It’s been two months since the release of our Extended Contact/Holding Fees and a good time to recap the changes we made back in February.

Let me take you through the project from beginning to roll-out.

What?

On February 1st, we removed the limits on the number of jobs you can have open and on the go at any one time.

For that enhancement to work, we introduced a new concept called Extended Contact, where holding fees are charged for jobs in communication, that remain unpriced for longer than a month.

Why?

Previously our trade partners could only chase up to 5 (or 35 for pro) jobs at any one time. This meant, if that perfect job came along when you were already chasing your limit – you either missed out, or you had to close a job prematurely that you were already chasing.

This was resulting in a number of less than ideal outcomes for Buildercrack, trade users and homeowners.

Trust and Values:

Firstly, Builderscrack relies heavily on trust. Without the awesome group of trade users we have, we couldn’t have continued to grow the number of jobs we deliver to you, to be where we are today (about 6500 jobs a month!).

With all the trust we operate with, we still needed to create an incentive to price and move jobs through our system if we were going to move away from a “chase list limit”. And if we did move away from the chase list limit, what would that new system look like?

We didn’t want to create a barrier to using our service in the form of a monthly fee or anything like that. This was important as part of our business values.

We wanted a good, honest solution to “free up” the way our service worked, without incurring drawbacks for any party.

For a little over a year, our team wrangled with many solutions. We discussed our potential solutions with many of our local trade contacts and debated options.

Solution and Changes:

Eventually, we settled on the changes that we launched in February:

  • Remove chase list restrictions. All users can have unlimited jobs on the go at one time.
  • Standard (free) accounts can chase 5 leads per week, with Pro account holders able to chase an unlimited number of leads
  • Introduce micro holding fees to encourage prompt negotiation of jobs, while allowing jobs that take longer to remain open as needed.
  • Fully credit back holding fees to the successful tradesperson who undertook the job.

Holding Fee Details:

Extended contact was a necessary feature, to offer unlimited jobs with an incentive to close jobs when they’ve been awarded. Extended contact only applies to jobs which have had “Contact Granted” and a price not-yet-provided, not to any other jobs.

  1. When contact is granted by the homeowner, the first month of contact is free.
  2. If a price has not been negotiated and provided to Builderscrack in the first free month, we charge a small ($1) fee at the start of month 2 – for another month of negotiation or job “holding”.
  3. We continue to charge an incremental small fee at the start of every subsequent month the job remains unpriced and open, which we’ve named holding fees.
  4. These holding fees are completely deducted from your success fees when we invoice you for the job, meaning we invoice no more than our standard success fee.

Benefits:

The key benefit is you are able to chase and undertake jobs in a natural way without restrictions from our system. Over the two months these changes have been live, based on both the feedback we’ve received and the uptick in activity throughout our system – we consider these changes a real success for all parties.

We also understand that some tradespeople are taking some time to warm up to this new process. The best way to handle these changes is to use Builderscrack, business as usual. Chase, communicate and sell your services with a professional approach, giving homeowners a great experience and your work will pay off.

What if a homeowner is taking ages?

The reality of some jobs is; the homeowner takes time to wrap their head around any number of aspects. The key here is patience and perseverance. Because we credit back holding fees on successful jobs, and the fact that holding fees are so low, holding fees shouldn’t been seen as a barrier to conducting business as usual over Builderscrack.

Further Reading & Help

Our customer service team are in-house, in Christchurch – and are actively involved in all aspects of our service. If you need help with holding fees or anything else, please get in touch.

Our Frequently Asked Questions cover all aspects of our service and is added to regularly. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to understand the details of our service better.