Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tips on getting contractors to call you back

Contractors have a pretty bad reputation for not returning calls.  They get a lot of calls from people who want them to “just come out and give me a price.”  It happens more often than you think.  You have a project you’re considering, and you’re willing to pay for it.  So you call a few contractors and leave messages, but no one calls you back.  What’s the problem?  Is it just bad timing?  Maybe they’re all too busy and think you’ve already found someone else by the time they are available.

There may be another factor. The reality is, a lot of potential customers actually turn out to be a waste of time.  In order to get a call back, you don’t want to appear to be one of them.  Here are 4 types of customers contractors are looking to avoid:

1.    People who are just using them to get a bid.   Maybe you have a contractor you like, but you want double-check the price he gave you.  Always get at least 3 estimates, right? A detailed estimate is time consuming to put together.  Contractors don’t want to spend the time just to have their work used as a negotiating tool with someone else.

2.    People who aren't willing to spend the necessary amount to get what they desire.  You have a wish list and a limited budget, and you want the two to meet.  The cost of a job can vary greatly and you want the best quality for the lowest price.  The cost includes hourly labor, overhead costs, materials, a markup on materials, and of course some money left over to make a reasonable profit on the job. Contractors avoid clients that look to cut costs at every corner, with unrealistic expectations of what they can get for their money.

3.    Customers who need to know the itemized costs for every detail.  Contractors rarely give detailed, itemized proposals. One reason is that they combine estimates that they have from their sub-contractors, which are seldom broken out in detail. They also know that if they have to detail all of the numbers, every cost comes into question, and it will require more time in explanation and comparison-shopping than the contract is worth.  You may think a price is negotiable, but it’s not.

4.    Clients that don’t know what they want, or there will be no way to please them.  Believe it or not this really happens…

The best way for getting a call back from a contractor is to get the name from a referral, and leave the message saying “so and so told me you did a great job for them and I’d like to talk to you about my….” Referred clients get the highest priority. The more you know and can share about your time frame, budget, design, and preferences, the more likely contractors are to call you back.

We encourage owners to contact us anytime if they need feedback about a renovation or remodel for any project they may be considering.  Typically, we can provide an accurate cost to help determine budget and guidance for the best approach for completing the project.

Darren Pryor
Hybrid Construction LLC
Commercial - Residential - Remodel - Renovations
Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties