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Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #21
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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
You answer your own question. You see no reason, but you had several neighbors and friends turn their back on you and your "awesome" service.

That is the awkwardness that we want to avoid. If someone chooses another contractor I don't have to see them all the time. I can just go on. If they were a neighbor, I would have to look at them and wonder why they didn't go with me. Why they trusted some lower priced schmuck. And I also don't have to deal with them harassing me to fix the other guys problem.

And really, if they chose someone else based on price, you didn't sell your value. Especially to former clients. The would have understood why spending a few extra dollars on you versus the other guy.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #22
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I just finished installing new C-tops and tile back splash for my 86 year old Grandma.

I have been telling her for a month she did not have to pay me. She said if i did not charge her what I charge everyone else, she would hire someone else. I can't have someone else work on the house grandpa built for her.

My parents get free labor. I have 3 good friends I work for, they pay what everyone else pays. I used to have more "friends" but working for some soon makes you realize they were far from friends.

I have worked on all my neighbor's houses, 12 on my street and hardly leave town for the rest. My one neighbor does all my plumbing and hvac work, the other has done some sub work for me.

Small town living, not for everyone, but I like it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:47 PM   #23
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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You answer your own question. You see no reason, but you had several neighbors and friends turn their back on you and your "awesome" service.

That is the awkwardness that we want to avoid. If someone chooses another contractor I don't have to see them all the time. I can just go on. If they were a neighbor, I would have to look at them and wonder why they didn't go with me. Why they trusted some lower priced schmuck. And I also don't have to deal with them harassing me to fix the other guys problem.

And really, if they chose someone else based on price, you didn't sell your value. Especially to former clients. The would have understood why spending a few extra dollars on you versus the other guy.
What he said.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #24
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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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.
I agree, I don't like to do work for friends.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:02 PM   #25
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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I just finished installing new C-tops and tile back splash for my 86 year old Grandma.

I have been telling her for a month she did not have to pay me. She said if i did not charge her what I charge everyone else, she would hire someone else. I can't have someone else work on the house grandpa built for her.

My parents get free labor. I have 3 good friends I work for, they pay what everyone else pays. I used to have more "friends" but working for some soon makes you realize they were far from friends.

I have worked on all my neighbor's houses, 12 on my street and hardly leave town for the rest. My one neighbor does all my plumbing and hvac work, the other has done some sub work for me.

Small town living, not for everyone, but I like it.
Small towns are nice, neighbors are not just the people next door or the people you see mowing their lawn, they are your support system. I would love to live in a town like that.
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You ask for your money frequently, and you collect it quickly, else you stop working immediately.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:38 PM   #26
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Well, I am on the if I cant work for friends and neighbors who can I work for side of things. And ummm.... evidently I am not doing work for my friends so now.... I guess I'll retire from the window biz. I hate it with a passion anyway....since my moniker, or avatar or whatever says gonna die a glass guy.... WELL ?.... Better find some new friends.....

Thanks all for the responses and your thoughts, It really only bothers me from the point of, they didnt even say. . Hey what do you know about ABC, what do you think about this price, this window, Can You xyz ?

They were a refferral from someone that got the speel a month before and bought under the 25% off now grand lie of all lie's in my opinion.

I can and do work for friends and family, Does it get weird ? Nah. Its business I have been doing this work for over twenty years and I know that the likelyhood of them getting crap like my neigbors got are about 99% greater if they dont deal with me. Someone said looking out for your neighbors, thats really what it is all about, thats why I am crying over spilled milk. Not taking it personally, but as a business, if I am not getting the easy ones I must be missing a ton of work.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:41 PM   #27
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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Originally Posted by TNTSERVICES View Post
Small towns are nice, neighbors are not just the people next door or the people you see mowing their lawn, they are your support system. I would love to live in a town like that.
If it wasn't for neighbors,relatives ,or friends in this small town,I'd have
hardly any clients.
Probably a big different in larger areas,since people are a little more wary
of who their dealing with.
In a small town,any job can make or break you,WOM spreads faster than
the daily news so you got to be at your best game.

I've done work for many neighbors,friends,relatives.
They all get treated about the same....... a little better pricing for family,
but someone's going to do it,why not someone they trust?

I'll only refuse a job if I am not confident in completing it,within their
budget,with my recommended choice of materials or scope of work.
If I don't want to put my name on it,hire someone else.

As for the OP,maybe they don't want to risk losing a good neighbor in
the event of a misunderstanding.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:28 AM   #28
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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If it wasn't for neighbors,relatives ,or friends in this small town,I'd have
hardly any clients.
Probably a big different in larger areas,since people are a little more wary
of who their dealing with.
In a small town,any job can make or break you,WOM spreads faster than
the daily news so you got to be at your best game.

I've done work for many neighbors,friends,relatives.
They all get treated about the same....... a little better pricing for family,
but someone's going to do it,why not someone they trust?

