We have taken a very "hands on" approach to our screening process. Where most directories open the door to every potential client and see how many will stick, we had to approach things in a very different manner. Most directories have no real liability, because they get paid whether you get a good job or not, so that way of screening is fine for them. We, on the other hand, take responsibility for our contractors and offer a real guarantee that the contractor will perform with quality and integrity. So, we have to go the extra mile it takes to find the right contractor.
When we first enter a city, we get involved in organizations and local entities that can lead us to well respected industry professionals that would not be a part of our list. In other words, we seek out individuals and companies that work on a consistent basis with contractors, but have nothing to gain by sharing their names with us. If they have been in business for many years, they have burned through many contractors to find the very few that they continue to trust time and time again. If we need a particular industry that is not being referred, then we do in-depth profiling to determine who we want to approach. We then require them to produce a list of industry professionals that can vouch for their quality and integrity. A list of homeowners is not the same as a list of professional contractors or industry professionals that have done business with them for years.
Once we have the names of contractors that they use consistently and can vouch for their integrity and quality, we call each contractor and request a face-to-face interview. During the interview we get a great understanding of why they are so highly referred. We get very personal with them in our interviews and talk with them about the financial standing of their companies and their goals for future growth. We also let them know that being a part of the list is a privilege that can be taken away if they do not perform with the highest integrity and quality. They sign an agreement that states that they will refrain from high pressure or high fear sales tactics and that if we find out that they are price gouging or needlessly upselling, they will be removed from the list. See our Code of Ethics. Most of the contractors we spoke to were very excited that there was finally a place that would hold someone accountable. However, there were some companies, although very few, that got angry that we would try to "regulate" how they do business. Those companies are not part of The Good Contractors List®.
The good contractors that make it to the list usually have other contractors that they respect and know personally that they refer work to on a consistent basis. Many times, because of the way we have built the list, they will even refer their competition if they are a good company. This is unheard of in any other form of advertising, but the contractors realize that the reputation of The Good Contractors List is only as good as the names that are on the list. They want to help us find the names of companies that they don't mind being associated with in their own industry. If we put a name on the list that was not well respected in the industry, then it would be evident that we were doing this for the money and not the mission. Many of the most well-known companies in the public eye could never be a part of this list. The tactics that allows them the luxury of huge advertising budgets and the fleet of decked out vehicles, is not well respected by those contractors who just want to fix the actual problem and charge a fair and honest rate. Think about it.
We also performed background investigations on the company and the personal background of the owner. There are so many companies out there that have bankrupted one company and immediately started a new company. We did not want anyone to fall prey to this type of contractor. So, we did not just take the contractor's word for their integrity, we checked and double-checked.
Every contractor is fully insured with the right amount of insurance. We not only check to see if each company has the proper amount of insurance, we become a certificate holder on their policy, so there will never be the chance that they allow a lapse in coverage. If there is a contractor on our list that allows their insurance to lapse and does not renew it in a timely manner, then we remove the contractor from the list. Our guarantee will cover any issues that may arise on current or past mistakes from a contractor that is removed, so you are still safe.
Finally, after we bring the contractor on, we listen to YOU to see how they are doing! We don't believe in the review system, because it gives anyone who wants to manipulate the system a way to either promote or degrade the contractor. The Good Contractors List® wants to know directly how our contractors are doing. If they hired the wrong employee, they need to know it and so do we! The best way to provide the safest and most pleasant environment is to work together! Our contractors have reputations to uphold and they are just as passionate about maintaining that reputation as we are to promote it. So, the homeowner's feedback is of the utmost importance. If there is a complaint, then it will get handled. See The Good Contractor Guarantee for procedures for filing a complaint.