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  • FIRST POST
    • Alan Cross
    • By Alan Cross 8th Mar 18, 8:27 PM
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    Alan Cross
    Job tendering websites - any good?
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:27 PM
    Job tendering websites - any good? 8th Mar 18 at 8:27 PM
    I am having a whale of a problem trying to get any local builder interested in a small extension job I need doing.

    People have told me about these job tendering sites and they strike me as one possible way of finding a larger audience. Any comments or recommendations, please?
Page 1
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 8th Mar 18, 8:43 PM
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    sevenhills
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:43 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:43 PM
    I guess it depends on how many clients they have.
    I tried on of the car quote web sites, and all the quotes were too high and no one got in touch to find out more about the job.
    In comparison to cars, a extension on a house will be very variable.

    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Mar 18, 9:00 PM
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    Furts
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:00 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:00 PM
    There was somebody on this Forum posting, by memory, last year extolling the virtues of tendering web sites. They were keen to follow reverse tendering and wanted to establish their own site doing this. I disagreed 100% with this ethos- it is the road to ruin for consumers.

    I also do not support your thoughts. Nobody can price a job without seeing it. To this is added the fundamentals - Planning, Buildings Regulations, Working Drawings and a Specification. A contract and proof of readily available cash support this. Finally the consumer gets weighed up by the builder, everything from body language, to manner, to site access, to parking for vehicles. to relations with neighbours ... you get the idea and commercial decisions follow on from all of these.

    If you have not ticked every one of these boxes with total thoroughness, and are not 100% clued up and 100% approachable then you will struggle to seek somebody to do your work.

    Over to you now.
    • Alan Cross
    • By Alan Cross 8th Mar 18, 9:18 PM
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    Alan Cross
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:18 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:18 PM
    There was somebody on this Forum posting, by memory, last year extolling the virtues of tendering web sites. They were keen to follow reverse tendering and wanted to establish their own site doing this. I disagreed 100% with this ethos- it is the road to ruin for consumers.

    I also do not support your thoughts. Nobody can price a job without seeing it. To this is added the fundamentals - Planning, Buildings Regulations, Working Drawings and a Specification. A contract and proof of readily available cash support this. Finally the consumer gets weighed up by the builder, everything from body language, to manner, to site access, to parking for vehicles. to relations with neighbours ... you get the idea and commercial decisions follow on from all of these.

    If you have not ticked every one of these boxes with total thoroughness, and are not 100% clued up and 100% approachable then you will struggle to seek somebody to do your work.

    Over to you now.
    Originally posted by Furts


    Er... did I say anything about 'pricing the job'..?


    I hear all that. All I'm really interested in is using such a site to find someone who's actually interested. I'm finding that builders and other tradesmen seem to have so much work on their books that they can't be bothered with communicating properly.
    Last edited by Alan Cross; 08-03-2018 at 9:26 PM.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Mar 18, 9:32 PM
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    Furts
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:32 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:32 PM
    I hear all that. All I'm really interested in is using such a site to find someone who's actually interested. I'm finding that builders and other tradesmen seem to have so much work on their books that they can't be bothered with communicating properly.
    Originally posted by Alan Cross
    There is a shortage of good trades people. Always has been always will be. Plus it is going to get worse. If you have ticked every box then your problem is nobody is listening to you. But you have not said if you have ticked all boxes!

    Some areas are like London and this happens. Some people give up on their building aspirations because there is no available labour. Nobody has a magic answer.

    Phone calls get made by consumers when they are looking for contractors. The contractors receiving those calls weigh up the consumer in a matter of a minute or so. Which means you have to convince the contractors that you are worthy of their time and interest. Only you know if you tick this box.
    • Alan Cross
    • By Alan Cross 8th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
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    Alan Cross
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
    Great, so maybe we can now return to the original question, namely, whether using these sites can be useful or not.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 9th Mar 18, 6:57 AM
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    Furts
    • #7
    • 9th Mar 18, 6:57 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Mar 18, 6:57 AM
    Which tendering sites are you thinking of using? Which ones do you want feedback on?
    • jungle jane
    • By jungle jane 9th Mar 18, 7:42 AM
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    jungle jane
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 18, 7:42 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 18, 7:42 AM
    Not sure what you mean by 'tendering'...do you mean putting a job on a site like My Builder or Rated People?

    If so, I have used My Builder several times very successfully. I don't think they are bullet proof and you hear stories of unqualified people on there so perhaps I have been lucky. However I would use them again. I like how the site works - you post your job and then interested parties come back to you via email and you choose a few to come around and quote. From there it is just like choosing a tradesman in real life. It helps to thoroughly describe your job and upload photos and although they may give you a ballpark they will want to come out and discuss it with you.

    I prefer this to other sites who let you post your job and then interested tradesmen phone you - i just don't like people phoning me up and i prefer to select someone myself to shortlist.

