drawers, medicine chests and towel racks. Also share what it is like to have contractors in the home, and how you’ll handle communication with both the homeowners and with any hired teams.
Make It Easy to Hire You
Help the prospective client understand your fee structure. Depending on your business, this could include hourly rates, retainers, deposits, minimum hours required for a project, and or a flat fee.
Another important detail: What will be included in the contract. Keep things simple, clear, and of course, in writing. When hiring a designer, customers aren’t looking to do complex mental gymnastics—and they certainly don’t want to be snuck up on with financial surprises.
You can also gently remind prospective clients that you are worth it! Working with a professional designer can prevent headaches, save money and maximize space. “It’s common for homeowners who hire designers to say they are happier with their remodel as a result,” reports Houzz.
Dreams to Reality
Homeowners have big visions for their home remodeling projects. The good news is that you are the perfect person to manage their project and make that dream bathroom a reality. Don’t forget to share your before and after photos with us, and good luck!