Ian our Account Manager answers questions about sticking to budget and the many and varied reasons building firms hand over their valuable projects to the HBXL Estimating Service.
So do Property Developers ever come to you for estimates?
Ian: “Yes regularly. Businesses, larger building firms and property developers, who are investing big money in a new build – single properties or small developments – come to us for reassurance. Often they’re seriously exposed financially and they want to sanity check their own thinking.
And if they’re going to be sat across the desk from a bank manager or investor, they want to demonstrate their professionalism – and not just in terms of the figures, but also the build program and related paperwork. And that’s what we give them.”
But don’t they already use Quantity Surveyors?
Ian: “Yes, and therefore generally, anything over two million pounds is their domain. But if it’s a job under two, and it doesn’t merit someone on site, dealing with Bill of Quantities or preparing contracts etc – then we will give them everything they need – and dare I say it – for less money.”
And how about the building firm doing extensions and loft conversions?
Ian: “They’re probably our biggest type of customer. They generally come to us because they’re just too busy to do the estimating themselves. They’re missing out on jobs because they’re not acting fast enough. Or for whatever reason they’re just not winning the jobs full stop. Or they might be going on holiday and they want to know the job is in hand.
But it’s cheaper in general to do it in-house?
Ian: You say that, but another typical reason that builders come to us is because they want to spend money on a quote to actually make more money. They’ve discovered it can be a false economy rushing an estimate through themselves. Our software doesn’t make mistakes for one thing.
There are those who’ve had enough of ‘getting by’. It’s very easy when you’re quoting for yourself to charge just enough to cover the costs but with an HBXL quote in your hand you can be proud of your prices – and deserve the profit.
We know it works, because they win the work and are back the next week or month with another job. In fact many customers have made us their estimating department. They’ve made the conscious decision to outsource that part of the business, happy knowing they’re winning at least 1 in 2 jobs.”
Any what about tales of bad experiences elsewhere?
Ian: “Well I hear all sorts of stories. Usually they’ve had their fingers burnt. An estimating company was cheaper at the outset and then the cost started rising. Worse than that they’ve lost money on a job because the quote was literally wrong. Or they missed the deadline. Or an online service just hasn’t met their expectations. We don’t always know why and sometimes it’s better not to ask and just crack on with sorting the problem out.”
What about the smaller business or one-man band?
Ian: “Yes, increasingly we’re helping contractors who specialize in one area but have the chance of a bigger job. They’re not in their comfort zone so come to us for help. So a brickie might be asked to quote for a one-storey extension. They come to us, feeling may be out of their depth, and between us we get it done. Or a plumber goes on to manage a whole kitchen extension. It happens and it works. We give them the costs – literally every hour it will take the subbies to do the job – every nail and roll of tape – what plant they’ll have to hire – insurance – the lot. It’s great to see those jobs come off.”
But why come to HBXL Estimating Service in the first place?
Ian: “How long have you got? That’s another discussion right there.”
To find out why building firms large and small choose the HBXL Estimating Service, you might like to read our article on winning awards or the story of the guy who secretly tested our skills. Or give Ian a call on 0117 9167894 or drop him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or why not try us out with a job. Send your drawing and take it from there. Find out here.