In 2019 Builderscrack sourced over 75,000 jobs across over 50 main trade categories for our tradespeople.
As well as homeowners flocking to our service to connect with you last year, we also welcomed thousands of new tradespeople to our service.
We respect that the success of our service is tied to the success of the projects homeowners trust us both with, and ultimately the success of your trade business.
As both General Manager and head of product development, I want to offer you a unique insight into our algorithms as of January 2020, to answer the question: “What can I do to secure more, higher quality work through Builderscrack?”
Our algorithms are updated as we learn more about user behaviour. We’re always looking to reward tradespeople who are giving customers a great experience with more work. We also actively market our service to homeowners who have the kind of work we know we have great tradespeople to service. So it’s not just a case of us sitting back when we know we’ve got great tradespeople in a particular area doing particular work – we go out of our way to work hard and find more of that work.
Our algorithms (and the work we think we need to find for you), are only as good as the cues and feedback we receive. Every time you interact with Builderscrack, you’re telling us something about your business, and the state of the local market where you operate your business. Every time a homeowner interacts with Builderscrack, they offer us the same insight from a different perspective.
We use all of these cues, and more:
- Number of jobs posted for particular trades in particular areas
- The nature of those jobs
- Popularity of the job (amount of chase interest)
- Number of contacts granted
- Activity (quotes, appointments, messages)
- Job cost
- If the job is secured or not secured (and essentially, if the job proceeds or not)
- How quickly the job is completed
- Customer service interactions with homeowner or tradesperson
- Repost rate (how long before the homeowner posts another job)
What I want to do is clear up your questions around how, exactly, you can get the most from us – and get us working harder for your business to deliver the kind of work you’re looking for.
Before I continue, I should add that just like any business we are limited by local demand. But when there is demand, we like to think we’re pretty good at providing a service that homeowners love to use and will use to find you.
1. Check your subscribed categories. If you’re a specialist, focus on that first.
A lot of new trade members over-subscribe their trade categories with the belief that by doing this they will get more leads.
There is no harm in subscribing to many categories, but if you aren’t chasing, winning work and delivering a great experience for homeowners in that category, then we’ll recognise that and prioritise other operators for that category.
By subscribing to the categories that you specialise in first, and building your activity and reviews for that category, you’ll set a great platform to branch out into other categories you also cater to and are able to service.
If you’re not getting as many leads as you’re able to service due to a shortage of available work in your speciality, it can be a good idea to branch out your categories too. As long as you’re actively giving homeowners a great experience, we’ll recognise that no matter what category it’s in.
Focus on your specialty first, and grow your subscribed categories over time in line with your capacity.
2. Chase jobs as early as you can to limit the number of chasers
One of the things homeowners love is a quick response, not just when they’re messaging, but when they post their job at the start. When tradespeople are slow to respond to leads, we end up sending out more leads in total, meaning there is more competition on the job once everyone checks their leads and decides to respond. The earlier you chase jobs, the fewer total leads are sent, meaning less competition.
Chase fast to limit competition.
3. Decline leads you aren’t interested in
If you don’t like the look of the job we’ve sent you a lead for, actively declining the lead is beneficial for you. Why? Because, this action contributes to our understanding of the sort of work you’re looking for, and your overall availability. It might sound counterintuitive, but declining leads you have no interest in will ensure we send you more work that you are interested in.
Decline leads you aren’t interested in to get more leads that you are interested in (and chase those ones if you have capacity).
4. Don’t have more on the go than you can handle
As we get to know you, we will learn the scale of your business.
You are free to chase as many jobs as you’re interested in, but as your chases are accepted and you begin to communicate with homeowners, we will then ensure you’re not over-extended by assuming your capacity is decreasing in line with the number of potential jobs you’ve got on the go. As you secure work, we will begin to “open up” your account and send more leads through again.
The more work you secure and are highly reviewed for, the more capacity we’ll assume you have. This grows and shrinks based on your activity and work feedback.
Stay on top of your open jobs, take on only as much work as you can service, and don’t over-extend yourself.
