CULKIN PLUMBING AND HEATING LTD    Director JEFF CULKIN ACIPHE RP RHP    29B CHANDOS ROAD    WILLESDEN GREEN    LONDON    NW2 4LS   

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Primary Coverage;    NW2 Willesden Green Cricklewood, Childs Hill    NW3 Hampstead, Belsize    NW5 Kentish Town, Camden    NW6 West Hampstead, Kilburn,

Queens Park    NW8 St Johns Wood    NW10 Kensal Rise, Harlesden, Willesden    NW11 Golders Green Hampstead Garden Suburb    W9 Maida Vale    W10 North Kensington, Queens Park    W11

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* Heating System Servicing.* Mechanical Surveys.* Leak detection, tracing.

How to Find a local Plumber or Builder in Your Area

 

Having trouble finding a local plumber in your area? Unique advice for on line searching from a local plumber;

 

For over two years year I've been working on making sure I can be found in my local area on Google and other search engines and it's not easy as there is massive competition from others who are not local plumbers. Many companies use multiple address and websites, or create a bunch of separate companies.  

 

So here how to cut through the noise. I've wrote some tips on using Google and other search engines, directories, and middle men paid lead services.

 

Here's my advice on how to get started, by using especially locally focused searches like Google places and Google maps as well as local directories.

 

 Find a Plumber Google or other search engines;

  • Search using your post code and pay attention to any free places listings, like Google places. Important thing to remember here is that plumbers merchants often outrank actual local plumbers, as they have a physical address (shop fronts). The home based businesses of local plumbers will show up without the full address on the places listing this means they have told Google there is no shop front and a good sign of a genuine business based in your area.

  • Multiple reviews are the best sign of a real genuine company

  • Do go down the list and beyond the first page, the local plumbers your looking for may not have the highest ranking sites as directories and others get above them with search engine optimised web sites.

  • If or when you do land on a website check where their head office address is, if you cannot find it is not a good sign. Also check if other companies are at the same address. Cross reference address at Companies House

  • Phone them sure the company name they use is still the same as the one you've phoned.

  • Use Google maps as Google places listings show up here, but still merchants may out rank local plumbers. Do still do the back ground checks above.

 

Using Directories 

  • Directories can actually be quite useful despite their bad rep. 

  • See if you can find a local directory, they much more likely to be not for profit, and much more likely to limit listing to local plumbers and trades. In my own area there is NW2Network Run by a residents association and www.local-directory.net/advertisers/ original a print medium anything like this I would highly recommend to local plumbers and trade to get themselves listed in.

  • National directories like yell and scoot serve their purpose too. In Yell local plumbers can pay for a listing just in their area or postcode, but if you are using these do have a look down the list as often those on top have simple paid more. Check for distances from your location, anyone can pay for these listings. 

  • Check for reviews, and do a search on the company background make sure it's genuine. Where is the company address and are they listed elsewhere?

 

"Free" Quotes Web Sites; Rated People, MyBuilder, Service Majic...

  • First and foremost these are not free to plumber or trades. The only one I am aware of that does not charge is freeindex.com

  • I've tried three of these and found Rated People to be extremely expensive asking me for up to £88 plus VAT for a lead. MyBuilder does charge but it's tends to be less than double figures which I think is not unfair, and I am still listed with them.

  • If you contact someone with a professional attitude directly, they will always respond, if your going via a service they have to pay for they may decline the lead just because there not sure what you want or prioritise free direct enquires.

  • Many people are quite satisfied with the service they receive through these sites though they will add to your providers costs and sometimes significantly. 

  • Once you put your job on the system anyone on it can contact you, and you may not be contacted by anyone local, remember they have to pay to just to talk to you so direct contact is ideal.

  • This forum covers a lot of points of view on these http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=811327 

 

What to watch for; How some dodgy companies and middle-men try to appear local.

  • Companies with multiple locations. Make sure there is not another 'head office address' somewhere else.

  • Companies with multiple regional phone numbers

  • Company with multiple domain names. web sites for several areas.

  • Phone them sure the company name they use is still the same as the one you've phoned.

  • Cross reference the address at Companies House; Though sole traders may not have a company listed, if the website makes it look like there's more than one plumber or tradesman then you should expect a listing on companies house. 

  • Avoid companies not listed on companies house, or listed for less than one year, or have never filed a return.

  • No reviews or many negative reviews obviously a red flag.

  • If your looking for someone to do gas or boiler work make sure they're Gas Safe Registered, search for there company by name or postcode at http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ if they're not there do not use them, not qualified, not insured  and not legal.

If you suspect foul play...

http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/advice-business-ftgdsandservicessum15.cfm

 

 

 

I started writing this article to explain how to find a local plumber in your area,  you can however apply this to finding any trades persons. 

 

It's always been difficult to find a good local plumber, but on line there is so much noise it can be hard to find any regardless of how god they are. No wonder when every company and their SEO (search engine optimiser) is making sure you find them first. Being a real local plumber myself I have in the past struggled to be found, but now rank 2nd in my area on page two of Google after a lot of research.