06 Jun Construction Contractor Marketing – How To Get Paid To Give Quotes (FHL 2019)
Tom Naylor Interview from Funnel Hacking Live 2019 – Successful construction contractor shares how he uses a method to educate homeowners on asking for bids for work that educates them in the process and also make revenues for the contractor.
Vince: Hello, Own Your Brand Academy listeners. My name is Vince Trujillo, and this is the next episode of Own Your Brand Academy. Today, we have Tom Naylor. He’s a successful residential construction remodeler and contractor. He also has started coaching other contractors, in how to save valuable time, and make a little extra money, by revising one of the construction industry’s most time intensive, and lowest profit areas, which is the initial bidding, and getting quotes out process. Tom has a great process, by which he educates the potential clients, when they request a bid for work, and shows contractors how they can make money during that phase, and the process will give you not only your ideal customer, but they’ll also be ready to hire you. Right after this.
Vince: If you’re ready to define, optimize, and launch your brand online, then this is the podcast for you. Welcome to the Own Your Brand Academy Podcast, where you’ll learn how to create your best brand, so that your ideal customers will identify with, and find you online. We talk about brand messaging strategy, and how do you use your digital footprint, to make the most of online marketing, for your business and brand. Get ready, to make your biggest impact, and own your brand.
Vince: All right. Welcome to this next episode of Own Your Brand Academy. Today, we have Tom Naylor. He’s a construction management. [inaudible 00:01:37], What is your title, Bro?
Tom: I’m a… well, what would you call me? Well, I’m a general contractor. I do mostly residential construction, and so I’ve basically transitioned from being on-hands, on-deck, all the time in the business, to now I’m managing larger crews, and getting things going on a little bit larger scale. It’s a really good time to be in construction right now. Things are really busy, and really doing really well, so it’s a matter of getting the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right tools in their hand, and the right materials to make it happen.
Vince: Well, that’s the intro then. So, this episode of Own Your Brand Academy, we’re talking to Tom Naylor. He’s going to be telling us a little bit about his business, how he’s implementing some digital marketing strategies to help him, and some systems he’s implementing that’s making life in the construction business a lot easier for him, a lot more profitable, and how he’s able to help a lot more people in that, on this episode of Own Your Brand Academy. All Right.
Vince: Welcome back, Tom.
Tom: Hey, thanks for having me.
Vince: So, great intro. I was actually going to cut into that, and go back, but it’s a good intro anyways.
Vince: Tell us a little bit about your business.
Vince: You actually have some pretty cool systems, that you’re building now, that a lot of our people, our small business owners out there, can take to heart, or entrepreneurs, can learn how to model their business a little bit differently, when they’re trying to bring on, or onboard a new customer, or qualify, or teach them.
Vince: And especially those in the construction business. So, tell us a little bit about your business. How long have you been doing it, and then just what are the problems that you saw, that you’re coming up with solutions for right now?
Tom: Sure, okay. Well I’ve been in construction for about 15 years. I’ve owned my own company for about 12 of those. We really tailor ourselves more towards the custom home building, remodeling the design work. Most contractors will come in, and just kind of build whatever. We really like to walk the client through a better customer experience, where we can start with the actual design in mind, come in and get the goals of what that project needs to be, really tailor that experience to what their outlook is on, on that exact project.
Tom: Anybody can come in, and swing a hammer, and make it happen, but in order to give the customer that real experience, you’ve got to be able to give them that roadmap forward, be able to manage those expectations during the project, make sure that you’re meeting all of those expectations, and that’s where a lot of the headaches and problems come in, is if you’re not planning that properly, if you’re not scheduling people out on the right timeframe. There’s always things that come up in, especially in remodeling work, just because there’s things that, you know, you uncover a wall and you find mold, or you find that the framing has termite damage, and things like that.
Tom: So, there’s those things, that you need to make sure that you’re open with the customer, and make sure that you’re letting them know that this is just an outline when you get started, that there’s going to be things that are going to change and evolve. We usually take our customers through a design process first. So, we’ll come in and we’ll do kind of a needs assessment of that actual project, where they’re kind of looking for, this is the space, this is what we really want to get out of it, this is how we’re going to use it, and make sure that we can fit their budget of course, but also give them something, that exceeds their expectations in the process.
