Max Mallows, co-founder of 1ROOF, considers the difficulties of vetting builders and if it is even possible.
We were having yet another discussion about the best way to vet builders today. How to make sure the clients on our platform are safe whilst treading the fine line between giving them choice and exposing them to risk.
You can see it everywhere, Uber’s identity checks are being questioned, there’s a constant fear over Airbnb’s host safety. Building is even more emotive and not as close to a standardised service. If Uber find it difficult then you can be sure that we will. So how can we guarantee that the people on our platform are consistently better than the market average?
The simple fact is we can’t. Professionals are people, they are nuanced and wide ranging in terms of standards and systems. They have good days and bad days, can be personable or irrational, efficient or erratic.
Expecting people to be the same is not necessarily desirable, let alone possible. Professionals are as variable as the people and situations they encounter. Do you want to give your flat a cheap spruce up and stick some students in? Or are you allergic to dust and want to design your own wallpaper? For the former, you are not likely to want to have the same decorator as for the later.
So what’s the answer? It’s difficult, but we think the best we can do is try and provide information and create efficiencies which empower both the customer and professional. Rather than set vetting criteria which constrain them.
By providing more information, such as credit reports and company history, we want to enable users to understand the implications of their decisions. By building quoting platforms and a payment platform, we aim to create increased efficiency. So that the process as a whole will be more bearable, hopefully even enjoyable.
Our mission is to help people feel like they have control over the situation and are getting what they pay for. At the moment, the default position is ‘I’m getting ripped off, so ‘I just want to get ripped off as little as possible.’ This can change. Work will still need planning and management, but with some help, expectations are more likely to be set and met. In this way people are more likely to get the result they want.