For all contractor-facing articles, please click here.
It's important that - as agents - you understand how the contractor side of Fixflo works. This guide is aimed to provide you with the top tips on how to successfully onboard your contractors so that they are comfortable using Fixflo. It will cover areas that we encourage you to understand prior to training your contractors so that you are in the best position to help them with any queries they may have.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Create yourself a test contractor profile
- Review the contractor welcome email content
- Download the contractor app
- Review the contractor settings
- Review the contractor help site
- Set the expectations to your contractors
- Training and launch options
Create yourself a test contractor profile
A simple way for you to better understand the contractor side of Fixflo is to set yourself up as a test contractor profile so that you can switch between being an agent and seeing the contractor side seamlessly.
To do this, simply click-via People > Contractors > Add contractor. If you don't have this permission, please speak to an administrator user of your system!
When creating the new contractor profile, ensure you name it clearly as a test profile within the 'Company name' field. With the email, please enter the same email address that your agent profile is using - this is important. Feel free to also select service types for this test profile.
Once this has been created, refresh your page. You'll remain logged in to your agent profile, but a new profile has been linked to your email address - click your name at the top-left of the screen, and you will see line items for both 'Agent' and 'Contractor'. Here, you can click into the line item to flip between your different user types:
We would recommend also creating a test property on your system, and instructing some works through to your test contractor to have a bit of a play! Do also check out our following guides:
- What do contractors see: A video for agents
- What do contractors see: The contractor dashboard
- What do contractors see: When quotes are requested
- What do contractors see: Marking a job as complete
Review the contractor welcome email content
When you created yourself as a contractor user, you would have received a welcome email from the system. This welcome email can be edited by administrator users as desired - please refer to our guide here.
Please do review the content of this email, so that you are aware of what it includes. We'd recommend clicking into the various links to ensure you are happy with them; do bookmark them if necessary!
This welcome email acts as a self-service training guide for your contractors. However, there is plenty more material available to help them, so do feel free to review the contractor help site (see the section below) and link any other videos or articles you feel may be beneficial for your contractors to watch/read.
Download the contractor app
As part of the contractor welcome email, they are encouraged to download a native app available only to contractor users. This allows them to manage their jobs while out on-site, providing you with relevant information on the works they've been completing at a suitable speed.
As this app is not available to agent users, the only way for you to understand it is either through a video tutorial or through test issues on a test contractor profile - we recommend both! If you've taken the steps above and created a contractor profile under your email address, do send some test jobs their way:
- Instruct works to them
- Request quotes from them
- Send comments to them
In addition to having a play on the contractor app, we would recommend that you review the following articles for more help and assistance:
- What do contractors see: The contractor app
- Contractor-facing guides on the app
Review the contractor settings
Similar to agent profiles, contractors have various settings that they are able to configure. It is important that all new contractor profiles visit these settings and amend them as desired - everybody works differently. Below is a quick overview of what these look like.
Within 'Setup' on a contractor profile, there are three separate options:
This is where your contractors can set various invoicing defaults, such as their company details which can get pulled onto any invoices created within the system. In this section, your contractors can also set their default VAT rate (usually 20% or 0% if not VAT registered). Finally, the unique contractor email address is provided to contractors here - this is a great invoicing method they can use to provide invoices quickly from other software.
We recommend you check out the following guides to understand more about this page:
- Contractor email invoice feature (for agents)
- Adding invoice details for invoices (for contractors)
Contractors have the ability to set 'unavailability' periods - super useful for when they may be taking a break from work!
On your test contractor profile, click into this tab and select to 'Add unavailability'. Simply select the dates and click save
Once these dates are entered, any agent instructing works for this contractor will be notified of their unavailability periods. It's a useful feature to train out to your contractors to ensure they don't get instructed works during their holidays!
Useful guides include:
- Contractor unavailability (for agents)
- Managing my unavailability (for contractors)
Email - and app - notifications are really useful to ensure that all parties are aware of what is expected of them. As a standard-setting, contractors will receive daily 'Tasks to do' emails outlining any outstanding actions they have. This - along with various other notification settings - can be amended within the notifications tab.
