Plumber: The Verdict on Lazy Tradies

Professional plumber repairing sink pipe – 'Tradies Unveiled'

I’ve seen a lot of tradies in my time as an investor and involved in real estate. So I want you to imagine in your mind what the best plumber I have ever worked with looks like.

Aside from “plumbers crack” which I believe is mandatory for all Aussie plumbers, I bet the image in your head is nothing like the person I’m thinking about.

I’d suggest that most of you are thinking of a polished young tradie turning up in their sparkling truck with logos plastered on the side and a catchy slogan like “on time, every time”, or something similar. They’d walk into the job with a neatly pressed dress shirt and a tool box looking brand new with all the latest tools and gadgets inside. At least, that’s what we’d hope they looked like.

You have to love a quick search for “plumber” on stock images.
I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure an adjustable wrench won’t help him here.

Well… that’s not the case. The very best plumber I have worked with:

  • Was a slightly overweight older gentleman
  • He was never dressed neatly
  • He rarely showed up on time
  • He had a ratty old toolbox with tools you’d imagine your grandfather used
  • His vehicle was an older ute

Once he arrived, he knew exactly what he needed to do every time and wasted no time in getting it done.

He had countless spare parts in his ute (which seemingly doubled as a Tardis) and did not say a single word while he focused on the job.

The jobs were always completed incredibly faster than other plumbers and he always charged exactly what the quote amount was.

That young well dressed tradie you imagined? Those ones would come to my properties and spend hours diagnosing the problems before a few trips to Bunnings, a basket full of excuses as to why the job is taking so long and ended up charging considerably more than the original quote.

When it comes to getting work done on properties, you can have one or the other, but seemingly, you can’t have both.

If you want to pay extra just because your tradie drives a nice truck and has a freshly pressed pair of work trousers, be my guest.

If you’d rather someone spend 8 hours on a job so you can justify the $1500 invoice, go right ahead.

I’d rather just get the job done, even if it takes them 1 hour and I pay an exorbitant hourly rate. If we’ve already agreed to a fair exchange of value, I don’t care how long it takes the tradie as long as they do the job well.

I’d rather pay someone just to get the job expertly done as quickly as possible.

This tale underscores a vital lesson that transcends beyond choosing the right tradie… it’s about valuing substance over style, expertise over appearance.

In property investment, as in life, the real magic often lies in the unseen details, the wealth of experience over the superficial gloss. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most unassuming exteriors hide the most competent and efficient solutions.

So next time you’re evaluating someone for a job (whether in property or just with your life in general), remember this:

It’s not about the sparkle of their toolkit but the skill and reliability they bring to your project.

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