Delivery man driving his van while smiling at cameraWhile there might well be a bit of a stereotype surrounding builders and how they spend their time, with many a homeowner no doubt thinking that they drink an incredible amount of tea while on a job, it seems that driving around takes up most of their time!

New research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has just revealed that over the course of their careers, builders spend on average two years and six months driving their vans, and two years and nine months talking to their clients.

Not only that but they spend two years and six months at the builders merchants, two years and one month training or supervising apprentices or junior colleagues, a year and nine months eating lunch, 11 months trying to locate a particular tool and just six months making tea!

Commenting on the findings, chief executive of the FMB Brian Berry said: “This new research dispels the myth that builders spend a big chunk of their time drinking tea. In reality, if builders are downing their tools for any reason, it’s so they can chat with their customers and ensure they have happy clients.”

He went on to say that top class builders here in the UK clearly do have excellent communication skills since they spend so much time talking to their clients… and this is certainly an area that you would be wise to focus on if you’re keen to keep your leg up on the competition.

Our homes really are our castles and as such, whenever you’re at a customer’s house, keeping them up to date with the work that you’re doing is an absolute must. If you fail to do this, you could be leaving yourself open to a bad review online and as we all know, recommendations are very important for getting new jobs.

This is especially true for smaller companies whose bread and butter is local work. With the internet being what it is these days, you can ill afford to have lots of bad reviews and if all it takes is a bit of a sit down and a chat with your client so they know what’s going on, then it seems like it’s certainly worth doing.

Effective communication will help to reduce stress and any concerns your client has before, during and after the building work has taken place. Being as proactive as you can is a wise move, so perhaps don’t wait until your customer approaches you for status updates, which they surely will at some point since they’re investing so much in whichever project you’re doing for them.

You don’t even need to do it in person if you don’t have the time – sending a text here or there, or a longer email can really work wonders when it comes to keeping your clients sweet.

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