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Is Google the Way to Find the Right Painter in Vancouver?

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

An online friend in Florida asked me where she could find a good painter. Of course, I asked if her budget allowed for a great Vancouver painting company to come down and do the job for her. Sadly it didnít, so I suggested she go down to her local paint store and ask them for a couple referrals.

I believe the two absolute best places to get a recommendation for a painter is either from a like-minded friend (one that shares the same views on quality vs. price) or your local paint store. Paint store owners and managers know exactly who in their neighbourhood is running a quality operation. They also know that who they refer can reflect directly on their store.

But letís be perfectly honest, the number one place people go to find a painter is the internet.

And there is no question that Google is the most popular search engine people use to do research on just about every purchase they are considering from TVs to cars to lipstick.

But is it the right place to go if you are hiring a paint contractor?

Well, its a good place to start, but...

If you do a search for "Vancouver House Painters" or anything similar, you will generate more than 150,000 results. Google does its best to provide users with the best, most relevant search results but it doesnít list those results from best to worst in terms of service and quality.

The good news is things are always changing with Google and if you are a member of Google+, your search results are now reflecting recommendations and likes from other members in your circles. Plus, if you are logged in to your Google account when you search, you now also will benefit from results that reflect your previous searches.

So while Google doesnít come right out and tell you who to hire, it can help you find the answer to that question.

Hereís how:

Google+ means someone you know likes this company 

It might be a friendís company or the result of a good experience dealing with the contractor, but the Google+ recommendations from members of your circle can give you a hint at which companies to put at the top of your list.

Google Reviews are now front and centre on search results

This is a great starting ground for giving some indication of customer satisfaction and feedback. The downside is that Google does almost nothing to screen these reviews so there is nothing stopping a company from posting fake reviews on Google Places. I highly recommend checking out a website like Homestars and Houzz where they have internal controls to ensure all reviews and postings are legitimate.

Use Google to get you to a companyís website 

I know you can often get the telephone number and contact information on a company right from the summary description on a Google search but you should also click on the link and go to the company website. Does it reflect the quality of work you want done in your home? Do the pictures of the projects they have completed resemble the type of home you have?

There is no point in calling a company that showcases multi-million dollar mansions on their website if you need to have your rental unit painted. Likewise, I wouldnít suggest you call the company that specializes in painting three rooms for $300 to have your newly renovated Kerrisdale tudor home painted either.

Use Google as the starting point of your search not the ending point

Once you have found a couple of paint contractors that you think might be a good fit, Google their company name. This is going to pull up all sorts of information on a company you might not find through their website. Reviews, BBB listings, actions, association memberships and community involvement are just some of the things that might show up on a Google search for a company.

Google might be the YellowPages of today but it is a far more valuable tool for finding any type of contractor than that dusty old book sitting under your desk is. Put it to good use, do your research and you can find the perfect painter for your job.

If you think that company sounds like Warline Painting,
give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to set up an appointment.

Posted by: Khrystina
HomeStars reviews can also be faked. Unfortunately they do not have a very good review screening process, though they do have better customer service than Google.

No site is fool proof but using a number of tools like I listed will definitely help you get on the right track in finding a good painter.

Posted by: Kirby Hopper
I suppose one would have to just wait for a HomeStars customer to call you or is there a way to at least get a review on to their site like Angies does? I got lucky with Angie's when one of my former customers who had been recommending us to everyone joined Angies and from her initial review of our business I got 8 jobs from the next 8 Angies List customers who called us. For the mathematically challenged that''s a 100% closing rate. Can''t beat that with stick.

HI Kirby,

You can send a link to your customer for them to approve and post their review.

Posted by: Kirby Hopper
HomeStars must be the Canadian counterpart to Angies List. Angies List has been a real boon for my painting company since its customers really check out the reviews. Good to know about the influence of those in Google+ Circles. I''ll be sure to +1 those I appreciate more often.

Hi Kirby,

I much prefer Homestars to Angie's List. It is a free service, whereas Angie's list charges homeowners for membership as well as contractors for advertising. I have heard very mixed reviews from contractors on Angies's List. Also, Homestars very closely monitors reviews to ensure they are legitimate, which makes them much more reliable than a Google or Yelp review. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you here again.

Posted by: Brian
Thanks for the HomeStars mention in the post. You are right about wanting to be careful about various reviews you read online. It''s pretty easy to game Google reviews, as it is to game Google itself.

Glad to see you here Brian. For us Homestars still remains the best place for our customers to be able to post reviews on our company. Its also a great resource for finding other contractors.

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