For those amongst us who actually remember the 70’s, the movie 10 introduced the notion of the “Perfect 10” into our urban lexicon. But as the protagonist of the movie George soon discovered, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect 10’. Indeed, there is no such thing as perfection.

Review and rating illustrationWhich is why we recently overhauled our Star Score System. We recognized the need to provide homeowners with a detailed Score for contractors that takes into account much more than exclusively ratings provided by homeowners.

We still see a significant portion of our reviewers giving contractors a perfect 10, which is simply not realistic and furthermore, is not helpful for members of our community. Homeowners are looking for thorough, real information about work done by contractors in order to hire the most trusted. Writing an effective review that benefits everyone is the key to a successful hiring process.

Many homeowners are reluctant to pen less-than-perfect reviews because they are fearful of blowback by contractors. The reality is, however, most contractors strive to do a good (or great) job. In our experience, when a good contractor hears about a homeowner who had a less than perfect experience with their organization, they are more than willing to fix the issues in order to make their clients happy, especially if they receive a poor review.

To help homeowners write more effective reviews, and provide a more realistic rating, the following are suggestions that may help you when rating and reviewing a paid home professional.

Construction worker inspecting home addition.Who 

Think about who you dealt with in the company.

  • Did you feel confident that they represented the company and are experts in their field and provided the right solutions?
  • Did you ever feel uncomfortable, or were you ever unhappy with the professionalism of the company representatives? Were they courteous, respectful and professional?
  • As well as evaluating the performance of the pros who actually did the work, think of office staff. How would you evaluate the work of each person you dealt with in this company? Would you give all of them a 10?

What

Consider the work the company performed.

  • Did you understand and agree upon what exactly work was going to be undertaken?
  • Did the company execute the work as expected?
  • Did the properly finish their work?
  • Were you unpleasantly surprised by any of the work that was completed?
  • Or, did they go over and above to deliver a superior product?
  • Was the job site thoroughly cleaned up after the close of each day?

Where

Condo kitchenDid your contractor understand any restrictions surrounding the location they are working in?

  • If you’re a condo dweller, did the contractor understand the rules around work day hours, parking, loading, garbage disposal, noise restrictions etc.?
  • Many condos have restrictions around what kind of renovations and upgrades can be made. Was your contractor knowledgeable about restrictions in your building? Did they know what to ask?
  • Did your contractor know how to obtain the right permits for your area – municipal, parking and any others that are required in your specific location?

When

Think of the timeline of the work and how the company communicated what was happening during the project.

  • Did the company do the work when they promised to?
  • Did the company give you a realistic timeline for your project?
  • If there were delays, were you made aware of them?

How Much

How a budget is managed can make or break a project.

  • Were you provided an estimate you both agreed to prior to the work commencing?
  • Was this estimate adhered to?
  • If the budget went over, were you made aware in time enough to approve the overage?
  • Did you understand the budget increase?

In 2016, decisions about what to buy, where to eat, where to travel and stay, and who to hire are profoundly influenced by online reviews. We know that our community of homeowners find significant value in thorough reviews and realistic ratings.

With our new Star Score and your well-thought-out reviews, we will continue to work together to help Canadians only hire the best home professionals.

 

Posted by Leslie Andrachuk