How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?

 
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:07 AM   #1
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How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


Hey guys and girls,
My brother and I started a remodeling company 6 months ago. Im well versed in marketing and generating leads and he is a phenomenal carpenter/builder.

The prices were bidding generate the profit we expect after costs. Once we get a project, getting it completed and getting paid seems relatively smooth.

Were at a bit of a snag with the amount of time we spend writing each individual estimate. We try to be as detailed as possible and account for everything but it seems to be the most time consuming process of this operation.

I would truly appreciate some feedback on how some of you contractors that bid remodeling jobs (or any larger size jobs) streamline your sales process and do so without spending too much time on one prospect without getting a down payment.

Do you begin with a rough estimate?
Do you itemize?
Do you bid projects off the cuff?
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:31 AM   #2
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


I start by taking pricing to qualify the client.

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Old 09-24-2017, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted_Monk View Post
Do you begin with a rough estimate?
Do you itemize?
Do you bid projects off the cuff?
I don't do any of the above if they ask me to itemize I've lost interest in getting the job the job is bid as a whole.

I certainly don't want to rush through an estimate. One thing I try and do is get as detailed as possible during the initial meeting in areas where the options are the clients choice. It doesn't take me long to figure labor, it can be a pain figuring materials if I don't use them often, can't get them online or don't have a price list.

With remodeling every job is different so there's really no way to streamline the estimating process on labor. You can start with a sq. ft. price on each phase but that's about it.

What I find most contractors miss is job accessibility, parking,storing materials and tools, access to entrance, pets, etc.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


This is the body of an email I sent a client the morning after our first meeting.

They asked about a couple of extra's we did not discuss in the meeting.

Once they agree to the scope they're emailed an estimate.

I included an estimate showing the cost of the cabinets based on a hybrid design he had from 2 other suppliers. They won't get my design unless they sign the design/build contract.

Instead of listing all the stuff included, I use a clause that states if something is not specifically listed it is not included.

Meeting was an hour and a half, estimate took about 20 minutes.

Notes form the meeting;

Owner to supply any and all appliances and fixtures.

Counter tops supplied by owner, installed by others.

Any and all flooring work is to be performed by others.

TBD = to be determined.

Laundry area;

Relocate laundry plumbing, electrical and mechanical from rear entry area to opposite side of wall.

Two walls per plan to complete new laundry room.

Remove soffit in laundry room.

Dryer venting to be determined.

Reconfigure oval light or replace with recessed light.

Reconfigure light switching as needed.

Two general purpose receptacles in laundry, one general purpose receptacle on laundry room wall facing hall.

Possible wire shelves.

Laundry tub only, no laundry cabinets.

Pantry;

Resize soffit for proper fit of 90” tall cabinets.

Decrease existing dinning area wall for better pantry cabinet fit. Length TBD.

Relocate switch outlet, reconfigure switching TBD.

Existing dinning area;

Remove two walls.

Remove wall mechanicals.

One floor receptacle.

Relocate cold air returns location TBD.

Lighting TBD.

Bar area, new dinning area;

Bar casework TBD.

One general purpose receptacle.

Relocate ceiling light outlet.

Relocate, reconfigure switching as needed.

Island;

Finished end and face panels, no wall. Extended counter support to be pilasters.

Light medallion with pendents.

Farm sink

Dishwasher

Disposal

Two small appliance receptacles.

Kitchen cabinet wall;

Resize soffit for proper fit of 90” tall cabinets.

Refrigerator 15 amp circuit. Water supply box, location TBD.

Two receptacles, 20 amp small appliance circuit.

40 amp 2 pole circuit, gas line for dual fuel range.

Vent hood circuit 15 amp, 6” ducting routing TBD.

Two receptacles, 20 amp small appliances circuit.

Freezer 15 amp circuit. Water supply box, location TBD.

Single pole 20 amp micro wave circuit.

Leave space for rolling door.

Reconfigure hall wall for rolling door.

Rolling door with frosted glass and frosted glass transom. Hardware TBD.

Under cabinet LED lighting.

Relocate, reconfigure switching as needed.

Basement;

Relocate basement bathroom heating branch duct to top of main supply duct.

Master bathroom;

Replace vanity

Repair wall

Additional shower head

Casework;

Will price per owner supplied plan.

General;

12- 3 way switches, 6- 4 way switches, 6- single toggle switches

Devices will be block style

Two 3 gang switch boxes

Two 4 gang switch boxes

Other necessary electrical circuits, outlets, and devices are listed in above sections.

12 recessed lights, trims and bulbs TBD.

Possible wine refrigerator.

Possible in-cabinet lights.

Possible refinish existing casework.

Addendum;

Paint windows, number of and location TBD.

Paint entire living room, including ceiling. Trim will be painted to match new trim.

Baseboard to match existing.

Supply and install rolling door and track/hardware with transom.

Last edited by tjbnwi; 09-24-2017 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted_Monk View Post

Do you begin with a rough estimate?
Yes. Talk money early. Tell them will email within 24 hours a ballpark. If it's in their budget, provide a detailed bid. Charge for bids over X amount. For me, it's over $100k or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted_Monk View Post

Do you itemize?
Never itemize price. Clearly list everything that's included, and give the price. Possibly with a few options that add or reduce it, but not a detailed itemization. I for one know I sometimes lose money on parts of a project and make more than expected on other parts. At the end, I'm within a couple %. This is why I can't itemize, and this is what I tell the clients.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted_Monk View Post

Do you bid projects off the cuff?
No.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:03 PM   #6
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


Thank you for the feedback,

This info is helpful.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:08 PM   #7
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


I do exactly as goldenview says. Rough estimate if they want one, then after they accept give a more detailed one. Most times i usually get clients who always want to change things around at the last minute so I hand them a change order. Never itemize.
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Old 09-26-2017, 02:03 AM   #8
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Re: How Much Time Typically Spent On A Prospect?


I usually meet in person, at the project, for at least an hour to go over the project. I will submit an estimate (itemized) with pricing that i tell them is ballpark. If they like the initial estimate, and let me know they want to go with me, then i will return for a detailed estimate. As an example this is when i would return and actually begin to put together a cabinet layout for their kitchen, price their tile, etc, and really put in the time for their project.... because i have essentially gotten the project and want to have my estimate turn into a quote/contract. On initial estimates i spend around 20-30 minutes to turn my notes into the $ figure based on an itemized excel spreadsheet. I have preset sqft-based pricing that i try to use for all aspects of the estimate, and it works well to keep my 'ballpark' pretty close to the actual contracted price.

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