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Old 10-12-2015, 08:26 PM
 
285 posts, read 249,743 times
Reputation: 334

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I went to see a potential customer this morning about replacing the sliding doors on the rear of the new home he had just moved into.

“Look at this” he says, shaking the aluminum door stile. “Four hundred grand for this.” The two-inch wide stile and glass wriggled like a newborn in a bassinet and not from slop in the upper and lower tracks.

I asked for a large glass of water and sensing what I was about to do, he filled a glass vase half full and handed it to me. When I poured it on the aluminum track, it ran toward the house instead of toward the evacuation slots in the ends and outer edge of the track. This would create a perfect mosquito breeding pond and dirt retainer every time it rained and right outside the door.

“Beer cans.” That’s how my buddy Doug, a licensed Florida glazing contractor, describes the quality of the aluminum extrusions on builder-grade doors. I’m convinced that if homebuilders could get a certificate of occupancy by tacking up Visqueen, that’s just what they’d do.

The builder’s glazing sub was coming up the street just as I pulled away. I almost turned around just for the entertainment value, but the homeowner emailed me later saying he wasn’t interested in the high quality replacements I was proposing and that the sub admits he has to reinstall the doors. I wonder if he did the test I showed him for the sub? Nah.

The wife half of an elderly couple can’t easily open the sliding doors to their lanai on my next appointment. I can slide them with one finger and the rollers check out fine. He suggests installing an external handle that would be much easier to grip, but she balks at the price. I respect my elders, but when you’ve got granite countertops in the kitchen and a Cadillac in the garage, you pay full rate no matter your age. No charge. Have a nice day.

This afternoon a guy called wanting a threshold replacement on a commercial door. “It’s easy, you just unscrew it,” he says. It’s never a good sign when your potential tells you how easy a job is going to be. I told him that in my experience, replacing a commercial threshold involves removing the doors and jambs to be able to remove the threshold. That’s half an installation of new doors, jambs and threshold.
“Let me look, I’ll call you right back” he says. Several minutes later, he called to concede that his doors, like an ’85 Chevy with a smashed quarter panel, are totaled, although he remained in denial. Nice talkin’ to ya.

The day before a lady told me on the phone that her Labrador, scared by the Florida thunderstorms, had torn up the carpet trying to get into her garage. She places tile over the ruined carpet every time she leaves and picks them up when she comes home. I suggested a cage. She didn’t like that idea or the price I gave her for installing her tile, but she did appreciate the referral to a carpet sub and thanked me profusely for all the information. You’re welcome.

Several weeks ago, I was called to confirm a rotted sub floor through a crawlspace and I’ve got claustrophobia. I did confirm the failed subfloor, but I found improper framing repairs performed by the potential customer’s window contractor. The potential was grateful for the confirmation and the written documentation of his window contractor’s floor framing shortcomings, but didn’t think this information, despite its provided leverage, was worth paying for.
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,641 posts, read 9,561,321 times
Reputation: 6858
Umm...Thanks for the report?

I'm guessing this was just a vent?
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:39 AM
 
11,116 posts, read 17,423,853 times
Reputation: 10116
Love Shabatnik's post Bob. Reminds me of many who will call in a Realtor to 'put a price' on their home; while at the same time gathering valuable information on the sale prices of their neighbors' homes; getting valuable information on what they should do to put the place on the market. So the Realtor goes back to the office, does a very nice market analysis, pinpointing within a reasonable range of what the house/condo should sell for in the current market.

The agent brings the professionally prepared paperwork and marketing brochures etc. (paid for of course by the agent), and brings a properly filled out listing agreement -- only to get profuse thanks from the seller(s), and after giving them enough time to make a decision, sees this on the lawn the next day:

FOR SALE BY OWNER

(overpriced, of course)
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:57 AM
 
20,975 posts, read 6,850,585 times
Reputation: 13969
I have to chuckle at the "it's never good when the customer tells you how easy the job it".....

How true!

If it was that easy they'd DIY or ask the teenager down the road to do it for $10 an hour.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:01 AM
 
20,975 posts, read 6,850,585 times
Reputation: 13969
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
Love Shabatnik's post Bob. Reminds me of many who will call in a Realtor to 'put a price' on their home; while at the same time gathering valuable information on the sale prices of their neighbors' homes; getting valuable information on what they should do to put the place on the market. So the Realtor goes back to the office, does a very nice market analysis, pinpointing within a reasonable range of what the house/condo should sell for in the current market.

The agent brings the professionally prepared paperwork and marketing brochures etc. (paid for of course by the agent), and brings a properly filled out listing agreement -- only to get profuse thanks from the seller(s), and after giving them enough time to make a decision, sees this on the lawn the next day:

FOR SALE BY OWNER

(overpriced, of course)
If an owner isn't savvy enough to know the actual real value of their home, then likely they are not savvy enough to market and sell it.

I used to think Realtors misled homeowners (which they sometimes do - maybe not on purpose), but now I realize that we humans just like to fool ourselves. We have one owner in a condo building up north who is asking 525K for the place he paid 350 for a couple years back. The place will not sell for anything over 400K - even that is high. But yet he has went through 2 Realtors and could probably find one to list it at 750K if he wanted to.

