BLOG

Field service management, accounting, marketing and business growth. Helpful how-to guides, company profiles, useful free tools, stories, ideas, news and announcements
… and more!

The Ultimate Industry Guide To Tradesperson Referral Sites

Updated April 2021

A crucial part of success as an independent trader is getting customers. In many regions, competition for work can be fierce. Furthermore, with so many tradespeople in the area, customers may not know who to reach out to. This is why tradesperson referral sites are so popular for both customers and traders. 

As a tradesperson, if you’ve never used a tradesperson referral site before, it can be difficult to know where to begin. This is where we’re here to help. This post will explain how the big names in referral sites work, so you can decide what’s right for you.

Trade referral sites indeed offer tempting access to a pool of motivated clients. But, with each site having a cost, it’s not feasible to just join them all. So we’re going to explore the pros and cons of all the big sites so that you can find the right sites for you.

How Do Referral Sites Work? 

Having a presence on referral sites allows you to advertise your business and find opportunities to quote based on what customers post onto the site. Furthermore, they allow customers to leave reviews and feedback on your previous jobs for future potential clients to see. Not only that, but customers can post a job and wait for quotes from tradespeople to come to them, making it an easier option for them.

Referral sites help customers choose reputable traders and avoid scammers while also helping tradespeople grow and promote their business.

Your Guide To The Best Referral Sites

Checkatrade

Checkatrade (Check A Trade) has been around for almost as long as the internet has. This means that it has a good following and is a well-recognised name. For this reason, it can be appealing to tradespeople as there is a large pool of potential customers to pull from.

With Checkatrade, you will be able to set up your own dedicated page. This gives you a space to display examples of your best work and really sell yourself. 

Cost?

Checkatrade works on a subscription-based system. Prices vary depending on which trade you work in and the area. Prices start from £12 a month + VAT. However, prices do vary widely, and you should expect to pay as much as £1,000 per year (plus VAT)

How Easy Is It To Get Started?

Before the site will list you, you will have to go through a background check. It’s not an onerous process, but it can be a bit time-consuming. However, as they conduct the interview over the phone, many tradespeople find this preferable to filling out time-intensive forms. 

Does It Work?

Checkatrade has brand recognition, and they spend a lot of money on advertising. This is probably why around 90% of their customers resubscribe each year, which is an impressive rate. 

The site makes it really easy for customers to provide reviews. This means that you can build up a reputation quickly and without chasing reviews yourself.


MyBuilder

A few years ago, MyBuilder got caught up in a bit of a scandal surrounding fake reviews. Despite this, it still continues to be one of the most popular referral sites for people looking for tradespeople. 

MyBuilder works on a pay per lead basis, so there are no subscription costs to deal with. The site only charges you if a homeowner shortlists you for a job.

Cost?

There is no charge for expressing interest in a job. The charge only comes if the homeowner shortlists you for the job. The cost is per lead and depends on the size of the job. You can expect to pay fees from £2 – £35. Paying this doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the job. It just means you’re one of three tradespeople the homeowner selected. 

Because you pay when you get shortlisted, you can end up spending quite a bit for each job you get. If it takes an average of 6 shortlists before you get a job, then getting that job could cost you as much as £210. 

MyBuilder calculates the rate based on the size of the job, and the price is clear on the website before you quote. 

How Easy Is It To Get Started?

Signing up takes a while. You fill out a long questionnaire. They’ve designed it to weed out unqualified accounts. You’ll find yourself answering questions related to your trade to’ prove’ you know your stuff. So make sure that you set aside a good chunk of time before you dive in.

Does It Work?

There are mixed reviews about MyBuilder. It works best for tradespeople who are looking for a way to fill in gaps in their timetable. In most cases, it is not reliable enough to depend on it for consistent work, though.


TrustATrader

TrustATrader is a site that was set up to compete directly with Checkatrade. While they have less advertising, they have a better reputation with Trustpilot. So you might get fewer leads, but the leads you get should be more solid.

Like, Checkatrade you pay a subscription to set up an advert page. You can control everything that goes on the page, and there is plenty of space for uploading pictures. The big difference for tradespeople is that TrustATrader limits the amount of tradespeople in each category in an area. This means that competition will always be limited, and you’ll be better placed to get work.

Cost?

