How Fix It Right Plumbing is improving the Flat Rate culture in Melbourne

How Fix It Right Plumbing is improving the Flat Rate culture in Melbourne

Born in 2007 as a small company by Richard Foster Based in Seaford (Victoria), Fix It Right Plumbing has always focused on how to solve the issues that consumers seem to be having when hiring a plumber to do maintenance work around the home.

Problems like:

  • Plumbers always charge too much
  • They never turn up on time
  • They always leave a mess
  • Are generally unorganised 
  • Are unreliable

Richard saw these issues and tackled them one by one and pretty quickly worked out why they were happening and solved them. “Mostly it was a lack of good software and systems in place to run their business,” Richard says. “Most plumbers are not the businessmen they need to be more technicians suffering from overwhelm and getting more jaded by the day,” he adds.

After implementing Simpro (A software program from Brisbane) and getting his ducks in a row it became pretty clear that while these things were necessary for the business to run there was an element missing. This was of course a sales system and a flat rate pricing model. Richard connected with Service Professionals Australia (an offshoot of Omega Home Services in Sydney, owned and ran by Allan Ferguson)

The Flat Rate Model

After connecting with the team at SPA, Richard implemented the flat rate model into his business and started to use the selling model and the Flat Rate Plus software (That generated the Flat Rate Book).

“It became pretty clear that the prices the model demanded were way too high,” states Richard. Even after the program worked out your daily expenses and what your billable hourly rate should be, it became clear that more people than not were outraged by the quotes and after received some negative feedback Richard reassessed the model.

“There were elements that worked well,” Richard explains. “Customers enjoyed the up-front nature of the flat rate system and getting quotes on the spot really worked well.”

At this point it would be fair to say that most sales trainers would say you’re not doing it right. If customers are complaining about your rates then you need to be more confident etc. But Richard saw the customers face to face and understood their concerns.

Adjusting the model for the Melbourne market

The problem was there was no education in terms of the customers’ perception as to the difference between and contractor and a sub-contractor. The difference being that one offers the complete service with a warranty and you talk in terms of jobs rather than hourly rate and materials. Vastly different operating models and different prices associated with each. One you’re paying for their time and the other you are paying for the job and the result.

The contractor is responsible for the result (no matter what’s involved in the process) the other just turns up and starts working.

“The first question you would get is what’s your hourly rate? As people try to work out if they are getting ripped off or not by doing a quick calculation.” The most common objection was how can you charge so much when you were only here for half an hour? That must put your hourly rate at X? My doctor doesn’t get that much. This would then be followed by a series of phone calls (usually to sub-contractors) asking the “going rate” for an hour’s worth of labour, and the objection would be complete. What would follow would be either an abusive phone or a negative review online.

Not a great way to operate a business and Richard was well aware of this.

The solution 

Richard found that the paper towel sales method used to deliver the flat rate system had one fatal flaw. It took way too long to get to the presentation part of the service call. This was exasperated if the customer only had one small issue and was not responding well to the inspection process. 

“Writing the “Paper Towel Close” just took too long,” Richard explains. “15-20 minutes on average to write up a detailed proposal is just too long in this day and age.”

After doing some research on other software companies it seemed that some companies had gotten close to the paper towel method but not had nailed it.

FiveStarPro was born

Richard invented a software program called FiveStarPro and has been training his team in the system for the past 6 months. “We can now produce a “paper towel close” in 90 seconds or less on the spot without needing to leave the customers home and go to the van or truck.”

This has saved a considerable amount of time and training time has been reduced significantly due to the formatting and pricing already being built in.

“It is my dream that companies can band together to use a universal system of pricing and quoting that all but eliminates undercutting each other,” Richard says. “Too many people lose out when this happens and it just doesn’t need to.”

Armed with FiveStarPro this plumber Melbourne, Fix It Right Plumbing, has been serving their Melbourne customers quicker and more efficiently than ever. “We have gotten fewer call backs, fewer price complaints and our Google review count has gone from 200 to 300 in just a few months. Complete proof that the model works and our customers are happy with it and what it offers them. It leaves the plumber free to do what he does best and concentrate on the work.”

Fix It Right Plumbing is a plumber in Melbourne located at 9 Enterprise Circuit, Carrum Downs VIC 3201, AU. Contact their team by phone at 1300 664 932 or by email at For more information about what the company offers, check out their website.

Media Contact
Company Name: Fix It Right Plumbing
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
Phone: 1300 664 932
Address:9 Enterprise Circuit
City: Carrum Downs
State: VIC
Country: Australia