Can you judge a builder on first impressions?

A scenario:

You need your spare bedroom plastered but don’t know any plasterers

Your friends have given you a couple of numbers and both plasterers are coming round this morning to give you a price. The first one is coming at 9AM and the second an hour later

White Van Man

As 9AM approaches you look out the window as a battered white transit van with a wing mirror missing pulls up

A man jumps out and walks towards your front door

He approaches your house with his beer belly poking out from underneath his England shirt, simultaneously smoking a fag and eating a pie

Unfortunately he drops the pie and as he bends down to pick it up and stick it back in his mouth you can see his builders bum sticking out of his dirty tracksuit bottoms

You just know he is one of those builders who want to rip you off and drink tea all day

He rings the bell and you open the door

“Ello Luv/Mate, you need some plastering done?”

You lead him to the spare room

He looks around for 2 minutes and says 300 quid

As he walks out you ask if he has a website that you can look at

He replies ”don’t need one give me a bell if you want it done”

Hopefully the next one cant be any worse

The slick professional

You look out the window at 10AM as a gleaming Mercedes 7 series pulls up

An immaculate looking man wearing a tailored Hugo Boss suit carrying a briefcase and clipboard approaches

You answer the door to him and he politely introduces himself ,addressing you as Madame/Sir and explains he is the sales rep for the plastering company and he is answering your enquiry about some plastering you need done

As you let him in he makes a conspicuous effort to wipe his feet so as not to dirty your carpet

As you lead him to the spare room he makes comments about how lovely the rest of your house is

Once in the spare room he takes copious measurements and pictures

He then proceeds to tell you about how professional his company is and how they only employ the best operatives who understand how important it is to finish a job to a clients specifications

He then gives you a detailed breakdown of all the different areas of plastering his company are specialists in

You ask him how much it will cost and he tells you its £895 excluding VAT

As he leaves he hands you his business card and asks you to look at their website

He assures you that a successful customer experience is his company’s priority

You look at their website and see their very professional looking offices

The contact page has a picture of a glamorous young receptionist, beautifully dressed with a lovely smile who assures you that she will be delighted to assist you with any enquiries you may have

So the decision is obvious isn’t it?

Beer belly man only wants 300 quid because he is no good and his work is rough

He cant be doing very well judging by the state of the van he drives around in

And he doesn’t even have a website. How unprofessional is that?

The second firm are obviously better

If they can afford to pay their salesman enough money to drive around in a Mercedes wearing a designer suit they must be making substantial profits

They must make substantial profits because they are good. Right?

And look at that beautiful receptionist. Do you think her breath stinks of pies and fags?

£895 excluding VAT is surely a more realistic price. Right?

But maybe all is not as it seems

Maybe white transit man is so good at his job that he is always in demand and doesn’t need a website

Maybe he charges 300 quid because he will be in and out in half a day and do a perfect job

Now granted he may not be the most photogenic person and he could definitely do with a bath, and he looks like he has slept in the builder’s skip at the end of the road

But you don’t want him to marry your daughter

And you are not intending to stand there looking at him all day

As long as he can do a good job who cares what he looks like?

Maybe the other firm is pretty average and the only way they can make money is ripping people off

Maybe their tradesmen are no good and slow and it will take them all day to do the job

One thing’s for sure

If you choose them a percentage of what you pay is going towards that brand new Merc and the receptionist’s Harley Street Veneers and that shiny new office

Don’t judge a book by its cover

The point we are trying to make here is don’t judge a book by its cover

If you are just starting out in property development and don’t already know any, it is hard work trying to find good tradesmen who can do a quality job for a fair price

However, you don’t want to waste your money on people who are not up to the job

But neither do you want to be overcharged by smooth talking salesmen

But getting back to the question

who do you choose?

If you need advice on choosing builders please contact us here






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