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Sign of the times?


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Just curious if anyone else is getting an abnormally larger group of price shoppers calling? I know there will always be that group of people, but it seems like they are the majority of the calls I receive now.

Anyone else as fortunate as I?[:(!]

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I don't get many price shoppers anymore, don't know why.

My spouse has instructions from me to quote the fee and wait for an answer. She's allowed to answer questions and to repeat the quote only once more before she hangs up if they start haggling on price.

Ya buy it or ya don't. I'm not a used car salesman, just an HI.

If things get ugly with any caller, she is to immediately tell them that we cannot serve them, then hang up. I don't want to work for these people.

Believe it or not, lots of these price shoppers that we hang up on later call back and the first word out of their mouth is to schedule the inspection.

Marc

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They always increase with the rise in temperature. Keep a log of the calls you get, date of call, where they heard about you, and whether or not you book the job and you will see this trend.

If they ask for a price sell yourself and your company first, then ask about the house, then give the quote. This will calm them down, they'll remember you, and you have a better chance of settin' the hook, and all the while you're being honest.

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Just curious if anyone else is getting an abnormally larger group of price shoppers calling? I know there will always be that group of people, but it seems like they are the majority of the calls I receive now.

Anyone else as fortunate as I?[:(!]

Around here is quite the opposite. During the last week of January things changed drastically - every appointment filled since. We're booked almost 3 weeks out. I get messages from folks almost daily with offers to pay extra to squeeze them in.
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Last year at this time, I was getting not only price shoppers, but people who had already booked would shop around, find a much lower price and then cancel. That seems to be a thing of the past. Last December was more than double the previous December, January was down a bit, February was more than double and at this point in March, I'm nearly triple over the entire month of March '11.

One thing that's been consistent is the erraticness. After tomorrow's inspection, my schedule is empty. I did have one scheduled next week that was cancelled, but not because of price. I had done two others for the buyer within the past six months. The seller of the house had a pre listing inspection done two months ago and shared the report with the buyer. The buyer saw the report and then cancelled the inspection with me. The reason he cancelled is that I had done the pre listing inspection and that made him comfortable with it. Damn! The ironic thing is the odds of that happening - I don't do more than one or two pre listing inspections a year.

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Around here is quite the opposite. During the last week of January things changed drastically - every appointment filled since. We're booked almost 3 weeks out. I get messages from folks almost daily with offers to pay extra to squeeze them in.

Bill, you are the type of inspector I aspire to be one day. Imagine, being booked 3 weeks out and receiving frequent calls from prospective clients who are willing to pay a premium for your services.

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The company as a whole is the busiest since '08. We also have one less inspector this season, who moved on to another career during the slow-down.

For me it's primarily the niche thing. There's a whole lot of very large, historic homes listed right now that are getting serious interest. Offers from 2/3 up to 1/2 of what they sold for 5-10 years ago are being accepted. Lots of folks are jumping on those deals.

I just did one that sold for $4.4 million in 2007. It was listed for sale at $3.8 million. It's now under agreement for $1.8 million.

"Hey Bill, would you buy this house?"

"For what you're gettin' it for - hell yeah!"

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I'm finding that filling appointments for simple and easy type inspections are no problem in the $350 range. When things get bigger and more complicated and my fee quotes get to $500 and beyond, I begin to loose some to price shoppers.

I'm not budging. Time consumption costs money. If some other person is willing to do it for less, have at it. They're either working too cheap or not spending the time they should be.

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Some people shop at the Dollar Store and some people shop at Nordstrom. We try to attract the Nordstrom crowd.

Though it pains me to say anything too terribly nice to you, this is brilliant. I'm going to take advantage of our friendship and, with impunity, steal it from you.

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Some people shop at the Dollar Store and some people shop at Nordstrom. We try to attract the Nordstrom crowd.

Though it pains me to say anything too terribly nice to you, this is brilliant. I'm going to take advantage of our friendship and, with impunity, steal it from you.

I wish everyone would steal it. We'd all benefit from it.

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Some people shop at the Dollar Store and some people shop at Nordstrom. We try to attract the Nordstrom crowd.

Though it pains me to say anything too terribly nice to you, this is brilliant. I'm going to take advantage of our friendship and, with impunity, steal it from you.

I wish everyone would steal it. We'd all benefit from it.

