We all have those things that go wrong like a busted pipe, roof damage, or a lawn needing care. But who do we call for help? Often, either the urgency or busyness of our lives makes us want to just quickly search online and call the first person we can in our area.
Typically that search ends up showing us sites like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor or any number of others promising to refer us to capable, respectable contractors who will save the day.
While that is certainly an option at times, is it really the best option?
Often, you visit a website, then fill out a form. You enter what you’re needing help with, give you name, phone number and email address, and are told a contractor will be in contact with you. Maybe you were expecting to be given a list of trusted contractors to contact yourself.
But what did you end up doing instead? You gave your contact information and a lot of hungry contractors are now in a race to see who can outbid, over-promise and otherwise win your business. Your phone is now ringing constantly!
Is this what you expected? Probably not. But with competition heavy in most contractor-related industries, it’s what you’ll probably get if you use the online searching approach.
So how do you avoid that?
- Don’t give your information until you are sure what you need help with.
- Be prepared with a list of questions to help weed out the contractors who may not be the best fit for what you are needing. This could include certifications, licensing, specialties, response times, guarantees of work/parts, etc.
- Seek referrals. Trusted referrals from your own friends and family are a surefire way to avoid this mayhem altogether. Don’t just ask for names and businesses, though! Ask WHY they would recommend a particular person or business. Make sure they align with what you are needing. Then YOU get to be in the driver’s seat, calling with your list of questions, looking for the best qualified contractor for the job.
- Do your research. Do not rush through the selection process.
Despite what some may tell you, not every contractor will be the best fit for every job. A reputable contractor will be sure to tell you if they are not the best option. The really good contractors will know who to refer you to and not be afraid to do so.