5 Ways to Use the Web to Avoid an Expensive Mistake
March 10th, 2014

Websters defines trust as “the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”  That is a fairly simple definition but in real life it can be a complicated concept.   We usually don’t trust someone immediately upon first meeting them.  In our personal relationships, it takes time to build trust.  Unfortunately, when making infrequent purchases, such as home improvement services, knowing which business to trust can be difficult.  Sometimes you have to decide who you can trust without the benefit of your own personal experience. Trust in the home improvements business is built by consistently meeting expectations.  When you choose to trust a business, you are taking a risk. You are risking your hard earned money in hopes that the business will perform a quality service. Trusting the wrong business can be an expensive mistake.

Once you commit to improvements on your home or business, how do you decide which contractor you can trust to deliver the best service and provide the most value for your money?

The best way to minimize your risk is by becoming as informed as possible.  It is now easier than ever to become informed. With the internet and social media, information is literally at your fingertips.  Following are some ways to use the internet to educate yourself and ultimately decide which home improvements contractor you can trust.

  1. Do a simple Google search.  For instance, if you type in “window installation”, the search engine brings up YouTube videos and installation tips.  These links should help you understand the basic terminology and mechanics of the service that you are looking to buy. They will give you the ability to ask informed questions when you meet with your potential contractor.
  2. Use Social Media. Sites such as Facebook, provide a great platform for asking your friends and family about their knowledge and experiences with home improvement contractors.  Post the question on your wall.  If your friends don’t feel comfortable sharing their experiences publically, they can send you a private message.  Also, some contractors have business pages where they post pictures and information about their services. Our page is https://www.facebook.com/HeinrichsRoofing
  3. Go to a professional trade organization’s website.  For example, one reputable trade organization in the roofing industry is the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).  On their website, nrca.net, they have a Consumer tab which takes you to resources such as “Buying a new roof and getting your money’s worth” and “Residential Roofing Contractor Qualification Form”.
  4. Visit review sites such as Angie’s List.  These sites provide real reviews from real customers. While reviews from people you don’t know may not carry as much weight as reviews from your friends and family, they still can be helpful.  Angie’s List makes an effort to verify that each review is legitimate.  It’s not fool proof, but it makes it harder for people to create fake reviews.
  5. Search for the contractor’s website. Many professional contractors have some sort of a web presence.  This is a way for them to share information with their customers and build trust. For example, on our website heinrichsroofing.com we share information such as details about the services we provide and pictures of our work.

Use the internet as a tool to help you decide who to trust. Don’t base your buying decision on one criterion. Do your homework. Carefully think about everything that you expect from the service and consider everything that creates value. You will be glad you did!

This article was written by Jamie Heinrichs

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