3 Keys to a Successful Relationship Between Owners and Contractors

3 Crain employees inspecting a wall on a construction site

Relationships have always been an important part of the commercial construction business. At Crain, we often describe the relational foundation for a project as a three-legged stool that is supported by an equal commitment between the project owner, architect, and general contractor. The best way to guarantee a successful project is to be sure all of the key stakeholders are pointed in the same direction. 

While our approach to building strong relationships with architects often centers around industry expertise, the ways in which we build relationships with project owners are slightly different. We don’t expect our clients to be construction experts. Instead, we see ourselves as part of their team. Understanding their goals and getting their input is essential for maximizing the long-term success of a project.


3 Keys to a Successful Relationship Between Owners and Contractors

At Crain, we’re proud of our reputation for building relationships and structures that last a lifetime. We recognize that the relationship we develop with project owners and developers is foundational for that distinction. Here are three specific ways we work to cultivate a strong relationship with the building owners we serve: 

1. We put relationships first. 

Good relationships require honesty and integrity. Great relationships take that a step further by proactively seeking the other party’s best interest. We want to develop great relationships with project owners. 

One simple way we try to incorporate our core values into a project is simply to ask ourselves, “How would we approach this project if we were building it for a friend?” 

Whether it’s maintaining an unrelenting commitment to “doing the right thing” or finding creative ways to navigate the commercial construction landscape in Nashville, we believe it’s important to treat our clients the same way we would treat our friends. 

This is a mindset we adopt from pre-construction to post-construction. It’s not uncommon for us to provide support or solutions for clients even after a project is complete. 

2. We work proactively to bring solutions to our clients.

We care about helping our clients generate the most value out of the life of their building. We believe our role is to bring our experience and expertise to help our clients build the right structure for their needs. 

To do this, we must truly listen to what our clients are saying. We take time before construction begins to understand their goals and priorities. Pre-construction meetings are essential to creating better outcomes and exceeding expectations. 

It also requires knowing the current construction landscape, including all building codes and permitting processes, and relying on the strong relationships we’ve developed in the industry. In many cases, our relationship with subcontractors helps us identify creative solutions to complex problems. The relationships we’ve developed with utility and codes departments are also helpful for navigating the roadblocks that can typically stall a project. 

Our partnership with 3H Group to develop the TownPlace Suites in Nashville is an example of this principle. Our team coordinated with the owner, Metro Water, and several subcontractors to navigate unique job site challenges.  

3. We collaborate with building owners to set a project up for success. 

After completing more than 4,500 projects, we can say that the most effective projects are ones where we can help set the project up for success before a shovel ever hits the ground.

Our ability to get involved early is just one of the reasons that we have so many repeat clients who return to us to plan multiple projects. Our relationship with Turnip Truck in Nashville is just one example of this. After completing three projects for them, we’re currently in the process of building their fourth and largest location here in Nashville.   


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With 90 years of experience, we’re proud of the reputation we’ve built as one of Nashville’s leading commercial construction companies. If you’re looking for a contractor who is committed to adding value to your team, learn more about who we are and how we work

We’d love to learn more about your project and help you build a legacy you can be proud of.

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