Have a cup of coffee and take a few minutes. This post may just save your business from a possible disaster.
The natural progression of a successful staging job takes us into the new house. Suggest redesign to your client to help personalize their newly purchased home. It can be a color consulting, furniture placement and/or hanging art service. Also, under the definition of re-design, you can include choosing new pillows, rugs, bedspreads. But, if the job involves a lot of your time or a renovation, be sure your contract spells out your role and liability. We call that contract a Letter of Agreement in the design world.
1. What does your LOA need to say? In addition to the name, address, phone of each party, it needs a detailed description of the scope of the work and timeline.
2. It also helps to define the overall style direction and itemize pieces that will change.
3. Include disclaimers such as: “While we make every effort to make practical selections, we cannot guarantee the performance of fabrics and finishes.” Or, “We cannot guarantee everyone will be immediately happy with their selections.” Sometimes, you are creating a room based on abstract ideas. “I want a dreamy, cool and comfortable space.”
4. Just one more thought… don’t advise your client on major renovations. Unless you have significant experience with renos or you are an interior designer, stick to choosing materials and colors. Such as, flooring, countertops and back splashes.
5. We always give the client 2 or 3 choices on everything, such as paint color, design materials and fabrics, so that the final decision is always the homeowners. I give my opinion but the final choice is theirs. Good advice from 25 years in interior design.
6. Also, add something like, “Any adjustments or changes must be approved with a signature.”
7. It’s good to add a dispute resolution option, just in case.
8. Also end with contract termination conditions, such as written notice and signatures by each party. Add a provision for paying all outstanding invoices in the event of termination of contract.
9. Add a liability waiver stating that you are “not liable for the work, warranties or service performed by various vendors.” They are not your employees.
Whew!! Are you snoozing yet!! This isn’t the fun part of our business but it is necessary and will help you sleep at night.
10. Have an attorney read over it. It doesn’t need complex legal terminology. Our classes go into detail with updated sample contracts and everything you need to be protected.
I hope we added some value to your business. Till next time…