By Roger Magalhaes
“Where can I find a good window covering installer?”
This is a question I get asked frequently—and even more so since the pandemic started. Most window treatment professionals have been working extra hours because of the influx of work due to people being home and deciding to remodel.
The downside of a spike in orders is a backlog of installations. Most of my colleagues have been scratching their heads trying to find installers to fulfill their installation needs. Below, I’ve shared a few tips on where and how to find good-quality installers.
Colleagues and sales reps
Use your contacts within the industry. More often than not, they may know someone to refer you to.
Vocational and trade schools
They are a good place to ask. Unfortunately, the housing market is still strong and the chances of a recent student wanting to work for you are not great, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Handymen or carpenters
These professionals are good with hand tools and are mechanically inclined. Perhaps they can be offered a part-time position to start.
Their typical schedules allow for a few days off every week. On top of that, they have no problem climbing ladders and dealing with people.
Family and friends
Another possibility would be asking your spouse, in-law or neighbor’s child for help. Who knows? They may like the job and decide to work for you full time.
There are several focused groups for our industry. Join one or several. They are great places to ask for referrals.
Window Coverings Association of America
WCAA is the national entity for our industry. They have a directory for workrooms, designers and installers too.
If you think the surge is just temporary and don’t want to invest in training someone, you could consider passing the overflow of work to your local competitors. Develop and nurture a good relationship with them so everyone will support each other. As an additional benefit, you won’t let your client down.
However, if your plan is to “build” an installer from scratch, I highly suggest that you invest in a recruiting service to prequalify your candidates. Ask them to look for someone who is mechanically inclined, has good problem-solving and communication skills, is customer-service driven and has a good driving record. Teaching the right candidate is already a big task. Spend the time, money and energy to find the right people to make sure your investment pays off over the long term.
Roger Magalhaes is the founder of Trading Up Consulting, which provides installation training for window fashion professionals. Magalhaes draws on 15 years as a professional window treatment installer in the Boston area, where he received over 600 5-star reviews from satisfied clients. He is the installation instructor for the Window Fashion Certified Professional FastTrack program, serves on the board of directors of the Window Coverings Association of America and recently founded the Facebook group Window Treatment Installers by Trading Up Consulting.