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Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #1
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Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I am trying to figure this out.

4 houses down, good friends and they just spent about $3000 dollars extra to a slick salesman.

Thats not the part I am trying to figure out really, I didn't do my marketing well enough in my own neigborhood. I Know, I Know I hate to be a broken record in my neighborhood.

How do I say, Hey dont go spreading the news around that you got 0%/ 60 mo's financing and 25% off On your window and door package.
I could have done a better job with a better window gotten you a maybe a 5% loan and still saved you $2000.00 dollars. DUH ...
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I honestly don't like doing work in my neighborhood. There is too much that can go wrong and or you can be taken advantage of. It's like in-laws, I like my customers close enough to visit, but not see everyday.

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Oops. I don't want to do work in my neighborhood either. Sounds like the 0% interest for 5 years really works (I can offer it but don't). Some people go for that stuff and some don't.

My neighbor has needed a new roof since we moved in 4 years ago. I found out he's related to the contractor I can't stand and strongly dislike. I can't wait until they do the job. Hope they enjoy me telling them to follow OSHA regulations before I call them.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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Oops. I don't want to do work in my neighborhood either. Sounds like the 0% interest for 5 years really works (I can offer it but don't). Some people go for that stuff and some don't.

My neighbor has needed a new roof since we moved in 4 years ago. I found out he's related to the contractor I can't stand and strongly dislike. I can't wait until they do the job. Hope they enjoy me telling them to follow OSHA regulations before I call them.

whoaaaaa.....you mean you cant stand him and dislike him strongly?...

i usually cant stand people I love.......huh?
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Yeah if I told you about this guy and the way he operates, you'd agree.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I had a good friend get their new windows installed by one of the nationals, when I was working at a company that did tons of windows and doors. I asked her who did the windows and she said, "I don't know. Some window company in the phonebook." Some people don't care who does the work. They just find someone in the phonebook. It's a commodity to them.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I want my friends and family to refer me to everyone they know.

However, I don't want to do any work for my family or friends, unless I am feeling generous and volunteer to do it for free.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I think about the job being to close to home. And not ruining a friendship or neighborhood. But it's business and when I see them get all excited about the deal that wasn't, I go into overdrive wondering where I went wrong or what I should have done differently.

They had a price from me a couple years ago. My truck is lettered, they know what I do.

I would have even felt good about taking the extra $3000 , But I wouldn't have left the caulking looking like it did, For an extra $3000. I would have adjusted the patio screen and you wouldn't even be able to see the caulk joint.. They didn't even finish the exterior, above the patio door with a brake metal wrap to the lintle, they left the 50 year old trashed 1 x up there.

They are all excited and facebooking how how great it was that they were done in 6 hours 2 guys - 13 windows and a patio door in 6 hours, I dont need to wait 5 years to see how they hold up, I see those wrecks all the time.

I guess I'll be looking into 0 % financing options for my customers.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Honestly, some people just don't want to hire neighbors and friends. I don't like being asked. Don't worry about it. Nothing personal. I don't hire friends either. It's a great way to lose them.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I worked for friends on a small job and while the work was pleasant enough I would not do it again. It was awkward.

I am used to being on the clock the entire time I am on site and when they want to discuss design, options etc at length I feel bad about charging for what would otherwise be a social visit. Anyone else, no problem but money added a weird element. At least to me.

We ended up working out a barter arrangement; I build, she cuts hair. Small jobs in return for free haircuts.

Since then I am more than happy to give advice, look and estimate, etc but I always happen to be too busy to take on additional work when my friends ask.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:45 PM   #11
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Keep your freinds your freinds and business your business, NO one walks away with hard feelings. I have lost a few freinds that became subs and now no longer either, Unfortunatly. quick story, I have a neighbor who asked me to quote his remodel, I told him I would be in the ball park of about 135k and he thought I was absolutley trying to rob him blind, WE have not spoke since. I have heard through the grape vine that the Co. that did the job is the master at change orders and extra's, Last we heard they were up to 180k and not able to finish.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:52 AM   #12
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


apparently I am considerably different than most of you, lol.

I am 50 years old and for my entire career-----up until about 2010 the majority( say 80-90%) of our work was within about a 10 block radius of my house. I ate lunch in my own kitchen each day and from my property you could throw a baseball and hit more than a dozen properties I had worked on-and that intensity of customer base radiated out from there.

