Reality Blog: What I Learned About Marketing from a House Painter

One orange pencil among many gray ones.

Sometimes learnings come from the most unlikely sources. Who’d have thought a house painter would teach me so much about marketing and the Art of Persuasion? Here are some of the marketing lessons you can apply to your business and that I will be applying to mine.

Moving On

We’re selling our house. After 18 months on the road, we’re back in our house. No, we haven’t abandoned our dream life… not at all. The house is going on the market and we’re downsizing to a villa or townhouse.

Then, we’re off again!

After 20 months of renting our house to tenants, we decided we needed to make a change. Every other week, one tenant or another was causing us grief — not ideal for the lifestyle we’re building.

We tried the rental thing, and it didn’t work out. Not to worry, time for Plan B!

The house needs some work before we try to sell it. One thing it badly needs is a fresh coat of paint on the inside. And this is how we met an unusual character.

Carmel The House Painter

Peta uses an online app to find tradespeople. You know, one of those apps where you submit a job, and then tradespeople respond if they’re interested. It’s modelled on Uber, where you can rank the tradesperson and they can rank you.

So Peta placed an ad for a house painter. Four companies responded immediately. One called Peta within seconds of her posting the job and a second (Carmel) texted within five minutes.

The other two? Well, they’re still lurking somewhere in cyberspace. They never made contact. Sigh…

Anyway, Carmel was the lady who texted Peta. Carmel made an appointment for 2 p.m. And right from the start, Carmel did all the right things.

I’ll go through our experience with Carmel from start to finish. She was an absolute model of excellent marketing, a copybook of marketing lessons and subtle persuasion.

Keep Your Client Informed

At 1:30, she called to say she was caught at a job, apologized and asked if it would be okay to meet at 3 p.m. instead? No problem. Wow, a tradesperson who actually keeps their clients informed! Who knew such a person existed?!

We’ve lost count of the people who simply haven’t shown up or turned up hours after the agreed time, without even a hint of an apology.

Sure enough, at 2:59 p.m., Carmel was knocking on our door.

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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.

2 Comments

  • My father was a painter and paper hanger in a small town along the coast in south Georgia. I remember those white overalls with a bib because my sister and I would iron them. He worked by himself. He might have had a partner at one time, but I guess it did not work out. I remember, growing up, I would sometimes, go in with him and watch him work. For that reason, I have never been afraid to tackle painting, and hanging paper, which I did years ago in some of my houses I owned.

    I never went with him when he made bids for a job, but I know he was hired by an interior decorator in town, because she liked his work.

    • Great story Lois, thanks. I admire the skills of painters, with their steady hands and attention to detail. They make it look so easy. Every time I’ve painted, I’ve ended up with more paint on everything but the wall I’m trying to paint, including myself! Regards, Andrew

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