Your remodeling business relies on a constant stream of jobs to keep your staff busy. Remodeling estimates are an important part of landing those contracts with prospective home remodeling clients. Learning how to create and deliver estimates efficiently and accurately can make the difference in growing your company, especially when you’re just starting your remodeling business.
Accuracy Is Key
You want to win the bid, but calculating an accurate estimate that protects your profit margin is just as important as coming in below the competition. Always visit the location of the remodel to understand the full scope of the project. Take photos and make notes to remember the details of the project when you create your estimate. Ask the homeowner questions about the project, budget, preferred materials and desired timeline. You can create greater accuracy in your numbers when you’re on the same page as the client. Calculate the material and labor costs of the job. Construction bidding software helps you get those numbers and compile them into an estimate. You also need to factor in the markup, so you make a profit. Some consumers always choose the lowest option, but many people understand that higher quality work comes with a higher price tag. Don’t shortchange yourself with the markup.
Write Up a Detailed Estimate
Your remodeling client wants to know the total cost, but seeing the breakdown of expenses can help justify hiring a contractor with a higher estimate than others. Provide an itemized list of the expenses, so the customer knows where the money is going. Other information that should go on the estimate includes:
- Payment schedule
- Payment options
- Details on changes
- Whether the costs are estimates or fixed amounts
- Any other terms or requirements
Offer the Estimate in Different Formats
You can share the estimate verbally with potential clients, but you should also provide a written copy. Having the written estimate lets the homeowners refer back to the details and compare them easily with other providers. Offer a hard copy of the estimate printed on a quality printer. Include your logo on the document to help with your remodeling company marketing, and present the information in an easy-to-read format with labels for all numbers.
Some consumers may prefer a virtual copy of the estimate. Offer an emailed or mobile version of the document for those users. This option also saves you money by cutting down on paper consumption and printer use.
Follow Up on the Estimates
Remodeling clients often take their time making decisions on which company to hire. It’s a huge investment, and most people get estimates from multiple construction companies. Making a follow-up phone call can help you land the contract by showing you want the job and you make time for your clients. This is your chance to put your sales skills to the test.
An easy way to make sure you follow through with all clients is to set a reminder every time you present someone with an estimate. Find a time length for follow-ups that works for you and your customers. Following up within the week keeps your company fresh in the prospective client’s mind. When you call, have an idea of what you’re going to say. Reference the project specifically, and call the person by name. This shows you’re attentive and care about the job. Give your pitch, and ask if the client has any other questions. You may need to follow up more than once if the client is still deciding.
Offering a professional, thorough and fast estimate helps you establish your remodeling business as a reliable option, and giving potential clients the information they need in an easy-to-read format increases your chances of landing the contract.