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Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS

 
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
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Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


I know everyone wants leads but be careful about this very selfish group of people. the ones that call and say they need an estimate on roofing/siding/windows..you get there and you meet with them and their realator and discover they don't own the house yet. they are closing but want you to give them a written estimate so they can use it as a bargaining chip at the clsoing. of course they say they will definitely use you..bullshi***x!!!
i just told a woman she was very selfish and i want 100 bucks for my time. she gave me 20 bucks for gas.i specifically asked if she owned the house and she said yes. she friggin lied . scumbag !!!!
i was pissed and i let her know it. at least se paid for my gas money. i also said if she wanted something in writing it would be $250 in cash only which would be deducted wen she used me.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


i get a few of those calls a month. i can always tell although i always ask if they actually own the home or if they are in the process of closing. if they say in the process of closing i simply tell them to call me when they live there. of course i get the old " can you just give a ball park figure"? i never do.
i understand your frustration,the woman was selfish and could of used a swift kick in the ass.
next time not only ask if thy own the home but if they are actually in the process of closing.99% will admit it and thats when you tell them no. be polite though.

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Old 12-17-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


Quote:
Originally Posted by davinci View Post
$250 in cash only which would be deducted wen she used me.

I think she already used you.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


After realizing what the game was and knowing full well that we'd never get a job out of these, we started doing "drive-bys". We're known to be at the high end of the price range around here, so it's always the buyer who contacts us. The seller calls one of the bottom feeders and they end up settling for some middle figure.

Knowing that the buyer isn't in possession of the home makes it easier to avoid meeting them there, so it minimizes the amount of time necessary to prepare a "bid". Actually, we put together a fairly generic estimate, with some CYA language covering "additional labor and materials that may become necessary...."

It's a small enough community here that I don't want to piss off the realtors, but I don't care for being another pawn in their game.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


i was'nt used,i was pissed. she paid for my gas and i basically told her to go screw.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


I used to have a realtor contact that would call me out to some of their more serious lookie-loos. I did a few of them for free, since I was being recommended by a trusted contact to the client. After several that never came through, I told the realtor that the only way that I'd continue was to charge a service fee plus my hourly rate for the time spent at the site. That stopped the calls from the lookie-loos, they called when they owned the house and were serious about repairs/upgrades.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


that's happened to me a few times along time ago,never again
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:53 PM   #8
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


paid for the gas and nothing else....maybe hit the mailbox on the way out...yeah if there is a sign up i ask right up front

if you get a confusing answer just walk
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:02 PM   #9
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


I only ran one of those leads this year and the people ended up buying the house and had me install their windows and doors. I can't say the same about the other ones that I've run over the years.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:44 AM   #10
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


After having a customer waltz me thru a full remodel estimate ... and
finding out they 'did not' own the house ... they were tenants and
said 'oh its okay with the landlord - we will just send her the bill'. I
was shocked at these people. I asked them if they were the owner
and they said 'yes'.

I now pull ownership thru the county records before I start a estimate
like that.

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Old 12-18-2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


as businss owners we sometimes need to bite our toungues(laugh our way to the bank so to speak). however, someone disrespects me,I'm not going to just sit there and take it because i own a business,they are going get it right back times 10. you have to have some self respect.i am happy davinci stood up for himself.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:06 PM   #12
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


Obviously, as suggested, always pre-qualify the caller. Then, let them know that your fee is $150, $200, $250 or whatever you feel is the approriate charge (what you need/what your time is worth).

In most areas, at least one storm has come through whatever area you are working in. In that area, under-qualified contractors who mis-represented themselves as "insurance claims specialists" or something similar after the storm left plenty of bad and/or incomplete work behind. Make the caller aware that more is involved than just a typical estimate and let them know you'll be looking for problems that inexperienced contractors might and usually do miss.

Case in point: Two storm damage insurance jobs in two different northern Twin Cities, MN suburb. One "i.c.s." contractor (ins. co preferred) knowingly let the ins adjuster get away with paying only for replacment of part of the siding (match issue) because he wanted the adjuster to keep sending him the work. On a different property, another "i.c.s." (not, and not insurance company preferred) found a near color match siding and agreed to replace just the damaged siding because he didn't know how to get the insurance company to fully pay the claim.

When I pointed this out to both owners, neither was pleased and both realized that their contractors had left them in a precarious position and both would have an additional out of pocket expense that neither had planned on.

Both customers were left underpaid/under repaired. When the owner sells or the buyer buys and the problem (mis-matched siding) is discovered after the fact, the only people making any money on those deals are the lawyers.

Make the potential buyer who calls you for an "estimate" know that you will charge and support that charge by explaining the scenario above. Then, offer to double their money back if they decide to have you do the work. If you are pricing your work at respectable prices (RTA) and the potential buyer (convinced they need your expertise) decides to have you do the work, you'll more than make up the difference.

If not, you're only out a few minutes of telephone time.

Additionally, realtors and even some home inspectors miss this stuff all the time (usually exterior) and it never hurts to remind them of the value you provide which ultimately also protects them from having to turn in an E&O claim when the buyer or seller decides to sue them.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:39 AM   #13
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


My favorite is, "if you give us a good price we can get you all kinds of work, we know a lot of people in our neighborhood needing work done."

My response is, get me the work first then we'll talk about price.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:46 AM   #14
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


Quote:
"if you give us a good price we can get you all kinds of work, we know a lot of people in our neighborhood needing work done."


Most counties have their deed information online for free - usually I do a lookup with a new customer to see who owns the property - when it was bought - purchase price - etc. Most of the time people are on the up and up - but every once in a while the 'story' they give is pure fiction.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:24 AM   #15
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


If you screen those calls correctly, you'll never run another of those leads again.

Ask them

are they in the process of buying it
if they own the house
how long have they owned it
What year was it bought (you need to know this for EPA reasons anyway)
do they plan to sell it in the next 3 years
then explain that they both must be present for the estimate.

One if not several of the answers will weed them out. I haven't run a lead like that in years and we run over 1,000 per year
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:16 PM   #16
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


Buddy, what's the connection between year of purchase and EPA? Am I missing something?
Thanks, Jim
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:51 PM   #17
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


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Buddy, what's the connection between year of purchase and EPA? Am I missing something?
Thanks, Jim
Pre 1978 must be tested for lead paint
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:48 PM   #18
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


The only 2X that happened to me was when I was in the yellow pages.....No more YP
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:11 PM   #19
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Re: Always PRE SCREEN CUSTOMERS


I kinda luck out on this... my old man is a realtor, so when I get a lead I turn the address over to him and he gets back to me with a full printout report of the home, year built, previous owners, values etc...
This actually helped me walk away from a shady customer that acted like he didn't know when the house was built, but kind of snickered out a lead paint comment... people are getting hungry for lead paint law suit money...

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