Sunday, September 23, 2018

Why Won't Construction Trades Call Me Back?

"I can't get any trades to show up!"

This is something I hear from people all the time, people that have usually taken on a project on their own, either a renovation or a whole house build. They can't understand that when they call someone to come do some work that;

1. They don't come right away.
2. They don't come when they want them.
3. They don't have the right material or products when they arrive.
4. Their bills end up higher then they thought they would be.
5. They don't call them back at all.

There's a reason for this, in this area and in most area's these days trades are extremely busy. Most trades have grown their business in size to the point where they can't grow anymore, not because they don't know how but because they can't find more tradespeople to physically do the work.

There aren't enough trained people out there to fill the roles that are needed to do all the work and training new people trades years.

How does his affect you the homeowner?

Well there is a hierarchy in the trades business. Trades, no matter if they are HVAC, plumbers, electricians, drywallers or painters have enough work that they can stay busy all year round without trying very hard.

How do they choose their clients? Well its not what you would think. It's not a first come first serve bases. Its a little more complicated then that. Who gets top priority?

Repeat customers 

Repeat customers are the bread and butter of the trades. If you have worked with a trade before (and everything went well and you PAID YOUR BILL) then they will go out of their way to help you whether its an emergency repair or something new you require. Trades are always worried about not being paid, it happens so often that they have become dubious about anybody they don't know. Repeat customers are perfect they know they pay, they know that the customer likes the work they do (or they wouldn't have called a second time) and there is a relationship there that allows the work to proceed smoother because the homeowner knows who's going to show up and the trade knows what to expect when they arrive.

People that are well Organized

Trades will give more priority to people that are well organized. If you call a trades and book a furnace installation 2 month in advance then you will be guaranteed to get the date you want. If you have to change it to a different day a month later they will gladly move things around. Because you have taken the time to be organized they take that as a sign that your job will be organized and the job will go very smoothly.


Contractors get special treatment from trades. There's a reason, contractors do the first two things that are listed. They are repeat customers and they are organized and book in advance. I have worked with some trades for the last 20 years, every year I bring them work. That means that when I call I get top priority.
Trades also know exactly the way I like to see things done, they know how clean and organized my sites are and they know exactly how long it takes for me to pay the bills.
Contractors get such priority treatment that 50 percent or more of some trades work comes from contractors. That's a lot of guaranteed work for a company.
When a contractor is renovating a home or building a new home they are booking in advance and they stick to a schedule. This schedule works perfect with the trades as the contractor will call several times before the date to update the trade on what is going on and any changes that are required.

The Cold Call

The cold call is someone that a trade has never heard from before. They found their name on google and want a quote or want some work done. These are the kind of calls that trades are most dubious about. Usually the cold call asks a lot about the cost, how to get it cheaper, when can they come and how come it will take so long. 1/2 the time the caller doesn't actually know what they are talking about, they just know they require a new sink, or furnace or hotwater heater and they don't know the size, make or model. This signals to trades that there is a lot of time to be wasted before you can ever get the job or get paid for it. These people get put at the bottom of the list and will be fit in if there is a slow spot in the schedule.

How Does This Affect YOU?

Basically if you haven't hired a contractor to do the work that you need completed then you become pushed in to one of the two other categories of repeat customer or cold call. Since a big renovation or building a new house takes 20 to 30 different sub-trades then chances are that a lot of those trades you have never worked with before. That means that you get pushed into the cold call column. 20 to 30 trades are going to look at you as the cold call and give you the least amount of priority.

Whatever the cost of a contractor to do the work will be saved in time, effort and avoiding costly mistakes. Most people don't believe me when I say this but when people who don't hire their own contractor look back on the nightmare that was their job they usually realize that any money they saved from not hiring a contractor was wasted during the project with mistakes and the job taking twice as long as it should have.

If you want your renovation or new build to run smoothly and you want all those trades to call you back and show up on time and do the proper thing, HIRE A CONTRACTOR.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

1 comment:

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