I got a fence-sitter right now; me, or the cheaper guy. I'll see if my email to her tips her in my favor. All I said was what Jim said. . .

I'm wondering, though, if one might take offense if they do indeed shop at the Dollar Store.

Bain, you've now stolen from at least two brilliant folk. Hope you're proud of yourself.

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Some people shop at the Dollar Store and some people shop at Nordstrom. We try to attract the Nordstrom crowd.

Though it pains me to say anything too terribly nice to you, this is brilliant. I'm going to take advantage of our friendship and, with impunity, steal it from you.

I wish everyone would steal it. We'd all benefit from it.

I got a fence-sitter right now; me, or the cheaper guy. I'll see if my email to her tips her in my favor. All I said was what Jim said. . .

I'm wondering, though, if one might take offense if they do indeed shop at the Dollar Store.

Bain, you've now stolen from at least two brilliant folk. Hope you're proud of yourself.

I have no shame. I'm a product of my environment and upbringing, and pretty much take responsibility for nothing.

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Some people shop at the Dollar Store and some people shop at Nordstrom. We try to attract the Nordstrom crowd.

Though it pains me to say anything too terribly nice to you, this is brilliant. I'm going to take advantage of our friendship and, with impunity, steal it from you.

I wish everyone would steal it. We'd all benefit from it.

I got a fence-sitter right now; me, or the cheaper guy. I'll see if my email to her tips her in my favor. All I said was what Jim said. . .

I'm wondering, though, if one might take offense if they do indeed shop at the Dollar Store.

Bain, you've now stolen from at least two brilliant folk. Hope you're proud of yourself.

With fence sitters I sometimes make this offer: "I think that my inspection is worth $XXX but I don't want to charge you more than YOU think it's worth. So I'll make you a deal: Hire me to do the inspection and, when it's done, pay me whatever you think it's worth." With the dozen or so times that I've made people that offer, I've never had anyone pay me less than my asking price.

One guy refused the offer, though. He said, "You're betting on the fact that I'll fee too embarassed to pay you less than the full price and you're probably right. But I just can't afford your price." OK, fair's fair.

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I answer my own phone and don't typically take time to sway price shoppers, especially this time of year when things are wicked busy.

I did have a woman call back recently, though, to ask whether I'd correctly heard the square footage of the house she was buying when another was going to charge $150.00 less than I.

I explained that I had understood everything she told me, and she went ahead and booked the gig because of my web-site and Angie's List reviews.

So . . . even though I lose most of those skirmishes, there is the occasional victory.

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I hired a plumber to open the floor of a basement and rough in the DWV for a new bathroom. He also replaced all the old cast iron DWV in the entire house. All this was done at an agreed upon price ? and I was happy. Later on I needed one small job done and told him to just do it and send me a bill. When I got the bill I was shocked and thought the bill was a lot more then it should have been. When I called and questioned him he said ?just pay me what you think the job is worth?. So I sent him a check for $200 less then his bill and still felt like I was being ripped off. I guess I burned that bridge ? but learned a lesson at the same time.

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I got a fence-sitter right now; me, or the cheaper guy. I'll see if my email to her tips her in my favor. All I said was what Jim said. . .

Jerry, you ask for emails before you get the job? Or she sent an email to ask for a quote?

My volume for the first quarter is 35% up from last year and we still have a week left in March. I hope it's a sign of the times.

I can't do anything about low ball shoppers so I don't think about it.

Walter Jowers had a nice remark concerning the subject. If you want to save money hire the best, most experienced HI you can find. I have used that line a few times.

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Mike,

All contact has been by email. I'm just getting used to this; probably half my initial contacts are by email. I'm glad I carry a smart phone.

I like your Jower's phrase.

I get 4-5 a week now, and hate it. People never give you enough info to begin to work up a price. Half the time they don't even provide a phone number. I reply and politely ask them to call me when they get a free minute so we can speak about their needs. 2/3 do not call.

My guess is they mass email a bunch of guys, and the one who reply's with the cheapest price, that's who they call. It's really disheartening, you know these people are getting screwed by these do nothing inspectors. But then again, they are getting what they asked for.

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I get 4-5 a week now, and hate it. People never give you enough info to begin to work up a price. Half the time they don't even provide a phone number.

Maybe you've got a bunch of out out of work inspectors in the area checking your prices?

Or that.

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