Managing Customer Expectations With Construction Meetings

Managing Customer Expectations with Construction Meetings


Lauren May

Customers have certain expectations about the finished state of their new homes. They paint pictures in their heads that may or may not accurately reflect the homes you’re building for them. As a result, it’s important that a homebuilder’s representatives, typically a site supervisor and a sales representative, properly manage customer expectations during the construction process.


One of the best ways to manage expectations is through construction meetings, which are held between the builder’s representatives and the customers while the home is being built. Most builders hold three such meetings: one that occurs before construction begins, one that occurs before drywall is installed, and one that occurs right before closing. They take place at key milestones during the home’s construction and give you the time to thoroughly explain the homebuilding process to educate customers and shape their expectations. In addition, if these meetings are successful, they lead to a friendly working relationship and higher customer satisfaction ratings. Infrequent or unclear communication usually leads to unwanted surprises later in the process, such as someone upset over a missing upgrade or a misunderstanding about the floor covering. Continuously making sure you and your customers are on the same page while the home is being built is important. Use these communication opportunities to your advantage!Pre-construction meeting At the pre-construction meeting, the customer reviews the site plan, home plans, and other paperwork for the home with the builder’s representatives, usually the site supervisor and sales representative. The meeting is typically held immediately before the foundation work begins on the home and is often accompanied by a lot walk, so the customer can get a complete picture of the site.Pre-drywall meeting At the pre-drywall meeting, the customer tours the home with a member of the builder’s team to review the construction and the location of the major mechanical and structural systems of the home. The meeting is usually held just after the framing is finished and insulated but before the drywall installation begins.Pre-closing meeting At the pre-closing meeting, the customer walks through the home with a member of the builder’s team–usually a site supervisor, sales representative, or quality assurance person–to review the construction and agree to close on the home. The meeting is typically held one week prior to closing. These days, customers are more likely than ever to take an active interest in how their home is built. As a result, much of your time has to be spent making sure the homes the customers have built in their heads is the home described in the paperwork. It’s up to you to manage their expectations so they’re satisfied with the final result.

BuildIQ promotes Best Practices in Homebuilding to help builders increase performance and improve quality. Through BuildIQ’s Jobsite website, builders can find answers to their most pressing homebuilding questions, such as how to manage customer expectations with

pre-construction meetings


pre-drywall meetings

, and

pre-closing meetings

. For more information about BuildIQ, visit

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