What to do when your tradesperson retires

Sister publication Designers Today recently  spoke to designers and industry experts about the shrinking pool of tradespeople. Angie Hicks, founder of Angi, and Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing at Houzz, shared their tips on what a designer should do if their tradesperson is thinking of retiring.

1 Start looking for your backup before your current one retires, said Angie Hicks, founder of Angi. The same as when you don’t hire an HVAC company when your furnace is broken, “you want to hire them to do some repair work so you develop some rapport.” Perhaps you start a new electrician on a smaller project first, for example — using your current one on the big projects — just so you can see how the new one works.

2 Reach out to the trades in your area on Houzz and let them know that you have both a current project ready for them to bid on and that you are looking to build a long-term relationship to send work their way, said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing at Houzz. Have a specific project, not just a potential one, in mind.

3 Consider joining a local homebuilder’s association as an associate member for networking and relationship building, said Hausman.

4 Just as you would pitch a homeowner, be prepared to share why working with you would be to a tradesperson’s advantage, said Hausman, such as you pay promptly and communicate clearly.

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