As seasoned estimator I think I have a pretty good feel for the market and award percentages. Recently I read a publication by another estimating service that claims to have an average award rate of 80% and not too long ago I spoke with yet another freelance estimator claiming unusually high award rates. I cannot help but wonder what secret methodology they are using to magically win all of these jobs?
I would be very dubious of someone making such claims. During good times (which we’re not in now) I would become nervous I was leaving too much money on the table if my award percentage got above 25% and 20% was closer to the norm on competitive bid projects. I once worked with a company who did a lot of design build negotiated projects and even their success rates came nowhere near these silly claims.
An estimating service should be able to provide you with a quality take-off. With all things being equal what you do with that information, your ability to buy material competitively, and the competency of your competition will ultimately decide your award rate.