    However the most successful way for me has been joining my community Facebook group and then looking around on that. My town has a Facebook group of 20,000 members and in the buy/sell/hire section you can ask for builders, plumbers etc and then people recommend local tradesmen who frequently have their own facebook pages with photos of their work. You can often even find mutual friends who recommend. I found an excellent builder that way and now he does most my work (we are rennovating extensively). In turn i recommend him extensively when i see people looking for builders in my area.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Mar 18, 9:28 AM
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    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:28 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:28 AM
    Good builders have work planned in advance and this comes via referral.

    We pay to be members on the FMB and I don't even take advantage of putting up case studies and reviews on the Find A Builder service on there (which is included in the subscription fee) because we don't need the calls! I would always rather deal with someone who knows us by reputation and comes to us ready to work.

    I have little interest in people who come without knowing who we are or what we do. I would certainly not pay one of those sites to actively seek work:
    a) Because we don't need to seek the work, it comes to us.
    b) There's not a hope in hell that I'm paying what would be a very significant fee on an extension when you put in your anticipated cost. It's a non-qualified lead for a job that may be awful or not prepared, for a person that might just be unreasonable, or likely have a completely unrealistic expectation of what an extension costs. It would be folly to chase larger jobs like that and I'd seriously question someone's capability if they can't find three or four small extensions a year without forking out hundreds on rubbish leads.

    I only know one person who has used those sites and he put himself out there as a builder when he is, in fact, a medicore plasterer. He was asking us to put together his quotes for him!

    I think there probably is space for someone who is an individual trade with a high turnover of customers, but even then, the good people always find work without really looking and no one actually wants a high turnover of clients, they want regular ones - contractors with clients already lined up and repeat business.

    If I were looking for work I would populate our FMB page with current work, I would utilise our social media pages and I would network locally - referrals through people I know again.

    I think local facebook groups probably are the best place. Lots of people seem to recommend themselves on there but you can also ask if people have used a particular firm and even build up an idea of what they are like before you contact them.

    I'd certainly act as if you are interested in using them and knowing about them helps. You have to sell yourself as a potential customer these days and the good builders will be receptive if you can be patient and wait for them. I've had people wait over a year and essentially the only reason I've taken that work is that I understand that those people want to work with me - which immediately lets me knownthat I am valued and tends to make the workig relationship a successful one.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 09-03-2018 at 9:33 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 9th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
    • 4,220 Posts
    • 2,737 Thanks
    Furts
    Good builders have work planned in advance and this comes via referral.

    We pay to be members on the FMB and I don't even take advantage of putting up case studies and reviews on the Find A Builder service on there (which is included in the subscription fee) because we don't need the calls! I would always rather deal with someone who knows us by reputation and comes to us ready to work.

    I have little interest in people who come without knowing who we are or what we do. I would certainly not pay one of those sites to actively seek work:
    a) Because we don't need to seek the work, it comes to us.
    b) There's not a hope in hell that I'm paying what would be a very significant fee on an extension when you put in your anticipated cost. It's a non-qualified lead for a job that may be awful or not prepared, for a person that might just be unreasonable, or likely have a completely unrealistic expectation of what an extension costs. It would be folly to chase larger jobs like that and I'd seriously question someone's capability if they can't find three or four small extensions a year without forking out hundreds on rubbish leads.

    I only know one person who has used those sites and he put himself out there as a builder when he is, in fact, a medicore plasterer. He was asking us to put together his quotes for him!

    I think there probably is space for someone who is an individual trade with a high turnover of customers, but even then, the good people always find work without really looking and no one actually wants a high turnover of clients, they want regular ones - contractors with clients already lined up and repeat business.

    If I were looking for work I would populate our FMB page with current work, I would utilise our social media pages and I would network locally - referrals through people I know again.

    I think local facebook groups probably are the best place. Lots of people seem to recommend themselves on there but you can also ask if people have used a particular firm and even build up an idea of what they are like before you contact them.

    I'd certainly act as if you are interested in using them and knowing about them helps. You have to sell yourself as a potential customer these days and the good builders will be receptive if you can be patient and wait for them. I've had people wait over a year and essentially the only reason I've taken that work is that I understand that those people want to work with me - which immediately lets me knownthat I am valued and tends to make the workig relationship a successful one.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl

    I agree and it all ties in like a jigsaw with what I was trying to put across to OP. OP clearly was not keen on my responses, nor did I get an answer to a question I raised twice.


    OP has taken me to task for using the term "pricing a job" yet I fail to see the issue. Is that not what one is aiming to get from a tendering website?


    My approach was that of lateral thinking. OP is having "a whale of a problem trying to get a local builder interested..." and my response was suggesting OP may not be going about matters in a professional manner. If the manner is lacking then all the local builders are likely to be staying away.
    • jungle jane
    • By jungle jane 10th Mar 18, 9:24 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    jungle jane
    Good builders have work planned in advance and this comes via referral.

    We pay to be members on the FMB and I don't even take advantage of putting up case studies and reviews on the Find A Builder service on there (which is included in the subscription fee) because we don't need the calls! I would always rather deal with someone who knows us by reputation and comes to us ready to work.

