Top Ten Misconceptions About Running Your Own
Home Referral Network Business
- Contractors are too busy already and don't want extra work.
As one of my contractors once told me: "A good contractor
won't turn down a good, paying customer." The client
may have to wait for the job to be scheduled but most of my
clients feel that good contractors are worth waiting for.
- The HRN business requires costly advertising. This is a
word of mouth type of business and a lot of job requests are
generated through networking in your community, PR and direct
mail. It's not expensive to promote the HRN business. In fact,
many HRN owners generate their first jobs before they even
launch a promotional campaign.
- You need to live in a heavily populated area to run a successful
HRN business. Actually, this is a very local business. Most
contractors won't travel far for work therefore an HRN needs
to operate locally to start. Once you've established a network
in your immediate area, you can expand into new markets and
create new networks of contractors to handle the business.
- A local HRN business won't be able to compete with established,
national contractor referral businesses. As CBS Marketwatch
recently reported: "There's probably no project that
homeowners won't first research online, but when it comes
to inviting contractors to their remodeling project, they're
less willing to depend on electronic means." In fact,
online referral services like Improvenet and ServiceMagic
haven't posed any competition to the hundreds of HRN's operating
- You need contracting experience to run an HRN. The HRN
owner is responsible for marketing and promotion and the contractors
represented in the network are responsible for the technical
aspects of the job therefore no contracting experience is
- The contracting business is male dominated and most contractors
won't take a woman seriously. Just the opposite-many of my
contractors tell me that they enjoy talking to a woman after
working with men all day. Besides, if you generate business
for them--male or female--you'll ultimately earn their respect.
- The HRN owner is liable in case of a mishap on a job. The
contractor is ultimately responsible for his own work and
there are numerous safeguards in place to protect the HRN
owner including a signed liability clause, operating procedures
and insurance provisions.
- Running an HRN business means that my phone will be ringing
in the middle of the night with emergency calls. An HRN deals
with home improvement "projects" not "emergencies".
Of course it's your prerogative if you'd like to set up your
business to provide emergency referrals.
- The HRN owner goes onsite to check out each job before referring
it to a contractor in their network. The HRN owner never goes
to a customer's home to check out a job. In fact, I handle
more than 90% of my business by telephone.
- If I launch an HRN, I have to use the name "Home Remedies".
Actually, the name Home Remedies is trademarked and each HRN
operates under it's own name.
Debra Cohen is owner and founder of Home Remedies
of NY, Inc., a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business and author
of The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner
Referral Network. For more information about how to launch an
HRN in your area, visit the HRN website at www.homereferralbiz.com
or contact Debra directly at (516) 374-8504.
For more information about starting a Homeowner Referral
Network in your area, you may:
Fill out our online form to request more
information. Or, call Debra Cohen at (516) 374-8504.