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American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

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  • #16
    Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

    Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
    I think that once I have a decent customer base American Home shield will go by the wayside for me they are in no way a great thing but have been a necessary evil.

    Every little bit is helping get my business through that first critical year or two. ( I will do some work for food but not all of it)

    I think the experience is worth the lower than average $. My truck is out there people are seeing me, parts houses are giving me referrals.

    For me it is about gaining the trust and respect of the people in who's homes I work.

    I'm from a small town (20K) in the bible belt and trust and name recignition is everything here.

    20k.......hell, thats the "big city"......my town is 2K. When you run into customers at the grocery store or the post office, which happens daily, they better like the job you did for them......Rick
    The Other Rick

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    • #17
      Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

      Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
      I think that once I have a decent customer base American Home shield will go by the wayside for me they are in no way a great thing but have been a necessary evil.

      Every little bit is helping get my business through that first critical year or two. ( I will do some work for food but not all of it)

      I think the experience is worth the lower than average $. My truck is out there people are seeing me, parts houses are giving me referrals.

      For me it is about gaining the trust and respect of the people in who's homes I work.

      I'm from a small town (20K) in the bible belt and trust and name recignition is everything here.
      If you want your trucks to be seen then park em where they are seen. Being a lowballer is no way to make it! If thats all your worth then have at it. You can all ways go down in price but you can never come up Charge your price and stick with it! Dont be the lowballer in the hood
      http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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      • #18
        Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

        Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
        If you want your trucks to be seen then park em where they are seen. Being a lowballer is no way to make it! If thats all your worth then have at it. You can all ways go down in price but you can never come up Charge your price and stick with it! Dont be the lowballer in the hood
        I agree, I don't think being cheap really helps get business...at least not the kind of business I want. Plus, if your prices are low, you won't have the funds to advertise to your potential new customers. The busier companies in this town are among th emore expensive. They are busy because they charge more and can afford the best marketing. Go figure!
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        • #19
          Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

          All Clear and Service Guy,

          I never thought of it in that way, Right now my prices are in line with the other plumbers in town ( except for the homeshield calls) so I in no way lowball but I see your point about working for peanuts and being to cheap

          I actually went and sat down with the owner of the Lennox business and the Goodman business ( HVAC) here in my town to introduce myself to them and talk about pricing, I never did that for plumbing but did learn their rates over time and adjusted mine accordingly ( I was lowballing unintentionally on my plumbing jobs for my first 2 months).

          I try not to let other plumbers get shopped as long as the price is not skyhigh, If someone is getting ripped off I will give a price otherwise I will tell them the price they have is fair and recommend the guy who gave the first estimate rather than cut a throat for a few dollars...

          I give everyone my best work, I price it to the market, I pay my bills on time and I sleep great at night... A guy can't really ask for more than that except for maybe enough $ to get that K-60 that Plumberick brags about

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          • #20
            Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

            Originally posted by OkieBill View Post

            I give everyone my best work, I price it to the market, I pay my bills on time and I sleep great at night... A guy can't really ask for more than that except for maybe enough $ to get that K-60 that Plumberick brags about
            that k-60 almost scalped me yesterday

            i think the monkey in the tree didn't like the cable up there and threw it down on me. next time i need to make sure the monkey is in his cage before i pull that stunt again

            if you afford to purchase the k-60, i know it will make money for you. my first one was an ebay machine and it was complete with cable and rear guide hose. most on ebay are the machine only with no cable or hose.

            i do charge a machine charge on my drain cleaning equipment. so at the end of the year i can track and see what that machine has generated in charges. this is what pays for it's cables, cutters, upkeep and it's younger brothers

            the machine charge is still less than if the person rented a machine for 2 hours. so there's never an issue if they ask. typically my customers never ask and just pay the bill as it's all broken down on the printed computerized invoice at the job.

            if you can make it to the roundup, i'll show you how i school the drum guys

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #21
              Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

              Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
              If you want your trucks to be seen then park em where they are seen. Being a lowballer is no way to make it! If thats all your worth then have at it. You can all ways go down in price but you can never come up Charge your price and stick with it! Dont be the lowballer in the hood
              I think we all remember our first few jobs, where we walk away with crap for money...that point where the customer writes the check and both you and they feel an odd uncomfortable, embarrassingly quiet moment....as if you were a cheap date and the night is over.

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              • #22
                Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                That is so true Duckbutter

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                • #23
                  Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                  If you're starting out and have no real customer base, I see 3 options:

                  1. Keep your standards high and pay lots of money to advertise.
                  2. Keep your standards high and hope your business will grow.
                  3. Get your face out there with an insurance co. essentially letting them pay you for advertising and leave them once you're established.

                  I would go with #3. Can't speak for anyone else but I can say I've worked for some of the most crooked, bad people. I learned alot from them and left them while maintaining my ethics and workmanship. They did pay the bills. Would I have liked to have worked for a reputable company that paid as well? Sure but everyone has to start somewhere. If I left the Navy today and started my business tommorrow, I would honestly use american home shield. I could swallow this indignity alot better than telling the wife that we can only afford chicken and ramen for the next 2 weeks.

