Pros Only? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 07-02-2006, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Pros Only?

Should this site be for pros only? Meaning, should we only allow pros to register and ask questions and turn consumer away?
This is how we run ContractorTalk.com and it has worked well. It means that you don't have waste time answering consumer questions for free and you know that you're talking to pros.

What we typically do on ContractorTalk.com is forward any homeowner questions to diychatroom.com. That way if any of you want to help out homeowners you know where to go but this place remains a professional hangout.

What are your thoughts?

Nathan

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post #2 of Old 07-02-2006, 02:02 PM
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Possibly a homeowner/D.I.Y. forum with a sticky to let them know this is where they should ask their questions and not in the contractor forums. Just my .02

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post #3 of Old 07-02-2006, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Well, right now that is kind of what we have. Under "community" we have a Consumer Questions forum. The problem is that whenever you hit new posts or do general searches you catch these threads as well as pro questions.

I'm up for either way it's just worked on ContractorTalk.com to have consumer questions on diychatroom.com and to keep the whole site for pros only.

Maybe this site should be open to both. Look forward to everyone's feedback on this.

Thanks!

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post #4 of Old 07-02-2006, 02:08 PM
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I think either way works fine. Allowing them to post might also provide a chance for a contractor to take over a job where a homeowner might be in too deep and not realize it.

All Seasons Exteriors, Inc. Professional Roof Cleaning
Orlando, FL (407) 579-4026 or Toll Free (877) 837-9705

Last edited by All Seasons Exteriors; 07-02-2006 at 02:13 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #5 of Old 07-02-2006, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I think either way works fine. Allowing them to post might also provide a chance for a contractor take over a job where a homeowner might be in too deep and not realize it.
That is true and I never thought about that.

I'll wait to hear back from some of the other guys as well but maybe we will just leave this site as is and allow consumer questions.

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post #6 of Old 07-02-2006, 02:38 PM
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I honestly prefer a contractor only forum. There are tons of informative DIY websites and message boards out there. I like being able to have somewhere to freely discuss marketing and sales strategies as well as having a place to just come and type a rant about a "special" customer I may have had that day.

I guess at the very least a person should have his signature completely filled out so we know from they are coming. Sometimes its hard to differentiate between a well meaning new contractor and a homeonwer fishing for free advice.

I have nothing against offering advice to people but I believe there is a place for that. I act as a half a**'d answer man on a deck forum and have been there for a few years. I get emails every day from people asking How-To? Many of these people have become customers of both PressurePros, and RAD Systems so I am not opposed to the idea. Again I just think there are plenty of websites to fill that niche.

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post #7 of Old 07-02-2006, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I guess at the very least a person should have his signature completely filled out so we know from they are coming. Sometimes its hard to differentiate between a well meaning new contractor and a homeowner fishing for free advice.
I agree with you about it being nice to have a pros only forum but not about the signature requirements. If you want to fill in your signature line and hopefully get some work because of it that is great... but if you want to join and ask questions under the radar that is fine in my book too.

Why?
There are some contractors who want to ask questions about bad customers, subs, tax laws, or whatever without it being public who they are. I think you can be honest and helpful without allowing customers to track everything you say online.

Just a thought.

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post #8 of Old 07-02-2006, 05:07 PM
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I tend to agree with Ken about the signature. I am always skeptical about discussing trade practices or marketing stratagies with my own local competition. I won't tell my competitors how to clean a house faster and then have them cut thier prices because they are able to clean quicker.

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post #9 of Old 07-02-2006, 05:09 PM
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...... Besides, they can just "read" and learn.

Michael Kreisle, First Choice Power Washing LLC
Lexington, KY 859-983-5955
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post #10 of Old 07-02-2006, 05:35 PM
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I don't mind sharing info with anyone,but I do prefer to see where someone is from.It adds a sense of community when they are willing to share a liitle about themselves.

At the very least require that their profile be filled out properly,with correct info.

Hell is my address and I'm tired of others using it...........lol.

Karvonen's Pro Clean
Scott "Squirtgun" Karvonen
Sylvester,Ga.
www.karvonensproclean.com

Last edited by Karvonen's Pro Clean; 07-02-2006 at 07:24 PM. Reason: added text
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post #11 of Old 07-02-2006, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I can require that someone fills out their location without making them fill out a large signature line... but I hesitate to even do that.

There are a few problems that I see with it. I have a number of really great contractors on contractortalk.com who do not wish to have customers track everything they say online.
There are a number of reasons for this and most of them are valid in my mind. That doesn't mean that no body should display their info and I think it can help land some jobs if you work it right.

As far as not helping other cleaning professionals in your area... that isn't valid in my mind. As you pointed out anyone who wants to can read these posts.

Last, I want this forum to be different than the other ones out there and not the same. When I registered on one of them I felt like I was a child. So many rules, so much politics, and of course the required signature. Just seems too over the top for my tastes.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on the signature issue. My main question was if we should have homeowners on the site and I'm not sure I have an answer for that question yet.

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post #12 of Old 07-02-2006, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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At the very least require that their profile be filled out properly,with correct info..
Do you mean a valid email address or that they disclose everything about themselves such as location, company name, etc..?
How on earth would you know of the info was made up or not? I filled out a registration form on one of those over the top rules forums and I just made everything up. So, what good was their system?

There is no good way to check everyone out. If I have rules in place I want them to be enforceable.

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post #13 of Old 07-02-2006, 07:38 PM
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I open to either way.Consumers post on other BBS occasionally and it doesn't seem to be a problem.
For the most part I think homeowners don't seek out this type of site to get their questions answered first.Most will seek out a DIY site and then seek out a site like this when or if they can't find the answer the seek in DIY land.

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post #14 of Old 07-02-2006, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Good insight Ken thanks.

BTW, we do have a DIY site in our little network. It's called www.diychatroom.com and it's a fun site. I need to add some cleaning topics to it though.

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post #15 of Old 07-02-2006, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
Do you mean a valid email address or that they disclose everything about themselves such as location, company name, etc..?
How on earth would you know of the info was made up or not? I filled out a registration form on one of those over the top rules forums and I just made everything up. So, what good was their system?

There is no good way to check everyone out. If I have rules in place I want them to be enforceable.

There is no way of enforcing complete truth.It's kind of an honesty is much appreciated situation.
Also,pricing from one part of the country to another is different so an acurate location insures that the whomever asked the questions gets info from someone based near the geographical location.
My pricing in Ga is greatly different from NJ ,so technically my price suggestions to a NJ contractor could,likely would leave money on the table.

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post #16 of Old 09-27-2006, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I'm going to close it down to Pros Only.

I'm going to have a required question in the registration process that ask for the company name.

How does this look?

(This is the one I just put in place for another site)

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