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Finding Competitors' Prices

 
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:48 AM   #21
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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I live in an apartment. I don't have any family or friends in town (new to town). I say this because I can't pose as a client and get quotes. So how does one find out ballpark figures for various jobs from competitors?


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Old 01-20-2020, 12:00 PM   #22
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


Networking is the best way to learn anything about your market, especially pricing

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Old 01-20-2020, 02:37 PM   #23
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Depends on what you do but I dont know a single (succesful) home builder for example who doesnt know about what other subs, GCs, etc are charging and what the "average" sq ft price of new house of different levels will cost. If you dont know you cant leverage

That doesnt mean you gotta be "competitive" with it at all though. I need to know I'm going to be 30 bucks a 3 ft higher than some wanna be or chit bag who is an architect's lap dog if hes quoting so I can rip his "estimate" apart and show it as smoke and mirrors without ever seeing it. For example:

1) he charges less than half my builder fee because he sucks, go look at three of my award winning houses and 3 of his chit boxes (this wouldn't come out like that but more like " I'd love to show you guys some of our work, I would look at 3 projects and talk to 2 current clients of any builders you are interviewing")

2) he uses cheap ass subs. When touring a house and they say something about the quality of craftsmanship " I know we are paying a lot more for to many of our subcontractors but I think the result is worth it"

3) allowances are always low as **** with wanna bes

Etc...

By the time I break it down like that I'm not "competitve" but get the job when I want it most of the time
My question would be does this really apply when you are starting out with no reputation though? I don't have a problem with selling quality and all that but most people don't put their shoddy work on display. They always display their best. Showing pictures alone won't accomplish much.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:40 PM   #24
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Cover you legally?

If you pay 7 bucks a ft to a drywall sub and not 3.50 that's not illegal lol
Do you understand how small claims work at all? Didn't think so.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:55 PM   #25
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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My question would be does this really apply when you are starting out with no reputation though? I don't have a problem with selling quality and all that but most people don't put their shoddy work on display. They always display their best. Showing pictures alone won't accomplish much.
Helps to be able to walk them through some current or finished projects.

In my experience you will not be able to charge as much when your new for a number of reasons - but even as a 26 year old doing handyman and repair work calling myself a builder I never charged going rates. Really even as a younger man doing side work while employed. If I did it was as a sub and they told me how much they would pay.

I figured how much I needed to cover overhead, profit, labor and materials. Back then adapt overhead to what I could charge

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Old 01-20-2020, 03:04 PM   #26
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Helps to be able to walk them through some current or finished projects.

In my experience you will not be able to charge as much when your new for a number of reasons - but even as a 26 year old doing handyman and repair work calling myself a builder I never charged going rates. Really even as a younger man doing side work while employed. If I did it was as a sub and they told me how much they would pay.

I figured how much I needed to cover overhead, profit, labor and materials. Back then adapt overhead to what I could charge

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Hmm it seems like we are approaching this from two different angles here. I am looking to do this fulltime without subs (or being one). Good info though. Also clients don't know how much experience you have. As long as you act like you know what you are doing with confidence, and genuinely know your stuff, people aren't going to question you. Ultimately people are trying to gauge your competency, whether it's from what you say or how many years of experience you have.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:22 PM   #27
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Do you understand how small claims work at all? Didn't think so.
No - never been.

I am however extremely versed in construction contracts and how to protect myself from lawsuits. As president of my HBA I saw many builders go to court but only the guys who didnt understand the law lost.

I repeat- if your contract leaves you exposed to what a homeowner thinks an item should cost your ignorance is what is getting you dinged.

You should have express control granted by your contract on who you hire for scheduling, quilty etc... and should specifically say you have no obligation to get them the best price.

Also I would never be in small claims because my contract states it goes to mediation at my discretion

Same for a fixture's, finish materials etc... has to be bought through my supplier unless I release

"Builder shall have sole control over the scheduling and progress of work, including the superior right to select and arrange for all labor in any way related to the Work. Builder shall exercise exclusive control over the selection of subcontractors and shall not be obligated to employ subcontractors for any reason, including the basis of cost savings that might be acheived"

" selection of items will be made at suppliers typically used by Builder to limit the possibility of undue delays or warranty related items"

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Old 01-20-2020, 03:28 PM   #28
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Hmm it seems like we are approaching this from two different angles here. I am looking to do this fulltime without subs (or being one). Good info though. Also clients don't know how much experience you have. As long as you act like you know what you are doing with confidence, and genuinely know your stuff, people aren't going to question you. Ultimately people are trying to gauge your competency, whether it's from what you say or how many years of experience you have.
I am doing this full time, I have been in business for 12 years, have a shop, 7 trucks and 11 full time employees including office staff. Not a side gigger. I was as a younger man like many contractors do as employees

I agree to an extent but lots of people act like they know what they are doing- and dont. Most of my clients seem to pick up on that. I've met lots of guys who couldn't build a square chit house if you gave them 3 trys but sound like they are descended from Roman Coliseum builders. A Peter Keating pretending to be Howard Roark

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Old 01-20-2020, 03:29 PM   #29
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Great advice. I understand that. I'm also good at sales (from my previous business experience). However, I still can't be totally out there with my price. So how do I find the ballpark? Or are you suggesting I do my itemized quote and just pray?
Where you're missing it is you are not retail... as it relates to competition, to put it in an easier way, if you want to make $75K/year and your competition is happy making $40-$50K, you're automatically NEVER going to be in the same ballpark, so you need to get out that mindset... and that's only one metric as it relates to pricing... what if you're operating above board, have your insurances, pay taxes, etc. and your competition isn't?

You need to find ways to set yourself apart from the competition that aren't solely related to price... People generally buy based on Company, Product, Service and Price... usually in that order... do a good job on the first three items and what you need to charge to be in business and make money the last one either makes sense for them or it doesn't...

Right now you may be in a starvation or rob Peter to pay Paul mode and are looking to get any business you can get... most have BTDT... and while you may have to do that from time to time, it's not a way to win business long-term unless you are happy making less...

Under-promise, over-deliver and get your name out... that said, YOU need to charge what YOU need to be in business... it's irrelevant what the next guy is doing... you're not looking for every customer, you're looking for the ones that can support what you need to make in business... once you're in that pool, you're be fishing among fish of the same size as opposed to just casting a net out into the lake and hoping for the best...

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Old 01-20-2020, 05:09 PM   #30
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Re: Finding Competitors' Prices


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Where you're missing it is you are not retail... as it relates to competition, to put it in an easier way, if you want to make $75K/year and your competition is happy making $40-$50K, you're automatically NEVER going to be in the same ballpark, so you need to get out that mindset... and that's only one metric as it relates to pricing... what if you're operating above board, have your insurances, pay taxes, etc. and your competition isn't?

You need to find ways to set yourself apart from the competition that aren't solely related to price... People generally buy based on Company, Product, Service and Price... usually in that order... do a good job on the first three items and what you need to charge to be in business and make money the last one either makes sense for them or it doesn't...

Right now you may be in a starvation or rob Peter to pay Paul mode and are looking to get any business you can get... most have BTDT... and while you may have to do that from time to time, it's not a way to win business long-term unless you are happy making less...

Under-promise, over-deliver and get your name out... that said, YOU need to charge what YOU need to be in business... it's irrelevant what the next guy is doing... you're not looking for every customer, you're looking for the ones that can support what you need to make in business... once you're in that pool, you're be fishing among fish of the same size as opposed to just casting a net out into the lake and hoping for the best...
All good advice. Just worried about getting my foot in the door.

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