The reason is simply financial. What a lot of people don't realise is that most of the so-called "trusted recommendation" web sites are basically another form of paid advertising. It's not at all unusual for them to charge in the region of £700 per year for your name to appear in their directory. If I put my business in three or four of those, I'd be spending close to a month's income each year. That's fine for the bigger firms who have budgets for that sort of thing, but for me it simply isn't viable.Additionally, while they position themselves as "independent trustworthy guides" for people, once you realise that all the listings are paid for I question just how independent and trustworthy they really are. To get a great profile on one of those sites all I need is £700 and a few recommendation letters I get my friends to email in...
As a result, I get most of my business from real recommendations - either from peole who have used my services recommending me to their friends and neighbours, or simply from the same people booking me again and again over time.
To read what some genuine customers have to say about me and my work, please have a look at a few examples on the right.
I've included a few quotes here from letters I've received from satisfied customers, the majority of whom have been kind enough to invite me back to work in their homes on more than one occasion. If you would like to see the original letters, please just ask.
"Great job Robin, we are both very pleased with the result."
Mr & Mrs W, Finchampstead - December 2016
"Robin - Thank you!! It's looking great (and thanks for taking in all the deliveries!)"
Mr & Mrs L, Emmbrook - December 2016
"Thank you for a lovely job last week. Always happy to act as a reference."
Mr & Mrs H, Wokingham Without - June 2016
"Thanks for the lovely painting and wallpapering Robin - we really appreciate it."
Mr & Mrs R, Emmbrook - May 2016
"I just want to say a big thank you for painting the bathroom - it looks great."
Mrs W, Wokingham - May 2016
"Rob has undertaken a number of projects for us during the past few years. He has decorated our lounge, study, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, and most recently
completely refurbished our utility room. Rob is a gem. Totally honest, reliable and transparent about his costs, which are very reasonable. He goes to great lengths to ensure that his
customer is satisfied with his work. You will not find any better. The quality of his work is exemplary. Whenever we have decorating work to be done Rob is always our first port of
call. It is rare nowadays to find somebody in whom you can have complete trust to be in your property when you are not there. Recommended unreservedly!!"
Mr and Mrs S, Wokingham, December 2015
"Thanks very much again for the excellent job you did on our hall/staris/landing and kitchen."
Mr and Mrs R, Winnersh, December 2015
"I would highly recommend Mr Gofton to undertake any work, as he is honest, conscientious and hard
working. The work he carried out for me was to a very high standard and I was very happy to have Mr Gofton
working in my home while I was absent. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending him."
Mrs H, Emmbrook
"We recently asked Rob to decorate our Kitchen and Study while we were away on holiday.
He did both rooms to our great satisfaction, leaving the house clean and tidy.
We were grateful to be able to leave the house in his keeping, knowing that he is utterly trustworthy."
Mr & Mrs P, Wokingham
"It is with great pleasure that I am able to write a recommendation for Rob.
I have employed Rob on three occasions now for help with a variety of painting and decorating jobs
(large and small) in a house I have recently purchased. As I live on my own and work full time, I was
able to leave Rob with a set of my keys and have absolute trust in him. He has even taken deliveries for me!
The quality of his work is very good and he is very thorough with his attention to detail, and is willing to be flexible on hours.
Rob always communicates regarding requirements to make sure he fully understands the brief, and has been an enormous help so far. In this industry it is hard to find someone that you can completely trust, and I have no hesitation in recommending the quality of his work."
Miss S, Bracknell
"Just wanted to thank you again for the excellent job you did on the painting!"
"Many thanks for a wonderful job done. I'm extremely pleased with the final result.
Everyone says how elegant the hall looks!"
Mrs R, Finchampstead
"Being overseas it is pretty challenging buying, decorating and furnishing a house I've never seen.
You have proven to be 100% dependable, flexible and reliable and you would have realised how tricky it could have
been for me if you hadn't been all those things.
Basically the house will be ready to go on the lettings market tomorrow, completely refreshed and furnished,
only 10 days after getting the keys.
The feedback I have on your work is all positive, and my mum says she'd be happy to have you work in her house!
Very reliable and flexible, and provides a Rolls Royce service."
JN, Reading Landlord, working abroad at the time
"I have been really pleased by your honesty and integrity - people you can trust these days are far too rare."
"We are very pleased with all the work you have done in all three parts of the house,
and I am sure it will not be long before we are in touch again!"
Mr & Mrs P, Calcot
"The bathroom is looking fantastic. I so wish I had taken "before" pictures because it looks so much nicer now!!
You have done a great job."
Mrs R, Wokingham
"It looks fantastic. Thanks for all your hard work."
Mrs J, Wokingham
"Thankyou so much - you will be enthusiastically recommended!"
Mr & Mrs M, Wokingham
"The rooms look great - thanks for a really good job."
Ms C, Wokingham
"Rob - Great job! Many thanks, please use us for any references."
Mr & Mrs H, Crowthorne