Virtual Estimating! Vision or Reality?


Brian Cvetezar

With all the disagreement about everything in our current world, there is one thing that “everyone” agrees on: “things are changing fast.” The forecasts of the futurists of: a predominant work from home labor force and video communication surpassing phone audio interaction are accelerating to a new reality thanks to the Covid 19 virus. Entire segments of the home repair industry are in near shut down as consumers and contractors alike fear interface. The good news is that change is motivating everyone to use technology more. There are few who have not participated in some: Facetime, Zoom, Go To Meeting, Ring Central or other platform video communication in the past several months. The new reality has opened the door to opportunity.


I enjoy watching participants of our monthly Discovery and Training Seminars necks snap back as Paul DelFino describes the potential costs of estimating. When you add travel time, time with customer and miscellaneous other expense it can be a staggering dollar number per estimate.

Today’s thought…What if you did not have to visit the site?

Yes history has proven photo estimates can be flawed as you miss many concerns of contiguous slabs and other cost impacting factors with the limits of a static photo.  But – what if it was video with the customer?  You could in effect be:

  • Saving incredible expense
  • Accelerating the response time to inquiry
  • Increasing your potential of sale due to fulfillment of nearly instant gratification
  • Minimizing the potential of a competitor beating you to the location with the assumption that many consumers live by the adage – “first one to appear gets the work”
  • Demonstrate the image of a tech savvy enterprise increasing the differentiation from competitors
  • Making your customers feel “safer” with one less interface with someone outside their comfort zone


Over the last month our contracting arm, RaiseRite Concrete Lifting has launched a test of offering customer video estimates. In simple sequence it works like this:

  • When a prospect calls we collect all the information for loading our CRM system as we have recommended in our seminars. Beyond offering estimates: when the customer is not home or setting an appointment for our estimator we now also offer an appointment for a video estimate.
  • We explain to customers that they can set an appointment nearly immediately where they can ZOOM, SKYPE, or  FACETIME with our estimator. Initial customer response has been extremely positive.
  • During the video call our estimator has the customer focus their camera on the area in need of repair and provides instructions for measuring the slab and amount of settling. From there our traditional Estimate Rocket System allows the estimator to email and completed estimate to the customer on the spot.

Plans are already in motion for developing systems for on line appointment setting for video estimating. With proper screen development and follow-up emails the enhanced service can be offered anyway a customer wants to interact with us.


Many customers have begun to use call centers to accept initial phone inquiries and then load their CRM system or Estimate Rocket. With video estimating any operator can communicate what a customer could prepare and schedule the video estimate for that day or evening as controlled by you.


All industry statistics we monitor suggest that the initial 2020 results for concrete lifting contractors are up. We believe this is because we perform an exterior repair and prospects have minimal fear given the social distancing sensitivities we all have. Time and more information will tell us more. Making sure our businesses grow in a challenging environment requires that we all adapt and lever every opportunity to take advantage of  trends. I am looking forward to sharing more information and results about our video estimating test in the months ahead.

As our experiment was in planning I kept thinking of a frequent quote of one of my favorite consultants: “If you have not tried or implemented something new in your business in the last year – you are dead and just have not realized it yet.”

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