It was very rare to go to a prospective customers house in my neighborhood-and if I hadn't worked there before--- I could show them work on their neighbors house-almost always another customer within sight.
I coached the neighborhood kids in t-ball,baseball and basketball for many years-and my wife taught(teaches) at the parish school 4 blocks from home. I roofed our new church when it was first built. It is pretty much impossible for us to go to the grocery store or go buy gas or go to the local library or park--with out encountering a customer,a student etc.

it was that way for over 20 years
then we had a hail storm---and within a year my customer base was GONE.
Hundreds of my former customers called me- I looked at there roofs- gave them proposals----- the ones who hired us we took care of--- the ones who DIDn't Hire us,we didn't take care of.

It was funny---------one of my current neighbors hired us to replace her roof-she is a somewhat older lady. We had her project scheduled. One day I come home from a run------and a crew of idiots is tearing off her old roof in a snow storm-nearly a white out. I called her up and remarked-" mary alice- I was under the impression that we had scheduled your roof for xyz day when the weather will be appropriate"

She answered- "you did, but these guys are a little less and I have to watch my money" I answered to HER, OK, I will send your SIGNED CONTRACT back to you"
since then she has had nothing but trouble with that roof-including a 5 foot diameter tree falling on her house( laugh,laugh,laugh!!!!!)
I continue to take care of my family friends, neighbors etc.-we will be doing work for one of my neighbors in the spring---and HIS son works part time for me in the summer and both my sons have worked for HIM in the past-------.

As I said- I take care of my family,friends,neighbors etc.- but if they go with another contractor and have a problem---do not look to me to solve the situation. I tell them " remember proposal 230896 I gave you on 8-24-08 ?, you chose another contractor, so my advise is to arrange warranty work with THEM"
they respond " but Stephen- they are out of business, Stephen, they don't return our calls, Stephen- they can't fix the problem " And I respond" i AM sorry, but that is the choice you made on 8-24-08.

I have spent my career treating people properly and all in all there have been VERY few problems- but I won't be a patsy-don't hire somebody cheaper-and then expect ME to clean up the resulting mess !

I see no reason to NOT work for family,friends, neighbors- if you can't take care of those people- if you can't finesse THEM- I have zero confidence in your ability to handle the general population.

just my opinion,
Stephen
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:07 PM   #13
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Stephen H.
I like your train of thought in your post, I agree with the treat others with respect, However your last comment kind of paints with a broad brush for those of us who choose not to work with freinds. Interetsting to say the least.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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Stephen H.
I like your train of thought in your post, I agree with the treat others with respect, However your last comment kind of paints with a broad brush for those of us who choose not to work with freinds. Interetsting to say the least.
it does paint with a broad brush, doesn't it?-

fairly or UN-fairly

but think it through- your family,your friends, your neighbors-these are the people in the world most inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt,aren't they?- they are the very people you should be most willing to bend over backwards to make happy.

in my opinion-if you can't successfully deal with these people-who can you deal with successfully?

what's the alternative-- if you don't work with family,friends, neighbors etc.-because you are afraid of the ramifications of a falling out-what does that say about the contractor?- do you really want to be friends with people who aren't trust-worthy.

It seems like a pre-nup in a way to me- you are admitting failure-in advance- you are not fully committing to the undertaking( or marriage)-- so you are already halfway to divorce.

( I am using "you" here in the larger,general sense- not YOU specifically)

anyhow------- that's my opinion and you are certainly welcome to yours
Stephen
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:31 PM   #15
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Your right stephen, However I have learned to put freinds and the few family I have left ahead of business as it's not worth the risk. Im glad it works for you. However this is my opinion, so I know im right, If you don't beleive me just ask.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #16
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


It must work both ways.

You're my friend/neighbor so I will do whatever it takes to do your job well.
and
I'm your friend/neighbor so you will do whatever it takes to hire me

That thing about "you should charge me less because I'm your friend" just doesn't make sense. Why not "you should pay me more because I'm your friend?"

