Another genius business idea: The construction broker
Here’s another post in my Genius Business Idea series one day after the first. This one came during the same homework assignment as yesterday’s, I hope indicating great ideas can come quickly. Like many ideas, this one also came from personal experience. For all I know, such a profession already exists, but I don’t know about it so I’m writing it up anyway.
The unmet need
If you’ve had your home renovated, you know overruns in time and budget happen a lot. Home renovations often involve experienced contractors and an inexperienced homeowner so homeowners don’t know if the contractor is doing a good job and don’t understand sources of overruns. Contractors often can’t explain reasons for overruns and aren’t good at managing clients. Since no one involved can speak the languages of both parties, communication suffers.
This situation doesn’t work well for anyone. Some contractors use their better knowledge to milk money from the homeowner. Such short-term gains probably hold them back from future referrals, perhaps hurting them in the long run. In any case, difficult relationships extend projects and make life worse for everyone involved.
The idea is to apply what works in selling apartments, where brokers facilitate transactions. How about an â€œHome renovations brokerâ€? The idea could work in commercial work too, but I’ll refer to the client as a homeowner for simplicity.
The renovations broker’s role is to manage process, representing the homeowner. This person would be skilled in renovations so he or she can speak language of contractor and skilled in client management so he or she can speak language of homeowner. This person would visit the construction site regularly, updating the homeowner on the one side and helping the contractor on the other, solving problems representing the homeowner’s interests.
While you might at first think the contractor wouldn’t want the extra person meddling, this person would relieve contractor of client management, which they often aren’t skilled at. I expect they’d prefer to work with a skilled, knowledgeable person who speaks their language than an unskilled, ignorant person who is liable to speak with more emotion than reason.
The most important result is that it makes the project finish faster. Since contractors generally get paid on a project basis, finishing faster means more jobs, which means more money. The homeowner obviously likes getting their home back sooner too. My stepfather, who has plenty of construction experience, did the role for my sister, who has little, when she had her home renovated and everyone involved said it improved their experience and got the job done faster.
At the same time, this person could reassure the client (the homeowner) on the contractor’s work quality and effort.
This person wouldn’t provide much physical labor, though could help if necessary on small parts of the project. Mostly this person needs experience having done construction work themselves.
This person’s web page would have ratings and past customers reviews for transparency.
Want to do it?
If you like the idea, feel free to run with it. You wouldnâ€™t need that much capital to start it. Mostly finding people with contracting experience willing to take on the role and marketing, Iâ€™d think, then itâ€™s mostly salaries. You’d probably have to train them in client management skills, maybe in negotiation.
I havenâ€™t searched to see if people are doing it already.
I want to reinforce that the main point of this series is to show how ideas are easy to create. I don’t claim to have much experience in this field, so people with experience could improve it. I hope they do, and run with it. If you do, please let me know because I’d love to find my ideas made the world better for someone.
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