Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Want A Painting Estimate? Here's Why We Have to Meet You.

The phone has been ringing a lot lately, including people who are calling us for the first time. Some have suggested that Roger "just go look at the house and give me a bid", and I have to explain why that's not a good idea - for either one of us.

In order to do an estimate, we require that Roger meet with you to look at the work and discuss it. Here are some reasons why:

Why We Have to Meet You To Do An Estimate

  • Scope of Work, Your Expectations and Budget

 When Roger looks at a project he could have questions about what you want to do and your level of expectations. For example, if he sees that your project requires a lot of surface preparation for the best result, is that what you want, or do you prefer to settle for less preparation in return for a lower price that fits your budget.

  • Damage or Problems You Weren't Aware Of

Roger might identify a problem that needs to be discussed so that we agree on how to address it, such as damage or cosmetic issues that you didn't see, but he did.

  • Options for You to Consider

Once Roger determines your goals for the work, he can make helpful suggestions and include options in the estimate.

  • Will There Be Color Changes?
If you're planning color changes, we need to know because it might affect costs, depending on the number of coats required for coverage and the complexity of your color plan.

If you would like help with colors, I provide a free color and detailing consultation to our painting clients. Not only will we find colors you love, I'll help you with a strategy for how to place them to showcase the best features of your home and camouflage the rest.

  • Professionalism and Competence - Beyond the Number

We want the you to feel confident in us and our professionalism, and meeting Roger will help you to qualify him and our company. Without that personal connection, our estimate, although it's well presented, is just another number. We strive for excellence and value, not to be low bid.

To evaluate estimates you also need to evaluate who's doing the work. Is he or she clean and well-groomed? What is the condition of the vehicle? If both are dirty and disorganized, it could mean that they won't protect and care for your property either. A low bid from someone like that could be the worst "bargain" you ever found, and if you don't meet with them, you don't know who you're dealing with.

Will Doing the Estimate Make Sense?

If after I explain all this, the caller still just wants Roger to go by and look, I decline with regret. Alarm bells are going off in my head because the caller who just wants a quick number seems to be shopping for the cheapest price, and we wouldn't be a good fit. 

Because we take the time to look carefully at the work and give you a detailed written estimate, doing one is a considerable investment in both Roger's time and mine. We need to have a reasonable likelihood of success, assuming relatively comparable bidders, not low bid amateurs. Our goal is to be fair and reasonable, deliver professional quality work that lasts and represents an exceptional value over time.

Now you know why we need to meet you - and why you should want to meet us.