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  • #987898
    Colette Stewart
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    Hi everyone

    I am a new member of Flying Solo, though I do admit, I have delved into the forums a few times in the last few years!

    We have been in this business since 1991, but we are still growing and learning new skills. We work mainly in the South Eastern surburbs of Melbourne, and right down the Mornington Peninsula, building mid to high range new homes, extensions and complete renovations.

    The areas I am focusing on are low cost marketing, improving our sales conversion rate and implementing estimating/cost control software and systems.

    Colette

    #1164777
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,566
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    Hi Colette,

    Welcome aboard the forums! Firstly a big congrats on being in business for more than two decades. I think the very fact that you’re here looking for ways to keep improving is a big clue to how you’ve done it. :)

    Feel free to start new threads with any questions. Great to have you here!

    Dave

    #1164778
    Stuart Helwig
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
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    Hi Collette,

    (Disclaimer, I work for a company that supplies sales, estimating and accounting software for residential builders).

    I trying hard not to promote my work here, because I am genuinely trying to learn, what factors are important to businesses like yours when implementing such software. We are always thinking about where our business should be positioned and sometimes it is possible to focus on factors that builders don’t actually care about.

    What is important to builders in this area? Cost, Ease of use vs complex capabilities, comprehensive suite of features vs integration with other software?

    I’d love to better understand what the important factors are?

    (Again, I am not asking in order to make a sale here, but honestly in an attempt to understand what builders find important.)

    #1164779
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255
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    Hi Colette and welcome,

    I have a few clients in VIC and would love to come visit one day, especially where you are as I have heard it is just beautiful.

    An exciting business the building industry – ever changing and ever growing.

    Marketing and sales are the eternal business need and looking for solutions is always tricky. There are however SO many ways that you can market your business today and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. I have created a workshop just for this very thing!

    Estimating software is a whole other problem, I know people who love their software and those who hate it. Either way it has to be a time and budget saver plus ensure you make good profits on your work. A client of mine is very happy with Cordell, but ultimately you need to see that it will work for you.

    Flying Solo and the members here and incredibly helpful so I am sure you will receive plenty of tips.

    #1164780
    Colette Stewart
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    Thank you Stuart

    I have been looking at estimating software for about 18 months, and the factors that I consider are important are:

    Ease of use (my partner is not computer literate)
    Preloaded price lists and easy to update price file function
    Tracking of job expenses
    Job scheduling

    In addition to these, cost is always going to be a consideration in a small business, and if the software had integration with Accounting programs that would be a bonus but is not essential.

    #1164781
    Colette Stewart
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    Hi Kelly

    Thanks for you reply. We have been working on marketing for a while now and we are in the happy position that it is working. Hence the need to streamline our estimating.
    Cordell is one of the programs that I am looking at. Do you happen to know if your client works on new homes or extensions and renovations? As any software I buy would need to cope with both. From what I have heard estimating software for new homes is easier to find, but estimating extension and renovation work is considerably more complex.

    #1164782
    Stuart Helwig
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
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    What you’re looking for there doesn’t sound that unusual Colette.

    I’m interested though, what would your expectation be, regarding preloaded pricing? Prices specific to your area, your suppliers etc. ??

    #1164783
    Tony Manto
    Participant
    • Total posts: 581
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    Hi Colette, improving conversation comes down to the way you handle the enquiry and the questions you ask. A well structured script, asking the right questions and presenting the information in the right manner can increase conversions by 30% or more.

    #1164784
    Colette Stewart
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    Hi Stuart

    I would expect some manipulation of price files, would be necessary initially and also regularly as prices change. However, a reasonably accurate price file (relevant to my area) would at least be a strong starting point. I would not necessarily need my suppliers pricing in initially but would need the functionality of being able to import that easily.

    I know there are a number of software programs out there that claim to do amazing things, but what I was hoping for was some fellow builders to give me their opinions about what has or hasn’t worked for them in this area.

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