I am wondering why people are so attracted to the word FREE? We are all in business, many of our clients are in business, and we know quite well that nothing is free. And yet, a lot of people are so addicted to getting something for nothing.
I personally don't expect to get anything for free. I also don't give much for free either. Being a remodeling contractor, I cringe when the first question people ask when they call us is: do you give free estimates? It is an immediate disqualifier for me. So, why do people expect it from me, but not from their doctor?
When I tell them that we don’t give free estimates, they are surprised and confused. The nicer ones ask: we are going to get three estimates, are you telling us that we need to pay you and other contractors too? To which I usually reply: when you visit a doctor and ask for his/her opinion, you pay for it, right? Oh yes. Now, if you don’t like the opinion or would like to get another one, you go to a different doctor and pay again, right? Of course you do.
So, how are we, the contractors, different from doctors? I, for example, am a civil engineer by education. In addition, I have 18 years of experience doing residential design-build remodeling. I think my experience is worth something. Or take real estate agents. Why do people expect that someone will spend 10-20-40 hours showing them the houses for free? Did we create this ourselves? And if yes, how do we change it? Or, do we need/want to change it?