Residual Income for Plumbers?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by psolutions, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. psolutions

    psolutions New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    South Carolina
    With the economy the way it is we are rethinking a lot of things. This is almost making us see the light on how much we where missing out on when the getting was good.

    My question is on residual and repeat income. I know service plans are one, but they are often hard to sale, but we do try.

    How many plumbers find ways for that repeat income from customer to customer? We do have some luck with service plans, but i was looking for other ideas?

    Upgrades, pairing services together, service plans, anyone had any luck with creating a second income stream off of your plumbing company with anything like this?
  2. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    What we do is contact a lot of the local plumbers that do only new construction. We inform them if they get any calls for service work instead of blowing them away to subcontract us and we will split the profits. Some money is better than none. So its a win win situation for the both of us.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    service

    The only way to make money on service contracts is to word them so that the customer ALWAYS pays for necessary repairs. The service contract is just to get into the house and do the minor tuneups and find the things that you can sell as a repair. A friend of mine had a service contract on his AC unit, and every year when they did the service, they found some "expensive" item that needed to be replaced. One year he forgot to call them and did not have any problems, so he let the contract lapse so he could see how long it took before he had one of those "expensive" repairs that they found every year. It took 15 years before it happened and by then he had saved enough by not paying the yearly fee, (and those "repairs"), that he was way ahead financially.
  4. Repeat income....

    just sitting at home witha sick kid today...

    yellow pages is the best ......

    their are plumbers that are doing service contracts here in Indy,
    but their price is so high that I get most of their
    work hands down when they call me.for an estimate..


    Now you might already do this....and I have posted this before...


    This absolutely AMAZES me how many customers FORGET
    who they called last year for a plumbing problem....


    for the best repeat business, the one thing that has worked best
    for me is to simply stick my name on the water heater, furnace, well tank,
    water softener and disposal in every house I step foot in...



    If you have a few service trucks and you enforce this rule
    with all of your employees, pretty soon you got thousands
    and thousands of your logos and telephone numbers in homes everywhere...
    and after ten years its a lot of names..... and then they remember you........


    many of the stickers I put on as far back as 1980 are still there....
    .but the house has changed hands once or twice, the original customer
    has died, moved, divorced or whatever.....


    eventually the heater gives out and they call me again...

    becasuse my name is right in front of their noses.......

    a nice colored eye catching laminated sticker with everything
    you do on it costs only about 4 cents each..



    I have at least 250,000 of them stuck out there

    and it sort of feels like hitting the lottery every thim someone
    calls me cause they saw the sticker I put on
    their heater back in 1995...


    4 cent investment majically becomes 800 dollars.....



    but you got to start this habit and stick with it...


    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2008
  5. I was doing a good job of that, putting them on heaters, garbage disposals, and the handles on ball valves.


    I've pulled away from that and I don't know why....lack of interest but I know that works well.

    I'll put the stickers back on the truck after reading this. Just been really unorganized these past 8 months.


    Crap!
  6. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Pluumbing, of course

    Messages:
    49
    I like sticker too.
    Speaking works too for extra money.
    I'm finding that when you are a plumber, it's like being a rock star.
    So I say, you gotta think about public speaking for money.
    Yeah, ok that's what I'm thinking.
    And stickers are good.

    Magnets, Magnets anyone?
  7. GPRACING

    GPRACING New Member

    Messages:
    8
    The stickers are the way to go.We have used them for years and they do work!In service you will die without a yellow page ad.Just dont get to fancy.Those full page ads are nice but in a slow economy they get hard to pay for in a hurry.
  8. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    Magnets are never a waste of money. When someone gives me a magnet it goes right up on the fridge for future reference. It is just so easy when you need the plumber, electrician, mechanic; Plus, you can put your kids to work on making them on the computer for you, and buy the magnetic sheets anywhere they sell printer stuff. The stickers are really convenient and when I needed to call the furnace people for help one day, I used the basement phone and dialed right from the sticker. Another thing you could again, get your kids to make them for you. See, kids can be useful. :) The money they save you, you can spend on them.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Oh Yea! I've got magnets! If the fridge already has magnets on it I automatically toss one at the fridge while we're settling up. 9 times out of 10 I stick it from up to 10' away! If they don't have any on there I always ask if they want one... Most do!
  10. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    The best way to get repeat business is to not fix it the first time :D

    Anyway, the whole plumbing gig is pretty much dead. I'm thinking of getting into real estate or maybe the futures market.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    futures

    Maybe you would be better off opening a big 3 auto dealership. It would have about the same success as those choices.
    __________________
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2008
  12. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    LOL ... bingo
  13. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    I think you are underestimating the RE business, maybe your local area is down, but not all areas.
  14. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Hadn't thought of that. That's a great idea, all three on the same lot. I'll make a fortune. Thanks HJ, I owe you (and probably everyone else) one. :D
  15. Magents dont work....

    Magnets are too expensive and
    are usually thrown away sometime down the road


    Pernamant laminated stickers made so that that are almost hell to peel off are the best route..


    even if the customer dont like you,
    most people are just too lazy to get one off the heater or disposal
    or furnace..... ...


    so they are stuck on and remain there forever....


    ....
    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2008
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    I would just use magic makers on mine, :)

    BUT, I keep the magnets, for other reasons too. I hang tons of stuff on my fridge and use them. I love magnets.
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    autos

    Having three dealerships on one lot would have an added benefit. Maybe then you would sell THREE cars a week. One from each company.
  18. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    You could entice in customers by having a free plumbing inspection give away, 1 time a month...and 1 free water heater + installation a year...
  19. psolutions

    psolutions New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Residual Income

    I havent done stickers yet, but after reading the positive feedback here i just placed my order with NEBs.

    How about product sales, etc.?
    Anything you try to pitch for extra sales while at the customers house? I always look at other items and if something looks faulty make recommendation, but what about other services youve successfully coupled with plumbing?

    Service unfortunately by its nature seems to be more of a one shot deal. The customer calls you for one issue and done.

    Many companies around my area go for that one big price tag and take the customer for all they can first shot in the door. We use more of a repeat business mind set when setting prices. We do get repeat business this way, but it probably takes 2-3 trips to get the profit some of the larger companies get on the first and only trip.

    The way i see it though... more trips equals more brand power with the customer and more word of mouth.
  20. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,799
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't know about that.
    A local publication in Seattle gave one of the highest charging plumbing outfits it's "Best Service Plumber" award based on customer votes.
    They advertise on television, radio, buses, sporting events, heck they probably have a blimp too. Most of the people doing the voting haven't used them yet, that's going to be a real shocker. I can't remember the name now.........

    I talked to a customer this week that I installed a Toto Guinevere for, last Saturday Mr Ben did a service call for him on a different toilet. (Not the same outfit mentioned above)
    He was charged $120 just to have his name on the list that day. The plumber got there at the end of the day, and wanted to charge him $120 to say it was too late to do any work. The customer made him go get the tank parts and replace them in his $80 toilet. The repair wound up costing him $515.00
    I felt kind of silly, I quoted him something like $175 for the same job. (M through F)

    This week he called up, and we were called in to work in another bathroom,
    He decided to go with the new $600 toilet and install.
    Maybe I should order some stickers so he can remember who to call next time,
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008
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