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residential service
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Discussion Starter #1
Their is certain business that we don't really want but will take under our terms. Property managers, real estate agents, gc's or most any other contractor, any place that requires any sort of commitee approval of anything related to the work, anyone that doesn't want to pay for the service at the time of service.

So we are never rude with these type of people but we rely on our service charge to help us steer clear of them because they won't pay it (usually).

Anyway we get a call from a real estate agent who has a forclosure that has been hit by copper thieves and needs a repipe. He's ok with how we do things, including the $59.00 service charge so we agree to go out. Who knows maybe this guy is tired of dealing with the Billy Bobs of the plumbing world and just wants to get it done right. I go out there and sure enough about 1/2 of the exposed copper in the garage has been stolen. They must have been real nervous or got otherwise spooked because they didn't finish the job (or maybe they were just hack thieves instead of card carrying professional thieves :laughing:).

I look it over, write it up, and call the agent. "Ok great, can you fax that to me?" Oh boy, here we go! I agree to fax it knowing that if this is how he does things then we will be nothing but a number at the bottom of a page which leaves us no chance to show how we are different from anybody else. So I call him the next am to make sure he received the fax and he starts shuffling through papers and asking me "What company are you again?". I tell him. He says "ok, yeah, here it is. Sorry, I have 6 quotes and it took me a minute to find it but yes I do have it and will forward it on. :eek: Six quotes!!! Should have known! Good thing that I had already gotten the cc number for the sc charge before I sent the fax (another reason to accept cc payment) 'cause I know that there is absolutely zero chance that I am the lowest price he will receive. At least I sure as heck better not be the lowest price he receives! I am probably the highest price he receives which is where I would rather be. I will be stunned to hear anything back from this guy unless it's a courtesy call to let us know that they went with someone else. Yeah, right.
 

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Having a relationship with a realtor helps. Realtors going through the phone book 9 out of 10 times are just using you.

In the future, only give quotes where you can meet the end user. Someone selling their home doesn't care about quality, just cost.

The buyer on the other hand will insist on it.
 

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residential service
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Discussion Starter #3
The reality is probably that he already has his repair plumber who works for beer and is just fishing around for the highest quotes he can get to send to the insurance company or HUD or whoever he has to send it to.
 

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If that is your gut feeling, go with your gut next time. Ask up front how many quotes do they need to submit. Better yet, let them know you do not participate in competitive bid situations because in that scenario the decision maker only analyzes price. Gracefully back out stating your customers know they pay more because of your excellent reputation, skill, service, warranty etc.

Only exception, they pay a consultant fee to get a price. In this case you charge your hourly rate to go look at the job.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Last year when my business was brand new...I had a lot of calls EXACTLY like you described smells. Only back then I had very few customers or calls so I didn't even have a trip charge...I don't miss those days. Now I have a service charge to show up, and like you said, it discourages most people who want to get you and 9 other guys to do 10 bids on a job for free. Screw that. Just imagine how many guys he got to go out there for nothing!:cry: It makes me remember how important it is to keep that trip fee.:yes:
 

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Last R.E. agent I estimated for agreed to pay my estimate fee.

I intentionally bid high, knowing I wasn't going to get the job.

Three months later he called me to ask when I could start.

I got into a conversation with him, he told me he couldn't get anyone aside from me and one other plumber interested, the other plumber was lower, but when he called him he was too busy to start the job any time soon.

I just got lucky on that one, I never do free estimates for ANY R.E. venture.
 

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I went to look at a sewer repipe in a nursing home here awhile back. I pulled up in the parking lot and saw another contractors truck parked. I thought to myself surley not. The manager of the home contacted our office and wanted us to look at the job. So I walk in and I ask to see the manager and they page her. She walks up with the other contractor with a smile on her face. The poor guy looked at me and said to bid high:eek::laughing: She asked if I was here to give her a quote. I told her yes and she told me that she had 5 others to review and she would get back to me. I politely told her that we were no longer interested in quoting a price and it would be t&m, turned around and left, never heard back from her. At least set up different times for people to come look at the job instead of getting them there at the same time....
 

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Their is certain business that we don't really want but will take under our terms. Property managers, real estate agents, gc's or most any other contractor, any place that requires any sort of commitee approval of anything related to the work, anyone that doesn't want to pay for the service at the time of service.

So we are never rude with these type of people but we rely on our service charge to help us steer clear of them because they won't pay it (usually).

Anyway we get a call from a real estate agent who has a forclosure that has been hit by copper thieves and needs a repipe. He's ok with how we do things, including the $59.00 service charge so we agree to go out. Who knows maybe this guy is tired of dealing with the Billy Bobs of the plumbing world and just wants to get it done right. I go out there and sure enough about 1/2 of the exposed copper in the garage has been stolen. They must have been real nervous or got otherwise spooked because they didn't finish the job (or maybe they were just hack thieves instead of card carrying professional thieves :laughing:).

I look it over, write it up, and call the agent. "Ok great, can you fax that to me?" Oh boy, here we go! I agree to fax it knowing that if this is how he does things then we will be nothing but a number at the bottom of a page which leaves us no chance to show how we are different from anybody else. So I call him the next am to make sure he received the fax and he starts shuffling through papers and asking me "What company are you again?". I tell him. He says "ok, yeah, here it is. Sorry, I have 6 quotes and it took me a minute to find it but yes I do have it and will forward it on. :eek: Six quotes!!! Should have known! Good thing that I had already gotten the cc number for the sc charge before I sent the fax (another reason to accept cc payment) 'cause I know that there is absolutely zero chance that I am the lowest price he will receive. At least I sure as heck better not be the lowest price he receives! I am probably the highest price he receives which is where I would rather be. I will be stunned to hear anything back from this guy unless it's a courtesy call to let us know that they went with someone else. Yeah, right.
Courtest call!!:laughing::laughing: that's a good one!
 

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If that is your gut feeling, go with your gut next time. Ask up front how many quotes do they need to submit. Better yet, let them know you do not participate in competitive bid situations because in that scenario the decision maker only analyzes price. Gracefully back out stating your customers know they pay more because of your excellent reputation, skill, service, warranty etc.

Only exception, they pay a consultant fee to get a price. In this case you charge your hourly rate to go look at the job.
Well said. NO FREE LUNCH -EVER!!
 

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Who will be paying the bill, and how will they be paying it? We will have to have them on site to talk to and sign our paperwork authorizing the work.

We will enter into competitive bids only with a signed RFP in our hands with a scope of work and a bidding rules attached.

We are a service business. You are a service business. You can appreciate that in business, one has an obligation to one's clients to provide professional service at a reasonable price. We have found this to be the best way to protect our client's from unnecessary overhead.
 
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