Vince: So, you mentioned a couple of things, that I think a lot of people who are managing their businesses, or any kind of client interaction that’s an ongoing one, versus a one-time purchase.
Vince: You said that there’s planned things. There’s unplanned things, right?
Tom: Always. Yup, always.
Vince: There’s managing expectations, and how important it is at that beginning in the onset, because there’s always going to be unplanned things. If any one of you is managing like a process, or a system, or an ongoing thing, besides a one-time point of sale purchase, and you have to interact with the customer on a lengthier time frame, there’s definitely the unplanned, right?
Vince: So, expectations is huge.
Vince: Especially in the construction business, when it’s going to be a permanent piece, something that’s a permanent part of their home, they’re going to be looking at it every day. They’re living there with their family. Their expectations are a lot higher.
Vince: Right? Than just somebody-
Tom: They’re watching you every day. You’ve got to be on the ball every day. Where in commercial construction, you have a little bit more hands-off. There’s times where the owners, or the owner’s agent will come in and do the inspections and things like that, but you’re in somebody’s personal space. You are basically, becoming part of their family for that time, because you’re sharing that space with them, so you need to make sure that you’re cognizant of that, that you’re making sure that you’re respectful of their house, that you’re respectful of their time, that you try and make sure that not just their expectations are managed, but also that you’re exceeding those, that you’re able to, give them that roadmap, and give them that path forward, but then also, add those little things in that make you unique, outside of the rest of the industry.
Vince: The planning is really important for that, and I know within the construction business especially, there’s a whole onboarding process. Not even an onboarding process, it’s actually a whole proposal area of the business, where you interrupt the client multiple times. They’re getting bids from other people, deciding who they want to hone in on, and you’ve come up with a pretty ingenious way, to kind of both educate the customer, at the same time that you get to propose them.
Vince: Do you want to tell us a little bit about that? So some of our listeners and constructions, and all of us that are in any kind of project management business, can get an idea about something that we could use, and implement in our own business?
Tom: Yep. Yeah, that’s what I’m really excited about. Just this last year or so, we’ve really started to hone that in, and be able to create that duplicatable system. We’ve started to build that in to an online sales funnel format, where we’re getting an outline structure of the videos, that you need to have on an onboarding sequence, or an application funnel, if you will, where you’re going through and you’re saying, “Okay, this is what you can expect from the process. This is where we’re going to start. These are the steps to go through,” but there’s a lot of those little intricacies in that in that period, where you’ve got to have that one-on-one with the customer.
Tom: One thing that we’ve started to establish is, creating an online course where people can go through, and do that kind of on their own time, be able to go through some of those designs sequences, going and looking for pictures online, trying to find out what’s in their mind, and what they’re trying to envision, in order to get that in to somebody else’s mind, we find it really useful to have those pictures available.
Tom: So, we’ll have our clients go to House or Pinterest, some of the other sites that give you that visual aspect of it. Then we’ll take that overall design, and then we’ll create a 3D Rendering and a model, where customers can actually go through, and actually envision what it is, because a lot of times it’s hard to envision from where you’re starting, to actually what it’s going to look like at the end. We find the 3D Renderings will really give that more comfortable feeling with, okay, and now I’m ready to spend, 10, 80, $100,000.00 sometimes, on certain kitchen and bathroom projects.
Tom: So, we try and create that system online to onboard that customer, but as well, give them other tools once we start that design process, to where it’s more of an automated process. So, if you’re in the construction industry, you know there’s a lot of time spent on estimates. There’s a lot of time spent one-on-one with the customer, to where if you can give them the information-
Vince: Before you get the actual job itself, right?
Tom: Always. Yup, yup, always.
Vince: I had a friend back in my home city, that was telling me that they’ll spend, I don’t know how many, six to 10 hours sometimes-
Vince: Proposing a client, and you don’t even have the job yet.
