“Frustrated Customers Waiting for Contractors to Call Back”

“Frustrated Customers Waiting for Contractors to Call Back”



I don’t know about you but I hear this complaint all of the time and yet I do mortgages for contractors all of the time and many complain about lack of business. I must be missing something here.


I refer a number of contractors that do renovations, plumbing, electrical, roofing, siding, windows, masons, etc. They are all doing very well, I wonder why? It is very simple. They return calls the same day, they keep the appointments they set and once they have a job they get the work done on time unless something unforeseen happens. They make me look good!


I have contractors contact me all the time to ask that I send business their way and I always ask them for a handful of references from past clients. Often the conversation ends right there. I am always looking to add referral partners but I can’t afford to be referring contractors and then they drop the ball.


 Do you have contractors that are referral partners and if so do you have criteria that are different than mine?


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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Comment balloon 32 commentsJoe Petrowsky • October 29 2015 08:17AM


Hi Joe.  I can't understand why all phone calls are not returned.  I have called two mold companies and no return phone calls.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 3 years ago

Oh yes, I hear this all the time, too.  And, it breaks my heart.  And, it slows down my business as sometimes my work can't be done until either the contractor does their work or there is at least a plan and budget.

I need to find a new contractor to refer...the last 2 have disappointed me in terms of calling customers back.  So, they have been dropped from my list.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

 Good Saturday morning Joe. It's highly possible that these folks have more business than they deserve!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Joe, I am so in agreement with you on this one.  I just don't understand those that can't return a phone call, let alone do good work.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 3 years ago

Good morning Joe, this seems to be a problem everywhere and across the board in business. Not just isolated to one profession. i don't understand it but I answer my phone or return calls promptly. 

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty (Regal | Christie's International Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Joe - I think these are very reasonable criteria - and I need to find those contractors who follow similar standards! In Maryland it is now difficult for us to refer contractors to our clients- we have to verify their licenses each time we do. 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 3 years ago

It is so simple. Return calls and do what you promise.  The professionals who don't get that may not last.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 3 years ago

You want the business, return the calls, it's that simple Joe.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 3 years ago

Good morning Joe.  If I refer someone and they don't call I move on.  A one time shot and if the muff it there are those who will return the calls and take care of my clients.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 3 years ago

If we have not had personal experience or know someone who has...there are no referrals...it isn't just their name out there...it's our too.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 3 years ago

Good morning Joe Petrowsky ,

My list of vendors is made up of people who work hard to maintain their business, follow through and I trust them to care for the referrals I send their way. I like Sally K. & David L. Hanson realize it's my name out there along with theirs and they understand that's important to my business as well.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 3 years ago

Joe: It is incredibly simple to get right yet some have not figured out they need to do what they say when they say they will do it.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 3 years ago

Good morning again Joe. There is great irony in this. I have had my issues with contractors where I am. I sometimes think that the ones who don't respond are complacent and that is deadly. I only refer folks I have used myself.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 3 years ago

Good morning Joe,

Again and again no customer service no referral's.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 3 years ago

Joe Petrowsky I would NEVER refer a contractor. That can only work against you because all too often they do fail to measure up. Not returning calls is just an indicator of things to come.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 3 years ago

The ones I refer to do good work and can be reached when you need them. I know many that fall in the other category.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 3 years ago

So many people in business loose focus on future business thinking of just that which is currently in front of them.  When you do not return a call or keep a client current you invite the loss of a referral down the road

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe -- it's not just about the job at hand but building a business for the long term.   As Dorie Dillard already commented -- Sally K. & David L. Hanson have a good philosophy when it comes to referring contractors -- it's our name as much as the contractor's name.    

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 3 years ago

Hi Joe,

Yes. And No.  I do have referral contractors. I refer them because they meet my high standards.  Contractors have a bad reputation (well deserved I might add) just like the real estate industry. It's the people!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 3 years ago

Joe, anyone I refer has shown me that they keep in good communication and do quality work. I see them as a reflection of me and I don't want them to tarnish my reputation and trust. Your standards are right on.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) over 3 years ago

Joe, my criteria for referring any kind of contractor is pretty much like yours. I'm very picky about whom I hire and even pickier about whom I refer.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 3 years ago

One of my most important criteria is responsiveness.  If they do not call back, they are off my list forever!!!  I need to cut my losses and move on!

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) over 3 years ago

Joe when I give a referral to anyone I expect it to be followed through, if they do not I will not send them another referral.  Referrals are to valuable, and we can't afford to give them to does who do not follow through.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 3 years ago

I hate referring anybody because it means I need to know that they haven't gone sideways and so many of them do. Even the ones who return phone calls and do what they say they will do eventually vanish. It's the nature of the beast, I suspect.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) over 3 years ago

Joe-ditto to what Sally K. & David L. Hanson said...it's my name on the line as well. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 3 years ago


I remember my first day in real estate, and the client that showed up to view the space, thanked me for a) returning the call, and b) for being on time.  I smiled, but internally, I was in shock.  We have always had good people to work with and are always delighted to refer them.  And I would happily refer you.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 3 years ago

I don't know Joe...we don't find the same thing here!  Busy contractors call you back but they have no time to show up for estimates!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Contractors failing to show up as promised is a common problem in our area. Consumers need to be very careful with their selections.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 3 years ago

Joe - I am on the membership committee in our BNI and we had to remove someone for that and other things.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe Petrowsky ,  That reminds me of a referral group we used to belong to.  One business owner pushed his business to everyone for years, but never gave a referral to anyone else.  In the end, he was not very well liked, and they all avoided any contact with him.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) over 3 years ago

I am fortunate to have a very good one, who I can call and who is responsive. And he is selective, but I am grateful he works with me.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 3 years ago

I have go to people that I do refer. That is because they do a great job and are very reliable. These are also the same people that I have do work for me on my property. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 3 years ago