The latest recession taught lessons and left scars on everyone in business, not least the property market. The world has become far more price conscious, subsequently contractors are being asked to submit quotations for works that 10 years ago would have been instructed without a second thought.
Compiling quotations can be a labour intensive exercise for contractors given there is no guarantee in ultimate instruction. The industry dictates that quotations are carried out at no charge, therefore the contractor is at a deficit before works even start. Many build funds into the quotation to counteract this deficit which suggests that requesting quotes for minor works is not always cost effective for the client.
Given the number of quotations that are being requested, contractors need to deliver their price and methodology in the best way possible as many FMs consider the professional nature of the quote to be a good representation of the contractor themselves. In these instances, keen pricing alone can carry less weight.
At Propertyserve we vet hundreds of quotations a day for our clients, which puts us in a position of authority to pick out five qualities shared by the most successful submissions:
Accurate, Detailed Descriptions
Two minutes is all it takes to type up an informative, descriptive paragraph detailing the extent of the works involved. Consider these two descriptions:
- “Lift paving, dispose relay with new leave in working order”
- “We intend to lift the unsteady and cracking paving slabs and remove from the area. These are broken so, unfortunately, they can’t be reused. We’ve sourced replacements at the cost detailed below and these will be installed after any uneven bedding is made stable. The area will, of course, be left clean and tidy once we’re finished”
The second is longer, but it’s easier to read and it demonstrates a basic understanding of customer service. While nobody wants a brick-by-brick essay on how a wall is going to be built, a well-worded description goes a long way to show care and attention.
Detailed Breakdowns of Costs
Many quotes we receive bundle the required materials into one cost. All this does is cover up the cost of each individual item and raises suspicions in the facilities manager’s mind that they’re being overcharged. Show the full price of as many of the different materials as possible – your transparency will be appreciated.
Easy to Read Layout
Taking the time to devise an efficient, consistent template for quotations goes a long way. Facilities managers will begin to recognise the quality of your documents and even if you’re not successful this time, you’re more likely to be remembered for the right reasons later on.
The Numbers Add Up
We reject a surprising amount of quotes because their materials and labour costs don’t add up. If accuracy doesn’t matter to you when you’re tendering for a £10,000 job, why will it matter when you’re actually doing the work?
Does your engineer have doubts that the cleaning of the graffiti will be 100% effective? Is the likelihood that all those pigeons whose droppings you’re clearing up will be back to paint the blank canvas in a matter of days? Have you any other doubts that the work you’re being asked to undertake is going to be as easy as the facilities manager thinks? Tell them. It’s all well and good to ‘cross that bridge when you come to it’, but if you’re not highlighting potential issues to the client, chances are someone else will, and if you go ahead and encounter problems later on down the line your eligibility for repeat business is all but shattered.