Our October POLL results are in and ..... Referrals from friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers is the first place you look to find a contractor ! I do believe this tried and true method still holds the top spot today, as it has in the past. Referrals from people you trust is still the best way to find a contractor. What better information source can you have about a particular contractor's work habits, installation methods, communication, pricing, timeliness, and professionalism. I built up a large brick paver installation company just on this factor alone! After I sold the company in 2003, I quickly realized that my new home improvement company did NOT have this "lead referral" machine. Therefore, it was a slow methodical and costly process to generate leads.
Primarily I used the other methods in our October POLL. To my disgust, I mainly used the Print Ads (Newspapers, Magazines, etc..) to help generate installation leads! Only 1 vote was cast for this method. Boy, I could have saved a lot of dollars had blogs been more prevalent a few years ago. I do notice that consumers are now more comfortable with using the Internet to research & find contractors. Now anyone can give a "review" on-line about a contractor and their performance, even if they do not have a website.
It is no surprise to me that Radio & TV ads are not a prominent source for calling a home improvement contractor. When is the last time you wrote down a phone number off the radio in your car, especially when your Blackberry is in one hand, and your other hand is firmly gripped around a super sized Diet Coke. You would like to use your knees but they are steering your car! Yellow Pages are really a thing of the past. As a contractor, I found them to be cost inhibiting and you can not make any changes throughout the year so they become obsolete. If you did not buy the largest home improvement, concrete, mason, heating & cooling ads . .. your were just lost on the pages. Typically, the Yellow Pages are best used for services not installation contracting. Yellow Pages have been the biggest loser from the growth of the Internet.
This month's POLL has proved to me that there is NOT a disconnect between consumers and contractors when it comes to the importance of finding a installation contractor.