Why Do Window Bids Differ So Much?
Great question. There are very good windows and there are very poor windows on the market. Generally speaking many people, when shopping for replacement windows, will acquire three bids. In the same geographical area sometimes the bids are very close in range and sometimes they differ dramatically. There are many reasons for this but the root cause is that replacement window pricing generally is a direct function of the overhead of the company providing the replacement window quote. For example, we recently completed a window job for a couple in Columbus, Ohio. I was their third of three estimates with all three products being extremely similar. The first price they received was for $51,000, the second estimate was for $32,000, and my bid was just shy of $15,000. With a perplexed look, the homeowners asked me how there could be such a drastic range in pricing. I comforted them by letting them know that the other two companies are reputable, offer fine products and installation, and are not necessarily trying to take advantage of them. Furthermore, I explained to them that in any business model, businesses try to be profitable. In doing so, a company may have opulent office space, a staff of 50 telemarketers, 50 canvassers, 20 salesperson, 10 managers and so forth and so on. These window replacement companies have to build all of this overhead into the price of the windows being replaced. Add on top of that the many marketing expenses. By adding television, radio, newspaper, coupon books etc. to their business model, once again that gets added to the price of the replacement windows. (Never mind the huge commission you are paying the window salesperson.)
I then went on to explain how the Zen Windows™ business model has been set up. I have realized that after 20 years in the replacement window industry, I could create a business model that not only works for me but in conjunction works for the homeowner. With Zen Windows™ the purchasing experience is extremely painless and rather unique. All of the business comes from word of mouth or what you may have just recently done, an Internet search. What clients find with Zen Windows™ is that the business model works for everybody. First and foremost all clients meet with me, the owner. I do not employ any salespeople for numerous reasons. The reasons for this are as follows: 1. This is my company and my brand, and I would like to be the only one who represents that; 2. If clients ever need anything from my company, they will reach me directly because I have provided them with my personal cell phone, office phone and email address, so that they do not have to deal with anyone but the owner; and 3. I can keep my pricing extremely competitive because there are no sales commissions and very little overhead. Because my business is largely referral-based, I have the flexibility to always take care of my clients and help them with their window replacement/home improvement budgets.
Having explained all of this to our homeowners they now understand why a company who has millions of dollars in overhead has to charge three, four, even five times as much per window then what Zen Windows™ would charge. As with all Zen Windows™ clients, I let them digest my bid and the information I left with them. A few days later they called me, ready to join the Zen Windows™ family.