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View Full Version : Do you have a Buget for the prodject?


olderthandirt
03-15-2005, 01:20 PM
How many of you guys go to do an estimate for a residential customer and he/she wants the world and you know dam well that they have no idea what its going to cost? I usually stop them when they get to a point and ask them if they have a budget that they need to stick to. And I get a number thats a waste of time for me to be there or I hear yes I budgeted 20 k for this and that. You go figure everything out and then go back and talk to your customer and do your presentation. At the conclusion I ask if thats what they were looking for and it never fails that one of them, husband/wife will say we really don't have that kind of money right now. :realmad: :realmad: even though I stayed with in there budgeted amount. For me thats the end of the conversation, even though they will start with what if we eliminate this or that
I figure its just going to be a major headache and I have enough of them with out trying to get more :D

kootoomootoo
03-15-2005, 01:29 PM
You and I both know there is plenty like that. Had one the other day who wanted everything (budget was $1000) ;) She wanted 3 quotes (victims) .....maybe she called you.

GreenMonster
03-15-2005, 01:30 PM
Mac,

This was something I learned last year. I insist on the customer giving ME a budgetary number, or at least some idea of what they'd like to spend. It takes too much time and energy coming up with a proposal for someone who is really just kicking tires. :angry:

I'm thinking of doing away with free estimates for jobs over $8k or so. Initial consultation no charge, fine, but no more of this spending hours and hours coming up with a bid only to hear exactly what you said "we really don't have that kind of money right now"

olderthandirt
03-15-2005, 03:00 PM
You and I both know there is plenty like that. Had one the other day who wanted everything (budget was $1000) ;) She wanted 3 quotes (victims) .....maybe she called you.


LMAO probably, had alot of those calls. Heck they even want you to walk the dog while your there for that 1k job :D

mbella
03-15-2005, 03:12 PM
Absolutely, I get a budget number on the initial visit. If they are serious, they should have a budget. If they don't have one, I give them a rough idea (usually within $5000.00) of what it will cost to do what they are asking.

jd boy
03-15-2005, 03:41 PM
I know exactely where you are coming from and a really thinking of doing away with free estimates also but, I always hear the same thing when it comes to budget conversations. "we don't have an exact budget set aside for this project mainly because we don't know what landscaping costs."

You don't go buy a car without a budget, why would you try to buy landscape work. man, that pisses me off!

Residential Recreation
04-06-2005, 02:17 AM
i just had a customer do this to me. called me up and wanted a deck said that they didnt want to spend too much money. i went over there and told them the difference between pricing on pt cedar and composite then i looked at the site( of course they want pt its the cheapest) They want the deck to go alongside their s curved stamped patio. with 2 steps matching the curve. i asked what is your budget. she replied just give me your estimate and i will worry about our budget. this deck will be raised to meet a doorwall that they dont know if the will ever install. and kerfin those boards take a long time especially to but up against a patio of this shape. overall its 16' deep at the short part of the curve its 14' at the far part its 20' i designed a rough plan and gave them an estimate at 4500.00 my cost on materials is 2090.00 then to kerf 3 24' boards god is that a pain. stain them on all cuts to keep my warrentie. its only been 2 days but i dont think they will call me back. if they would have told me their budget i would have just told them to call some hack.

StealthDT
04-06-2005, 02:51 AM
"...and can you hurry up estimating? I've got another guy coming in 30 minutes".

They'll use your work and price to beat down any who follow, or take the material list and price it out all over town. That's why I ceased residential work and went commercial. Then the only problem was waiting on payments, in some cases forever...

Rex Mann
04-06-2005, 10:07 PM
People can be funny when it comes to the budget question.
Most hold their cards close to their vests.

I ask the following questions to help me get a feel for their budget or knowledge of what things cost without asking directly.

Have you talked to other cons tractors.
Have you received any proposals for your project
Can you tell me about your project.....square footage, areas to be paved so on and so forth.
What part of town are they in
How soon they are looking to have the project completed
How did you get our name

These are some of the questions I ask over the phone, but not necessarily in that order.

I then try to give them a budgetary number over the phone, and let them decide if they want to take the next step, which is a formal on-site proposal.
Saves me hours of valuable time.

I make appointments with only approximately 20% of the calls I receive. I get jobs from just over 50% of those 20%. It weeds out the shoppers.

