#06: Ed Earl, Secrets to Happy Clients

Meet Ed Earl, the Zen Builder. Ed is consistently one of the top presenters at the International Builders Show, where he typically discusses his methods for building happy clients and making the construction process go much smoother for everyone. He’s developed a term called “collaborative construction,” which is based on open communication, trust and shared objectives with all parties.
Ed is the principal of Priority 1 Projects, a construction project management firm based in San Diego. He has 28 years of construction experience and an MBA from Stanford University. Ed is also a business coach working exclusively with contractors to help increase both profitability and enjoyment in their construction companies.
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Show Notes:

1:50 – How Ed became to be known as “The Zen Builder.”
4:00 – The reason why so many issues arise between clients and their builders.
6:45 – The four types of most difficult clients and the strategies for successful relationships with them.
16:10 – When and why you should turn down a potential client.
19:20 – Tricks to managing client expectations (the prototype explanation, the emotional home owner).
26:20 – The importance of weekly meetings with clients.
27:50 – The construction kickoff meeting and what is discussed.
29:43 – Setting expectations for text and email responses.
33:10 – Creating your homeowner’s manual.
34:35 – Using an up front questionnaire.
37:10 – The benefits of cloud-based project management software.
44:20 – The features of three different programs: Co-Construct, Builder Trend, and UDA.
46:22 – The biggest pitfall with the cloud-based systems and the best way to roll one out.
48:50 – Setting client expectations regarding the construction schedule.
51:22 – Why Ed favors cost-plus over fixed price contracts.
55:00 – Finding Ed online.

Selected Links:

Managing the Emotional Homeowner
Boomerang for Gmail
Co-Construct
Builder Trend
UDA Construction Online

Ed Earl Online:

About the author, Jared Gossett

Jared Gossett is the host of Building Optimal Radio and the owner of Gossett and Company, LLC, a custom home builder in Austin, Texas.