He doesn't want to sell.
Anyone who wants to sell should take what they can within 3-4 months from listing. It's pretty obvious. Look at eBay - items always get the price they are worth. Real Estate (or contracting, for that matter) are the same.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
1,464 posts, read 1,665,812 times
Reputation: 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabotnik View Post
I went to see a potential customer this morning about replacing the sliding doors on the rear of the new home he had just moved into.

“Look at this” he says, shaking the aluminum door stile. “Four hundred grand for this.” The two-inch wide stile and glass wriggled like a newborn in a bassinet and not from slop in the upper and lower tracks.

I asked for a large glass of water and sensing what I was about to do, he filled a glass vase half full and handed it to me. When I poured it on the aluminum track, it ran toward the house instead of toward the evacuation slots in the ends and outer edge of the track. This would create a perfect mosquito breeding pond and dirt retainer every time it rained and right outside the door.

“Beer cans.” That’s how my buddy Doug, a licensed Florida glazing contractor, describes the quality of the aluminum extrusions on builder-grade doors. I’m convinced that if homebuilders could get a certificate of occupancy by tacking up Visqueen, that’s just what they’d do.

The builder’s glazing sub was coming up the street just as I pulled away. I almost turned around just for the entertainment value, but the homeowner emailed me later saying he wasn’t interested in the high quality replacements I was proposing and that the sub admits he has to reinstall the doors. I wonder if he did the test I showed him for the sub? Nah.

The wife half of an elderly couple can’t easily open the sliding doors to their lanai on my next appointment. I can slide them with one finger and the rollers check out fine. He suggests installing an external handle that would be much easier to grip, but she balks at the price. I respect my elders, but when you’ve got granite countertops in the kitchen and a Cadillac in the garage, you pay full rate no matter your age. No charge. Have a nice day.

This afternoon a guy called wanting a threshold replacement on a commercial door. “It’s easy, you just unscrew it,” he says. It’s never a good sign when your potential tells you how easy a job is going to be. I told him that in my experience, replacing a commercial threshold involves removing the doors and jambs to be able to remove the threshold. That’s half an installation of new doors, jambs and threshold.
“Let me look, I’ll call you right back” he says. Several minutes later, he called to concede that his doors, like an ’85 Chevy with a smashed quarter panel, are totaled, although he remained in denial. Nice talkin’ to ya.

The day before a lady told me on the phone that her Labrador, scared by the Florida thunderstorms, had torn up the carpet trying to get into her garage. She places tile over the ruined carpet every time she leaves and picks them up when she comes home. I suggested a cage. She didn’t like that idea or the price I gave her for installing her tile, but she did appreciate the referral to a carpet sub and thanked me profusely for all the information. You’re welcome.

Several weeks ago, I was called to confirm a rotted sub floor through a crawlspace and I’ve got claustrophobia. I did confirm the failed subfloor, but I found improper framing repairs performed by the potential customer’s window contractor. The potential was grateful for the confirmation and the written documentation of his window contractor’s floor framing shortcomings, but didn’t think this information, despite its provided leverage, was worth paying for.
Are you in FL now or up north? Prices can be not in line with what you're used to.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:40 AM
 
285 posts, read 249,743 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiggy View Post
Are you in FL now or up north? Prices can be not in line with what you're used to.
kiggy:

I do not let the market dictate my prices. I would be out of business if I did. If my customer satisfaction ratings have no value to you, we aren't right for each other.

You would not believe how many customers are relieved to find out I'm from Ohio/Michigan. They can't get local business to even answer their phone, let alone return a call. Happened to my wife this morning. Out of about 8 calls to local appliance dealers, four never answered and one had, and I swear I'm not making this up, a full answering machine so you couldn't leave a message. I guess the redfish must be runnin'. Something's got Bubba distracted.

Don't worry Bubba, this Yankee will be eating your figurative lunch while you're out. And at my full rates.
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
1,464 posts, read 1,665,812 times
Reputation: 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabotnik View Post
kiggy:


Don't worry Bubba, this Yankee will be eating your figurative lunch while you're out. And at my full rates.
Doesn't seem to be working so far. And Bubba must be doing something right if his answering machine's full. Just sayin's all.

My guess: Bubba's pricing you out of the market. Like I say, if you don't look at what the market bears, you will be out of business.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:08 PM
 
285 posts, read 249,743 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiggy View Post
Doesn't seem to be working so far. And Bubba must be doing something right if his answering machine's full. Just sayin's all.

My guess: Bubba's pricing you out of the market. Like I say, if you don't look at what the market bears, you will be out of business.
kiggy:

I love this attitude; it makes me money. There are folks who are pure price shoppers. I want nothing to do with them. There are folks who want a human to answer the phone, be professional when they're on the phone, and show up on time and do what they say. I have something for these folks; Bubba does not.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Fl
809 posts, read 644,374 times
Reputation: 642
Informative thread.... I'm an aging DIY'er so I now look to have competent people do the work I can't.

I'd like people to quote me prices based on time, materials, and then the possibility of the unexpected. We should split that unexpected cost (hey, they are the experts).

I don't think "flori-duh" should be any different than anyplace else
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