The company’s commercial jingle pretty much describes it. “If the job’s not right, we’ll get it fixed. Only at the Good Contractors List.”
In other words, when you subscribe to John Hill’s Good Contractors List you are guaranteed to be satisfied. And if you are not, the company will back up its guarantee by paying up to $10,000 for the job to be done right.
Quite simply, Hill puts his money where his mouth is. He is leading what he calls the accountability and responsibility movement. He’s hoping it will lead other marketing companies to become more selective.
In addition, Hill offers mediation services and will make on-site inspections to confirm the quality of workmanship if desired.
Hill gave the Fort Worth Business Press a little time to answer a few questions about his career, the Good Contractors List and more:
Where did the idea for the Good Contractors list come from?
When I was an account executive for the Yellow Pages in 2005, I realized that anyone could say virtually anything about themselves within an ad and it was not always an honest expression of who they really were as a company. I realized nobody was protecting consumers and there needed to be someone who would make it easy to distinguish the reputable guys from the dishonest ones.
It was in 2011, after surviving a massive heart attack, that I realized God had a bigger purpose for me. My life became about making a difference in the world with the time I have left. When the concept of The Good Contractors Organization revealed itself to me, I knew this was something I was called to do. Even though I had no money, no business acumen and no other business to model after, I knew that the idea of The Good Contractors Organization would be a success despite my obvious weaknesses.
What is your own background in the contracting industry?
I am not a contractor, but I worked very closely with contractors in their marketing. I have made it my life’s work to educate myself on good business practices and the “tricks of the trade” in all contracting industries. I may not be able to qualify as a contractor in The Good Contractors Organization, but I have become a pro in finding the “right” contractors to join our organization. I understand how to recognize honest business practices as well as deceitful marketing ploys.
Why do you offer the guarantee up to $10,000? How often have you had to pay?
Aside from our organization, nobody is willing to take financial responsibility for a contractor’s work. There exists a huge liability and too many variables to back the quality of somebody else’s performance. However, I offer the guarantee because I want our organization to be different from anything else you can find in the marketplace, and I truly trust the contractors that we have chosen to have my back.
We like to say, “We jump in front of bullets, not dodge them.” Anything can happen, even with good contractors, and to have a third party who is willing to step in and save the day is a light in what many consider to be a dark industry.
We have only had one instance where we were duped by a dishonest contractor and we paid dearly for that one instance. However, those homeowners loved us.
We even exposed that contractor on CBS11/KTVT News, despite how it may have made us look. My mission is to protect homeowners rather than sweep valuable information under the rug. Unfortunately, that contractor is still out there doing business.
We can’t promise a perfect experience, but we have been 100 percent successful at making sure the client received what they ordered and paid for. It has never cost them more than the amount they originally agreed upon.
What happens to a contractor if you do have to back up the guarantee?
If it gets to the point where we are having to step in and complete or repair the project ourselves, then we remove the contractor immediately from our list. We do help contractors who have a bump in the road, but it is very apparent when they have lost control of their quality and it is time to remove them. Ninety-nine percent of issues are fixed by restoring the relationship between the homeowners and the contractor. This is a matter of trust and of helping each party recognize the original promises and expectations on both sides.
What must a contractor do to qualify for being on the list?
We have a stringent pre-screening process that allows us to evaluate a contractor’s track record plus its customer service policies and procedures. We also now have the best investigative software on the market that digs deep and reveals anything associated with the contractor.
However, contractors earning their way onto the list is not where we find out if the contractor is good. Our continued relationship and follow-up determines if they remain a member of our organization.
The on-site inspections are a nice touch. Why do you feel this aspect of the relationship is important?
We like to call ourselves “the voice of truth,” and the most effective way to put that identity in motion is to review the work firsthand. We bring all involved parties together and look each other in the eye. Once the contractor and homeowner are in each other’s presence with a third-party facilitator, it is very difficult to avoid the truth.
Do you feel it is making other companies pay more attention to their quality and be more selective as well?
I hope to prove that taking responsibility actually becomes an advantage. I call this business model a movement because it isn’t about the money as much as it is a call for change – for accountability and real responsibility. I want to make a difference and show people what honesty and transparency really look like when practiced.
I hope to see a day when homeowners refuse to hire a contractor unless they are held accountable and guaranteed. This will force contractors to do the right things to qualify to become members and it will inspire marketing companies to become more selective and take responsibility. In the end, the good companies grow and homeowners don’t have to live in fear or uncertainty.
What lies ahead for the Good Contractors List?
We are going to change the world around us one job at a time and hopefully spread first across Texas and then across the nation. We have a simple yet compelling message that I believe will excite and inspire homeowners and contractors as they witness integrity in action.