Baltimore, MD: We've all encountered it. You open Facebook or another social platform and see someone asking for a recommendation for a service. Typically a handyman, plumber, etc (we will keep it to Home Improvement for this article).
Over the next few hours your timeline will fill with the posting person's friends and neighbors posting then, passively arguing whose contractor is better. Want to start a real debate? Forget politics, ask for a plumber instead. See below:
Recommendation #1: "Call Tom, his number is 410-555-5555"
Recommendation #2: "Try Jim, his number is 443-555-5555, he did our work last year, he is great"
Recommendation #3: "Hey, last year I used Frank, he did a great job. He was prompt, fair priced, honest, sincere, etc. etc. etc."
Notice a pattern? The first person usually throws the minimum info out, then it progresses with more detail.
*Side note- I once saw a women recommend her roofer with a 5 paragraph dossier. When I had my contracting company I received praises from customers. Something that long may have raised the eyebrow of my wife and I suspect this was not an honest recommendation.
Here is why:
There is a psychology behind online recommendations and more often than not- you're getting what you paid for (which is nothing).
Studies have shown that as much as 85% of online service recommendation are NOT actually made because the recommended person received a great service. The truth is a majority of responses are for "Self Affirmation". (We've all done, I admit doing it myself).
Why? 33% of American homeowners replied that finding the right handyman or professional is the toughest part of any home improvement projects. The reason is the conflicting nature and uncertainty of information that can be found in various places.
Once we make a choice, we want to think we found the best deal and since you asked, we are asking you to affirm this by hiring my handyman.
*(let's face it- your local handyman is good- "the best"? probably a stretch because that title goes to Bob Villa and you didn't hire Bob Villa).
They aren't saying "hire my guy because he is (literally) the best". They are figuratively saying "hire my guy. If you do it will prove that I made the right decision before". (Don't believe me, make a recommendation and then see how you feel when your reply is ignored or not chosen- I've done this and it feels like rejection).
Then, what happens when 4 friends make a recommendation and you can only choose one? Because of this Self-Affirmation rule, you've basically just told 3 other people that you found a better option-how is that for sour grapes!
Our Advice: Asking for a recommendation is better left for direct contact with someone you know and trust. Blindly turning online to your "nextdoor" community is only an avenue for a sales pitch and in our opinion, this is NOT proper research. Most of that information is unverified.
Online reviews can be valuable but make sure to find out how they were collected (i.e.- we only allow VERIFIED transactions to be rated on EFynch. Many sites blindly asks to rate their "trusted pros", they never check if the work was completed and opens the door for fake reviews).
In the end- remember that your neighbor probably did not hire "THE BEST HANDYMAN EVER" so finding an acceptable candidate who meets your expectations (pricing, experience, efficiency, schedule, etc.) is the most important goal.
POST YOUR NEXT HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT FOR FREE AT EFYNCH.COM. Privacy Protected- we never sell your information or give it to 3rd parties and you can save up to 40% on each project plus find the local/ independent pro already working in your neighborhood. Click here.
This article is being shared by EFynch.com- a Baltimore Based Handyman and Homeowner community. It is meant to provide advice for conversational purposes and is not a solicitation to do physical work to your property. EFynch is your handyman and contractor resource in the Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia regions. EFynch is a software platform that shares information and we advise you to speak with a licensed contractor or handyman prior to doing any work on your home.