Charging for "consultations" with renovation clients: Can it be done? Are you doing it?
The idea of a consultation fee to weed out "tire kickers" is not a new one. We invite all renovators and builders to post a comment on whether they've tried this technique, and let us know if it helped (or helps) their business.
I read an interesting article in Fine Homebuilding this morning. It’s part of a series called the “Self-Taught MBA.” The idea is to give homebuilders and renovators the negotiation chops they almost certainly have not been formally trained for. Credit to their writer Fernando Pages Ruiz for making this stuff available. Here’s the online article.
The article contained one idea that you hear a lot lately: Charging for consultations with prospective clients.
The theory goes: if you charge (Ruiz suggests $500) for a “preliminary design and budget proposal” you will weed out the tire-kickers and have fewer customers waste your time when you were never likely to be a part of their renovations (if they do them) in the first place.
So, Canadian Contractor online invites you to share.
Have you tried charging a fee for consultation?
Did it work? How much do you charge?
Is this a regular practice of yours?
All opinions welcome!