Several remodelers asked recently about how to respond to a request from a potential client for a “free estimate. ”Here is some suggested language you might consider for your response:

  • "Why are you thinking of asking people for free estimates? What makes doing so a good strategy?"
  • "Have you ever bought anything else by soliciting free estimates? If so, how did that go?"
  • "So, what are you going to do with the free estimate(s)? If you are getting more than one, how are you going to compare them, as they will all be in different formats and based on different and incomplete information?"
  • "How accurate is a free estimate? It is typically worth as much time as went into it. Given that a company doing free estimates only gets one in three of the projects it does estimates for how, much time can that company put into each estimate it is doing? Not a lot. And who pays for all those free estimates? The clients who end up hiring the contractor doing them do."

Now that they are feeling a bit uneasy about free estimates you can ask the following:
"Would you like to hear about an alternative process, one that lets you find out what it is like to work with a contractor by engaging his services to figure out what the design, scope of work and cost of your project will be?"

If they still are not interested say "Goodbye." Then they can waste all your competitors' time.