Have you ever heard “you should always,” get at least 3 different quotes for a remodeling project? I’ve heard this time and time again. Although, I wonder who was the person who thought of getting 3 quotes? And, why is 3 the magic number? Why not 1 or 20? Today, I am going to tell you how getting 3 quotes could actually be doing you a disservice.
When I asked this question of people, I get a strange look; like I am asking them where the elevator is when I just got off the elevator. The reality is it is a fair question. Why is there a need for 3 quotes? People just haven’t thought about it. I am going to tell you why it can hurt you but first let me tell you what the hiring process looks like for me as a general contractor.
Personally, when people ask me whether I get 3 quotes, I tell them I will hire the first person I talk to, or the 20th person I talked to but at no time will I be talking to more than one person at once. It’s just too time consuming to keep track of all that conflicting information.
Here is what the hiring process looks like for me; I will talk to the first contractor and decide if they are the right fit. Meaning, I will either move to the next step with them or dismiss them. If I dismiss them, I will contact the next contractor. The pattern will continue on like this until I’ve hired the right person for my project or just given up.
Now that you have an idea of how I approach this issue; here is what I typically see from potential customers:
Someone has a need for a project. They call and schedule appointments with 2 to 6 different contractors and ask them for quotes.
Have you ever considered the message you are sending to the contractors? Most people don’t get quotes on quality or at least it is not perceived that way. For instance, you wouldn’t go out and interview 3 doctors trying to figure out who is cheapest for your surgery, right? You’d want to find the best doctor for your surgery and go from there.
The average contractor has been doing this a lot longer than the person seeking the quotes. Experience has taught them that those who are seeking multiple quotes are looking for the best price. So, effectively now what you have is 6 different contractors who are looking for ways to shave costs on your project so they can come in with the lowest price. Do you think the contractors are considering quality work at this point?
Conversely, this is what I suggest instead: you call in one contractor, discuss your project with them and see if they are a good fit for you. Then, allow the contractor to demonstrate that they are qualified for the job. For example, they come up with a solution that will work for you and your project. If you like them then you work together towards your end goal, finding the best way to approach your project. Also, making sure to take into consideration all things necessary to consider such as, timing, materials, installations, budgets, if plans/permits are necessary and all things related to putting together a good project development so the project could run smoothly.
Do you think that person will give you better attention and focus on meeting your needs instead of just coming up with a better price? I would suggest, absolutely.
I don’t know who the genius was who came up with the rule of getting 3 quotes but, if you are looking for something more quality driven then price driven you should consider the latter option. It is called a negotiated quote; is it where everyone puts their cards on the table and tries to figure out what is best for YOU.
So, which option would you prefer?