Tom: Minimum, yeah. Yeah, a lot of times, you’re just doing that six to eight hours to get to the point, where you understand enough of what the customer wants, in order to even know what not kind of number to give them. A lot of the drawbacks of getting free estimates in my mind is, it does a disservice to the contractor, because he’s working with limited information,, and it does a disservice to the homeowner because they’re not getting a true buildable version, of what that actual cost and timeline is going to look like.
Vince: So, your system is an online process, where they go through this portal, they kind of fill out some information, they get a 3D Rendering at the end of it, I’m assuming?
Vince: And they get a little bit of an education, on what they’re actually trying to do, because a lot of people probably don’t know what they want at first. That’s why this whole interaction is an iterative process. They go back and forth.
Vince: How many hours of time, do you think you’re going to save contractors, and even homeowners, by going through this process on their own time, with this online portal?
Tom: Sure. A lot of it is trying to streamline that process, so there’s not a lot of wasted time. We’re trying to minimize the interactions between each party, do virtual meetings when at all possible, so you’re not taking down from either of those person’s daytime schedules, and usually a design process can take anywhere from 20 to 40 hours, to really go through that, and get all the details, and a lot of it is, is the onus is on the homeowner, to go through and okay-
Vince: To do their homework.
Tom: This is what I want it to look like. There’s a lot of homework involved. We try to guide that homework process in saying, okay, these are the most effective use of your time in this process, and just focus on this thing at once, and don’t get overwhelmed by all of the different details, because that’s a big problem with homeowners. That is, they get it started, and they think it’s going to be great and everything, and then they… There’s a hundred decisions to make.
Vince: Oh, wow. A lot of them don’t know that. Yeah.
Tom: And you’re going to have to live with that for 10, 15, 20 years hopefully, if they build it right, and you want to make sure that, that selections process is streamlined, but it’s still, the onus is on the homeowner to make those decisions. I’d love to build, what I’d love to build, but I’m trying to make those homes livable for the customer. They’ve got to really live beyond that.
Vince: For the contractor, your process is saving several hours, probably a time, if they implement it correctly, and just basically getting more in to a digital framework.
Vince: And an online process, to help get those smaller decisions out of the way more quickly, so that you can focus on the larger picture.
Tom: Yeah, we really focus on the overall picture, and then give those customers, give our clients, those tasks to manage on their own, and say, “Okay, these are the best. This is the best course of action to pick out your flooring, your tile work, your countertops, your everything.” Then, we usually ask them to visualize those pictures, select about three pictures per room, and then give us those aspects of each picture that they like, and then we try and incorporate that vision, and put it together with the locally sourced materials that you have available, because region-by-region, you’re going to have different availability of certain product.
Vince: Wow. That’s so cool.
Tom: We really try and make it so that it’s going to be functional for any contractor, in any part of the world really, because that system is very much the same. It’s just a matter of making sure that the homeowner understands that process, and doesn’t waste a lot of time on it. Usually we’re saving about, I would say 50% to 75% of that downtime, having to go through, and meet with the client numerous times. We usually try and make it targeted in to maybe two or three different interactions, and some of those, like I said, could be virtual.
Tom: We’re really trying to streamline that process, where there’s not a lot of travel time. You get out what you need to get, and no more. By doing that, you’re going to save not only time in the design process itself, but also time in the construction process, because a lot of the over cost overruns and overages, and then time schedule blowouts are done, because you haven’t planned out that material availability, the subcontractors getting all that time scheduling, because there’s a lot of dependencies in construction. So, you’ve got to get the framing done, before you can have the electrical in. You’ve got to have certain things finished and completed, before you can move on to the next sequential step.
Vince: This helps a lot with that too.
Tom: Absolutely, because it gives you the full rundown, before you ever start demoing anything, and we really try and keep our onsite time as minimal as possible, and try and minimize that discomfort of having somebody else in your home, because it’s a little bit of a weird experience to just open up your doors, and say, “Hello Stranger, Come in and have a free range.” Right?
Vince: Right, and then have a personal interaction with you for months at a time, or however long their project is.
