By: John Devlin
If you’re a tradesperson or tradie, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Rated People before.
For the plumber, the carpenter, etc., Rated People puts you in touch with genuine people with genuine jobs. At least, that’s what they claim to do.
However, there’s been a few reviews here and there that claim the site might not be what it’s cracked up to be.
That’s from customers’ expectations as well as tradespeople. Therefore, we’ve taken the time to look a bit more closely at what Rated People is actually all about.
Naturally, we’re looking at things from the tradie’s point of view in this article. Having checked out the service myself, I think the protection on offer is pretty solid. Fake reviews, fake leads and the like are all easy to avoid.
However, keep reading – and I’ll take you through a Ratedpeople.com review of what you can expect the from the start.
Rated People is a job lead directory for tradespeople – so, brickies, heating engineers, roofers, joiners – they’re all represented.
Rated People helps homeowners and local people find reputable tradies with genuine reviews. In return, it helps sole traders and tradespeople deliver quotes directly to future customers.
Rated People works a little bit like Yellow Pages in reverse. As a tradie, you get to pick your location, search for jobs, and build a profile. You’ll get reviews from verified customers, and these ratings are fully searchable through Google.
Tradespeople pay a monthly fee to access verified customers. You’ll also have to pay smaller per-job fees to offer a quote.
Rated People’s system is based on a measurable scale of trust. Tradies who sign up need to pass vetting, and only those customers who have legitimately hired work through the site can leave reviews.
The aim here is, of course, to avoid false leads and bad reviews without cause. Everyone’s protected.
Rated People aims to work rather like a mediator. Vetting means customer expectations remain high, and trade users can build lead after lead by gradually setting up a profile and reviews. Some tradies use the site to fill gaps, while others use it to make regular money.
Rated People started life in 2005. While it’s a big company now, it actually started out as a small venture for Andrew Skipwith, who was frustrated that his builder left him high and dry on a home project midway through completion. Back then, there were even fewer protections than there are now.
Skipwith wanted to create a ‘happier way to get stuff done, and a clearer way for honest tradespeople to get regular work. At the same time, the idea was to make sure everyday people could easily find local tradies who could be held accountable for their work.
This was long before online lead generation and fancy Google business listings. The company was something of a trailblazer, and there’s plenty of competition.
According to the site owners, around a million homeowners and customers have used Rated People in the past year. They can account for more than 30,000 different tradespeople, each of whom has its own review profile. Ultimately, Rated People claim they want to offer complete peace of mind through their website.
However, as you’ve figured out so far, we’re looking at how Rated People works for tradespeople rather than your average customer. It’s a noble cause – but just how useful is it at lining up more work for your average brickie?
A quick look at Alexa shows there’s loads of room for improvement for RP online. Like most companies there’s several keyword opportunities that are still there for them to increase organic traffic from search.
Rated People has been on the scene for a while. It was one of the first tradesperson referral sites of its kind. However, as you can imagine, that market’s been flooded by new blood over the years.
You’ll likely see Rated People competing with the likes of Trustatrader, Checkatrade and MyBuilder. All of these services allow customers to find tradespeople based on specific jobs and skills. However, there are a few differences, the most important of which we’ll explore a bit further down.
It’s not easy to see how Rated People is faring compared to its rivals. However, it has a strong review presence on online feedback forums such as Trust Pilot, with almost 9 out of 10 people rating their experiences as ‘good’.
The traffic stats for the site are also impressive, and we’ll look at these below.
Rated People represents tens of thousands of individual tradies, making them one of the bigger fish in the industry.
Reputation-wise, they seem to weather the market well. The company has faced criticism over how they enable people to list through their service. They offer minimal vetting compared to the likes of Checkatrade. However, they still offer credit vetting and encourage TrustMark registration, which is hardly wrong advice.
The graph above is what is can see using Ahrefs tools, below is the stats from RP website. By using their own analytics their stats are IMO likely to be accurate.
To see how big a customer base your business could reach through Rated People, let’s review the site’s traffic statistics.
This all adds up to a site that gets a lot of regular visits, and these visitors tend to stick around. The lack of change in visitors is also great news – it means you’re unlikely to see a lull.
Rated People aims to give tradespeople access to everything they need to get regular work. It’s built to be a one-stop-shop that offers you job details, an app to manage your quotes, and even money off here and there.
The biggest selling point for Rated People is that it puts your average trade person in touch with local people with genuine job leads. These might be elderly people who have trouble cutting the grass or homeowners who simply don’t have the time to paint their bedrooms.
Each job lead gives a professional tradesperson the chance to reach out with a quote. Below, we’ll explore how many leads you can expect for the services you provide. However, the main appeal with this side of the ‘reverse Yellow Pages’ is that you don’t have to hang about waiting for new customers to call.
