What Does it Take to Become an Appliance Repair Pro?

These are the phases I have been through as an appliance repair technician and what it took me to become a pro:

PHASE I:  AMATEUR  While I was a real estate investor, I worked occasionally on appliances in my rental properties to save money so I didn’t have to call a repairman.  I fixed maybe two appliances a month.

PHASE II:  STUDENT  After the real estate crash, I needed to start over.  I chose appliance repair and became a student, first by reading Troubleshooting and Repairing Major Appliances, by Eric Kleinert, then by studying Uncle Harry’s technician program intensively for 30 days so I could start making money as fast as possible.

PHASE III:  BEGINNER  After a quick, intensive study phase, I hung my shingle (put up my website and listed my business in online directories) and started running service calls.  I considered myself a beginner during this phase, leaning heavily on Uncle Harry’s support system before and during each call.

PHASE IV:  INTERMEDIATE   My beginner phase ended quickly and I turned intermediate during my “boot camp” days at a used appliance repair yard where I did warranty work for the owner who offered a one year guarantee.  He also gave me my own independent leads which he did not serve.  I ran an average of 6 calls a day most days, and in my downtime, I fixed stock on the lot.  I saw a large variety of appliance issues, became familiar with real-world appliance repair work and real-world fixes.

PHASE V:  PRO  I am proud to say I already consider myself a pro after a very short time in the business.  My definition of a pro is someone who can handle a minimum of 80% of calls with relative comfort and has no more than 20% of calls that are challenging.  Appliance repair is not a perfect science, and even the pros don’t always have an exact answer for every problem, they just have their solution for it.  I have found my style and my stride, and it just gets better from here.

10 Replies to “What Does it Take to Become an Appliance Repair Pro?”

  1. Hello, Just wanted to say this is an inspiration to me because I am in the process of helping my fiance with his Appliance Repair Business and this is the first time we owned a business and we are absolutely trying the best we can. We are about to hit one year in the business in April. Just thought I would ask, “Is there any advice to a young couple starting their own business in Appliance Repair.” Including taxes, Inventory, Receptionist, Service Calls and Advertising to get more clients?

    1. Hi Brittney – Congratulations on starting your appliance repair business! I don’t have any specific tax advice, but I can answer a few of the other questions. As far as inventory goes, I have a well stocked parts house nearby, so I have a commercial account with them, but I also have commercial accounts with my best online suppliers. I keep in inventory the parts I use most often (belts, lid switches, motor couplers, heating elements, oven igniters, etc.), but now that you can get parts within a couple of days, it’s not as necessary to carry everything on the service vehicle. Of course, if your customers are more than 20 miles away on average, you would want more inventory on hand to reduce return trips. I keep overhead to a minimum in every part of my business. I run a virtual office with no storefront, my receptionist is RingCentral.com which is a full-featured online automated answering service with low monthly rates. My service vehicle is still my personal sedan, but you can invest in a magnetic sign to make yours look more official. I got inexpensive company logo shirts at LogoUp.com, which help promote the company and have the professional look customers tend to expect. I do all my advertising free on the internet through online directories, but I have tried paid leads and even though they take a big cut of your profits it can be better than a quiet phone while you’re starting out, then get your satisfied customers to write you good reviews online, this will help you get free referrals and unpaid leads. Hope this answers at least some of your questions – best of luck and success to you!

  2. Been reading your website and Uncle Harry’s with interest. Just wondering how you’re dealing with major medical etc insurance for yourself and family?

    1. Hi Vern – I will admit, when I started out I was so broke I could only look forward to the day I could afford health insurance, but I have done so well, I now can choose the coverage best for me. You bring up a great point that this is another expense of running your own business no one is going to take care of for you – thanks for the great question!

  3. I have been reading your blog for several months and decided to make the investment to begin my journey into the appliance repair business…. joined the ranks of uncle Harry’s student body and bought Trouble Shooting and Repairing Major Appliances, both purchases partly as a result of reading your blog… (although I was exposed to uncle harry first..then found your blogspot).. I am blown away at the response… I am less then two months into study and have already ran 4 service calls.. however this represents 48 appliances…lol… yes! In full disclosure I was Marketing Coordinator for a large property management company so I know people in the business and have not done a single family owned service call yet…. its been 3 apartment complexes and 1 single family rental property Where the owner of the property is responsible for the appliances…. Because Appliances are really a necessity in our culture there are many niche markets that I think can be successfully targeted…
    I Just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience.. I found your website as a result of trying to find training in the field…and I was encouraged and made the first step as a result… Keep up the good work… I would love to share a story on your blog sometime.. thanks Brian

    1. Hi Brian – Congratulations on your success in getting started in appliance repair so quickly – way to go! Your story really reminds me of when I “took the leap” from student to practicing appliance repair tech. What a great feeling. Your kind words are very much appreciated as well – so glad to hear the blog has been of value to you. Best of luck in the future!

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