    I have little interest in people who come without knowing who we are or what we do. I would certainly not pay one of those sites to actively seek work:
    a) Because we don't need to seek the work, it comes to us.
    b) There's not a hope in hell that I'm paying what would be a very significant fee on an extension when you put in your anticipated cost. It's a non-qualified lead for a job that may be awful or not prepared, for a person that might just be unreasonable, or likely have a completely unrealistic expectation of what an extension costs. It would be folly to chase larger jobs like that and I'd seriously question someone's capability if they can't find three or four small extensions a year without forking out hundreds on rubbish leads.

    I only know one person who has used those sites and he put himself out there as a builder when he is, in fact, a medicore plasterer. He was asking us to put together his quotes for him!

    I think there probably is space for someone who is an individual trade with a high turnover of customers, but even then, the good people always find work without really looking and no one actually wants a high turnover of clients, they want regular ones - contractors with clients already lined up and repeat business.

    If I were looking for work I would populate our FMB page with current work, I would utilise our social media pages and I would network locally - referrals through people I know again.

    I think local facebook groups probably are the best place. Lots of people seem to recommend themselves on there but you can also ask if people have used a particular firm and even build up an idea of what they are like before you contact them.

    I'd certainly act as if you are interested in using them and knowing about them helps. You have to sell yourself as a potential customer these days and the good builders will be receptive if you can be patient and wait for them. I've had people wait over a year and essentially the only reason I've taken that work is that I understand that those people want to work with me - which immediately lets me knownthat I am valued and tends to make the workig relationship a successful one.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I think this is an excellent post from the POV of a builder - i learnt a lot from reading that. It is true that good builders are booked up - you definitely can't expect to not wait.

    But for me i think the social media aspect is the right way to go - it really helps to get to 'know' the person you are going to approach online. you can see their work, how they interact and you can give them an idea of you.

    I guess if you are in a rush and just want a cold call quote then then you may as well use yellow pages but in this day and age with a bit of research you can find yourself soemone perfect for the job. I've given my builder so much more work just because he's so good and is very conscious of his local profile.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Mar 18, 10:48 AM
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    Doozergirl
    I think this is an excellent post from the POV of a builder - i learnt a lot from reading that. It is true that good builders are booked up - you definitely can't expect to not wait.

    But for me i think the social media aspect is the right way to go - it really helps to get to 'know' the person you are going to approach online. you can see their work, how they interact and you can give them an idea of you.

    I guess if you are in a rush and just want a cold call quote then then you may as well use yellow pages but in this day and age with a bit of research you can find yourself soemone perfect for the job. I've given my builder so much more work just because he's so good and is very conscious of his local profile.
    Originally posted by jungle jane
    Thanks. Your post is really helpful to me too. I should probably post more on our pages as it does keep an ongoing record of what happens in our world and therefore establishes us as a bonfide company, more than a static website, and it does help show our personalities

    I posted yesterday actually. It's nice to get compliments too
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Alan Cross
    • By Alan Cross 10th Mar 18, 11:49 AM
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    Alan Cross
    Not all of us use anti-social media...

    All I want is to be put in touch with builders who would be willing to look at the job requirement and give a quote. Apparently, too much of an ask these days.

    Unbelievably bad communications. This seems to apply to the whole 'industry'.

    It's like you're worried to chase them about why they haven't answered because it might might turn out they actually can't read...
    Last edited by Alan Cross; 10-03-2018 at 9:47 PM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Mar 18, 2:08 PM
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    Doozergirl
    You're using "anti-social media" now.

    I think it is too much of an ask. You are not in a buyers market with people lining up to quote for you. No builder enjoys quoting and if a builder has too much work, there is no need to go looking for work, let alone start paying to quote for random strangers. Quotes don't always end in work.

    The builder you want is not looking for you. You have to go looking for them because if you don't, someone else will find them.

    You need to go looking, not finding. If you take the attitude that they should be looking for you then you'll get what you're looking for, I'm afraid, which is failure to find anyone decent.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Alan Cross
    • By Alan Cross 10th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    • 1,134 Posts
    • 1,130 Thanks
    Alan Cross
    You're using "anti-social media" now.

    I think it is too much of an ask. You are not in a buyers market with people lining up to quote for you. No builder enjoys quoting and if a builder has too much work, there is no need to go looking for work, let alone start paying to quote for random strangers. Quotes don't always end in work.

    The builder you want is not looking for you. You have to go looking for them because if you don't, someone else will find them.

    You need to go looking, not finding. If you take the attitude that they should be looking for you then you'll get what you're looking for, I'm afraid, which is failure to find anyone decent.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Sighs. So all I'm asking on this forum site (nothing more than) is whether these tendering sites are any good, precisely, for doing this looking/finding, whatever you want to call it...
    Last edited by Alan Cross; 10-03-2018 at 9:56 PM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Mar 18, 10:04 PM
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    Doozergirl
    And the answer is NO! Unless you want someone desperate. In which case, feel free, I hope you're very happy together.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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