Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
11:39 pm EST
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

In the Villages: Hey pal, I know a guy …

Would it be great to have a service registry?

Story: Joe Angione

As I was leaving a Publix parking lot, a van stopped in front of me and the driver yelled, “Hey, I can fix your front fender right now for a great low price.” Intrigued, I talked to the driver and discovered he specialized in minor dent repairs and small repainting jobs. And he would come to my driveway to do the work. We quickly negotiated a price, a hundred bucks, and he followed me home. The repairs were done in just over an hour.

I had never heard of auto body work done right at your home, so I told some neighbors about it and was surprised to learn that one neighbor knew of this repair guy and had used him before.  If I’d have found him just by asking around, I’d have got the work done months earlier. I had procrastinated. I didn’t think I could get my fender fixed without tying up most of a day waiting around at an auto body shop.  

Some Villages neighborhoods have initiated local service registries where residents can nominate excellent nearby service providers and include all the information necessary to contact them. My village hadn’t done this, so it was pure luck that I found the perfect guy to do my repairs. I realized then that a registry of neighbor-recommended service providers would be a time- and mistake-saving idea.

Find out if your village maintains a service registry, and if it doesn’t, suggest starting one at your next meeting. It can be set up online, enabling residents to add new providers anytime to alert neighbors to reliable providers of anything: auto and other repairs, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, house painting and general handyman services. Be sure to include a disclaimer that those who make recommendations can’t be blamed if something goes wrong in dealing with a listed provider. Registries can be published online, say quarterly, with new providers added and others removed if bad reports surface about them.

Unfortunately, not every village will establish a registry because some feel they’re too “commercial,” and interaction between residents should be strictly for entertainment or recreational purposes. This view ignores the urgent need of some—the very elderly and/or disabled—who require counselling on where to easily find qualified help. Do them a favor…get a registry going in your village. 

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