About a week ago I put in an offer for a block of land and it was accepted. I sign the contract in four days. Over the past week I have spent a lot of time compiling quotes for various services I need to use over the coming months. I need a conveyancer or solicitor. I need a geotechnical survey. I need a soil percolation test.
I soon discovered a flaw in google, trying to search for these service providers. Type in, say, “Conveyancer Adelaide”, and beyond a handful of legitimate listings you get a list of directories. Truelocal. Yellow Pages. Whereis. The same happened for geotechnical surveyors, soil percolation and land capability assessment, concreters, building surveyors… Turns out, and I say this in shock, but the Yellow Pages website was the most helpful one-stop directory for each of these trades. As someone that runs a service business, I have always, perhaps irrationally, shunned Yellow Pages, thinking that google is king. And it is for me. My website ranks tremendously well on the keywords it services.
But it’s not all dandy. I started to call** geotechnical engineers. About half the phone numbers were no longer in service. About half of what was left weren’t actually in the business of providing soil tests for footings and foundations (they had been mis-categorised) leaving a quarter of the initial list as legitimate companies that could provide me with a quote. About half of those – a whopping 3(!) were nice enough to do so.
Business must be good. To not return calls. To not send emails that you promise you would send. To blatantly turn away business like that. It must mean that they don’t want the business at all. And prices reflect that. Want to earn some money, kids? There are tonnes of opportunities out there.
** I wasn’t even going to bother emailing. It would seem email isn’t a legitimate form of communication for Australian trades people.