This month I had to perform one of the most dreaded parts of my job—looking for contractors and handymen. I typically have a small team, each of them skilled in their own specialty, some easy to work with, and some with personalities like wet cement. (pardon the pun).But when you need skilled trade, you got to take the few without charm and humor (if their rates are reasonable and they show up on time.)
I have a “favorite” that I call on for ~move-outs~ and one for minor plumbing issues. Problem is, they only stay for awhile. When a big job comes through, they are too busy for small jobs, and then I am left in the dust…which is why I have several of them on call at one time.
Last month, they all disappeared on me– some to big jobs and others into thin air.
This week I made about 15 phone calls and emails from Craigslist and 4 returned my calls. Requesting references and a short phone interview are the basics of my screening. One guy called me back, but I could hardly hear a word he said, with several screaming kids and dogs barking in the background. Another told me he had limited computer access and with an accent I could barely understand, figured I may have to pass. One guy had prices so astronomical I knew he didn’t really want my small jobs. Another contractor showed up to look at a bathroom on one of my properties. I knew what I wanted and told him—-he was quite upset that I was a “woman who knew what she wanted” which left him unable to overcharge me (not his words but you get the picture).
I found a great landscape guy—-he loves to text and I have been able to get several jobs done with a few minutes of texting back and forth. I also found a great handyman who texts, e-mails and doesn’t charge a 2 hour minimum. If a handyman does an average job, I would be more inclined to use his services if he were: accessible, easy to reach and had good communication skills.
In our day to day work, are you overlooking the little things that could get you more business? After all, you could be the best Realtor in the world, but if you answer the phone with screaming kids and barking dogs in the background, refusing to text, or not returning phone calls promptly, you may be missing out on some good business.