Pathway Design & Construction

by Emily Blackburn

CEO Paul Kocharhook

Seattle, WA
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 99.15
GQ 2019 Recommend Rate: 100
Number of Jobs in 2019: 10
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Paul Kocharhook

The COVID-19 pandemic changed homeowner interactions. What measures do you use to signal an extra level of care when working in or around a client’s home?

Because our trade partners are an extension of our company and we expect the same of them as we do ourselves, we have created a trade partner COVID 19 specific agreement for expected job conduct. This is also useful because of the restrictions we are working under there are many times that we are not on the job to keep a watchful eye on the project.

We are also limiting the access points to our work areas. In some cases in the past we may have had two or three usable access points, we have now restricted this one point of entry. In addition, we have asked our curious homeowners to remain out of the work area unless absolutely necessary.

We have one job scenario where the homeowners are working from home in the back part of their house. There is only one access point to this area and it’s through our work area. To complicate the problem the house is small, they have dogs that require going out for a potty break and our state guidelines require us to stay 10ft away from the homeowner at any given time. We have worked out a schedule and notification system for the homeowner needing to come through the work area so we can remain the required distance apart.

Seamless communication technology is now both necessary and expected. How have you used new technology platforms to promote better customer communication and satisfaction?

We have always used BuilderTREND as a form of communication for our projects. The slowdown and now ramp back up has allowed us to explore areas of the software that we neglected before but we didn’t have time to look into. This was actually very important for us as our ramp back up was being done with far less employees to start with. This has improved our tracking of paperwork needed from both trade partners and homeowners. It has also helped improved some inefficiencies we didn’t know we had previously.

We have also implemented the use of Microsoft Teams. This has allowed us to continue having our weekly production meetings and meetings with homeowners. This implementation alone has probably saved us several hours per week for each employee, thus making jobs progress faster.

What was your message to clients with projects in progress in order to keep them happy and satisfied during the uncertainty of the stay-at-home period?

We tried to keep our homeowners as informed as we could. Information was not always available as to when things would restart but we did try to pass along what we knew once we had information. Because we had several kitchens and bathrooms completely torn apart, we had many clients who were very disrupted while trying to live in their homes.

This is bad enough during a regular job schedule now we throw in a work stoppage for an unforeseeable amount of time. Once we had information it was important for me to let our homeowners know that we had advocates on our side that were working with the state government to come up with safe and agreeable plan to get restarted.

We also expressed to them that we were looking forward to getting restarted on their project when the time came. Wondering would our employees and trade partner feel comfortable going to work under the conditions and guidelines set forth was always in the back of my mind. We have a great team that wants to do a great a job in as safe of a manner as possible, Kudos to all of them

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