Study shows trust top factor in hiring contractors

Trust and integrity are more influential than the price of a bid when choosing a construction firm, according to a study released Jan. 20 at the International Builders’ Show.

The study, independently conducted for Intuit Construction Business Solutions, surveyed 500 customers of commercial and residential construction firms. More than 80 percent of the respondents said trust and integrity were the most important characteristics when choosing a firm, but that personality and professionalism also count. Respondents who were residential customers were especially high in ranking trust as the most-desired quality. When asked how they had heard about the firms they hired, more than 75 percent of the respondents from each group favored word-of-mouth over telephone directory and web research.

“The message for contractors is clear: company integrity is as critical to the success of a construction business as the cost of the job and the quality of the finished project,” said Carol Novello, president of ICBS. “The study shows that it is just as important to have the right business management skill set and processes as it is to have the ability to lay a foundation and finish a job.”

The study also found that 94 percent of businesses would recommend their construction firm, 84 percent of homeowners would recommend their contractor and 60 percent of commercial and residential customers trust the construction firms with which they do business.

Not all customers were happy. Approximately 56 percent of residential and 40 percent of commercial customers said job quality was their primary reason for dissatisfaction. Other indicators for unhappy customers include low productivity and efficiency, and a lack of communication.