TrustATrader is a subscription model, and you can only sign up for a year at a time. The cost will depend on your trade and area, and the only way to get an actual cost is to speak to them. Typical prices are £600-£1,000 per year.

How Easy Is It To Get Started?

Before you can sign up, you need to be able to provide the site with a minimum of 5 references, your insurance documents and have completed their paperwork. They’ll do a lot of the process over the phone, so it’s not overly complicated. It usually takes them about 2-3 weeks to get your application processed, and then you’re free to get started on your page.

Does It Work?

Many tradespeople who use TrustATrader swear by it. It’s not uncommon for people to make £10-£15k a year through the site. The limited number of trades does mean that you have a good shot at getting work.


Rated People

Rated People is another site that had a bit of a scandal with unqualified people setting up profiles. This means that you can be competing with a much larger number of people than would be ideal.

Despite the scandal rated people still attracts a good portion of the market. They have a strong marketing presence, especially online. So that does mean that plenty of homeowners come through the site.

Cost?

Rated people is a bit of a mixed system. You pay a monthly subscription to be on the site, which is £20 + VAT. While this might sound like a reasonable price, you need to be aware that this subscription-only gives you the chance to then buy leads from the site. These are usually priced at around £15 apiece.

How Easy Is It To Get Started?

Signing up is really easy. There is a short online form that you can complete in under a minute. You’ll soon get a phone call where they take you through the rest of the process. Once you’re all set up, you’re free to start choosing jobs and chasing leads.

Does It Work?

Homeowners do seem to like Rated People. According to Trustpilot, it attracts a lot of people who are happy with the service they receive. However, it can get expensive and may not be the best option for tradespeople who are more budget-conscious.


Which? Trusted Traders

Which? has a lot of brand recognition and a large pool of subscribers who are willing to pay to get good advice. By becoming a Which? Trusted Trader, you will have access to this lucrative client pool.

Which? uses a subscription model for their traders. That means that you pay for your subscription, then you can create an advert page that they will list on their site.

Cost?

Which? Trusted Traders works on a subscription model. Costs will depend on your trade and area. Prices are typically in the range of £450- £850 per year.

How Easy Is It To Get Started?

The process is a little more involved than the others, and Which? will take a non-refundable payment before they decide if you’ll be accepted. They do ask a string of questions to help you decide if you’ll be a fit or not before taking payment.

Once you start the process, they will look into your credit report and financial health, as well as send out assessors to see how you work. If you don’t meet their standards, they will tell you what changes you can make to be approved. So, it’s not a short or simple process.

Does It Work?

The fact that it’s more involved to become a Trusted Trader can be a plus. Fewer tradespeople will do it, so there is less competition on the site. With Which? being such a big name, you will be able to benefit from marketing yourself not only through their site but by including Which? Trusted Trader in your other advertising channels as well.

What’s The Best Tradesperson Referral Site?

The best site for you is going to depend on a couple of factors. You need to consider how you want to use the site. If you want an option where customers come to you, then you’ll want to opt for a subscription model like Checkatrade and TrustATrader, or Which?.

If you are interested in a site that you can use when you need to fill in gaps in your schedule, then MyBuilder is probably the better option. Rated People works in a similar way, but the monthly subscription means you don’t want to leave it unused for weeks on end.

There isn’t really a wrong answer. It’s more about finding the site that works best for your needs.

What’s The Best Referral Site For Your Industry?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be diving deeper into the different referral sites and how they suit a range of different industries. Subscribe to our email list, so you’ll be the first to know which is the best referral site for your business and industry. 

Workever is a real-time management solution for Field Service & Service Management businesses. Whether you have a small mobile team of five field workers or a large enterprise with hundreds of field staff, Workever field service management software makes your job simple.

Increase productivity, reduce paperwork and save admin time with our easy to use field service software for both the office and your fieldworkers. 

Why not sign-up for a free trial today?

Get the latest content

Most Popular

RECENT POSTS

A Tradesman’s Guide to Hiring An Apprentice

If you’re considering expanding your trade or field service team with an apprentice, this quick-start guide can help you hire your first apprentice.

The Ultimate Industry Guide To Tradesperson Referral Sites

If you’ve never used tradesperson referral sites before, it can be difficult to know where to begin. This is where we’re here to help! Updated for April 2021.

Connect your office and fieldworkers

Try it free for

No commitment, no auto subscriptions, no credit card required

No credit card required. Get started using the software in seconds