Peace,

Rex

ClevelandPavers.Com (http://clevelandpavers.com)

sheshovel
04-11-2005, 01:52 PM
i just had a customer do this to me. called me up and wanted a deck said that they didnt want to spend too much money. i went over there and told them the difference between pricing on pt cedar and composite then i looked at the site( of course they want pt its the cheapest) They want the deck to go alongside their s curved stamped patio. with 2 steps matching the curve. i asked what is your budget. she replied just give me your estimate and i will worry about our budget. this deck will be raised to meet a doorwall that they dont know if the will ever install. and kerfin those boards take a long time especially to but up against a patio of this shape. overall its 16' deep at the short part of the curve its 14' at the far part its 20' i designed a rough plan and gave them an estimate at 4500.00 my cost on materials is 2090.00 then to kerf 3 24' boards god is that a pain. stain them on all cuts to keep my warrentie. its only been 2 days but i dont think they will call me back. if they would have told me their budget i would have just told them to call some hack.
Gee that's too bad cuz they would have got one hell of a deal at your charges. :blob3:

hosejockey2002
04-11-2005, 10:38 PM
For small jobs I can put together an estimate with minimal effort, and I just present it to them. For bigger ones I give them a rough "ballpark" figure. If they are still interested I do a detailed proposal.

Scottish LScape
04-11-2005, 11:47 PM
For small jobs I can put together an estimate with minimal effort, and I just present it to them. For bigger ones I give them a rough "ballpark" figure. If they are still interested I do a detailed proposal.
Same thing here! Just like stated before...do you go looking for a new truck for the business with NO budget in mind.
Side bar: This is a funny 1! Has this happened to any of you guys? Doing a measurement for a patio, walkway, etc. & the husband & wife get into a yelling match about the size, color or style of paver it should be, and look @ you and say What Would You Put In? Happened last week.

mbella
04-11-2005, 11:53 PM
Same thing here! Just like stated before...do you go looking for a new truck for the business with NO budget in mind.
Side bar: This is a funny 1! Has this happened to any of you guys? Doing a measurement for a patio, walkway, etc. & the husband & wife get into a yelling match about the size, color or style of paver it should be, and look @ you and say What Would You Put In? Happened last week.

Yes, it has happened to me. What would I have me put in? The biggest, most expensive god damn patio on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

coastallandscapesolutions
04-12-2005, 12:04 AM
How many of you guys go to do an estimate for a residential customer and he/she wants the world and you know dam well that they have no idea what its going to cost? I usually stop them when they get to a point and ask them if they have a budget that they need to stick to. And I get a number thats a waste of time for me to be there or I hear yes I budgeted 20 k for this and that. You go figure everything out and then go back and talk to your customer and do your presentation. At the conclusion I ask if thats what they were looking for and it never fails that one of them, husband/wife will say we really don't have that kind of money right now. :realmad: :realmad: even though I stayed with in there budgeted amount. For me thats the end of the conversation, even though they will start with what if we eliminate this or that
I figure its just going to be a major headache and I have enough of them with out trying to get more :D

At that point I start talking about what it is going to cost per month, offering financing. When I was first approached with the idea I thought it would never work. I ended up increasing revenue and financing about two dozen jobs per year. It helped remove some of the limits on budgets. Today, many people are more interested in what it will cost them per month as they live paycheck to paycheck. In their minds that can budget better rather then hand out all cash. It is a nice option to have available.

TerraFirma Excavating
04-12-2005, 12:26 AM
CoastalGreenscapes,
Do you owner finance or work with a lending firm? I suppose you could take credit cards also, just have to pay the 2-3% fee to the credit card company. Just tack that amount to the bill and offer a 3% discount for paying cash.

Itsgottobegreen
04-12-2005, 01:37 AM
Has this happened to any of you guys? Doing a measurement for a patio, walkway, etc. & the husband & wife get into a yelling match about the size, color or style of paver it should be, and look @ you and say What Would You Put In? Happened last week.

When ever a customer ask me this. I tell them "I am going to tell you want ever is going to make me the most money. It's your house, you have to live with it if you don't like it. So pick what you both want." I have gotten a few jobs by saying that. Because I was being honest on my opinion. payup

coastallandscapesolutions
04-12-2005, 07:32 AM
CoastalGreenscapes,
Do you owner finance or work with a lending firm? I suppose you could take credit cards also, just have to pay the 2-3% fee to the credit card company. Just tack that amount to the bill and offer a 3% discount for paying cash.


We accept credit cards and offer financing through John Deere Credit. It is working well for us.