Coping With Clients From Hell

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Tactics for handling tough customers and 'loser' projects, according to the Remodelors Council of the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan.

October 01, 2002

Tactics for handling tough customers and "loser" projects, according to the Remodelors Council of the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan:

  • Have each customer sign a second mortgage. Include a "walkaway" clause in contracts that allows the remodeler to fire the homeowner. Document everything.
    - Adam Helfman, CR, Fairway Construction

  • Check county records to see if potential clients have been involved in a lawsuit.
    - George Cassar, lawyer

  • Instead of confronting customers, talk with them to try to find out the root cause of their dissatisfaction.
    - Steve Tarnow, CR, Preferred Building Co.

  • Ask the customer what it would take to make the situation right. It might be less than what you were going to offer.
    - Gordy Oliva, Gordy Oliva Remodeling

  • In truly bad situations, give up on profit and apply your resources to getting out fast. Add a line item for GOK ("God Only Knows") to the budget.
    - John Newmyer, CR, Newmyer Distinctive Remodeling


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