A measured house surveyor recently called me for advice, concerned about his pricing strategy and worried about losing his clients. The surveyor had consistent work from his clients, but they were not happy with his pricing and asked him to reduce it.
Have you been asked to reduce your price even though you know it is at the lowest point already?
He was asking £350 for measuring standard 3-bedroom houses in London and offered £250 per flat, which includes the site visit and final AutoCAD ready plans. However, the client wanted to pay only £150 per flat, which was not acceptable for the surveyor.
The surveyor's concern was valid because not only does a site survey take time, but travel time remains the same regardless of whether it's a flat or a house. He was confused about how to price his services, and his worries were affecting his business.
Note: We all face this when we start our business and don't know how and what to charge. While I now would pay the price and not even ask as it's very low, my only concern would be the quality and accuracy because at such low price we can also get revisits, mistakes, or missing information reflecting in lost time. Having that frustrating experience is not worth the money as sometimes we may end up finding someone new to redo the whole thing. I bet you have experienced this, if you have been long enough in the industry. Let me tell you, it's not fun :) but we all have to start somewhere and he is doing it right!
So, I advised him that there is no right or wrong price, and there will always be someone who can do the work cheaper. For instance, a student doing the work to learn and gain experience may even do this for free. He is not your competition, I also did the work for free when I started, as I did not have the knowledge or experience, nor the tools or equipment like I have now (Yes the laser scanners cost money but helps to avoid mistakes and missing measurements) and it all costs money, but back then I had no cost to it. On the other hand, there can be well-established companies that may charge more due to their experience, quality controls, and systems in place to guarantee speed and quality.
However, the most crucial factor is to know what you offer and what it costs to you. For instance, we don't take any smaller jobs than £500 because it's not worth the time, and I can't guarantee the quality for this type of work.
That's why we offer floor plans for illustrative purposes at www.spacephoto.co.uk for estate agents and others who don't need the accuracy.
Here are 5 Rules to successfully price your work:
Rule No 1 - Find out what the exact clients' needs are and what they want to do with the plans. They may only need illustrative plans, not a measured survey.
Rule No 2 - Set your standards, know your values, and communicate them to your team and clients.
Rule No 3 - Let clients choose for themselves rather than convincing them because no one likes to be talked into something.
Rule No 4 - Follow up, remember not all clients can come back and admit that they lost time and money by going with the wrong supplier.
Rule No 5 - Be there to help them get out of the mess. You don't have to prove your point. Your job is to serve and provide customer service.
It's important to support and encourage Clients, even if they make mistakes. We all have to experiment to find out what works best for our business, and no one else will know it better than ourselves.
The bottom line is that it's important to set your standards, values, and pricing strategy and communicate them clearly to your team and clients. Remember that there will always be someone who can do the work cheaper, but that doesn't mean you should lower your prices. Focus on the quality of your work and customer service, and the right clients will be willing to pay for it. There is more work than there is good service providers!
So, don't be afraid to stand by your prices and value your services.
Need more business advice get in touch and I will be happy to share what I have learned for all these past 8 years.