Selling Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule projects can be a daunting task, especially if you’re competing against non-certified contractors. The non-certified firm can easily under cut your prices, since they have no additional compliance cost. On top of this, while you should be wooing your potential customer with your expertise, fantastic reputation and expressing how wonderful the job will look … instead, you’re talking about laws, lead poisoning and higher prices.
Following is part one of a three part series about how to better sell RRP jobs.
If Possible, Don’t Talk About RRP
If contractors would take the time to read the actual rule, they may be surprised at how often their compliance cost could be low enough to oust the other contractors and ultimately get the job.
When I first read the rule, it seemed that a lot of what my 8 hour class had taught me wasn’t actually in the rule. There was no mention of disposable suits, gloves and booties. I thought I had to put plastic everywhere, including a trail leading outside. All power tools needed to be connected to a HEPA vacuum and all the debris was to be placed in heavy duty plastic bags.
During my estimates, the subject always turned to the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule as I handed them the Renovate Right pamphlet and watched their smiles turn into glazed eyes and a shocked look.
The more I read the rule, the more I began to understand that I was doing a lot of extras. Soon, I started realizing that on many jobs my compliance cost was so little (less than 10%) that I didn’t really need to mention RRP. And that’s what I started doing … stop talking about RRP during these estimates. I only brought the subject up once I got the contract signed and even then, it was simply to give the homeowner the Renovate Right and get them to sign the receipt.
Once again, I was only talking about their expectations, how I do quality work and explaining why they should use me. Gone were the days of the EPA, toxic dust and trying to make them believe in something that they actually didn’t believe in.
When it came to repeat customers or referrals, even if the compliance cost was over the 10%, I just added it in the overall cost. These golden customers weren’t interested in the metal lead. They were interested in me doing the job and when I could get started.
It would be nice if all jobs worked this way. Unfortunately, there are those jobs that have higher compliance cost. Part 2 will talk about how to sell these jobs.