Survey: 75 per cent of homeowners did NOT check online reviews before hiring contractors
Only FOUR per cent of the survey respondents say they "always" check contractors' reviews online
By Steve Payne
Editor’s Note: Three out of four people surveyed admitted to NOT checking online review sites before hiring home improvement professionals. The survey was conducted by HomeStars, considered Canada’s leading online contractor review service. Here’s their press release…
TORONTO, April 28, 2015 – A recent national survey by HomeStars, the leading online community of homeowners and home improvement companies in Canada, found that even though online reviews were influencing purchasing decisions in general, they were not always being consulted when hiring home service professionals. Despite the fact that home improvement can cost thousands of dollars and is also an on-going investment in the largest single asset of most Canadians, a staggering seventy-five per cent admitted to never checking online reviews before hiring home improvement professionals. Surprisingly, only four per cent of Canadians always use reviews when hiring a contractor.
“For diligent buyers, reviews are an important first step in the purchasing process – especially for larger home improvement projects,” says Nancy Peterson, CEO and founder of HomeStars. “This is why authentic reviews are so important. One wouldn’t book a week at a Caribbean resort without checking reviews and hiring home contractors should be approached the same way.”
People are influenced by online reviews – in fact, 68 per cent had changed their mind on buying a product or service based on a review they had read. Regarding trust, two-thirds feel online reviews are either “somewhat” or “very” trustworthy, but there is lingering doubt among the remaining one-third of Canadians about whether reviews are real. So, here are some tips on how to detect a fraudulent review:
Look for details about the work done and their experience with the company. Names, photos and detailed descriptions are indicative of an authentic review.
Do an online search of the contractor’s name to learn more about them.
Some websites flag reviews that seem suspicious. Check recent reviews for flags or reasons why a review was removed.
If several reviews are written too similarly, it may be the same person with different usernames.
If the writer has reviewed more than one company, it usually signals an authentic reviewer writing about different jobs done in their home.
For more information on verified reviews or to find a contractor for your next home improvement project, visit www.HomeStars.com.
Editor’s Note: Survey was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys in April 2015, with responses from 1,004 Canadian adults.
HomeStars is a free service helping homeowners find reputable renovators, repairmen and retailers through its database of 2 million companies and hundreds of thousands of reviews. Homeowners write reviews based on their home improvement experiences – good and bad – helping build a collective knowledge base that is invaluable in helping homeowners make better hiring decisions. A trusted resource since 2006, HomeStars has grown to be the leading online community of homeowners and home improvement companies in Canada. To learn more, visit HomeStars.com or check them out on Facebook or Twitter.