Communication is one of the most important factors in any partnership, and this is doubly so when large sums of money are on the line. As a contractor, you need to be able to cultivate a positive relationship with your clients that results in clear channels of communication that keep everyone on the same page. Unfortunately, the busier you and the owners you work with are, the harder it is to keep communication streamlined for the benefit of everyone involved.
In this brief article, the Chattanooga construction lawyers from Cotney Construction Law will provide some important tips for contractors who want to avoid miscommunication with clients. Miscommunication can create an uncomfortable atmosphere that increases the probability of a dispute derailing a project. If you are involved in a dispute with an owner, consult a Chattanooga construction lawyer for help with alternative dispute resolution strategies designed to help you reach an amicable solution before costly litigation affects the success of your project and your relationship with the owner.
The Key to Communication: Transparency
As a contractor, you can’t rely on falsities and overstatements to procure long-lasting business. Making promises you can’t keep might help you get your foot in the door, but it’s never going to help you retain clients and bolster your portfolio. Transparency is one of the most important factors in a healthy contractor-owner relationship. When the owner asks you questions about your capabilities, answer truthfully and don’t attempt to masquerade your shortcomings. Together, you and the owner can work through your issues to reach solutions to these problems, and, if you’re unable to do so, you can rest easy knowing that a potential dispute isn’t looming on the horizon.
If You Need Answers, Ask Questions
It’s impossible to meet all of the owner’s expectations if you don’t understand what those expectations entail. When you first sit down to discuss a project, be forthcoming with your answers to the owner’s questions, but also be thorough in your line of questioning to make sure you gain full comprehension of the owner’s needs. Good questions are designed to pursue honest answers that open the door for further questions. While you should always respect the owner, don’t be afraid to pose a question in the way you think will result in the most transparent answer. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to bring up issues that have yet to be discussed. There’s no guarantee that the owner is cognizant of every possible angle for their proposed project, and your questions could enlighten them and reveal important or inevitable issues.
Let Your Contract Do the Talking
Ultimately, no matter how productive your discussions with an owner are, your contract will act as the final answer for the lion’s share of questions. A clearly written contract that comprehensively details every aspect of a proposed project not only keeps everyone on the same page, but also helps diffuse potential disputes. Simply put, the terms of a contract have the final say when disagreements materialize. For legal services including drafting, negotiating, and reviewing contracts, consult a Chattanooga construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.