Somersoft should introduce a directory for tradies, agents etc

(unless there is already one, in which case oops...:))

I know a really good electrician & broker in Brisbane, a really good property manager in Melbourne, but I'm often scouring all over for other types of tradies, agents etc in the various parts of this country where I have an investment. There's such a rich base of knowledge here, I think it would be cool if there was some type of user-contribution database of contacts and a review and comment system. What do you guys think? I would love to be able to share contact details of people that have helped me tremendously along the way.
 

Sim

Administrator
Yes, something like this is under consideration - a "service provider" directory.

The trick is getting the balance right.

Are we talking about a user-driven system (suggest a service provider, others can review and rate), or are we talking about a service-provider driven system (service providers can pay to include their details in the directory).

The first option needs to be carefully designed to prevent sock-puppet spamming and abuse from disgruntled clients or competitors. Could also leave the forum open to legal issues.

The second option doesn't give you the option of listing your favourites - it has to be driven by the service providers (making them paid listing to prevent sock-puppet spamming). It would be more like the yellow-pages than a review system.

I've been thinking about this for a long time now - it's not as easy to implement as it might seem at first glance, due to the potential issues such a system faces.
 
Another forum I was a member of, some years ago now, had a system where there were certain threads that you could not see unless you had a certain amount of posts. This stopped the spammers from seeing the content. Maybe something like this would work for what you are suggesting?
 
damn, i was working on something similar as well yet haven't had a chance to go back to it.

right now working on a other site. can't get my head around how to protect the clients in case the vendor does a shifty. so far bank wants a guarantee from us equal to the payment made.

any ideas? it is not our product so not sure how to do it.
 
It should be based on reputation, like in eBay. Someone here who has 10k posts and a lot of credibility is not going to tarnish their reputation by giving a shoutout to a lousy tradie / friend, just like someone on eBay isn't going to risk their 100% feedback from thousands of painfully earned sales to scam you out of a $50 widget.

So by default, scores and reviews would filter out anyone with certain rep (like Whirlpool's rep system), or certain post counts (as the other guy said), or based on when you joined (I think OACU does this, you can't post in the Sale forum unless your account is X weeks / months old). Any or all of these three would work. Then users could choose to override this by showing reviews / listings from anyone else.
 
Maybe allow a rating system where those that have uses the contractors services is able to comment
But this can be abused. You'd still need to consider how you can trust the people leaving those reviews. So yeah it definitely needs comments or "feedback" but it's still subject to all the same challenges.
 
But this can be abused. You'd still need to consider how you can trust the people leaving those reviews. So yeah it definitely needs comments or "feedback" but it's still subject to all the same challenges.
The issues I had on the tradie side when looking at it was:

1. the best tradies are hard to lock down time wise due to abundance of work unless you are a regular customer who pays on time

2. even if you do 50 great jobs, it is usually the ones who didn't like your work that will comment, there are ways around this but it requires the tradie to spend time responding to negative comments

3. expectation of client. Personally, although some of my most consistent and best clients are from somersoft, overall, I did very little work for members on here, and it was usually for their PPOR's. The range of definitions for 'quality and affordable' is incredibly diverse on here.
 
Great idea - that would clear all the Brokers out of the forums! :D:D:D

Just kidding, but seriously I think that's a good idea. I think paid would be the way to go, if you could combine that with a rating system you'd really be onto something - but keeping that fair and independent would be a challenge.
 
But this can be abused. You'd still need to consider how you can trust the people leaving those reviews. So yeah it definitely needs comments or "feedback" but it's still subject to all the same challenges.
The way I would work it is that the contractor gives a code or like that allows them to give a rating on this forum. The contractor has a right of reply on any comments left.
 
2. even if you do 50 great jobs, it is usually the ones who didn't like your work that will comment, there are ways around this but it requires the tradie to spend time responding to negative comments
This is an eternal issue with any feedback system unfortunately.
 
It seems to me that Somersoft is already "self regulated" and if you aren't "fair dink-um" it would be apparent reasonably quickly.
 
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