Vince: Lastly, for some of our construction viewers, and anyone who’s doing project management, what are the last things you want them to know about the way direction you’re trying to go with your program, and where they can get a little bit more information about it, if they’re interested?
Tom: Sure. Yeah, that’d be great. What we’re doing is, we’re creating a training course. We’re gonna have a five day challenge, where you can come in, and be able to kind of experience what that course is going to be about. We’ll give you a couple of different tasks to go through. I’ll be interviewing all of our contributors, so we’re bringing in experts in their respective industries. I know you’ll be helping us with the SEO.
Vince: I’ll be [crosstalk 00:15:00] actually. Yes. [crosstalk 00:15:01] optimization [crosstalk 00:15:01].
Tom: So, it’s going to be great for that part of it, and I’m really trying to integrate all of those contributors together, so that we’re making a complete all-in-one solution, so that you can automate and streamline, all of your onboarding and marketing process, but also be able to get paid for your estimates, which is important, because that’s valuable time.
Vince: Yes, I think that’s one of the biggest points, that I want you all to understand. He’s talking about this summit, that we’re going to be helping construction people, people in the construction business, learn about online marketing, and how they can apply elements of marketing and online marketing, to their business. Tom’s specific project, which I think is really exciting, is going to teach construction owners, who are going to do a remodeling, or new home, or any kind of construction, how to streamline the estimate estimate part, and get paid for the estimate, while training to have a better customer. Telling them about the process and how it works, and also getting everything he just said, kind of aligned up, so you save a lot of time, and interaction. Tell us a little bit about when they can, or where they can find out about this summit that’s coming up.
Vince: Or may be ongoing.
Tom: Yup. No, we’re going to be doing a five day challenge, where we’ll be doing the actual summit a little bit later on, but we want to really get some contractors in, get them to experience that process, be able to iterate, and make that program a lot better for each different type of industry. Anything that you have to go in, and do any sort of design work, or any kind of planning and design, to get an actual materials list produced, that’s really who we’re going to tailor this activity towards.
Vince: Oh, wow. That’s great.
Tom: There’s electrical contractors, HVAC contractors, that have to come in and do an assessment of the space, and be able to design a system, and an actual, not just the estimate, but the actual building proposal, in order to do that.
Vince: A planning process?
Tom: Right. Our program is really tailored towards a contractor that has to do that design process, but then also to to make that digital, to make that so that you can onboard customers, without having to have that every day interaction. Be able to get your email automation sequences going, doing Chatbots, so that you can keep up-to-date with what customer is looking at doing, and being able to really create a better customer experience, while also streamlining the process.
Vince: So, if some of the things he said like Chatbots, you never heard before, the way you can find out about how it can save time and energy in your business is going to… Or what website can they find that more information about?
Tom: Yeah, right now we’re doing everything through our Facebook group, which is, Buildmasters. You can go ahead and look there, and then we’ll have all of the links for everything that we’ve got going on, both from the challenge, to when you can get the course, that’s going to be launching, and then we’ll do a full five week implementation challenge.
Vince: Oh, nice.
Tom: So, after you get in to the course, you can start consuming the material, and getting a little bit more understanding of Chatbots, and website design and SEO, because most contractors don’t really know SEO. Let’s be honest.
Vince: You’ll be learning the basics of it, trust me. It’s not anything that you’re going to have to be advanced, or know any coding. It’s just understanding the basics of marketing applied to online, so that you can start getting more customers, saving more time, and go back to doing what you do best. So, go to Buildmasters on Facebook. Buildmasters on Facebook. It’s a group they can join?
Tom: Free group, and then we’ll do our own smaller mastermind groups and our coaching groups, once they get into the program. That’ll be a great time.
Vince: Looking forward to it. We’ll see you guys there. Thanks for joining us, on this episode of Own Your Brand Academy. Thank you, Tom Naylor.
Vince: Go to Buildmasters on Facebook, and we’ll see you on the groups at the other end of this. Take care, and talk to you soon.
Tom: Thanks, Vince. Appreciate it.