Why watching The Block 2019 is torturous for tradies

Do you find reality renovation TV shows like The Block 2019 torturous to watch? For many tradies, the unrealistic timeframes and questionable workmanship leaves them shaking a fist at the television in frustration.

If you’ve been following the current series of The Block, you’ll have noticed a certain online service directory – a platform that connects customers with registered tradespeople – is a major sponsor.

Known as the on-demand tradie economy (or platform economy), the introduction of this digital marketplace has disrupted the residential trade sector by transforming the process of lead generation.

The shift has divided the tradie community. In one camp, some tradies are fuming the on-demand process creates an under-cut-a-thon. In the other camp, some tradies believe it frees up admin time.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, here’s how trade business owners can navigate the changing tradie economy – an economy fuelled by many factors, including exposure on high-profile television programs!

Customers now have more control

We’ve all witnessed how the traditional taxi industry has been shaken up by ride-sharing apps, driven by the high take up rate of the new technology by consumers. Your customers are now in the hot seat.

When posting a task on an online marketplace, customers can check certifications and reviews from other customers, and save themselves the hassle of ringing around for quotes – the quotes come to them.

Many trade business owners are not fans of the move to this model, which is often won or lost on price. However, the reality is, if you’re looking to target younger customers, this could be a good option.

Speed wins the on-demand game

For tradies looking for leads with a younger target market, the online marketplace provides an opportunity to connect and engage. You’ll pay a fee each time you bid for a job, or may pay a regular membership fee.

Either way, speed typically wins the on-demand game. Some of our Lifestyle Tradie members have used the online marketplace to generate quality leads – the keys are your response time and follow up process.

For example, picking up the phone and speaking with a customer who has posted a job, as part of a pre-qualifying process, has worked well for some members. It’s a smart way to move the relationship offline.

Still, there are tradies who remain unconvinced. Understandably.

Quality customers aren’t always on-demand

In our experience, the on-demand economy is not for every trade business owner in the residential trade sector. In fact, many are up in arms about the cheap and nasty mentality – the lowest prices wins.

While this is not always the case, the on-demand marketplace does tend to attract customers who value price over quality workmanship and credentials. Instead, focus your energy on targeting A-grade customers.

A-grade customers are:

  • Great to work with
  • Respectful
  • Pay on time
  • Money to spend
  • Willingness to spend

For you, the masterstroke is mastering the customer experience. This way, you’ll establish a rapport with your customers and retain them. Ultimately, this will lead to a pipeline of more profitable work.

While some would argue it’s environment ripe for “cowboy” tradies, the on-demand economy is here to stay – and becoming more high-profile through a major sponsorship on The Block 2019.

Don’t torture yourself worrying what the competition is doing. You can’t control how other tradies generate leads. You can only control how you choose to do business and connect with your customers.