16 Dec 2016

Apples and Oranges – a guide to comparing quotes from rival genealogy firms

apples-and-oranges

If you ever find yourself with a problem requiring a genealogist, you’d be quite right to seek two or more quotes. Let’s assume that all the firms you’ve approached respond quickly and professionally.  And that they all demonstrate the expertise and resources required to complete the task, they all have a track record and relationships with specialist insurers and they all have Professional Indemnity Insurance etc.

How do you choose between them? Ultimately, it might all come down to costs. Although we don’t make costs our major selling point (we prefer to point to the qualities detailed above), the fact is, because we have deliberately kept our overheads low, we are often significantly less expensive than other firms. We are aware, however, that this may not always be entirely clear because not all quotes are expressed in the same way.

If you ever find yourself with a problem requiring a genealogist, you’d be quite right to seek two or more quotes. Let’s assume that all the firms you’ve approached respond quickly and professionally.  And that they all demonstrate the expertise and resources required to complete the task, they all have a track record and relationships with specialist insurers and they all have Professional Indemnity Insurance etc. Our quotes are always expressed in terms of both our costs and our time. So, for example, a quote of £1,500 is also expressed as “20 hours of our time at our standard hourly rate of £75.00”. And, unless we specifically state it, the number of hours suggested is our best estimate (based on years of experience and the facts of the case) as to how long it will take to complete the work.

We recently won a job from a competitor who quoted exactly the same budget as us. As it happens, the client didn’t choose to instruct us based on costs but because they liked the way we presented our solution to their problem. Fortunately for the client, although they may not have realised it, our quote represented 20 hours of work, whereas our competitor’s represented only 10. And while our quote was aimed at finishing the matter, our competitor’s was only for a first stage of research.

This is a theme I’m going to expand on in a future article but the headline is that if your genealogist’s quote doesn’t state how many hours their budget represents, you should probably ask. And if they don’t state whether the proposed budget is intended to finish the case or merely make a dent in it, you should confirm that as well before instructing them.

I can be contacted directly on matthew@mooreprobateresearch.co.uk

All our quotes are free and there is no obligation to instruct us. We’re very happy to talk through your problem cases even if they don’t lead to an instruction.