Our company may be the only Hamptons business that hasn't done work for Billy Joel
. I've laughed to myself countless times at the mention of this celebrity client in the Hamptons. Every architect, luxury home builder, plumber, carpenter, interior designer, and painter has said he has worked for Billy Joel. No wonder Billy has to play The Garden each month; these contractors can cost a fortune. Our policy is to keep our clients names and information confidential (but I'll share with you the fact that Billy isn't one of them).
Working with a happy client is like leading by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The game is yours to win. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
My favorite client isn't a well known client. My favorite client is a happy client. Although our work makes many people feel good, the truly happy client is happy before we arrive. We live in the land of people that are blessed with incredible wealth. In most cases, they have earned their lifestyle through hard work. I firmly believe that money doesn't make people happy (see chart below for a rebuttal to that statement courtesy of The Journal of Positive Psychology).
A study from The Journal of Positive Psychology. (Courtesy Photo)
Research notwithstanding, I have worked with many wealthy clients throughout the years and the ratio of happy to unhappy people is roughly the same as anyone else. Working with a happy client is like leading by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The game is yours to win. A skilled and seasoned contractor loves a happy client. I'm in the midst of a complete overhaul of a backyard that will include every amenity; a gorgeous gunite pool with a spa overflowing, outdoor kitchen and BBQ, two pool houses, a sizeable patio, and perfect plantings as far as the eye can see.
The pressure that we feel is not the quality of our work, it is not the fine detail throughout the project, and it isn't the timeline, or staying within the budget. We do those things as a matter of course. The pressure that we feel is keeping one of the happiest couples we have ever worked with happy throughout the project. They deserve it.
As always, communication is essential. Technology has made this easy for everyone. The ability to send a photo, email an update, or text a quick comment couldn't be easier. This type of communication is a daily (sometimes instant) barometer of customer satisfaction. It allows the contractor to work in concert with the client. It makes a shared vision come to life despite the many miles between New York and the Hamptons.
Although our work makes many people feel good, the truly happy client is happy before we arrive. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
As for the money doesn't buy you happiness debate; as someone else's client once said: "And as we stand upon the ledges of our lives, with our respective similarities, it's either sadness or euphoria."
Chris Hall is a partner at Pembrooke Fine Landscapes. He has been a luxury gunite pool and landscape consultant for over thirty years and shares his observations and advice each month on Hamptons.com. www.pembrookefinelandscapes.com