Thursday, March 13, 2008

Outsourcing Chutzpah

The article "Calling In The House Therapist" in The New York Times recommends hiring a coach to get through the remodeling process. Ms. Lund and Mr. Coccoluto selected an architect whom they felt was most qualified to renovate their 1820's colonial-style farmhouse; however, the architect wanted to place the garage doors at the back of the house which would cost more and make the backyard smaller and the homeowners preferred the garage doors on the side of the home.

The homeowners consulted with Bruce Irving, a remodeling coach who helps homeowners negotiate the challenges of renovation. He recommended they talk about their feelings with the architect so as to prevent ending up with a home that would make them feel uncomfortable.

They did so and expected her to grow angry but instead she quickly agreed with the change and redid the blueprints within ten days.

"Bruce gave us the chutzpah to tell our architect what we wanted," said Ms. Lund. "Sometimes you need someone to tell you that, because we're so used to internalizing our emotions. He's almost like having a house therapist."

Renovating a home can be a difficult and frustrating task so it's not surprising that coaches like Mr. Irving are proliferating. Remodeling coaches act more like marriage counselors than like building consultants, and, like therapists, they are best when brought in as early as possible.

They can help homeowners figure out what they want in a renovation and make sure the project is actually carried out properly. In the past only multi-million dollar jobs had project managers btu with the housing boom and growth in remodeling there is a new market of homeowners who know nothing about building and are searching for help. Some in the field estimate that there are about 100 such coaches around the country. Remodeling coaches help to reduce confusion and help homeowners make knowledgeable decisions.

Sometimes you need to outsource chutzpah to sufficiently convey your preferences to build not only a better house, but a stronger business. Have you heard from any of your customers lately?

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