Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So....How much is it gonna cost me?

Have you ever had a contractor come to your house to bid on a project? If you have, what was the turn around on the estimate?

Well.....let me tell you my take on it.  

When I first started doing estimates for homeowners I would walk on to the property and have a look around. Nine times out of ten I would already have a number in my head before I left. I would then tell the prospective customer that I would get them an estimate within a week or so. That was just plain dumb.

Here were the problems with that method of estimating:

  • I did believe that I would produce an estimate within a week, but guess what? Life happens.
  • When (and if) I  found time to do the estimate a week later I had forgotten several details about the project.
  • I may need to go back and re-measure. (more time involved)
  • I would  forget altogether and (heaven forbid) the customer has to call me and ask where their estimate is.
Here is my simple solution (and it has worked flawlessly)

I do the estimate while I am there going over the project with the customer.

Why is this important? Well, let me tell you.

I already have an idea what it will cost and you (the customer) have asked me to come to your home for one reason.....an answer to your question.

"So......How much is it gonna cost me."

Since then I have changed things up a bit.....

I've made it my mission to answer that question when I am there the first time. Not a week later. Not on the phone. Not by email. Right now right there. You will have an answer to your question before I leave. I do follow up with an "official" estimate by email within 24 hours, but 95% of the time it hasn't changed from when I was sitting there with you going over all of the details. All of that and it is a Time and Materials estimate to boot......I will go over that more tomorrow. Untill then, have a fantastic day!

Monte Tareski
Cascading Creations

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