HomeownerResearch Methodology

Do you rely on other sources for your research?

When considering a company for Five Star Rated status, we use various sources to determine if a company qualifies to be included in the book. In addition to direct homeowner surveying, we also review a company’s Experian Small Business Credit Report, their State Corporation Search status, their Better Business Bureau report, and reviews left by homeowners on other platforms. We also confirm required licenses and certifications for our companies through the appropriate departments and organizations.

1) Secretary of State Corporation Search:
We confirm all selected companies structured as S Corporations, C Corporations, or Limited Liability Companies have a current, active, and in-compliance record with the state. The one exception would be sole proprietorships, which are not required to register with Secretary of State. The Secretary of State search provides us with records of the longevity of the business. The Secretary of State search many times also indicates other key officers or principals involved in the business.

2) Experian Smart Business Reports:
We generate a credit report on every new company considered for participation. We look for basic but critical company information including, but not limited to (a) ownership-management history, (b) any bankruptcy history, (c) potential liens or judgments history, and (d) a credit history score and charting histories, which may indicate the level of operational stability of the company. This report also provides information regarding the number of employees, the company’s revenue level or history, key addresses, phone numbers, and service trades.

3) Trade Licenses:
Depending on the trade and state, certain businesses are required to have a trade or professional licenses (e.g. Electricians, Plumbers, Heating & Air, etc…).

4) General Liability Insurance and Other State-Required Insurance:
All featured Five Star Rated companies must carry General Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Insurance as required by their state.

5) Homeowner Surveys:
Every Five Star Rated customer is given the opportunity to survey their 25-50 most recent customers. Five Star Rated customers can use this feedback to understand how their company is performing.

6) Internet Reviews:
We cross-reference up to four separate professional review sites for every Five Star Rated company when identifying potential candidates to consider and when verifying that existing members continue to provide excellent service to their customers.

7) Years In Business and Industry:
In addition to capturing how many years in business each Five Star Rated member has, we also take into account the years that the owner, general manager, and/or other principal has been in the industry. Industry experience is a very important component in the evaluation of a potential candidate, as it typically represents stability and more experience in working with homeowners.