Moving to a new city can be difficult and stressful, and that stress heightens if and when you need the assistance of a service provider such as a plumber, electrician, or builder. If you are about to move, or you just have, here are a few ways to find reliable service providers and tradespeople and what to watch out for.
The first thing you should do is to investigate online. While it won’t paint the complete picture, online research will, at the very least, show you which services are available, company websites, testimonials, etc.
Even if you are moving into a co living Los Angeles space or a shared apartment, it is still essential to do your own research and not entirely rely on the opinions or thoughts of people you don’t fully know yet.
When it comes to reading reviews, don’t solely rely on positive ones. Whether it be a restaurant or a hotel, there will often be people who had positive experiences at a poorly managed establishment.
Instead, read the negative reviews to see what people had issues with if there is a common problem, such as taking too long to finish the job, needing too much money, etc., that will give you a better idea of whether you should or shouldn’t use the service.
Ask Friends, Family, or Colleagues
Depending on where you are moving to and who you have access to, ask around and see which service providers the people you know are using. This is arguably a far better way to find a service than the internet.
You will almost always get an honest opinion and are more likely to find a service provider that offers the best value for money.
Speak With Other Tradespeople
Another good way to find a reliable tradesperson is to speak with other tradies. Many of them will know each other or have worked together before — because often an emergency, such as a flood, requires a team composed of an electrician, plumber, and builder to work together.
This is also a valuable way to find a service provider as, since they aren’t in competition with one another, a plumber will happily tell you about a good electrician, mover, or builder.
Another mistake some people often make is ignoring service providers because they don’t have a website, advertise online, etc. While this can be a red flag, many older tradespeople simply don’t use the internet because they don’t need to or want to.
They will use flyers, put small posters on notice boards, and other more “basic” forms of advertising. While it doesn’t guarantee reliable and affordable work, you will often find hidden gems.
How To Spot Untrustworthy Service Providers
When you are in a new city and don’t know anyone who can help you find reliable tradespeople, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of being scammed or having below-par work done.
Here are a few things to watch out for to avoid this:
Whether it be a moving company or an electrician, one of the biggest red flags is if they ask for cash in advance. While there can sometimes be exceptions to this, advanced payment is often not needed before the work starts.
While a small upfront deposit, followed by the rest upon completion of the job, can be common in some spheres, a company or individual needing all the money upfront should set off alarm bells.
Another red flag is a company or individual offering unrealistic prices. If you have quotes from three electricians for a job, and their rates range from $200 to $300, and someone says they can do it for $50, this is often a scam, as a job that requires time, materials, extra parts, etc, couldn’t possibly be that much cheaper.
Getting multiple quotes will help you find the best price and give you an idea of who is charging far too much and far too little.
When choosing a tradesperson, always investigate whether or not they have insurance. This insurance protects you and the tradesperson in the event of them accidentally causing damage or harm to you or your property.
This is a vital part of a service provider’s business; therefore, any reliable company or person will have it.
Another sign of an untrustworthy tradesperson is if they constantly have “new” issues popping up once they begin working. While this is something you will only find out once they are hired, you can stop using their services whenever you need to.
These “problems” can vary, but always be aware if you hire a plumber to fix a leaky tap, and an hour or two later, they are telling you you need an entirely new plumbing system.
Finding service providers in a new city and building a homemade database may seem challenging, but if you know where to look, talk to the correct people, and know what to avoid, you’ll simplify matters and have a lovely list of reliable contractors in no time.