5 Good QUESTIONS WITH STACY BROWN
1. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC OR CAPABILITY YOU LOOK FOR IN A PAINTING CONTRACTOR?
What really matters to me is some consistency of contact. I like it when a business assigns an actual project manager who serves as my point of contact throughout the entire project. However, I appreciate that many businesses have sales people who don’t stay on with jobs. In those instances, I like an in-person handoff. To me, this is the first demonstration of their commitment to customer service and can be very telling.
2. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPACTFUL WAY FOR A PAINT CONTRACTOR TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AND THEIR SERVICES?
I really love to see examples of their work. If we’re meeting in person, I appreciate when they show up with before-and-after photos and testimonials, either on their website on in a brochure. I’m also looking for people to educate me on what’s new in painting. If they can teach me something about mil thickness or a new coating, that gets my attention.
3. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF BEHAVIOR THAT HAS KEPT YOU FROM WORKING WITH A CONTRACTOR?
Number one, people who call me four times before 10 a.m. on Monday or blow up my voicemail box over the weekend.
Number two, anything that gives me a sense they’re not customer-focused. For example, if I’m considering a contractor, I’ll go visit a current jobsite unannounced just to see how they really treat a property. If I get there and there are McDonald’s wrappers blowing around or the place is cluttered with their equipment, I’m not going to work with them. Any behavior that doesn’t align with the customer service story they’re pitching sends me packing.
4. WHAT’S THE KEY TO A CONTRACTOR WINNING YOUR REPEAT BUSINESS?
Again, I appreciate being educated and I really appreciate being kept up to date on every step of a project. I want to know who is there, what they’re doing … that we’re in the caulking phase, or they’re applying the primer coat, etc.
5. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ISSUES THAT LEAD YOU TO NOT REHIRE A CONTRACTOR?
When you get down to it, any paint contractor I send to a customer’s property represents my company and, ultimately, me. If they do anything that makes a customer or a tenant on their property unhappy or uncomfortable, that’s pretty much it. The other thing is outright lying to me. If you tell me you have insurance and then I find out you haven’t paid your premium, our relationship is over.
Stacy Brown serves as operations manager at Property Management Business Solutions, LLC, franchisor of Real Property Management. Her experience in the industry spans nearly 30 years and includes single-family homes, multifamily communities, large apartment communities, commercial properties, and common-interest communities. She holds memberships in the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and Community Associations Institute (CAI), and contributes to educational materials for the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).