Builders: Who’s choosing who for the job? You or the homeowner?

Builders – here’s our ‘How to make money with the right homeowner’ top tips.

It’s not all about the homeowner and who they want for the job. Do YOU want to work with THEM? And most of the time, according to Simon Lazarus, you don’t!

I’ve been discussing the huge topic of profitable projects with the UK’s ‘master mentor’ to building firms, Simon Lazarus of The Better Business Group, and a valued TEAM HBXL coach.

He feels that for many builders going after every job, spreading themselves thin, rather than only the profitable ones (thanks to the right homeowner), will result in them never getting off the tools, surviving bad debts, having a pension, money in the bank or a home life…

As Simon explains, builders need to make good money from the homeowner and that’s what these valuable tips are all about. See what Simon has to say here:

Be selective

You mustn’t spend your valuable time just quoting on everything that comes your way. You need to decide on the profile of customer you want to be working for, the job values you are comfortable with, and the type of work you are confident to undertake.

Pre-qualify the lead

The first thing you have to work out – how many quotes are they getting in and where are they getting them from?

You need to know if are they trawling the likes of Rated People, Checkatrade, My Builder, Trustatrader, Bark etc. Are they looking for a cheap quote or a value-for-money quote? When I talk to homeowners, they’re often getting 10, 15, even 18 quotes from a combination these sources.

Assess the competition

If they’re cold enquiries straight off the web, you’ve immediately got huge competition and you can be sure that there’s somebody quoting a really low price with a very short quote and no breakdown. Often, they are below the cost of materials. And if you quote anywhere near a reasonable amount of money, you’re straight in the bin because the homeowner thinks you’re trying to rip them off.

Don’t waste your time

You’re a decent builder – you don’t want to waste all your time and effort visiting the site and doing a quote for a job you can’t possibly win and earn proper money from. If they’re getting that many quotes you don’t want to be part of the bun fight. Move on. You won’t regret doing it I promise you.

You know, the time you’re going to spend on a decent quote is going to give you a much better return compared to all the time you’re spending with a customer who has no intention of paying your price. The good customers you should want to work for, will respect and appreciate a professional approach from you.

Make every week count

If you do win one of these free for alls, then you can’t win long term. Chances are the homeowner will query costs along the way. You will have lost valuable time in your working year which you could have spent on a more profitable job. There’s no getting that time or income back. Plus if the homeowner recommends you as cheap, you’ll be in, what I call the ‘recommendation rut’ always charging the same low prices.

What next?

Well Simon wasn’t holding anything back, was he!? And I’ve got lots more tips to share with you from my chats with Simon. Watch this space!

If you can relate to even one of the concerns he raised, and you know that your business could be much more profitable – it’s time to review things. Users of HBXL software benefit from access to HBXL TEAM coaches, which includes Simon. They’ve kindly agreed to chat with our users for an hour 1-2-1 over the phone to talk through business issues and offer advice.

You might not be able to take advantage of this ‘perk’ yet, but I’m sure you’d benefit from having a chat with one of our sales team and a short online demonstration. EstimatorXpress, the award-winning estimating software, makes sure that estimates are accurately priced and professionally produced, giving our users much greater confidence in their quoting. And that’s half the battle. So give one of the sales team a call on 0117 916 7898. And soon you’ll be in charge – not the homeowner.

Download our guide on building a successful construction business >>