Do you consider yourself a tradie or a professional?
Teach people how to treat you
Watch the video now, or read the transcript below.
Are You a Tradie?
Alright, this is a good one, because I think it’s something that needs to be discussed – how to get treated as a professional home builder. So, Amelia, why do you think it is in the industry that I guess some designers, architects and clients, treat builders as if the builder is a tradie?
It is a really interesting one. And I think some of what I say and some of what we talk about may rub some builders up the wrong way. But I’m hoping that you can listen, hear it with the best intentions, which is how it’s meant. Because, it’s been really eye opening for me, particularly in the work we’ve been doing with Live Life Build. I’ve known at some level that architects and clients and designers see builders a certain way.
I’ve seen it in my own work. There’s been this weird sort of blue collar/ white collar thing that’s happened, particularly between architects and builders. There’s also just this strange animosity that can exist for some reason between the industries, which for me, I find really odd because some of the best working relationships I’ve had have been with builders that we’ve got along really, really well and worked really well together to create fantastic projects. But, it goes back to that thing that we speak about a lot inside Live Life Build, which is you:
Teach people how to treat you.
And, I think that home builders, because a lot of them have started their careers in a trade, their Associations lump them all in as a trade, they don’t separate them out as builders. We inside Live Life Build are wanting to elevate the professionalism of the residential construction industry, and we’re wanting builders to see themselves as professionals. But they still operate and behave and act like tradies. And so if that’s how you’re going to act, then you can’t be surprised if that’s how people end up treating you.
It is a hard one, because as you just said, our Associations, our industry bodies, and builders are licensed and governed and regulated in the same groups as what traders are. So if our own industry bodies and Associations aren’t separating us, then you can understand why clients and architects would put us in the same basket.
Changing Your Mindset
Do you think it’s also a lot to do with, I guess, tradies not stepping up and having that mindset and that belief that they are a professional business. A custom residential builder is not tradie based. It is a professional business that has a lot of risk, a lot of responsibility. What do you think about that?
Yes, I think a lot of builders get scared by the idea of considering themselves a professional. Particularly if they’ve been somebody who’s always thought of themselves as a tradesperson.
The word ‘professional’ can be associated with lawyers and accountants and even architects and some kind of other person that is a ‘snob’ or is, you know, not their kind of people, or is somebody who went to University. There is a lot of traditional definition around the word ‘professional’, that it is somebody that goes to University. Which to me in this day and age seems so old fashioned.
Instead for us, speaking about builders acting like professionals is actually about setting a standard of quality, about how they operate their business.
At the end of the day, clients are dealing with professionals in all areas of their life. They’re dealing with professional accountants, lawyers, and that professional relationship changes the way everybody shows up. It changes the way that time is respected. Changes the that money and value is seen. The way that communication works. Also the way people operate their businesses.
And so the more we can get builders to see themselves as professionals, and not as trades people, the more we can see that the whole standard of the construction industry improves and things are more enjoyable for everybody involved.
Act Different to Get a Different Result
A lot of builders still just continue whinging don’t they. They just keep whinging about the same problems. They keep doing the same thing. And the results don’t change.
But they do have to step up and take ownership.I know, for a long time, I whinged about everything. And it was always the client’s fault. But when I look back at everything that went wrong, and the troubles I had in my business, it was all because I wasn’t stepping up.
I was running a business but I wasn’t acting like a professional business person
I think too, there’s that thing of they can get scared about this idea of taking responsibility for those things and they can then act like tradies. So they can walk on site with a team and still muck around and be mates with the people that are working for them, and forget that they’re actually supposed to be the one setting the standard for how the business needs to work, how things need to be run.
And, sometimes that can be quite scary because that means that you might have to have a difficult conversation or call somebody out. Or you actually might be held to account far more often and have people looking at you and saying, well, that’s the way you’re going to operate, okay, that’s fine, but that’s not for me.
Yeah. And it’s a mindset thing isn’t. If you’re a builder, at the end of the day you’re running a business. So it’s up to you to step up and be more professional.
And you’ll get much better results with architects, designers, and clients if you act like a professional builder as well.
Elevating the profession of the building industry is at the core of Live Life Build. If you found this discussion interesting, drop us a comment below and also have a look at what we are achieving with our great community of likeminded custom home builders https://www.livelifebuild.com/blog/about-us-what-is-live-life-build/.