The commercial property inspector should typically expect to propose a quote for a job in one of two ways:
- solely over the phone; or
- in a written proposal.
The latter is the more formal method, but both ways require preliminary research about the property to be conducted before quoting a fee. Some commercial property inspectors also provide a quote in the formal inspection agreement (between the client and inspector).
The best method for quoting a commercial property inspection depends on a number of variables, including:
- Company policy. Every commercial property inspection company should have formal policies and procedures in place for quoting jobs, including a protocol for when to quote with a written proposal versus solely over the phone.
- Required by the client. In some cases, prospective clients, like REITs or those part of a large CRE firm, may need a written proposal as part of their contracting process. So, commercial property inspectors should be prepared with one.
- Large-scale projects. Sizeable CRE is oftentimes better quoted with a written proposal for organizational purposes and to ensure effective communication of service details and associated fees.
- Clients new to the inspection process. It may be beneficial to provide clients who are new to the inspection process, or even all first-time clients, with a written proposal to ensure that your services and fees are clearly explained. Disputes are less likely to arise this way.
- Competitively bid jobs. If a commercial property inspector is competing with another inspector for a job, a written proposal may help convey that the inspector’s company is the best bang for the client’s buck. The proposal is basically a value proposition.
- Differentiate yourself. Commercial property inspectors may distinguish themselves from others dabbling in the CRE market by quoting a job with a written proposal, especially if the inspector suspects that the prospective client is accustomed to fielding written proposals.
These are general notes. Inspectors may choose to quote every job with a written proposal, then follow up with a phone to call to review it with the prospective client. While some inspectors may choose to quote the service over the phone and follow up with both a written proposal and inspection agreement, some may choose to quote the majority of individual commercial suites or residential properties converted into a commercial space solely over the phone and follow up only with an inspection agreement. Policies and procedures will vary by company and may depend on who is answering the phones for the company.
The chosen method for quoting a commercial property inspection will likely evolve as clients are retained, and inspectors gain experience with different types of commercial buildings and their team of specialty consultants. Learn about the anatomy of a commercial property inspection proposal.
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