Male and female tradesman standing together looking at a phone

March 13, 2019


Building trust in the on-demand tradie sector

In Australia we’re almost global leaders when it comes to how often we’re using our digital limb – or in other words, our smartphone. Most days we’re using our mobiles to order food, access news and stream TV, pay bills, arrange transport and services. There’s no time to waste – we need it all now, on-demand.

With the rising number of on-demand services, and therefore a rising number of workers offering their skills in an on-demand capacity, we’re faced with an underlying question around trust. How can we trust that food delivery rider isn’t dangerous when he or she reaches my doorstep? How can we trust the home stay has all its safety requirements in check and is professionally managed by the owner?

Here at hipages, we’re dedicated to seamlessly connecting Aussie consumers with qualified tradespeople, and we’ve been thinking a lot about the complexities of trust in the on-demand tradie economy. Particularly as we’re seeing a rise in news stories on tradies conducting work without the proper qualifications and the distress this can cause Aussie homeowners.

Adding to this, the NSW Government recently proposed watering down licensing requirements for a host of trades, and it was met with fierce opposition from industry bodies and consumers alike, with fears it would grow the number of rogue operators. Strong licencing schemes in the trades sector are critical for protecting homeowners from potentially dangerous or illegal outcomes.

To gauge the state of trust in the tradie sector today, we commissioned research and found a third of Aussies don’t check for licences when hiring tradies, which can put them at risk of dodgy home improvements work.

As a digital tool in Australia’s on-demand tradie economy, we’re constantly seeking ways to innovate our offering and ensure homeowners are best equipped to find tradies that they can trust to get the job done well.

As such, we’ve updated our hipages Tradie Profiles clearly showing licence numbers for each tradie, when required, and whether a tradie is restricted to particular job sizes or values, based on their licence, trade category and state they service.

Our research also showed that 80 per cent of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations when selecting a tradie, and so we’ve introduced a new ‘Community’ feed. It allows homeowners to learn which tradies are being recommended and hired by neighbours in their local area, and understand who their Facebook friends are booking and recommending. It also presents another avenue for hipages tradies to build their reputation in their local community.

We’re also helping to maintain the professionalism of the tradie industry, in support of the country’s quality, trusted tradies. By advising tradies who join our platform of good business practices and how they can foster a two-way trusting relationship with their customers, we aim to set them up for a successful revenue stream with hipages.

It’s critical that all types of service providers in the on-demand tradie economy are constantly innovating and enriching their platforms to help keep consumers protected, while also educating the consumer on the key steps they need to be taking to ensure a good experience. It will help us build trust back into the tradie sector because after all, we’re a house-proud bunch, and Aussies are spending a combined $73 billion on trade services each year!