The Pricing Process
An estimate is provided prior to the start of each new assignment. Each one is estimated according to the scope, complexity and availability of source material.
Although not a guaranteed price, it's a fairly good barometer nonetheless. Since information and objectives sometimes change however, clients are given ample notice in the event the estimate is no longer representative.
There are four phases to a complete A to Z assignment. The following is a summary of those phases and the number of hours associated with each:
In summary, a complete A to Z assignment will take 23 hours, more or less.
Of course, if you don't need a hard copy presentation for lenders or investors, which is written and produced in a wire bound package, the estimate would be significantly less.
Clients are presented with the cost estimate sheet along with a Letter Agreement prior to commencing the assignment. There's no charge for the preliminary meeting, of course.
The following sections describe some of the functions in each phase of the assignment:
Planning: This is comprised of meetings to determine the overall strategy of the project, set common objectives and similar plans. It also includes collecting of needed information, research, conferences, visits with contractors, marketing people, property management and similar visits. Finally, it includes an element of administration, and similar tasks. This Phase is typically estimated at 3 hours.
Modeling: This is production of the actual model or study based on Argus or Pro-Ject. We first produce a "baseline" model, presuming there are no mysteries or unusual complexity. From there we produce several variations off the baseline model. This Phase is typically estimated at 8 hours, presuming the source information is accurate and there aren't unusual riddles.
Presentation: This Phase can be as time consuming as the actual models, if not more so. Preparing the models for presentation involves summarizing the findings, writing the summaries, designing how they'll look, the graphics, and then packaging them into a presentation. Finally, there's the meeting to present the findings. This Phase is typically estimated at 10 hours.
Follow-Up: Seldom is the first iteration the final answer. More often than not, there is a revision or second iteration to the original model, along with a meeting or two to discuss the implications of the original findings. This Phase is typically estimated at 2 hours.
Subsequently there may be an entire new tack that results from the findings, one that may be a continuation of the original assignment or one that's considered a new assignment altogether.
Along the way, Progress Reports are provided in an effort to keep everyone up to date, and provide a preview of findings before the final report is prepared and presented. These reports may come every two weeks or at the half way point, whichever is earliest. If necessary, adjustments to the assignment or the budget can take place at that time.
Under certain circumstances, particularly where there’s an ongoing need for services, the most cost-effective approach is a retainer fee. Like most retainers it presumes a certain number of hours or services for a fixed fee, which is usually less than the hourly rate.
Reimbursement of normal expenses paid on behalf of client. Drive time not counted in hourly rate, except out of metro area taking 15 minutes or longer.
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