The professionalism agenda

Andy Ball, managing director of Balls2 Marketing, discusses the Federation of Master Builders’ renewed call for a licensing scheme for anyone undertaking building work, and how important marketing is for installers wanting to prove their professionalism.

The Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) revived call to ban builders from working on site without a license proves that it’s not just the glazing industry that’s pushing for superior competence levels and improved workmanship standards.

The idea is one of three proposals set out in the FMB’s latest manifesto – ‘Raising the bar: a post-Grenfell agenda for quality and professionalism in construction’.

The FMB believes that a licensing scheme is the only way to eradicate cowboy builders from their industry and says that in a survey of 491 builders, almost 80% of them liked the idea.

I’m not sure that a licensing scheme is the answer, but across the glazing industry we are seeing installers invest in their own professionalism, so that they can be disassociated with the bad reputations of cowboy builders and double-glazing salesmen circa 1985.

One way of differentiating is through third party certification. More installers are taking advantage of training that’s available to them, and sales and marketing support has become an important part of choosing who to buy from.

The question is: how do installers project their professionalism to potential customers and gain their trust, business and hard-earned cash? After all, the days of bogof offers are over, and with homeowners investing in windows and doors as a lifestyle choice rather than a distressed purchase, it’s not all about cost any more. It’s about value.

Honest homeowner reviews are more important than ever for fitters, as consumers are researching companies online, so that’s a good place to start. Facebook offers real transparency for homeowners who are looking for installers online, so having a page filled with positive reviews from happy customers is brilliant.

In fact, Facebook is a great platform installation companies to instil trust in their brand, by sharing photos and videos of their work and offering free, useful information and advice to homeowners. Not only does this project the installer’s professionalism, but in time, will boost enquiries too.