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Getting Paid for Planning + Estimating

This topic contains 30 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  kurt@welkerhomes.com 3 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 31 total)
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  • #630480

    Hey Pros!

    We’re a BTP Sponsor in online learning (we’ve given free courses on SEO and hosted Jim Lillig’s free course on creating a construction blog).

    I’m just writing to let you know that we are launching a brand new on-demand video course published with us called “Getting Paid for Planning” by Shawn Van Dyke, a business coach and ambassador for Fine Homebuilding Magazine.

    It’s centered around the idea that you don’t have to give out Free Estimates to close high-value clients. It covers how to make more money by getting paid for planning, why you shouldn’t work for free and how you can get your potential clients to pay you up front for the planning and design work you are giving away for free.

    I asked Shawn and he has agreed to give BTP members an additional 10% off the course with coupon “bethepro”. If you’re interested, the coupon is only good until tomorrow 6/1 at midnight EST.

    The course won’t go live to general public until tonight or tomorrow, but we wanted to share early with BTP members 🙂 If you want, you can watch a preview and read testimonials from other Pros here – http://learn.construct-ed.com/p/get-paid-for-planning

    Shawn is also offering a 45-minute coaching session to help you implement these tactics. To read more about him, or what this is about, just click the link above.

    Any questions, feel free to hit me up directly at jrizzo@construct-ed.com . Thanks!

    Online courses published and taught by pros so you can grow your skills, knowledge, and business.

    www.construct-ed.com

    #630486

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Interesting topic. we have discussed this here before. @rob is great at getting this if I remember correctly.

    https://bethepro.com/forums/topic/estimates-free-or-fee/

    #630668

    Nice! Thanks for the resource. @rob is SUPER knowledgeable. We’ve had the pleasure of talking with / working with him (he’s put a course up with us). Browsing through this thread now. It’s an important question. I think most contractors up in this area (north east) give free estimates.

    Online courses published and taught by pros so you can grow your skills, knowledge, and business.

    www.construct-ed.com

    #630686

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Interesting topic. we have discussed this here before. @rob is great at getting this if I remember correctly.

    https://bethepro.com/forums/topic/estimates-free-or-fee/

    I was going to tag Rob actually! Thanks Kurt.

    I would love to be paid directly for estimates, but it just isn’t going to happen in my area. Too many Chuck in a truck guys that bid low and undercut everyone else….and cater to those who want the cheapest job.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #630696

    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Hello guys, I was just cruising the internet (actually one of you tagged me) when I saw this. This is such an important topic. I would be glad to thoroughly discuss this option with anyone. It certainly changed my business for the better when I started charging for all the (pricing and planing) work we were doing.

    #630770

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I am starting to see where this may be possible in our area. I just need to take the big step and start with it on the new houses and big remodels. It would certainly weed out the tire kickers and shoppers.

    #630776

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I am starting to see where this may be possible in our area. I just need to take the big step and start with it on the new houses and big remodels. It would certainly weed out the tire kickers and shoppers.

    That may be the difference right there…the “new houses and big remodels” line. Charging for the upfront work on that scale of work is certainly understandable in my opinion. However, smaller scale items (even a 15K deck job) would be hard to do that for in my area. Its just not something that people do and I’m having a hard time believing that it would be well received.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #630778

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I would agree that smaller projects would make it tough. in our area, the 15K deck is not that uncommon also. most of the ones we have been bidding lately have been in the 20 to 30 K range, Full PVC and aluminum rails. we will wrap one up in the next couple days and then start another. The next one is just a remove and replace the decking and it is almost 30 K. It is a substantial deck however. two more big ones to bid and waiting to hear on two others.

