It can take a whole lot of work to own a plumber business. It’s a challenging task from making sure you hire the right technicians to marketing and obtaining new customers. Not to mention being a master plumber yourself, with probably having to go out on jobs to cover shifts or attend to dissatisfied customers. 

This article aims to help guide you and offer some pro tips on how to be an effective master plumber. Though, we know you’re already doing a great job! These things certainly can’t hurt. 

Everyday challenges a master plumber faces.

There can be an awful lot of hurdles to having and maintaining a successful plumbing business. Here we’ll touch on a few of the most significant troubles we have found business owners face and how to tackle them.  

Finding and keeping quality plumber technicians.

Anyone can claim to be a rockstar plumber, but what plumbing qualifications are the most important? Well, of course, you want someone with a journeyman plumbers license. A license is an excellent starting point to ensure your workers have the necessary experience and hands-on plumbing hours under their belt. 

Though you also want to think about more abstract qualifications, like customer service and patience. Sure, they can fix a kitchen sink leak, but can they deal with the customer hovering over them as they do so, and asking a million questions? Include questions in the interview process that can find out how they will do in a difficult situation.   

Acquiring new and loyal plumbing customers.

You’re trying to sell folks on a service that they never really think about until they need it. And then they need plumbers right now! That’s a tough situation as a business owner, especially when your plumbing services are required sporadically, but you need work daily.

If it’s been over a year since a customer needed your assistance, will they even remember who they called last time? That’s why providing service that’s out of this world, focusing on not only doing a killer job but also having plumbing techs that offer stellar customer service is crucial. Master plumbers want to make sure they are always getting five-star feedback

It’s always a good idea to streamline as many plumbing processes as possible, including customer communication. Customers appreciate being kept up to date, and using the latest tech has made that easier than ever. Tools like podium offer super simple ways to shoot plumbing customers a text with an eta or send them over an invoice. 

Setting your plumber rates.

As you grow and hire new plumbers, expand your footprint, and if you need more wiggle room for the overhead, it’s important to set rates accordingly. You can’t overcharge, but you also shouldn’t be the cheapest plumber in town, especially if you are a master plumber. Charge what you are worth, and at a reasonable price for your market. It’s a very fine line. 

These days some of the most successful home service pay structures move away from charging for time and material. They have found that customers are much more comfortable when given a flat rate upfront. The average person doesn’t know what a fair hourly rate is for your work, and they shouldn’t have to. 

Plumbing company owners can also do a little shopping around yourself. Not that you’re looking for a master plumber, but instead taking a peek at what the competition charges. It’s not hard to find online quotes for essential services. Taking the time to do a little homework on plumbing jobs in your area can help you gauge where your rates should be. 

Becoming an effective master plumber, step by step. 

Stepping up to the challenge of being a master plumber can seem like a tall order. It requires hard work, dedication, and a lot of focus. Here are a handful of things we recommend to get plumbers pointed in the right direction. 

1. Get work done faster and more efficiently than other plumbing companies.

Get up a bit earlier every morning and study. Yes, study. We know that sounds crazy, but it works. Just thirty minutes a day can improve your abilities, whether it’s learning about the latest materials, a refresher course on techniques, or brushing up on laws in your state that are always changing. 

To be the best master plumber out there, study more, learn more, and do more than the competition. It’s cliche, but practice does indeed make perfect. 

2. Form long term plumbing related relationships. 

Join leads groups to meet the other business owners in your community. Look to partner with home warranty companies to gain quality referrals. Let others do the leg work for you. The more customers you acquire, the more work you can do, and the better you will become, as a master plumber. 

Realtors are also pretty good folks to strike up a conversation with. And it shouldn’t need to be stated, but always, always carry a stack of business cards. They know homeowners and homeowners need plumbing jobs done.

3. Marketyour plumbing business like nobody else.

Set your plumbing company apart by getting yourself out there. Even though it seems strange social media platforms are the way to go. 

Sure, you can generate engaging content as a master plumber, and there are effective methods of plumbing marketing you can use to attract new customers! Just check out roger wakefiled on youtube. He makes fun and engaging videos for everyone. Mostly geared toward plumbing professionals, but he also offers some great pro tips for folks. He puts his company out there and gives everyone the inside scoop. 

Thankfully, these days there are some great tools out there to help plumbers keep track of all their marketing efforts. Podium is an awesome solution that will help plumbers juggle their online plumbing reputation, and even puts all of your online reviews in one place so you can keep tabs on customer satisfaction. 

The most successful plumbers focus on local markets. It can be rather challenging to market your local plumbing business on such a large scale. Technically it’s doable, but also, you don’t want to drive all over the county. 

Just doing a quick cost-benefit analysis will show that it’s not worth your time to service areas too far out of town, with the cost of gas and your tech’s hourly wage. So focus on getting your name out there within the community. 

Master plumber salary.

Nationwide, master plumber salaries can vary widely. A very basic average is about sixty-two thousand a year, or roughly twenty-five dollars an hour. That’s with licensing and years of experience of course. 

There are a few factors that contribute to salary, the main things being plumbing credentials and experience. Though the location and the size of the company also have a lot to do with the rate of pay.

In the north-eastern states like maine and pennsylvania, plumbers can anticipate pay to be around fifty-five thousand a year or twenty-six bucks an hour. Whereas in the south it’s closer to forty-seven thousand annually. Remember that the cost of living can be very different from state to state, so the salary will range based on geography alone. 

In the midwest, master plumbers are typically making about fifty-two thousand annually. Even though it seems like the cost of living there is lesser and the salary should be less, you have to keep in mind what plumbers in the midwest have to deal with. 

They will have to work in scorching heat throughout the summer and then repair frozen pipes in the winter. The same can be said for the northern states, and the pay is about the same. 

On the west coast, the annual salary is fifty-six thousand. Again, there is a wide range of environments from rainy Seattle, Washington to sunny southern California, so that figure is different depending on the level of difficulty the working environment presents. 

The size of the business is a major contributing factor to the rate of pay and whether or not you work in a union. It’s even possible to be an independent plumber and fly solo. All of which have their pros and cons. 

Working for a small mom and pop plumbing business is always a great place to start, gain experience in a more tight-knit environment when you are a journeyman plumber. However, plumbers can anticipate a pay ceiling at some point, simply because they only have so much income to work with. At a smaller company like this, plumbers can maybe make twenty dollars an hour or so.   

If you decide to shoot for the middle of the road, at a mid-sized company, generally the pay is closer to twenty-two dollars an hour or forty-five thousand a year. Again, based on your level of plumbing mastery and the location plumbers work at. 

Then if you’re the go big or go home type, that’s generally where a master plumber will make the best money. Now remember, in larger organizations, there might be some benefits like being part of the union and corporate perks, but you might also have to drive over an hour to job sites because the plumbing organization isn’t really “local” to anywhere in particular. 

Though, the plumber compensation can be worthwhile if you don’t mind a longer haul and not being able to name all of your co-workers. These companies pay along the lines of fifty-seven thousand a year and ranging up to ninety thousand. 

Master plumber? No problem!

We know it’s tough to be a master at anything much less attract the plumbing leads you need to grow your business. We want to help. If there’s ever been a time to hop on the technology bandwagon, it’s now. 

From streamlining your marketing strategy as a plumber to engaging customers and easing the stress of collecting payments, tools like podium will help focus your business’ functions and better your company all around.

Journeyman plumbers can continue to do a bang-up job managing your business by providing stellar customer service, quality work, building strong relationships in the community, and utilizing technology like Podium. There’s no reason not to give it a try!

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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