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Homeowner concerns when appointing a tradesperson

by | 16/11/2023

You may have already read our recent post Powering up the trade, where we took an irreverent look at the fuelling habits of the trade (how many idioms did you count?). Once again, we are dipping into the data from our recent dual pronged research study where we undertook two similarly themed consultations – one with homeowners and one with tradespeople.

In this blog we expand on the data and consider some of the worries and concerns that invade homeowner minds when considering appointing a tradesperson. What are the largest concerns? Do they differ for the homeowner versus the trades’ perception? How do these worries change as we get older? How might tradespeople adapt to the concerns of their domestic customers?

What do homeowners worry about when appointing a tradesperson?

The vast majority of tradespeople believe that homeowners are most concerned about getting ripped off and receiving poor workmanship (over 8 in 10 tradespeople believe this). While homeowners are concerned about these potential issues, the fear factor is somewhat less than trades perceive, with only around 6 in 10 identifying these issues. Less at the forefront of the trades mind, is the homeowner concern over prices increasing mid job, which is in fact a real concern for over half of the homeowners we interviewed, perhaps reflective of them already being hit by recent material price increases – certainly one for trades to be aware of and manage cautiously and considerately with their customers.

The spectre of rogue traders is less of an issue for homeowners than the trade perceives (43% vs 64%), which is certainly a positive for the trade to embrace regarding their wider credibility; perhaps the trade are paying too much attention to Watchdog scare stories here? Further supporting this trustworthiness is the degree to which homeowners feel safe in their homes when employing tradespeople; very few comment that they have concerns over their personal safety.

Do concerns change across the age spectrum?

But of course, the devil is in the detail; does the modern tradesperson need to adapt his /her behaviours to the types of homeowner they encounter? Of course, they do, and we know that many tradespeople already do this and are thoroughly sympathetic to the diverse needs of the people they work for. Below we see some of these clear differences just from examining the simple age metric.

The youngest audience have the fewest concerns when seeking out a tradesperson to work in their home (average 2 per person), compared with the oldest age group (over 4 concerns each on average). The youngest cohort are more likely to be anxious about getting ripped off and being left with a job that is unfinished. At the other end of the age scale, the most significant worries are over poor workmanship and rogue traders/ lack of official credentials. These differences are perhaps unsurprising but provide clear evidence of the need for tradespeople to adapt their behaviours in accordance with the types of domestic customers they are dealing with. A tactic of surety over price and phone imagery of jobs well done for the youngsters, versus professional membership/ accreditations and happy customer testimonials for the older generation?

And what about gender?

When we explore by gender, we can also see perhaps predictable differences, such as elevated levels of concern for personal safety (Male 10%, Female 18%), and a higher degree of focus on receiving a quality job from the female audience versus male counterparts. This just hammers home the point that the modern tradesperson needs to be all things to all (wo)men!

We meet hundreds of tradespeople in our line of work and are always impressed with their entrepreneurship, ingenuity and personability. We know that the overwhelming majority are clued up on these issues, but it’s always nice to sound a little reminder to our favourite trades!

Look out for our next blog release that delves further into these differences between the trade and homeowners and explores consumer confidence and expected trade behaviours in the home. What does the perfect tradesperson look like? Perhaps we’ll get closer to an answer!

Methodological note

We have our own highly engaged community of tradespeople that we use for both client projects and our own research (such as this). This is made up of a variety of sole traders, contractors, and small businesses (across many trades) who we can turn to when we need both quick and longer-term research commitments. Take a look here for more information.

Both surveys were conducted online during October 2023 by Eureka! Research. 250 interviews were completed with both tradespeople and homeowner audiences.

For more information about Eureka’s work in the home improvement space please click here.

Eureka! Research

6 Parkside Court | Greenhough Road
Lichfield | Staffordshire | WS13 7AU


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