Instead, you can proactively reach out to customers and jobs that play into your experience, services and availability. It means you have a lot of control over a job and can set a good price for your time and effort.
As you might expect, Rated People has its own app that paying tradespeople can use to manage their jobs. This means all you ever need to do is tap on the icon on your home screen and access potential leads you might want to contact.
What sets Rated People apart from other directories is that it offers two services when it comes to apps. There’s an app aimed at the customer and an app that’s built for the professional. It’s pretty handy to have the two separate, and your customers get just as intuitive an experience from their own side of the program.
Downloading the wrong app isn’t a problem, either, as it’s easy enough to find the alternative through the App Store on your phone.
The mobile app for Rated People isn’t the only way for you to find leads and access jobs, but it’s recommended. The website itself is intuitive to a point, but if you’re on the go and already attending to work elsewhere, it’s useful to just load up the app service and access all your quotes and contacts via phone.
Rated People’s lead tracking software helps you break your jobs down into three categories – New, Won, and Done.
These categories are fairly simple.
This system is likely to be worth the price you pay if you struggle to keep track of paying clients or job lists on your own. What I also like about Rated People’s tracker software is that you can also import jobs.
If you have a job or lead outside of the app or site, you can add it into the same tracker to keep track of everything from one interface.
Rated People also appeals to tradespeople with a series of different freebies. For example:
Beyond this, if you sign up as an annual customer with Rated People, you can claim discounts off high street brands and even the fuel and tools you need to actually provide a good service.
For the price you pay in a monthly subscription model, these freebies are fairly lucrative. Not all of the perks listed here will apply to all tradespeople, but they’re worth keeping in mind if you want to save cash in the long run.
Here’s a quick rundown of how the website works in practice.
In the background, Rated People actively markets your business. They do this by advertising via search engines and showing up in local search results. As explained above, they have an impressive reach, and visitors tend to stick around.
To sign up as a new member at Rated People, you’ll need to undergo some vetting. That means you’ll need to agree to some background and legitimacy checks.
You’ll be vetted by:
Equifax vetting is generally a quick identity and finance screening. This takes place to ensure you are who you say you are.
Meanwhile, Action Fraud UK and TrustMark make sure that the service and company you trade under are legitimate. Registering with TrustMark is a good idea for all professional tradespeople as it’ll give your customers that little bit of extra confidence. They’ll know you’re a trustworthy company before you reach out, meaning you have more chances to secure a job.
What’s really interesting about Rated People is that the site gives you an idea of average lead numbers for the past month, depending on your line of business.
Here are the top lead numbers you can expect for specific jobs on the site, based on 30-day figures in July 2021:
As you can see, gardeners, builders, carpenters and painters tend to get more leads than most. However, keep in mind this is during a summer period, and these job rates may vary throughout the year. What’s more, these leads apply to all members – not just yourself – so keep these statistics in mind with a pinch of salt.
As mentioned, outside of the central website, there’s also a Rated People app. In fact, there are two – one for local tradespeople and one for potential customers.
You’ll find both versions of the app available for iOS and Android (Google Play). Head straight to your phone or tablet’s store and search ‘Rated People’, or download straight off their website.
The Rated People app is pretty intuitive, with your ‘New’, ‘Won’ and ‘Done’ columns (or buckets) easy to see at the top of your main screen. You’ll also have access to ‘Live Leads’, ‘Ratings’ and ‘Chats’ at the bottom panel. If you want to search for specific leads or go more in-depth, you can.
I can’t speak for other users, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume the vast majority of trades with smartphones will want to try the Rated People app. The experience is much less clunky from mobile, speedier to load, and it’s very well organised.
Of course, it’s more or less the same thing as far as the content is concerned. However, as you can add push notifications to alert you whenever someone agrees to your service, it’s likely to be a good choice if you’re normally on the go.
Rated People costs £35 plus VAT per month, charged as an annual subscription. This price seems to be fairly competitive as-is, compared to services such as Checkatrade that charge more for the year (on the whole).
However, the value isn’t necessarily the same, as the leads you get through Rated People aren’t guaranteed. That means there’s a chance you’ll spend your £35 plus VAT (and the lead credits you receive) on not much work at all.
It’s certainly not a complete waste of money, but the value of the service really depends on how much you’re going to use it. It’s worth comparing cost lists with the other big hitters.
MyBuilder, for example, tends to be the biggest competing company for value for money. They offer the cheapest rates and free signup. However, that doesn’t always mean you get the best service. A bit further down in this review, I’ll look at that site in comparison.
