Can you trust online contractor referrals?

Can you trust online contractor referrals?

Let’s say that you’re looking for a great painting contractor. The first thing that you do is go online and do a search for painting contractors in your area, right? The results that pop up, depending on your search engine of choice, often have ratings underneath them. The ratings can be from happy clients of that particular contractor, or, can be negative comments secretly written by that contractor’s competition, whose sole purpose is to “flame” them and steer potential clients away. Since many of these reviews are simply listed under an anonymous user name, how do you which ones to trust?

Online contractor referrals are useful in many aspects. They can point you towards a great painting contractor who will do a fantastic job, and keep you from calling one with a bad track record. On the other hand, some wonderful contractors may have bad ratings written by the competition, as illustrated above. You need to know how to wade through the many referrals and pick out the honest ones.

There are numerous online referrals available on the internet. Some run whole websites dedicated only to local businesses. These types of referral sites often have a small description of the business, followed by a few well-written reviews. Look for contractors that have many reviews. If you see 20 positive reviews and 5 negative ones, then you have more than likely found a good contractor.

However, there are some websites where the contractors are rated by professionals, similar to Consumer Reports. These websites feature unbiased reviews and can be trusted, but sometimes you will have to pay a fee to read the reviews. Other contractor referral sites are run by unions or similar groups, and the contractors will have to pay to be listed on them. These types of sites also tend to have honest opinions, but you need to be careful and make sure that the contractors didn’t pay for their good reviews. A money-based system may be at work.

The best way to go about choosing a contractor is to read their reviews on many referral sites. If you look at 3 or 4 different ones and they all have overwhelmingly positive things to say, then you’re in good shape. If you see that the results are mixed, use your common sense to guide you through them and determine which are true and which aren’t.