The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - robyn.wil­ Pic­tures iS­tock More Hi­pages, hi­

Find­ing a good trades­per­son used to be an ex­er­cise in pa­tience.

Af­ter trawl­ing the ads in the lo­cal pa­per or the yel­low pages, you called some­one up, ex­plained your prob­lem and, if you were re­ally lucky, ar­ranged a time for them to come out and quote.

If you were un­suc­cess­ful with your first call, you kept mak­ing calls, re­peat­ing your­self, un­til you found the right per­son.

Not any more.

New wave

Co-founder and CEO of on­line trade mar­ket­place Hi­pages, David Vitek says those days have made way for a more stream­lined sys­tem that puts the home­owner back in the driver’s seat.

“With the old way, some­times you had to call 10 peo­ple and ex­plain the same thing over and over again un­til you found some­one who had the time, was ca­pa­ble of do­ing the work and was some­one you felt com­fort­able with,” David says. “Peo­ple don’t have time for that anymore.”

The shift to on­line shop­ping for ser­vices has mean that in­stead, the home­owner posts the prob­lem they need fixed or the ser­vice they re­quire and then waits for the ap­pro­pri­ate per­son to re­spond.

While skill lev­els vary from site to site, Hi­pages spe­cialises in ser­vices pro­vided by qual­i­fied trades, such as plum­bers and elec­tri­cians, as well as skilled work which may not nec­es­sar­ily re­quire qual­i­fi­ca­tions, such as a handy­man ser­vice.

He says they gen­er­ally don’t pro­vide for un­skilled jobs, such as mov­ing fur­ni­ture from one side of the room to the other.

Any trades­per­son listed on his site has al­ready been vet­ted, David says.

“We check ev­ery­one on our plat­form to make sure they are li­censed for the ser­vice they are pro­vid­ing and that they have an ABN (Aus­tralian Business Num­ber),” he says. “We also mon­i­tor feed­back from peo­ple who have used their ser­vices and if they are not sat­is­fied, we will

re­move them.”

In­for­ma­tion age

To get started, most on­line trade ser­vices will re­quest in­for­ma­tion about the pro­posed work, in­clud­ing the sub­urb you live in, the ur­gency of the job, the specifics of the prob­lem, and what bud­get you might be work­ing with. David says his business has re­cently added the op­tion of up­load­ing im­ages to bet­ter il­lus­trate the prob­lem. “To make sure you get the right per­son, it’s a good idea to pro­vide as much in­for­ma­tion as you can,” he says. “If you want to put in a new deck, tell them how big you want it and even what ma­te­ri­als you had in mind to help with the quote.”

Wait­ing for quotes

Once you’ve sub­mit­ted your in­quiry, David says Hi­pages will con­nect you with three rel­e­vant tradies with a range of quotes.

At busy times of the year, such as the leadup to Christ­mas, some­times sourc­ing the right trades can be dif­fi­cult.

In the event that no one re­sponds to your prob­lem, David says the Hi­pages team may be able to help.

“If you have posted a job and you haven’t had a re­sponse, con­tact us,” he says.

“We will keep fol­low­ing it up — we’re your best chance of find­ing a trades­per­son.”

Some­times things don’t go to plan so that you’re un­happy with the out­come. If you find your­self in dis­pute with the trades­per­son you’ve hired, David says you have op­tions.

“It doesn’t hap­pen very of­ten but with 100,000 jobs com­ing through, some­times things can go wrong,” he says.

“If you call our cus­tomer ser­vice staff, we have a me­di­a­tion ser­vice avail­able to help find a so­lu­tion.

“Of­ten it’s a com­mu­ni­ca­tion break­down which can be re­solved fairly quickly. “

Only use li­censed tradies with ap­pro­pri­ate in­sur­ance.

Get­ting more than one quote will help your find the right per­son at the right price.

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