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Closing rate

This topic contains 40 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Rob 5 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 21 through 40 (of 41 total)
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  • #90730

    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    This is an interesting thread. I’ve only been in business for about a year, and there is still so much to learn. I normally don’t charge for estimates, but I have told someone that lives 2 hours away that I won’t drive there for free.

    #90738

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Rob and Mark, do you find that in charging for estimates you in the minority in your area or is it common in your area?

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #90747

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I do free Estimates too.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #90769

    DesertDeuces
    Pro
    Indio, CA

    Interesting topic. I’ve only gotten 1 free estimate and that was a few weeks ago from a flooring contractor who was working on the renovated apartments. He already had the measurements and knew exactly what the job would entail based on what he already was working on for the insurance work. So, it wasn’t like he had to do any extra work except to write his figures on a piece of paper.

    Pat

    #90770

    I think it is ok to charge a nominal fee for estimates. Keeps tire kickers from wasting as much time. Also, most contractors I have hired that charge for estimates apply that fee to the job if I hire them. I am OK with this.

    Orange County, CA

    #90772

    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I give free estimates. I just tell realtors I don’t do work for realtors. I explain to them in all my years I’ve never got anything but tire kickers. But if you need a consultant I’m for hire.

    This usually just pisses them off. But it’s honest.

    #90783

    redwood
    Pro

    Rob and Mark, do you find that in charging for estimates you in the minority in your area or is it common in your area?

    I can’t actually say for sure. I imagine that there are plenty out there that give free estimates, as I will, if they have a plan in place.

    I won’t even come and see them, if they don’t have a plan or don’t agree to my fee. It’s just another way to eliminate some tire kickers without wasting my time.

    I think that a lot of people might even see me as more professional because of it.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #90832

    parenos
    Moderator
    Honesdale, PA

    I never really thought about charging for estimates, as most of the work I get is by referral and Its more of an initial meeting. I could see charging for design work, but I really dont have a design program that I would feel is professional enough to justify a fee.

    #90840

    I think it comes down to your value proposition. If you are good and charge for your time I think you can use it to differentiate yourself. If someone asks why, explain that you are good, why you are better than the other guys and because of this, you simply cannot afford to give free time away. If the fee is reasonable I think it lends to credibility and odds are that once someone has paid money, they feel committed and you are likely going to get the job. Something you might try if you are looking to gain more business.

    Orange County, CA

    #90852

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I won’t even come and see them, if they don’t have a plan or don’t agree to my fee. It’s just another way to eliminate some tire kickers without wasting my time.

    Ok, so your estimates are free but you charge for any design work…that makes sense. Does the fee you charge for design work get deducted from the job if they hire you or is the fee separate?

    The plan I had from when I tried charging before was charging a flat fee for planning/design on decks, addition, bath remodels, etc and charging a smaller fee of probably $25 for estimating jobs that don’t really require planning or design (window replacement, re-roof, etc).

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #90939

    redwood
    Pro

    I won’t even come and see them, if they don’t have a plan or don’t agree to my fee. It’s just another way to eliminate some tire kickers without wasting my time.

    Ok, so your estimates are free but you charge for any design work…that makes sense. Does the fee you charge for design work get deducted from the job if they hire you or is the fee separate?

    The plan I had from when I tried charging before was charging a flat fee for planning/design on decks, addition, bath remodels, etc and charging a smaller fee of probably $25 for estimating jobs that don’t really require planning or design (window replacement, re-roof, etc).

    The design fee is deducted from the contract. Construction documents are not.

    Regarding estimates on other items, it’s flexible. If it’s a referal, I don’t usually charge anything. If it’s close by, I don’t usually charge. If it’s a distance away, I do charge a minimal fee ($50). If I don’t like what I hear on the phone or in a email, I will charge a fee, price depending on the job.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #90944

    Anonymous

    This is interesting, Those of you that do charge but take it off the bill IF you get the job sounds like a little better way to do it. For estimates anyway

    #90955

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Regarding estimates on other items, it’s flexible. If it’s a referal, I don’t usually charge anything. If it’s close by, I don’t usually charge. If it’s a distance away, I do charge a minimal fee ($50). If I don’t like what I hear on the phone or in a email, I will charge a fee, price depending on the job.

    I agree, I wouldn’t charge on all estimates, only certain ones. Referrals I wouldn’t because my close rate on those is pretty high. Other jobs…many times you can tell by the way someone talks that they are just kicking tires or that you are the ninth estimate they are getting – charging these people would eliminate a lot of wasted time I think.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #91142

    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    It’s so hard to tell, I always have tried to figure out who is serious and who isn’t. There are times I walk away from an estimate feeling like that was a good one. Only to never hear from them again. There are other times I walk way thinking they can’t afford me, to get that phone call telling me they’re ready to move forward, what’s the next step?

    I just do the best I can and be as honest as possible and that’s all I can do. One thing I’ve learned is let people know the bad things about what they are requesting as well as the good. I never promise more then I can deliver.

    I heard it somewhere. “Always promise less and deliver more”.

    #91171

    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I heard it somewhere. “Always promise less and deliver more”.

    Haven’t heard that before, but it makes a whole lot of sense.

    #91255

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I heard it somewhere. “Always promise less and deliver more”.

    Haven’t heard that before, but it makes a whole lot of sense.

    I have heard the same quote, just worded differently.

    Always under promise and over deliver.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #91299

    redwood
    Pro

    Always under promise and over deliver.

    I’m pretty sure there are a lot of contractors out there that have that quote backwards. “Always over promise and under deliver”. That is a big problem with our industry.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #91303

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I’m pretty sure there are a lot of contractors out there that have that quote backwards. “Always over promise and under deliver”. That is a big problem with our industry.

    And there seems to be more of those contractors who under deliver every day. It’s easy to complain that home owners don’t trust contractors but with the amount of those guys out there it is easy to see why.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #91709

    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    I don’t think the majority of other contractors in my area (or any area) charge for simple estimates but if it is a larger job with design and pricing they may approach 50%.
    But we are asking the wrong question- as to what are others doing.
    The question we all should ask ourselves is how do I want to run my business, do I want to charge for my skills or give them away for free?
    I decided my knowledge was valuable and worth selling.
    We are not offering an item that sits on a shelf.
    We have to build it in our heads and then offer it.
    I tell people that are unsure about hiring me to design and price ” I don’t need the practice, I already know how to figure out the price of a project so there is no benefit in my doing their quote unless they pay me .
    They ask me ‘Why do you want to be paid 100% up front?” and I explain that the information I create for them has no value to me so I won’t take the risk of not being paid.

    #91738

    redwood
    Pro

    Great way of putting it Rob.

    It’s not like we need anymore practice/experience to do this.

    Still, if I look at the time I spend on some estimates and design, the minimal charge that I have put in place, it still pays me peanuts.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

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