I've worked for neighbors, provided them a very detailed proposal did the job, and we remain friends. They got a good job at a fair price. Neither side felt cheated or abused.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:09 PM   #17
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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it does paint with a broad brush, doesn't it?-

fairly or UN-fairly

but think it through- your family,your friends, your neighbors-these are the people in the world most inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt,aren't they?- they are the very people you should be most willing to bend over backwards to make happy.

in my opinion-if you can't successfully deal with these people-who can you deal with successfully?
....
Stephen
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:49 PM   #18
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I think if you do good business it's all the same. Things can get weird with extras when it is someone you know but as long as its all said from day 1 in writing then that's all that matters. I have done 12 jobs to date on my street without a problem. 3 of them over $50,000. I give them special attention but nothing crazy. I guess it all depends on how you operate. The bottom line is I am not afraid to face my customers during or after a job is complete because I know that I did my best to give them what they paid for.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #19
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen H
apparently I am considerably different than most of you, lol.

I am 50 years old and for my entire career-----up until about 2010 the majority( say 80-90%) of our work was within about a 10 block radius of my house. I ate lunch in my own kitchen each day and from my property you could throw a baseball and hit more than a dozen properties I had worked on-and that intensity of customer base radiated out from there.

It was very rare to go to a prospective customers house in my neighborhood-and if I hadn't worked there before--- I could show them work on their neighbors house-almost always another customer within sight.
I coached the neighborhood kids in t-ball,baseball and basketball for many years-and my wife taught(teaches) at the parish school 4 blocks from home. I roofed our new church when it was first built. It is pretty much impossible for us to go to the grocery store or go buy gas or go to the local library or park--with out encountering a customer,a student etc.

it was that way for over 20 years
then we had a hail storm---and within a year my customer base was GONE.
Hundreds of my former customers called me- I looked at there roofs- gave them proposals----- the ones who hired us we took care of--- the ones who DIDn't Hire us,we didn't take care of.

It was funny---------one of my current neighbors hired us to replace her roof-she is a somewhat older lady. We had her project scheduled. One day I come home from a run------and a crew of idiots is tearing off her old roof in a snow storm-nearly a white out. I called her up and remarked-" mary alice- I was under the impression that we had scheduled your roof for xyz day when the weather will be appropriate"

She answered- "you did, but these guys are a little less and I have to watch my money" I answered to HER, OK, I will send your SIGNED CONTRACT back to you"
since then she has had nothing but trouble with that roof-including a 5 foot diameter tree falling on her house( laugh,laugh,laugh!!!!!)
I continue to take care of my family friends, neighbors etc.-we will be doing work for one of my neighbors in the spring---and HIS son works part time for me in the summer and both my sons have worked for HIM in the past-------.

As I said- I take care of my family,friends,neighbors etc.- but if they go with another contractor and have a problem---do not look to me to solve the situation. I tell them " remember proposal 230896 I gave you on 8-24-08 ?, you chose another contractor, so my advise is to arrange warranty work with THEM"
they respond " but Stephen- they are out of business, Stephen, they don't return our calls, Stephen- they can't fix the problem " And I respond" i AM sorry, but that is the choice you made on 8-24-08.

I have spent my career treating people properly and all in all there have been VERY few problems- but I won't be a patsy-don't hire somebody cheaper-and then expect ME to clean up the resulting mess !

I see no reason to NOT work for family,friends, neighbors- if you can't take care of those people- if you can't finesse THEM- I have zero confidence in your ability to handle the general population.

just my opinion,
Stephen
I understand your feelings about them going with another contractor but I always remember that this is a business. I do not take it personal! If someone chooses another contractor then no hard feelings. If you have problems then give me a call ( as long as you are willing to pay!) I have been to homes that I bidded on and lost for barbecues and saw the finished product first hand. I never had a bad word to say about the other work and still remained on good terms with the homeowner. I have even gotten referrals from them after. Remember you never know where your next job may come from! No disrespect to an older man.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:48 PM   #20
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I haven't done any jobs for my friends, but I has helped them work in their houses as a friend.
I helped work on my friends parents beach cottage and they have me some $, but I would have never asked nor expected it.
As far as neighbors, I have done a few things here and there. Nothing big, a couple tv installs, a entertainment center, and stuff like that.
I can't afford to live in the kind of neighborhood that I do most of my work in.

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