I'll only refuse a job if I am not confident in completing it,within their
budget,with my recommended choice of materials or scope of work.
If I don't want to put my name on it,hire someone else.

As for the OP,maybe they don't want to risk losing a good neighbor in
the event of a misunderstanding.
I think it's also a factor that when in a small community you cannot afford to stay upset at someone, you have to work it out or get over it. You are all depending on each other.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:35 AM   #29
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTSERVICES View Post
You answer your own question. You see no reason, but you had several neighbors and friends turn their back on you and your "awesome" service.

That is the awkwardness that we want to avoid. If someone chooses another contractor I don't have to see them all the time. I can just go on. If they were a neighbor, I would have to look at them and wonder why they didn't go with me. Why they trusted some lower priced schmuck. And I also don't have to deal with them harassing me to fix the other guys problem.

And really, if they chose someone else based on price, you didn't sell your value. Especially to former clients. The would have understood why spending a few extra dollars on you versus the other guy.
that's a good point- I do see "no reason"----------------some people aren't interested in value-especially after a hail storm( as I said).

I see "no reason"---to turn my back on the hundreds of family,friends,neighbors etc. we HAVE worked for- because approx. 2 people in the neighborhood-over a generation or work----- behaved poorly.

It's a city of 200,000- but within the confines of the neighborhood and parish-it's effectively a small town atmosphere-so we behave accordingly.

either you get it,or you don't-and we are all entitled to our opinion

Best wishes, all,
stephen
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:48 AM   #30
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I work for friends and neighbors often. Never had a problem. Some neighbors call other contractors to get things done, no biggy either. Some people I will help them with small jobs for no charge, just materials. It all comes back in spades.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:35 AM   #31
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I work for friends and neighbors often. Never had a problem. Some neighbors call other contractors to get things done, no biggy either. Some people I will help them with small jobs for no charge, just materials. It all comes back in spades.
Well said. you sound like a good guy.
stephen
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:17 AM   #32
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


Stephen H,
Quote:
it was that way for over 20 years
then we had a hail storm---and within a year my customer base was GONE.
How did a hail storm wipe away a 20 year customer base?
Others were hired because a heavier than normal demand?
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #33
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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that's a good point- I do see "no reason"----------------some people aren't interested in value-especially after a hail storm( as I said).

I see "no reason"---to turn my back on the hundreds of family,friends,neighbors etc. we HAVE worked for- because approx. 2 people in the neighborhood-over a generation or work----- behaved poorly.

It's a city of 200,000- but within the confines of the neighborhood and parish-it's effectively a small town atmosphere-so we behave accordingly.

either you get it,or you don't-and we are all entitled to our opinion

Best wishes, all,
stephen
You can say they are not interested, but they are. It's a fact. It's up to you to sell accordingly. If you are too busy and don't want to try, or just don't know how, doesn't matter, it's up to me to sell the value of my services.

Like you said, either you get it or you don't. And I agree we are all entitled to our opinion.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:08 PM   #34
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I'm sure passing on friends and family is sound but I've worked for both. Sears priced windows in my sisters house and then she asked me to price her. I sold her 400 series Andersen with complete frames and matching woodwork color for what they wanted for run of the mill vinyl pocket incerts. My neighbor across the street has bought well over 100k over the last few years. He always brings my checks over on Sundays. Meh its never been a problem.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:18 PM   #35
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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I just finished installing new C-tops and tile back splash for my 86 year old Grandma.

I have been telling her for a month she did not have to pay me. She said if i did not charge her what I charge everyone else, she would hire someone else. I can't have someone else work on the house grandpa built for her.

My parents get free labor. I have 3 good friends I work for, they pay what everyone else pays. I used to have more "friends" but working for some soon makes you realize they were far from friends.

I have worked on all my neighbor's houses, 12 on my street and hardly leave town for the rest. My one neighbor does all my plumbing and hvac work, the other has done some sub work for me.

Small town living, not for everyone, but I like it.
Have you ever had any issues working on friends' homes?
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #36
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


I have a few friends that are GC's and expect special "friend" pricing. Doubt it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #37
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I'm sure passing on friends and family is sound but I've worked for both. Sears priced windows in my sisters house and then she asked me to price her. I sold her 400 series Andersen with complete frames and matching woodwork color for what they wanted for run of the mill vinyl pocket incerts. My neighbor across the street has bought well over 100k over the last few years. He always brings my checks over on Sundays. Meh its never been a problem.
When I speak of family, I am not talking about immediate family. It would be extended family. I would never turn down my Parents, Grand Parents, or Siblings.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:34 PM   #38
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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Stephen H,


How did a hail storm wipe away a 20 year customer base?
Others were hired because a heavier than normal demand?
I feel I should clarify something here. I did not mean to come off as derogatory,sniffing for a real reason, etc..

I meant did the hail storm do so much damage that you could not get to all the work, and others were called, end result being a change in your customer base as the people met other contractors and formed relationships.