5. Keep jobs open until the outcome is clear
Holding fees aren’t charged in the first month of contact, and with the majority of jobs, this is enough time for the homeowner to make a decision. For those jobs which are taking the homeowner longer to sort things out, even if it takes 4 months for that homeowner to proceed, the holding fees will only total $3 on that job – and when you secure the work and provide the job cost, they’re completely deducted from your success fee.
The benefit of keeping that job open with Builderscrack is when it does proceed, you will reap the rewards of being credited as securing that work, as well as building your feedback history. We automatically and manually audit jobs to check for work that has gone ahead outside of Builderscrack, and close accounts when this occurs dishonestly. If a job does proceed that had been previously closed for an unforeseen reason, get in touch and let us know and we’ll sort it out no problem.
Hold the job open until the outcome is clear, claim the job when you’ve reached an agreement, and enter the cost as soon as it’s known.
6. Interact through Builderscrack where practical
Quoting, messaging and making appointments are all indicators of your activity. In some cases, it’s more practical to chat over the phone – but we encourage you to enter the key details discussed in the messaging system after chatting too. And if you’re supplying a quote, it’s always best to do this through Builderscrack.
The benefit for you is we attribute you as being active, engaged and using our service as we intend it to be used. Of course, it’s not a problem to chat offline and work the way that’s best for you, but keeping us in the loop by way of posting updates in the message system will benefit your account, as well as keeping a clear record of what’s been discussed and agreed between yourself and the homeowner.
Work the way that’s best for you but use Builderscrack’s features when practicable – even if you just post messages to update what’s been discussed and agreed.
7. Secure the job and add the job cost as soon as it’s known
Whether by claiming the job, having the job awarded by the homeowner or having a quote accepted – when you secure the work, you’ve demonstrated the building of trust and the desire on the homeowners part to proceed with their job with you. We’ve written a lot on the habits of tradespeople that are successful in securing work through Builderscrack.
If the job cost is not yet known, it’s important to continue building the relationship with the homeowner and finalising the details to establish the cost. Once the cost is entered, we will issue an invoice for the success fee, with any holding fees charged to that point completely deducted from the success fee.
If you’re undertaking a smaller job and tallying up the costs after job completion, that’s fine with us too.
Providing a job cost strongly indicates that you’re not only building trust with the homeowner, but it builds trust with us too. That trust is rewarded with recognition by our system that you’re an honest operator, and you’re to be prioritised for future work of that type.
Secure the job and add the cost as soon as it’s known.
8. Offer a great experience to the homeowner
We’ve written several articles on the habits of tradespeople that consistently get good reviews.
Getting a great review is the cherry on top for a job well done. A great review makes it easier to secure work through Builderscrack in the future, as homeowners are drawn to tradespeople with a good history.
We use review data in several ways. We look at the number of reviews you’ve got, how recently you were reviewed, and the general gist of your reviews. We acknowledge that there can be the occasional issue with a difficult customer, and we try to not let that affect your standing too much from our point of view. Really, what we’re looking at is the overall picture.
We occasionally get contacted by really lovely tradespeople at times, unhappy with the outcome of a job and resulting review (in many cases at no fault of their own). We get it. We do our best to investigate, mediate, and find an outcome that leaves everyone as satisfied as possible. You can be sure as a tradesperson that in cases like this, it’s not the end of the world. Carry on – it won’t generally affect your account standing from our point of view.
Finding great work for you is our priority; by securing work, entering the cost of that work, and then consistently getting regular, good reviews, you will start to see a difference. We will actively seek work for you in the area you service. We’ll ramp-up our marketing efforts, in the interest of providing you with more work and growing our relationship with you.
Offer a great experience to the homeowner.
Provide a great service, and grow your business on Builderscrack
Ultimately, if you’re following the above guidelines, you can be sure you’re being prioritised for the type of work you’re looking for when you’re looking for it, in the areas you service. We work hard to acquire more work for tradespeople that are offering a great service to homeowners posting their jobs on Builderscrack.
Thanks for all your support, and we look forward to contributing to the success of your business in 2020 and beyond.