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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't been able to break through with any kind of decent price so far. Completed about 25 Estimates in the last 3 weeks - maybe more. Almost all Fencing, a 3 or 4 Decks. The guys getting the jobs are bidding what I bid about 4 years ago. Everything I have done went strictly to the low bidder. I follow up with phone calls to constantly hear "someone was cheaper". Someone was cheaper on the pressure treated, someone was cheaper on the Vinyl.... Very hard to compete in this area. Frustrated!:mad:
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Is your pricing out to lunch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't think so, I raised my wood prices .25 cents a foot this year. Pressure Treated, Cypress, and Western. I haven't raised them in a couple of years. I do my Aluminum and Vinyl fences using the exact same formula as always which automatically takes price increases into account. I always try to be towards but not at, the high end of pricing. I am a great backyard salesman or thought I was. Very detailed. Customer oriented, and I always follow up. I'm really getting eaten alive so far.
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Sure price is your problem?
 

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Artist and not a curator
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I've been told twice this year that I am "unfair". One of those years I guess, most of my clientele know they aren't getting bargain barn pricing and I make sure to prequalify them.

It is what it is, keep on keeping on. Some years start like this then end up better then the previous, my phone has blown up the past two weeks from regulars, thought I might be spending some time watching the kids then it picked up...

Like I said, one of those years.
 

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Beginning of last year same thing for me. I was starting to get paranoid actually thought some one was following me appointment to appointment. Then it was business as usual. Total pain in the ass. Focus on what you can control. Good luck
 

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John Hyatt
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Nice Site, very informative , but few pictures of decks You have actually done. Also it's a little generic your loaded up with explanations of material and not real personal. Bob Villa video ?

Thanks for Your service!

A Contractor in a specialty trade like Decks and even fences where the competition is tough needs an edge. Something that sets Him apart. Pages of material info does not do that. If your first contact with the Wallet is the same as your site you might want to change it. With Me I sell myself then sell the Job.

Some times the Jobs come in or don't for no apparent reason.

Hang in there Bud.

JonMon www.deckmastersllc.com
 

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Artist and not a curator
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Are you the only price?
Probably not, he's probably the only one with trex backing him though. It does something for a customer when they get a recommendation from a manufacturer. When you've got the supplier saying "this is the go to guy" the client usually listens.

If I was to buy the best projector, chairs, and sound system I'm going to put the money into the bearded beer drinking fat guy;) that's expensive because the place I just dropped 20k at wants a good install and a happy customer.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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You have to sell yourself to the client as someone who is focused on quality. Spend a few minutes to chit-chat/BS with them. They WILL tell you about some friend/neighbor/family/internet article who got screwed by another 'contractor'. Sell your responsibility and dedication to improving their home. It's not their house, it's their HOME. Big difference, perception-wise. Make them feel as though you are taking personal responsibility for repairing their home.

JM2C
 

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Hair Splitter
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18,333 Posts
Maybe your qualifying questions need work.

I would also find out why they can charge so little. If it's illegal labor, no insurance, no license, fly by night? You can put some pretty compelling points as to what the customer should be looking for when they look for a fencing or decking contractor.
 

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GC/carpenter
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Inner10 said:
Are you the only price?
Not usually. I'm working on a 40,000 dollar job right now and the customer said I was not the lowest price but I was the only one that brought nice brochures and a sample of railing and decking. When someone is going to spend 40,000 bucks they are very cautious. They need to be comfortable with their builder.
 

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GC/carpenter
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Deckhead said:
Probably not, he's probably the only one with trex backing him though. It does something for a customer when they get a recommendation from a manufacturer. When you've got the supplier saying "this is the go to guy" the client usually listens. If I was to buy the best projector, chairs, and sound system I'm going to put the money into the bearded beer drinking fat guy;) that's expensive because the place I just dropped 20k at wants a good install and a happy customer.

True but I just didn't get Trex backing for doing nothing. I had to work my way there. That was not an easy task. I had to make the sales first before they took notice.
 

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Artist and not a curator
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True but I just didn't get Trex backing for doing nothing. I had to work my way there. That was not an easy task. I had to make the sales first before they took notice.
I hear that. The companies who recommend me didn't just "need" someone, had to get the jobs, do the jobs, and complete the jobs all well past their expectations before being recommended. Afterwards though, the money thing becomes a lot less of an issue.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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You're going after the wrong clientele.

Any time unlicensed contractors can come in from out of town, overcharge a homeowner, and get all of the money upfront, there is someone who is willing to pay your price.

Also, the next time you do an estimate, take someone with you who can give you a brutally honest assessment of how you interact with the homeowner. They can pose as your assistant or helper or whatever.. and they don't have to say anything. All they have to do is pay attention to what you are doing and what you are saying. You have to be open to whatever they tell you regardless of whether you agree or whether or not you think that they are being fair.

You basically need someone who thinks the same thing that the homeowner thinks so that you can find a way to make them think differently vs. defending what you think/know is right.
 

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Just go around town and take pictures of fences a few years old that are falling down, crooked, leaning over, bent, twisted, posts not level with each other, etc.. due to cheap labor, one shovel of fast setting concrete and 4 dollar lunches.

If you're pricing out for a quality job with a long service life make sure your potential customers know that.

I see it all the time, they come in very cheap because they do the job very cheap and after a couple of freeze thaw seasons the fences are all over the place.
 
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