We would recommend that you encourage your contractors to keep at least 3 daily reminder emails per week so that they keep on top of their tasks such as setting appointments, completing works and uploading invoices. For further information, please refer to:
- Managing notifications (for contractors)
For more detail on all of the above, visit our specific agent-facing guide on contractor settings here.
Review the contractor help site
You'll have noticed throughout this article that we link out to articles that are aimed at contractors. These are all hosted on our purpose-build contractor help site: contractor-help.fixflo.com
We recommend that you check out the content here - as well as the full contractor video library available. This will really help you understand the contractor side of Fixflo in more detail, and allow you to assist with any questions your contractors may ask you.
In addition, contractors can access all of the help content from within the system via the blue 'Help' button. This will allow them to read any of the guides as desired, as well as contact the Fixflo Support Team who will be happy to assist with any queries they may have:
Set the expectations to your contractors
Fixflo is a great tool to help you manage your planned and reactive works. Equally, it's great for contractors, as it allows them to communicate easily with yourself and tenants, as well as invoice you in an efficient manner. When contractors actively use Fixflo, they find that their payments are often processed in a quicker manner, and they are able to manage their workload to track jobs and quotes.
When launching Fixflo to your contractors, it is important to set your expectations as to what is required from their end. This may take them a little while to get used to the new way of working, but it will be beneficial in the long run!
As such, there are a few points you may wish to consider in advance of training your contractors and launching Fixflo:
Fixflo has various invoicing methods, which you can limit if desired. Some agencies will be laissez-faire when launching Fixflo and tell their contractors that they will still accept invoices via hand, email, etc. However, in the long run we would advise that you encourage your contractors to always invoice on the issue itself; they can upload an invoice or created one within the system if necessary. As such, it's advisable that you set the expectation with contractors that they should always invoice you through Fixflo moving forwards.
If you have a setting that requires a costs breakdown from contractors when marking a job as complete (guide here), you should outline your expectation that they will be required to provide this information alongside their invoice document. What you want to avoid is a large collection of jobs that do not have cost breakdowns, requiring one of your staff to go through them manually to provide this information!
If you are using the contractor certification tool to manage compliance (guide here), we recommend that you set the expectation to your contractors that they must upload the documents requested from them. This will help to ensure that your contractor team is fully compliant with regulations and that you have the relevant documents on file. If you wanted to, you could tell your contractors that they will not receive any jobs until the relevant certification has been uploaded and approved; internally, you can amend user role permissions so that your property management team are unable to instruct works to contractors who have invalid certification.
Training and launch options
Once you have considered all of the above, you will be ready to launch Fixflo to your contractors! While there is no 'best way' of doing this, please find below some successful methods that Fixflo clients have used to ensure they get their contractor team onboard and using the system:
In order for contractors to get access to their Fixflo profile, you will need to send them the welcome email - by this point, you should have reviewed and edited the content as desired. You can send these welcome emails in bulk - check out our guide on this here.
Depending on the size of your business, it may be a nice idea to give each of your contractors (or just 'key' contractors) a call to explain a little more about Fixflo and why you decided to use it. Having this conversation really helps with buy-in, and you can use the time to explain some of the key benefits that they will experience in more detail (PDF of these attached to guide here). Remember that a change in processes can come as a shock, so don't be too alarmed if some of these conversations don't go to plan! Change-management can take time, so we would advise that you listen to their feedback and keep monitoring the situation. Please always feel free to speak to the Fixflo team for more assistance.
A nice launch technique is to organise a contractor evening to tell them about Fixflo in more detail. This is useful as it provides a space whereby you can actively train your contractors on the system (having had a play on the contractor side yourselves!). In addition, we'd recommend encouraging those in attendance to download and access the app on the spot; you can instruct test issues to them so that they begin to familiarise themselves with how it works.
To encourage attendance, try offering complimentary pizza/beer/swag! If you are planning on hosting a contractor evening and need some assistance, do reach out to email@example.com who may be able to provide you with a slide deck to assist with your training.
Our Contractor Onboarding Guide
We have a very useful guide that can be used to help onboard your contractors and get them up to speed using Fixflo. We have a lot of useful hints and tricks that get them to adopt and use Fixflo in no time. In the guide, we will show you the best ways to monitor adoption amongst your contractors, the best ways to increase adoption as well as a few tips to get your contractors trained in using the Fixflo app. You can download the file below.