1) Focusing Solely on Price: It bugs me that I even need to mention this but... I guess I must. It always baffles me to hear a customer say they want a great, great super-low price (“I want the cheapest pool you've got!”) but they also expect great, great quality and even better service... Huh?
There is an old saying I once heard. It goes something like this: "All of your customers want you as a business to make money and turn a profit. They just don't want you to make any money on them." Hmmm...
This quote certainly holds true for some shoppers, but I find the majority understand that in order to deal with a reputable, steady company where quality and service are a fundamental component of the building and installing process, then the company must make money. This means on all customers. Now don't get me wrong. I am not advocating here that pool guys and retail stores should break the bank on every job and not earn their keep but it may come as a shock to you that customers often try to take advantage of companies, too. What I am saying, though, is that there will always, and I stress ALWAYS, be companies available that will build or install your pool for less. What gets me is that most home owners don't ask how are why someone else is so much less expensive! So lets come up with just a few of the ways... do they have a SWIMMING POOL contractors license (not to mention city, county and local permits)? Insurance? Experience? Equipment? Steady employees? A brick and mortar store? Good reputation? References? Good relationship with suppliers? Access to quality products (this goes back to good relationship with suppliers)? Underbidding a job just to get it is a huge mistake and it is the homeowner who will pays for it later, often times sooner than later.
In the “short” 25 years I've been in business here in Calhoun County, AL I have literally witnessed about 20 companies start and fold their businesses. How would you like to have had your pool installed by one of these companies? Chances are you know someone that did. Although price always has and always will be an important part of choosing your pool builder, make sure that it's not your first priority. If it is, then you might find yourself being the next victim of a terrible pool building experience and I will tell you right here and now, if you are looking for quick and cheap we are not for you. This goes for all of our pools.
2) Focusing on the short-term: Whether you are looking at the type, size, price, or any other component of your swimming pool, you need to make decisions based on how long you think you might be in your home, not just on your circumstances today. All of our pools are installed and built to last, making no matter what you choose an investment. Not all yards can accommodate a true in-ground, but there are so many options today that all of our pools deliver that “wow” factor. Do what's best for you and we will help you make that decision.
Focusing on the Unrealistic: A pool shopper should never feel like they are “settling” for something subpar than what they thought they wanted or needed. Nothing makes anyone feel worse than go in a shop with what they consider a “healthy” budget only to leave feeling disappointed that their hard earned money isn't enough to get what they really wanted. We know that Pintrest and HGTV are a fun way to get ideas, but you probably do not really need that waterslide and rock cave waterfall on your pool... unless your bank account is nice and fat. Even if it is, it doesn't mean that an underwater cave is something your kids must have. Never underestimate the fun of simple and you are sure to win without breaking the bank. We are disappointed when potential customers call us and have us design their “dream pool” with all of the bells and whistles only for us to deliver what must be sticker shock. The worst part? After a followup call we learn that the same homeowner may have considered a more realistic pool, but felt uncomfortable telling us “hey..here's our budget, what can we do?”. No shame in that and it is okay to simply change your mind on what you wanted during the planning stage.
Don't have a pool installed with zero intention of maintaining it properly as pools do cost money (but can save you in other areas..such as vacations, party venues, gym membership). Pools are not only for the wealthy these days; however, swimming pools are considered a luxury and you need to be able to maintain it properly and you can afford it, if you listen to us... but I'll save that blog that for another time.
Jeff Knapp, Owner of Pool Doctor