Raising the Standard Episode 61
With most companies, you can visit their place of business in person to assess their services or products. However, when you’re in need of a home service, you are inviting individuals into your home, a sacred space where you and your family want to always be safe and comfortable. This means it’s more important than ever to do your research before inviting a home services professional you don’t know into your home to perform a job.
Not sure what qualities to look for in a home services company to make sure they are reputable? Below are 5 things to research before inviting a home services professional into your home.
1. Ask if They Are Insured
Whether you are looking for a handyman, roofer, painter, plumber, kitchen remodeler, or HVAC professional, the first thing you should ask anyone who is coming into your home to perform a service is: Are you insured?
If they aren’t insured and get injured while performing your job, they will claim injuries and damage your homeowners insurance. For instance, if an insured handyman falls down your stairs, injures himself, and is unable to work for two months, they may say the homeowners are liable for this injury, leaving you vulnerable to potentially having to pay for their medical bills and lost wages.
When a professional or company is insured, the homeowner doesn’t assume the monetary risk of any injury that may happen in the home. This is why it’s vital to protect yourself and make sure the individual doing work in your home is insured.
2. Ask People You Know for a Recommendation, Not Facebook Strangers
We’ve all seen someone ask a Facebook group for recommendations for a home service, and often you’ll see dozens of different responses with little to no information as to why they recommend the company or individual. The best way to get a trustworthy list of companies to call for your home services project is to ask your close family and friends first. Also be sure to ask them why they recommend them in more detail. This will help you to more easily narrow down who may be the best professional to call for your particular goals and the qualities you desire for that job.
3. Ask If They Have a License to Perform that Job
While not all trades require a license to perform them, you will find that more often than not, the most reputable home services professionals do carry a license. For instance, carpenters and handymen should have a builders license, plumbers should have a plumbing license, and HVAC technicians should have mechanical license.
You can ask that business up front if they have a license to perform that home service or you can do the research yourself by visiting a the following website from the state of Michigan called LARA (Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs). Here you can just enter the name of a company or individual doing work in your home to verify if they have a license to perform that work: https://cofs.lara.state.mi.us/SearchApi/Search/Search
4. Read Their Online Reviews – The Good and the Bad
Odds are, if someone has been in business for a few years or more, they have accumulated reviews from their customers. The key to researching reviews is to obviously read the good reviews, but more importantly the bad reviews. Like anyone performing a job regularly, nobody is perfect and any business is bound to have bad reviews. However, after reading a bad review, you should always examine how the owner responded to the review to see how their concerns were handled. If there isn’t a response to a bad review, that shows you that you may not be taken care of if a job doesn’t go exactly as planned.
However, if there is a thoughtful response where the owner truly hears the customer and is determined to make the situation right for them, then that is a company that you want to hire. Especially in the home services industry where there are so many things that can go wrong with a project – supply delays, unforeseen issues once you start the project, etc. For these unpredictable circumstances, it’s important to know your home service company has your back and wants to do the best job possible.
5. How is the Company Ensuring Your Safety?
When you’re young, one of the first things your parents tell you is to not talk to strangers or let them into your home. With home services, you are doing just that so it’s important to know the professionals coming into your home are trustworthy. You should always know ahead of time how the individual coming to your home will be representing themselves.
A reputable company will have their professionals come wearing a company uniform, driving a company vehicle, and they will have an ID that you can ask for so you know that person coming into your home is actually representing that company. At BOSS Services, we actually will send you a text shortly before arriving letting you know the name of your home service professional and when they will be arriving for additional protection.
Another thing we do at BOSS to ensure the homeowner’s safety is perform background checks. Our company is actually Google Guaranteed, which means we perform background checks on our employees who will be entering the homes of our clients. Google will not guarantee a company’s services unless they do this. This is just an additional safeguard and a way we provide comfort to our customers before even setting foot into their home.
6. Ask for Pictures of Their Work
If you are looking for a contractor to do cosmetic work on your home, we always recommend asking for before and after photos of their work. So if you’re having a bathroom remodel done, or flooring put in, photographic evidence is important because cosmetic work is so subjective. What looks good to some people does not look good to others. Most contractors we have worked with in the past who are quality craftsmen are proud to get their phones out to show you their amazing work. Seeing their photos for yourself will definitely will help you assess whether or not they are the right contractor for you.
More Questions About How to Research a Home Services Company?
If you are thinking of starting a home project or having something installed in your home and have questions about any of the research methods we discussed today, let us know! You can fill out a contact form on our website or call 269-468-6682, and we would be happy to help you. If you are thinking specifically about an HVAC, plumbing, windows, or bathroom remodel project, we are a Google Guaranteed company that is licensed and insured and welcome you to give us a call to ask as many questions as you want before hiring us. We serve all of West Michigan from Niles and New Buffalo to Grand Rapids and as far east as Kalamazoo. We would be honored to help you with your next home project!