The cost of a job lead will vary from case to case, but Rated People states you can expect to pay around £15 plus VAT as an average cost per contact. That’s money spent in credit form, which you receive from the monthly payments you make. Essentially, the money you pay each month gives you access to leads.
The cost of customers you can contact depends on location, budget, demand, and how big the job actually is. Therefore, more lucrative customers are going to cost you more money per contact.
Rated People further back this up by only letting three tradespeople bid for each job. That means your prospective customers have two other quotes to consider, making the field pretty small.
That considered, some tradies may not like spending their hard-earned money on job leads that aren’t guaranteed. As we’ll look at a bit further down, this website works a bit differently from competing services, meaning there may be an alternative option if you’re looking for added security.
Trust Pilot is a great aggregator of review scores for both customers and tradies who have used Rated People; however, there’s a lot to get through. At the time of writing, there are over 11,000 reviews!
I always recommend you look for a review or two from users of the service. Remember, however, that people tend to leave a review when they have a bad experience. It might be a fairly personal review, too, so keep things in perspective.
Positive reviews make up the majority count, with at least 87% of review scores sitting at four stars or higher. 9% of the reviews receive one star for balance. Let’s take a look at an overview of what people have to say.
The Trust Pilot feedback mainly scores Rated People well for ease of use as well as the speed of the connection. Many reviewers also claim that the site offers a good selection of tradies from the customer perspective, while reviews from tradespeople seem to be a little split.
If you are looking at feedback on Trust Pilot for Rated People, you will need to keep in mind that the majority of people rating are homeowners and buyers. Unfortunately, while the overall score and breakdown give a positive outlook, there’s no real way for you to filter through tradies leaving reviews and customers rating the site based on the service they received.
What’s disappointing, however, is that many of the negative reviews are from tradespeople. This is, again, the minority of review scores left, but it’s hardly encouraging. My advice here would be to carefully compare a mixture of good and bad feedback.
Just what should you do if you have a genuine complaint about Rated People as a tradie? A positive side to all of this is the fact that the Rated People team do at least try and respond to poor service reviews fairly quickly. Trust Pilot records their negative feedback response time as within two working days. Providing your complaint is legitimate, you’ll be encouraged to contact the service team directly.
However, it seems much of the complaints levelled at Rated People is to do with the account management and subscription model. Some tradespeople claim that they can’t speak to customer service reps easily enough, while others state that they can’t cancel their accounts down properly.
On the one hand, you could class this as minority complaints due to the sheer number listed and the fact that many online services experience hiccups.
That said, complaints always need considering, and my advice would be to take them with a pinch of salt. I’d recommend doing your homework beyond Trust Pilot for a wider scope.
The positive reviews for Rated People on Trust Pilot come mainly in two flavours – either rating the company highly or rating the service they receive from tradespeople. Of course, customer feedback for specific tradies should ideally feedback through the website, but some people prefer to do both.
The positive reviews left by customer users do at least give a good impression that you’re always likely to find leads. As stated above, there is never any guarantee (even once you’ve parted with money), but the numbers and the reviews are solid.
Rated People’s reps do also respond to positive feedback, which is a nice courtesy. What I also found to be positive here is the fact that the RP reps will also encourage positive reviewers to directly feedback to their tradespeople through the website and not just through Trust Pilot. After all, it’s the tradespeople and the local business owners who keep the site rolling forward.
Some additional reviews on Trust Pilot show that a few users have issues getting to grips with the app. On top of this, there are a few reviews left that claim very few tradespeople actually answer.
Again, we do need to take all of this with a pinch of salt. Reasons for users not getting many responses for their jobs could be down to a niche need, the way an ad is written, or even the price suggested. There are plenty of variables.
While Rated People reps do respond well to some of the one-star reviews left on their Trust Pilot page, there are plenty left hanging in the two-star section. Admittedly, some reviews and scores are fairly vague.
Ultimately, you’re going to need to do a bit of digging to compare reviews left by tradespeople on aggregators such as Trust Pilot. I’d never suggest you go ahead and sign up with bank details and a subscription until you’ve read around, so try and set a bit of time aside to filter through.
As mentioned, it’s been a few years since Rated People launched, which means the market for tradesperson review sites has expanded. There are three or four big competitors to RP that are worth comparing for different features and costs.
Here, I’ve taken a look at the three biggest service providers – Checkatrade, MyBuilder and Trustatrader- to see how well Rated People compares.
Checkatrade prides itself on being very thorough when it comes to signing up for their service. Unlike Rated People, you’ll need to attend physical interviews and vetting – they really do their homework. What’s more, you’ll need public liability insurance before you get started with the service.
