Businessman Karl Deitch has created a website to match up households needing work with local tradesmen and women who can do the job.
Virtual Quote is aimed at bringing customers and trades such as plumbers, joiners and electricians together at the click of a mouse.
The website is live now and is completely free to use for both customers looking for tradespeople and tradespeople looking for customers.
There are a few trades websites around where customers can leave reviews and rate the tradespeople and the quality of their work.
Virtual Quote – also known as tradegenies.com – also allows trades to be reviewed – but tradespeople can also review and rate their customers!
Dad-of-three Karl, 41, who runs a CCTV and home security company, said he wanted to shake up the market and help people at the same time.
“We need to disrupt the market and make it better for everyone,” he said.
Other sites charge as much as £600 or £800 for tradespeople to be listed but Virtual Quote is free for both trades and customers. There are no immediate plans to start charging, and the site will remain free during 2021.
Tradespeople can update their location when they log in via ‘location services’ on their device. They can then highlight their availability.
Customers can post their job and even upload a video to show what needs to be done. They can contact tradespeople who are close by – highlighted by a green cross – or they can leave a job on the site and wait for tradespeople to send a quote. They can then choose the best quote and make contact direct via the instant messenger service.
The website has been in the planning for a while and Golcar-based Karl came up with the idea one day when he was working in Barnsley.
“I was sitting in my van outside Sainsbury’s and was looking at Facebook and I was going to post that I was working in Barnsley and that if anybody needed any work down there I was available. It then got me thinking about building a website.”
The website works for anyone who has an emergency such as a water leak, for example. Going onto the site means customers can see plumbers who may be working nearby.
And small problems could even be solved at no cost to anyone by a tradesperson diagnosing a boiler warning code, for example, and suggesting a fix without the need for a visit.
A back office function even allows tradespeople to send quotes or invoices in real time to a customer’s email address while they are there, meaning they are more likely to land the job or get paid straightaway.
There are no joining fees, cancellation fees or on-going charges. “It will all be completely free for the remainder of 2021 so it’s a no-brainer,” said Karl.
For more details go to tradegenies.com