Moving to a new neighborhood is an exciting prospect.
From making new contacts to enjoying the community, we rarely experience such an overwhelming sense of novelty. However, the process can be pretty challenging for many people in new neighborhoods or first-time homeowners.
Residential properties demand constant upkeep and finding the right people can take a lot of energy for someone unfamiliar with the area.
Luckily, we live in a world of information, where many companies make their living by offering their services on online platforms. While our parents had to rely on resourcefulness and a degree of blind luck, we can quickly get access to verified reviews, quotas, and contact information.
Top 6 Ways To Find Local Service Providers For New Home
Nevertheless, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with local service providers, as digital methods are only sometimes reliable. Simply put, many professionals still lack the skill to market themselves online. Therefore, you must broaden your search repertoire or miss half of the market.
1. Explore online marketplaces
Online platforms like Angie, Craigslist, and Thumbtack provide options for many businesses that aren’t ‘the largest in the area’- which means you could find great skill for good value. It takes little effort to browse your local area, and you are more than likely to end up with a handful of prospects.
Similar places include Yelp, which has a more extensive database, or Houzz (although it’s geared more towards remodeling services). Nevertheless, browsing these websites should get you in contact with electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and helpers. Be sure to look for reviews or to look up the company’s reputation. Ask about their license and insurance and get a couple of quotes.
Interestingly, less than 64% of small businesses have a website, yet 70-80% of people research a company online before purchasing. Numbers for service providers are even lower. Most of these businesses use platforms like the ones listed above as their website. Online shopping is usually the best way to get information and multiple quotes.
2. Develop lasting relationships
Although much of your relationship with service providers will be transactional, establishing trust is essential. Most of the time, it is much easier to develop a lasting relationship than skipping from one service provider to another.
You want to have as much continuity with an electrician as you would with a dentist. Suppose you move to Tacoma from a city far away and buy a new home in the area. Finding a good electrician might take some time, so when you do find one you like, it’s best to develop a lasting relationship. One provider likely has contacts they trust and can recommend.
3. Word of mouth
If you’re in a new neighborhood, get to know your neighbors. It’s a good way to get involved in your community and a great way to learn about the local area and local service providers. Chances are that some of your neighbors have already hired the professional you’re looking for and can let you know about the experience.
Face-to-face referrals attached to a story can help much more than online reviews. You can ask questions and get answers to specific questions from a neighbor, reviews rarely offer the same insight.
It is worth noting that many contractors have other jobs and only freelance in their spare time. Suppose you are looking for a cheaper alternative to a professional service. In that case, the internet will provide little information on skilled individuals who operate below the radar.
Your neighbors and word of mouth may be the best way to find great services at the best value.
4. Ask your local hardware store
Although many service providers shop for materials in bulk, it doesn’t hurt to ask your local hardware store clerk for information. Chances are that other community members had to buy tools and materials, and word might travel around. Besides, local store owners are much more likely to have experience with service providers in the area.
5. Get familiar with hourly rates
With variability in the cost of living, different metros have different prices for services such as plumbing, electricity, and cleaning. Therefore, familiarize yourself with actual quotas before reaching out to any prospects.
For example, the cost of residential plumbing in Tacoma, without fees for materials, ranges from $79.22 – $89.88. Likewise, you can use similar online quota estimators to learn about other services such as landscaping, carpentry, electricity, and dry cleaning.
Once familiar with the rough estimate, you can use this information to negotiate prices better. However, remember that custom projects can only be estimated with an on-site interview, so invite service providers for quick consultation in person.
6. Other suggestions for making your move easier
Finding professional help when it comes to fixing issues around the home is essential. However, it is also important to complete your relocation by tying every loose end. Therefore, forward your mail, move your child’s school records and find nearby convenience stores, and the hospital.
Similarly, if you have a medical prescription, locate a nearby pharmacy and have your prescription moved following local rules. You’d also want to check your insurance policies and find a local agent to discuss options.
Moving to a new area is difficult, and having your house in order is vital before taking in new challenges on the professional front. For this reason, skipping a few weekends out may be the best way to settle into your new home and community.