Running your own plumbing business brings with it many unique challenges. Whether you are a sole trader offering plumbing services by yourself or you run a local plumbing business with a few employees, finding customers is critical for success.
In general, plumbers need to advertise to those customers looking for an emergency plumber in a panic and those customers looking for some routine maintenance or a new install. Each of these types of customers has different needs, and advertising your services in the right places can help you reach both of them.
Are you a tradesperson looking for advice on referral sites outside of the plumbing industry? Don’t worry, you can check out our ULTIMATE INDUSTRY GUIDE TO TRADESPERSON REFERRAL SITES which has advice for every industry!
Plumbers were the most in-demand trade during 2020. There is no doubt that the customers are out there and in need of your services. The challenging part is getting your name and your business in front of those customers when they need you.
Depending on your local area, the competition might be very fierce, and it is essential you can stand out from the crowd in a saturated market. This is where plumber referral sites can help, and in this guide, we are sharing everything you need to know about using these websites to advertise your plumbing business. So, here is our a plumber’s guide to referral sites
What Are Plumber Referral Sites?
The majority of customers looking for a plumber will begin their search using Google and other search engines to find local businesses. Having your own website with your contact details is an excellent way of building an online presence. Still, your own small website will never be able to stand out against nationwide companies such as Checkatrade, TrustATrader or Which?. These are all examples of referral websites that list trade services, including plumbers, electricians and more.
Thousands of customers head to these websites to find plumbers in their local areas, as they are a convenient tool for those looking for these services. From the customer point of view, they can compare many local plumbers all in one place and read reviews from previous customers.
A massive 86% of customers will read reviews for a local business, such as a plumber, before hiring them. Most will read ten online reviews before they place their trust in a company, so a website that showcases these reviews is very valuable to these customers.
Plumber referral sites all work in slightly different ways, but the central concept is the same. They list details of plumbers within a specific area so that customers can easily search and contact them when their services are required. Some websites work by allowing customers to post the jobs they need doing, and you can then see these jobs and send a quote for the work.
Most referral sites offer details for a huge range of tradespeople, including plumbers, while some are specific to the plumbing industry. The majority of plumber referral sites have some kind of cost associated with them, so it is essential that you determine if they are worthwhile before parting with your hard-earned money.
Which Plumber Referral Site Is Best?
These are some of the most popular referral sites for plumbers. We’re providing all the details so you can choose the best option for your business.
Association Of Plumbing And Heating Contractors Limited (APHC)
As a plumber, you have probably come across trade association memberships already. These provide reassurance to customers that your business can be trusted and that you are dedicated to high-quality plumbing. Not only that, but trade associations like APHC have online referral services on their websites.
Customers can use these to find a plumber who is registered, and then contact them for any work needed. Signing up to APHC can show potential customers that you are a trustworthy business that will deliver top results, as well as help these customers to find your business in the first place.
APHC offer various options for membership and certification, so you can choose an option that works for your business. For their Licensed Membership, there is an initial application fee which starts from £50 and an annual membership fee starting from £445.
Chartered Institute Of Plumbing And Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
Similarly to APHC, CIPHE is another popular trade association for plumbers. Again, customers can search their website for local plumbers who are registered with them, so being a part of their scheme can be worthwhile. CIPHE also offer professional recognition for your qualifications as a plumber, and they hold the Register of Plumbers.
Becoming a member of CIPHE means you can be included in their directory database, but as well as this, you can access their networking and online learning services if you want to as well. The cost to join CIPHE depends on your qualifications and experience in plumbing but starts from £114 a year.
Once you are a member, you will need to pay an additional £60 a year to be a part of their online referral directory.
Local Plumbing Directory
Local Plumbing Directory does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a basic directory for customers to find plumbers near them. The website is exclusive to plumbing services, unlike other referral sites, which offer many different trades in one place.
Local Plumbing Directory is a very cost-effective option for advertising your services locally, and they even offer a free listing option. Their paid listing is just £14.95 a year and includes website links, contact details, photo and video content, and more.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Local Plumbing Directory is that they have no process for vetting or qualifying the plumbers on their site. This could easily make them a top choice for rogue tradespeople and untrustworthy plumbers, and having your business associated with these on the same site could potentially cause you problems.
Which Referral Right Is Right For Your Plumbing Business?
These are the main options for referral sites that are dedicated to the plumbing industry. As a plumber, it can also be worthwhile listing your business on generic trade websites, and we offer another guide covering everything you need to know about these. When deciding which websites to list on, make sure you consider all the options available to you and weigh up the costs associated with each.
What’s The Best Referral Site For Your Industry?
So that’s you sorted, if you’re a plumber, but what about other industries? We have already been diving deeper into the different referral sites and how they suit a range of different industries. Head to our Ultimate Guide, here. Oh, and subscribe to our email list, so you’ll be the first to know which is the best referral site for your business and industry.