A SERVICE helping homeowners to avoid the cowboys and aid tradesmen seeking work and to build their reputation has gone live in the region.
Localandtrusted.com was the brainchild of friends, former Northumberland County Council health and safety manager Terry McGuinness and Steve Hair, who owns Red Kite Construction and Development.
The website is free for homeowners to advertise a job, which ‘trusted’ building specialists express an interest in. The homeowner can then view the firm’s profile, including their quote, references and qualifications.
McGuinness, who previously ran a franchise developing websites alongside his day job, had seen big national companies running sites with a similar flavour.
But he said: “None had a local flavour, there was too much of a blanket approach and no regional listings or community spirit. We discussed it and came up with a business model based on trying to build up a community where both the homeowner and the tradesman benefits.”
Hair reckons that small building firms can often miss out on some of the opportunities provided by the internet.
“It was clear to me that a lot of fantastic local tradesmen are not getting the opportunity to quote for jobs they could complete expertly, simply because, for whatever reason, they didn’t have sufficient online presence.
“Many small outfits have websites but they can’t afford the marketing spend required to get their sites found. Our website changes that completely.”