                  And yes, the company I work with now uses them so I do have a realistic idea of dealing with an insurance company.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #24
                    Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                    Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                    If I left the Navy today and started my business tommorrow, I would honestly use american home shield. I could swallow this indignity alot better than telling the wife that we can only afford chicken and ramen for the next 2 weeks.
                    True that, I said it earlier on this thread, I took my hits to get off the ground.
                    What I would STRONGLY suggest is DON'T allow low budget jobs to become habit.
                    Time has a way of passing by, and what was supposed to be temporary sometimes becomes longterm.

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                    • #25
                      Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                      1. Keep your standards high and pay lots of money to advertise.
                      This is the route I am going....its extremely risky but is so far working. I have actually walked away from jobs even when its really slow to keep my standards high. Thats just how I roll.
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                      • #26
                        Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                        Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                        This is the route I am going....its extremely risky but is so far working. I have actually walked away from jobs even when its really slow to keep my standards high. Thats just how I roll.
                        We could go on for hours on that one, swapping stories and.
                        You might make less now, but one thing to consider is that over the next few years the customers you service now will be calling you back.
                        They'll have the same expectations.

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                        • #27
                          Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                          We could go on for hours on that one, swapping stories and.
                          You might make less now, but one thing to consider is that over the next few years the customers you service now will be calling you back.
                          They'll have the same expectations.
                          Thats the plan....
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                          • #28
                            Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                            Thanks guys, another great post for us biz starters. I remember I was forced to pull a AHS call for "The company" I work for (not for long) it earned me $5.00 in service volume. Ouch I think I made $0.35 that day.
                            ANYONE CAN TAKE THE HELM WHEN THE SEA IS CALM.

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                            • #29
                              Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                              I saw your post and had to respond. I am new to the forum, but have some input on the insurance companies.

                              AHS and Old Republic are customers of mine and have been for several years. The thing that you have to remeber is how to word your reports and do your billing. In my demographic area they want you to keep an average invoice of 200 dollars. After working for them a while request to your CR that he/she raise your autho limit to 250 if its not already there. Then at the end of a week when doing your billing adjust invoices individually to accomodate the average. For example - you go to 3 homes.
                              #1 toilet not flushing. stoppages typically aren't covered, but all you do is plunge and everything works great. You have 45 min inveseted in job.
                              #2 packing nut on valve is leaking, staining dropped cieling tile. You tighten nut and HO is happy. You have 1 hr invested in job.
                              #3 leaking water heater. don't get discouraged call in report. Get Autho for heater. Don't forget to charge the NC costs of adding a TXT or disposal.

                              Now its time for billing. Remember the only thing they care about is average invoice amts. Job #1 and 2 bill out just shy of 200. #3 will probably be about 450 (40 Gal Elec).

                              You've collected/billed about a 1000 dollars. 850 to AHS. 150 to #3 for TXT and other various NC costs. probably invested a half a days labor. Not bad anywhere. If you see that your average is getting to high, send a bill for 0 dollars. Yes, 0 dollars. a 0 averaged in will drop it significantly and you won't lose any sleep over tightening a packing nut for 55. Alot of plumbers can only focus on one job at a time, but if you can look at whole scheme of things you will be quite happy with AHS and OR. Just be sure to push for that higher autho limit.

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                              • #30
                                Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                                Originally posted by MPMGinAL View Post
                                I saw your post and had to respond. I am new to the forum, but have some input on the insurance companies.

                                AHS and Old Republic are customers of mine and have been for several years. The thing that you have to remeber is how to word your reports and do your billing. In my demographic area they want you to keep an average invoice of 200 dollars. After working for them a while request to your CR that he/she raise your autho limit to 250 if its not already there. Then at the end of a week when doing your billing adjust invoices individually to accomodate the average. For example - you go to 3 homes.
                                #1 toilet not flushing. stoppages typically aren't covered, but all you do is plunge and everything works great. You have 45 min inveseted in job.
                                Plunging rarely works at all.
                                #2 packing nut on valve is leaking, staining dropped cieling tile. You tighten nut and HO is happy. You have 1 hr invested in job.
                                I don't just tighten nuts. I would replace the valve and supply at least and also recommend other repairs if they were needed
                                #3 leaking water heater. don't get discouraged call in report. Get Autho for heater. Don't forget to charge the NC costs of adding a TXT or disposal.

                                Now its time for billing. Remember the only thing they care about is average invoice amts. Job #1 and 2 bill out just shy of 200. #3 will probably be about 450 (40 Gal Elec). Supplying and installing a new water heater will cost a lot more than this for me, especially with a permit and expansion tank.

                                You've collected/billed about a 1000 dollars. 850 to AHS. 150 to #3 for TXT and other various NC costs. probably invested a half a days labor. Not bad anywhere. If you see that your average is getting to high, send a bill for 0 dollars. Yes, 0 dollars. a 0 averaged in will drop it significantly and you won't lose any sleep over tightening a packing nut for 55. Alot of plumbers can only focus on one job at a time, but if you can look at whole scheme of things you will be quite happy with AHS and OR. Just be sure to push for that higher autho limit.
                                Well, its seems to be working for you. No way I would do things this way though. You've found your niche, but many of us don't fit into the AHS niche. I do quality work and give my customer's quality plumbing service on every call. I don't just run in and tighten something and run out. To each their own.
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