Checkatrade charges a yearly rate plus VAT for subscriptions, which can vary. To access these rates, you’ll actually need to fill in a few details with the service. However, Checkatrade won’t charge you per lead.
Checkatrade also works on a ‘permanent profile’ basis. With Rated People, you can hold back on spending money on leads if you’re busy. Checkatrade, meanwhile, doesn’t offer you this luxury.
That said, from the customer perspective, it’s easier to leave review after review on Checkatrade. With Rated People, you need to have actually completed a job with a tradie to review. That’s a really good thing for the tradesperson, as it means each review is attached to a legitimate job.
So – you are looking at a bit of a trade-off regarding review security and flexible working with Rated People. Checkatrade seems to be more ‘worth it’ for the customer. It’s a little strange that you can’t find out how much money the service costs before you’re a way in.
MyBuilder is a little similar to Rated People in that it still operates rather like a bidding service. However, the customer has a bit more control as they get to shortlist tradespeople they feel are the best fit for the job.
That means you can only start bidding through the service, or offering quotes, once a customer feels you are a good fit. That said, through MyBuilder, you won’t pay a penny to show that you’re interested in a job – just when a customer shortlists you for the final project.
Pricing on MyBuilder differs in that you pay less for small job prospects. You could spend as little money as £3 or £4 for the privilege. There’s also no subscription or sign up fees here either.
MyBuilder is the smaller of the more popular names in trade comparison out there, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It seems to be a great website for those business owners trying to keep things at a low price and who might just want to fill gaps while looking for long-term contracts.
Rated People is certainly more of a long burner. If you’re likely to list your services for an extended time and don’t mind paying more money for the privilege of control, then this is likely the company you’ll want to sign up with.
Trustatrader is a bit of a middle point between Checkatrade and Rated People. It works on a subscription basis (generally starting from £600 plus VAT per year), and you receive a full listing and marketing page to show off what you can do.
As with Checkatrade, the cost varies depending on your service and location. Rated People, meanwhile, works on the flat rate discussed above.
Trustatrader is pretty appealing for tradespeople or small business owners as it has strong reviews online. However, it might not have the same reach as either Checkatrade or Rated People. Therefore, you could be waiting a while to make money from your subscription.
The vetting at Trustatrader works a little differently, too. Checks here revolve around insurance proof and at least five different references from people you’ve provided service to. It can take a few weeks for all the checks to process, but again, it’s all in the name of protecting the customer base.
Trustatrader competes well with Rated People, but the choice you’ll make is likely to depend on the money aspect. You should also take your time to compare the websites and how everything ‘feels’.
If you need to get in touch with customer service at Rated People, their details are as follows:
Rated People doesn’t list a telephone number on their website. However, a bit of digging tells us that you can call customer service on 0333 212 2831. Otherwise, you’ll need to follow the online help centre before you can get in touch.
You can email Rated People directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, this isn’t listed publicly on the website. In fact, we found this direct address listed on the Trust Pilot review page.
However, you’re not barred from emailing the business, as you can contact them through the web form with your details if you prefer.
Getting in touch with the company is relatively easy. There is occasionally a review or two that claims speaking to someone can be tricky. However, this is normally based on the fact that there’s no public phone or email details.
I’d definitely prefer the details to be public via the main site, and I’m sure other tradies would agree. It’d also be a bonus for customers. At least, these details aren’t too hard to find if you look through review sites (not that you should have to).
Rated People offers an interesting slant on the tradesperson referral site. It’s straightforward to sign up with and use, and only paying customers who use your services can leave a review. Once you see work carried out, customers can leave you a glowing review (hopefully), and Google searchers can find you outside of the website.
It’s also open to all kinds of tradespeople. Whether you are fitting a new boiler or fixing shingles, the leads may vary, but there’s lots of support.
Paying for quotes with a little bit of money each time is a great way to manage your business. While you are in a 12-month contract with the company outright, you can apply to leads whenever you wish.
Many people prefer using Rated People as customers, too. They only ever give phone and address details away to vetted traders.
One downside for traders is that there’s no guarantee of work, even after you pay money and apply to a lead. While there are some tradies who see this as a complete waste of time, you’re only ever up against two other specialists.
The review system is closed-off, which means you won’t get nuisance review writers wrecking your profile.
All in all, Rated People provides a website and app that should connect you to plenty of local people willing to pay for good work. The main thing you’ll need to balance before you join is whether or not you have the money to pay for use of the website long term.
I think it’s worth it – and you can always hold off if you want to stop using it every so often. Do take a look at review scores over at Trust Pilot, and again, compare with the likes of MyBuilder and Checkatrade before you hand over your bank details.