No disrepect intended.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:06 AM   #39
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Re: Friends / Neighbors Buying Somewhere Else


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Stephen H,


How did a hail storm wipe away a 20 year customer base?
Others were hired because a heavier than normal demand?
that's actually a good question.

for 20 plus years I worked almost exclusively in a 10-12 block radius from my home. this neighborhood was originally laid out in the 1920's-with more houses built in the late 40's and 50's and then another distinct group built in the 60's.

what this composed-from a roofing business standpoint-was a wonderfull little eco system with ( based on a 20-30 year roof lifespan)- a constant stream of houses each year needing re-roofed.

After a hailstorm,however-it's a game changer- there are literally THOUSANDS of roofs that need to be replaced-so the out of town storm chasers flood into the area. the homeowners policies all differ- but basically you had a policy obligating you to replace the roof within 6 months of the hail event-or you had a policy obligating you to replace it within 12 months of the hail event-----a very few had 24 months to replace it.

so-there is a HUGE amount of roof work to do-and frankly it is entirely impossible for the local contractors to do it all if a hail storm hits a densley populated area.

After 6-12 months all the houses are re-roofed- the storm chasers are out of town-and that wonderful little eco system you worked in for a generation is destroyed- because it will be years and years before those houses need re-roofed( even a shoddy storm chaser installed roof can last a pretty long time)

also-during a hail storm situation-you learn a lot about human nature.
when it comes to roofing-MOST people absolutely do not care one iota about quality---what they want is something for nothing.

I can walk you around the neighborhood and show you houses where the homeowners took the insurance check-did NOT replace the roof-and went on a cruise instead. Now, of course they have problems- but no money to deal with it.

Remember-we are talking about homeowners and insurance companies-everybody wants something for nothing.------------ most of the homeowners------even the very nicest homeowners who volunteer at the local hospital and donate to charity-----are trying to work a scam, LOL.

they all want the roofs replaced"for free"-that is, whatever number is on the check their insurance company gave them-THAT is the maximum most of them will pay.- they want YOU to eat the deductible, and the check typically has zero to do with what it actually costs to produce the roof.

you can try to sell quality all day long- but in a hail storm quality goes right out the window. the storm chasers come to town. they rent houses nearby and put 20 plus mexicans into a house that used to house a family of 5, everybody is paid cash, no body speaks english, and in the heat of the summer they will put 18 guys on a single roof, tearing the living snot out of the NEW shingles----

I can walk you about the neighborhood and show you houses where the "NEW" storm chaser roof is demonstrably much worse than the "hail damaged roof"

I could write a book about this-- but you can trust me on this---- after a hail storm quality goes right out the window. A blow hard on the internet can tell you,"Stephen, you just need to sell quality and explain to the homeowner the VALUE you provide"--------- but you also need to know that the majority of the people you encounter in that situation don't give a rats azz about quality. all they care about is getting something that kind of looks like a new roof slapped on their house for what the insurance company will pay-and they want it put on yesterday.

At the time of the hail storm- I was in my mid 40's. I had worked for family,friends,neighbors,fellow parishoners etc., with in a 10-12 block radius of my house for a generation. My kids were nearly grown and out of the house, I had paid private school tuition for 17 years, my house is wonderfull and my retirement money all lined up.

So At the time of the hail storm I was actively stepping sideways out of residential roofing. I was going to be semi retired and just do small carpentry projects on referalls. Immediately after the hail storm, my wife and I talked about it-and we decided we would do our best for the people we COULD help-so I found myself back in roofing bigger than ever.

I mean-how am I going to say NO to somebody who is really counting on me. I can't even COUNT the number of people who called me up-or knocked on my front door,literally in TEARS---" tell me what to do, Stephen- I just don't know what to do........"

I was in my office doing paper work at 5:00 AM every day,7 days a week- I roof top from about 7:30 untill 3:00-and then I would inspect roofs/write proposals untill 9:00-9:30, past dark.-and when I got home there would be 15-30 messages from people wanting their roof checked.

Now that it's over, I can hold my head up- I did my absolute best for everybody that I could physically help---and yes I did make some money- but my original customer base is destroyed- there won't be any serious roofing done here for another 8-10 years.

Up untill the hailstorm I worked almost entirely word of mouth.

After the hail storm I knew I wasn't suited to retire just yet- I can just about afford to- but then what would I do with my days?- I knew word of mouth wasn't going to generate any roof work in my old customer base-----------so I decided to focus on what had been a small sideline for me up until that point-slate and tile roof work.

I count my blessings.-Most of the other local guys are out of business. One guy is DEAD( he sold the rights to his company name to a storm chaser, the stormer did the work and skipped town leaving the local guy to face multiple law suits----------and then Heart attack. guy was my age)-but I am alive and well doing slate and tile-and as it turns out I am doing better than I did in my best hail storm year--so glad I didn't retire after all, LOL.

sorry to ramble on so long, best wishes,
stephen

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