Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies

 
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Old 01-27-2016, 02:48 PM   #1
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Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


I got of the phone this morning with an individual who claimed he was the property owner and wanted a bid for a renovation. He claimed that he and his brother flip houses for a living, and that he is the property owner.

Long story short, after a bit of research I find out he works for a property investment company. After talking to the realtor, I find out he/his company doesn't even own the property--they are researching whether the property is a worthy investment. This is not the first time a company like this has tried to get a free appraisal out of me. But, it is the first time one of these guys outright lied to me. I find this unnerving especially because the bid process would require 3 to 4 subs and a lot of my time and energy.

My questions to all out there are:
1) Are any of these types of companies worth doing business with?
2) Have any of you contractors ever made money doing business with such
companies--do they all try too swindle free estimates?
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Old 01-27-2016, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


Based on the research that you have done, I wouldn't be giving out 'free' bids.

I like to charge a fee to make a 'house call' on a 'client' that I have not done business with before. It ups my close rate and sets the tone with the 'client' that I want to be treated as a professional.

If they want to pay, then I'm willing to play.

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Old 01-27-2016, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


Investors tend to be weasels. There are exceptions, but mostly... weasels.

We grew up doing work for investors. Our dialogue when someone calls goes like this -
"Do you own the house?"
"Of course!"
"Have you closed on the house"
"Well... no"
"We charge $150 to walk through the front door of a house that you haven't closed on"
"I'll call you back"
[click]

I've seen investors run contractors and real estate agents through dozens of houses, and never buy the first one. Most of the time, when they do buy it, they're looking for the cheapest, most jack-legged pricing they can find.

We screen investors extra hard on the phone... I mean, we actually try to run them off. If they are willing to pay a fee and meet us during regular business hours, we'll go walk the house with them.
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Old 01-27-2016, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


No freebies to investors. I know a few home inspection company guy that charge investors $200-300 for a report. That is no estimate just an inspection report. I just looked at one for my group. I'm a partner and I charged for the walk through estimate. $125 an hour. Full report, images and semi-hard numbers. Four hours on excel, a few phone calls and $500 invoice.

Smart investors don't mind the fee, when they understand value.

These nationwide mortgage field service property restoration companies are the ones that will give you the run around. You know the ones who the banks get to maintain their repos. They want everything free, images, reports, estimates. They charge the back for your legwork. lol
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


Hang up the phone!
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:20 PM   #6
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


I think the answer to your first question is probably NO. I can't imagine why an investor would call in someone they don't already have a relationship with. Unless they intend to use a written appraisal as a negation tool to reduce the purchase price.

I think there are three types of flip guys. First one is contractor type they already know the costs. Second is realtor types they already have a contractor. Third is newbies that have seen too many shows on TV.

I think you could spot the third type. The first two would have to be playing games to contact you IMO.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


That's funny. I was thinking the same thing . . . if this guy does this for a living why is he calling me out of the blue. Looking back, I guess it's pretty self-evident.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


Thanks to everyone for the input. I appreciate it.

You got to love the how so many give us builders flak, yet we get preyed on more often and in more ways than our customers. Business is business, and you got to be on your toes!

Just for kicks let me share a line from his email:
"we want it to look expensive without the cost"
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


Quote:
Originally Posted by The D View Post
Thanks to everyone for the input. I appreciate it.

You got to love the how so many give us builders flak, yet we get preyed on more often and in more ways than our customers. Business is business, and you got to be on your toes!

Just for kicks let me share a line from his email:
"we want it to look expensive without the cost"
That's one of those out the studs 24 oc and not 16 once the drywall is up no one will notice.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:28 PM   #10
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Re: Free Estimates For Property Investment Companies


Right. Still trying to figure out that one.

As I always say: When the customer wants cheap, it always means more work for less money.

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