    #630900

    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Smaller jobs can be tough to sell this system to but they don’t require as much time so we don’t charge for doing work that is only 1 to 3 trades. We can measure those in 15 minutes and price it so we can write the contract in another 30 min.
    Also we don’t go after that work because you can’t make as much for the effort required. That being said we will do a two day -replace the granite countertop and install a new sink with a tile backsplash job. but only because we can turn that job so quickly.
    Everyone needs to know what size job is their ‘sweet spot’.
    We decided that we liked to get involved with the owner and take the time to draw and price the project the best way we knew how. That meant charging for the time and expertise required.
    By making this decision we presented (or Branded) ourselves in the local industry. So, no one calls us to replace laminate countertops or install vinyl floors. We never had to say that specifically it evolved out of our over all positioning. Refferal clients already knew from their friends how we operated so there was no surprise when we first met.
    The biggest shock to us is that people are not surprised or offended that we charge them.
    They are used to paying professionals for their services and we make sure we fall in that category when we sell the idea to them.

    #630901

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    that does makes sense Rob, I do have a new build and a large remodel that we are working on pricing where I have gotten design agreements. so at least we are not out our time tor that part of the project.

    #630916

    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    The easiest way to be PAID for pricing a job……….. is to sell Design with the Pricing.

    #631375

    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    When I decided to charge for “estimates” my new client thought it should be free. I explained that it would take a lot of time to get all the costs together and I would need to meet with them again to ask more questions. She didn’t like that idea and refused to pay me for that service.
    I was charging $400.00
    I saw her at church recently we stopped and talked. I asked about her kids and husband everyone was well and it was a nice visit. It was good to catch up with her again. As she left I remembered that she was the client that didn’t want to pay for the ‘Estimate’.

    If I had stopped trying to charge for my effort after that meeting with her, I would have never learned the secret to accomplishing it.
    I have made over a million dollars (since that first attempt)………. for Pricing jobs.
    I do the work so my client and I can both know what it will cost and I can charge them the exact amount without cost overruns.
    It is safer for me and there is less confusion for them. They help us to throughly plan their job so we can all get the best result.
    Oh, and I never charged anyone … less than $1K to evaluate their job after that.
    Little things , that can change our whole life come along every day.

    #631482

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    The easiest way to be PAID for pricing a job……….. is to sell Design with the Pricing.

    Very well put Ron. The customer must have perceived value for the service.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #631501

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    charging for a quote is almost gonna have to the be the norm soon, especially on bigger jobs.. sometimes you have to make multiple visits to the home to take every thing in which means time and also gas money. whats $200 on top of a possible $100k + project..

    i can see not charging it on a job that might only be only a few hours or less than 2 days

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #648903

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Here is an interesting video on the subject.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #648920

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Great Video. This is a great topic and one which we should all take to heart. I will have to admit, I have seen many of my designs built by other contractors or homeowners in the past.

    It is true that we spend a huge amount of time estimating and designing and in a lot of cases get nothing for it.

    #649463

    This topic was brought up the other day . It’s crazy how we just give away our time and money doing leg work for clients for free on estimateing . Bought in lower end markets it’s hard to do so .

    Always willing to learn .

    #649485

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    I will have to admit, I have seen many of my designs built by other contractors or homeowners in the past.

    That would tick you off for sure. A lot of good points were brought out in the video. I think the big thing is the confusion of what an estimate is. Can you charge for an estimate lets say for a deck where all you do is have a design in your head and you are estimating labor and materials? That would be tough but an estimate with design, labor, a material list and time to explain everything to the customer yes. You have to get paid for your time.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #651409

    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    I looked at the cost of the time I spent meeting with potential clients and then rushing to get a idea of what the cost will be so I could schedule and see them again and I just said, “No more!”
    I am going to charge everyone of them and they are going to pay me upfront for my time. Because the quote is worth nothing to me, it only has value to them. I figured out how to sell that and never changed my policy. That was 25 years ago.
    The wisest man once said “Ask and it will be given…..” If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
    Want to change a business outcome, do something different.

    #651461

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Want to change a business outcome, do something different.

    Well said Rob.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

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