We have had the pleasure in recent years to mostly get our business through referrals. We consider referrals the highest compliment we can receive. We do get several inquiries from folks via our website or that call us up to get us to “bid” on a project. We are always humbled with these opportunities to ‘compete’ for business. It seems in a majority of the cases that we are being used or “shopped” to keep someone else honest, and in many cases we are being asked what is the difference between us and them, in terms of how we charge for our services and structure our fees.
Somewhere about 80% of people we talk to seem as if they never intend to use us or even one of our competitors when we meet and speak to them. Their first question invariably is, “What is your price per foot?” which we always compliment our potential clients by acknowledging that that is a question smart people should be asking. A lot of times this price per foot conversation happens before there are even designs in mind. While this is good from a budgeting perspective its impossible to predict the price of a home without a design. Let say we discuss price, after a design is realized, but before we have had a chance to truly conduct a ‘Pre-Con’ or pre-construction service… we are only guessing. This type of guessing is only worth in direct proportion to the amount of time we spend. And we do not work for free, otherwise you probably wouldn’t want our work product. So be wary of anyone in this biz that can quickly give you an estimate or bid.
If you have had success is your respective field and feel like it transfers to real estate development and construction, we can only caution you. The most accurate way we can warn you is to frankly say, “you do not know the correct questions to ask to get the kind of answers you require” meaning you can go down to the city, talk to a broker and have a few high level chats with consultants, but that doesn’t make you an expert. And none of these people (professionals) have an agreement in place designed to save you from yourself. It’s what you do not know that will cost you $50k, $100k maybe even $250-500k. In short, we are here to help, pride the value we add and charge accordingly for it. Please stay in your lane “Do It Yourselfers” unless you want to make building your home your full-time job and prepared to take on these risks yourself.