Share:
Notifications
Clear all

The Goldilocks Price

Page 3 / 4
jacavell
(@jacavell)
50+ posts Member
Posted by: @frozennorth

I would recommend fixed price with fixed scope.  Signed contract, with at least 25% retainer.  If he decides to ask for more work, great--price goes up and he signs a contract amendment/work order. 

Don't let him price pressure you.  As a contractor friend of mine says "I bid 'em happy-happy.  Happy if I get 'em.  Happy if I don't."  I think that's good advice.

I would caution against T&E with a not-to-exceed (NTE).  Unless your NTE is really high, that only protects the client, and stands a real chance of screwing you.  

This is the best answer!

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2022 12:00 pm
BushAxe
(@bushaxe)
500+ posts Member

@chris-bouffard 

@chris-bouffard

This is what I was trying to hint at. Your numbers appear to apply only to the smaller tract to be subdivided from the larger tract. The same is true for the OP. How can he subdivide the parent tract without surveying the parent tract?

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2022 3:53 pm
aliquot liked
Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
5,000+ posts Member

A hard NO on NTE. You take all the risk in that scenario.

Fixed Fee arrangements are good if the fixed fee is big enough. And when people ask for an NTE number they usually mean fixed fee. The two are not synonymous.

T&M (aka T&E) put the risk on the client, and so is not often a winning approach for price shoppers.

In the end there is no replacement for accurately estimating the job and holding your ground for fair compensation.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2022 4:21 pm
Jitterboogie, Firestix, lukenz and 2 people liked

holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Met with a client today who has built up a successful business in the trenching business for all sorts of pipe lines. He wants to cut his house (Probably $500,000 range in a very low-priced area) from his business site and another 60 acres of cropland.  Weeks ago when we spoke on the telephone he asked what I thought it might take to do this for him.  I tossed out a range of what it might be.  He said no problem, get to it as soon as it works into your schedule.  Today we strolled around the property that he was guessing as three acres but if it's four or five acres, that's fine too.

BTW, the metal building that goes with his house is where he stores his helicopter.  He's planning to move it to his second home in Florida to commute back to the middle of God's Country as he needs to to supervise any projects his superintendents need help with.

He started with nothing but an old, piece-o-crap backhoe.  I would say his business savvy has worked well for him.  Trying to nitpick prices on a survey isn't worth it.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2022 5:16 pm
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

It's easy to err on the wrong side on jobs by assuming things will be normal or better.  I'm reminded of a job where one corner of what was a simple one lot survey turned out to be a giant PITA.  The adjoiner had stacked several hundred concrete blocks in what he assumed was the corner of his property, we moved about 150 blocks out of the way before finally getting to ground level in the area we hoped to find an existing bar.  Found it.  Restacked the blocks and documented where the corner was relative to the block stack on our plat.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2022 5:21 pm
Firestix
(@firestix)
100+ posts Member

@bushaxe 

That was the recent case with a recent summer survey I did that went to and intercoastal creek.  The flies were swarming.  It almost broke my 18 year old son ... but he's determined to be a surveyor.  

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2022 7:05 pm

Murphy
(@murphy)
500+ posts Member

Regardless of how you create your estimates, keep good records of the actual time spent on a project.  Whilst living in the information age, it's shocking how few surveyors acknowledge the value of data.  My 1.25 multiplier is based on analysis of my estimated time vs the actual completion time.  I should be capable of just adding more time to my estimates, but for some reason my delusional optimism gets the best of me each time, so whether I think I need it or not, I increase my estimate by 25%.  Whether you use a spreadsheet, database, or professional software, you will never regret the time spent keeping good business records.  

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 22, 2022 3:19 am
BushAxe
(@bushaxe)
500+ posts Member

@firestix Yep. Try dealing with yellow flies while turning angles manually. They would land on my freaking eyelids while dialing in the target. I would try to blow them off while continuing to site my targets but they would just sit right there. I had to scrape them off with my hands. Thats when I started wearing long sleeves throughout the summer. If I didn’t the yellow flies would eat my elbows up. 
Reading this back, I may have some deep rooted issues. 😂 

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 22, 2022 7:01 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

One Summer we were hit with swarming gnats for weeks on end.  It was almost impossible to breathe without sucking in some of those vile critters.  Landing on the eyelashes while swarming between your eye and the instrument and another group swarming or landing on the far end of the scope was a constant issue.  That was 1994.  Never again have I experienced such a thing.  We were working along a six-mile stretch of road, so it was not unique to a specific little pond or stream area.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 22, 2022 9:54 am

RADAR
(@dougie)
5,000+ posts Member

I ran a profile through about 660 feet, of a wooded draw, once; and when we pulled up, it looked like the woods were on fire. Nope, it was gnats; millions and millions of gnats...

Miserable day in the field, circa 1980

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 22, 2022 10:01 am
Mark Mayer
(@mark-mayer)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @norman-oklahoma

T&M (aka T&E) put(s) the risk on the client, and so is not often a winning approach for price shoppers.

I should add that if your hourly rates realistically cover your all your costs - including paying yourself for your time plus a fair profit margin - there is nothing inherently wrong with working T&M.    

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 22, 2022 1:28 pm
T Ford
(@t-ford)
50+ posts Member

The perspective client is shopping around for the lowest cost.  Don't go down that road.  Once you do, there's no way off it.   Stick to your original estimate and if the perspective client doesn't like it then what have you lost?  In forty plus years of surveying I have never worked in a cuttover that was easy.  

Good luck and remember you are the professional not the client.

This post was modified 4 months ago by T Ford
ReplyQuote
Posted : January 23, 2022 6:02 am
Murphy, ncsudirtman, BushAxe and 1 people liked

Jitterboogie
(@jitterboogie)
1,000+ posts Supporter

Legitimate question here:

Why is cost of this an issue?

Plumbers bill at a rate they hold, electricians too. Varies from location and unions too, and flat rates.

And mechanics.

Doctors are held by federal And state laws for Medicare and Medicaid prices  and also have set standardized rates that also get applied.

Lawyers don't negotiate their hourly rates, they just bill everything at 0.1hr increments.

We bill out to our clients for survey at around  95/hr for survey techs and  150/Surveyors and project management.

Was similar at another company I started with several years ago.

The estimated cost is based on the rates charged, so using T&M seems like it's the only option, but the NTE idea evolved to the best of my knowledge from federal jobs where Contractors were raping and pillaging so the FED said nope  and then we got what have there.  

Negotiable cost for a survey seems like it's solely based upon the time and effort it will take versus the misinformation of what people have been misguided into believing what a survey Should cost.

 

 

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 23, 2022 6:57 am
Brad Ott
(@brad-ott)
5,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @frozennorth

"I bid 'em happy-happy.  Happy if I get 'em.  Happy if I don't."  I think that's good advice.

Agreed.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 23, 2022 7:40 am
Gary liked
Jim in AZ
(@jim-in-az)
1,000+ posts Member

@murphy 

"The client appears to be telling you that he doesn't care about quality,..."

 

If my PROSPECTIVE client indicates this he will not be my client!

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 23, 2022 7:41 am

Page 3 / 4
Share: