Tuesday, February 14, 2012

FINDING THE RIGHT SHOP IS EASIER THAT YOU THINK...The Answer for Shop Owners' and Consumers Alike!

Here at LDJ, we're always looking for new and exciting things to talk about and provide our readers with great new and helpful ideas in the auto repair industry. In our news blog, "LDJ Auto Body's Car, Truck and Motorcycle News", back in November, we ran an article called "Good Shop, Bad Shop! How Do You Tell The Difference!" Those of you who commented on that article will find this next one extremely interesting! A new site called BKListings.com makes finding the perfect shop a breeze for consumers and a real time and money saver for shop owners! We know this because we are also a member! Our guest writer today is Brad Brennan, an expert in the auto repair industry, having been involved in the business for over 20 years. Brad is the founder of BKListings.com, the "Angie's List", if you will, of the auto repair industry and author of http://www.bklistings.com/Bklisting_Blog. Brad was kind enough to prepare this letter specifically for us, explaining all there is to know about BKListings.com.

The following article was written for our blog by Brad Brennan, auto repair industry expert, blog author and founder of BKListings.com, 02/13/2012 All rights reserved.

A letter to shop owners

My name is Brad Brennan and I am the founder of BKListings.com. I started the website two years ago with the mission of bringing shops and customers together. I come from a family of mechanics and collision experts and have been involved in the business myself for over twenty years. What we do at our site is intersect the shop and the customer – we help the customers find quality shops in their area and we help the most active shops pull in the most customers from the online community as possible.

Our premise is simple and it has two parts. First is that customers are now opting to do their homework online. Compared to how it was done in the past, a significant portion of customers now go to sites like Google, Yelp, and Yellow Pages to pull in as much information as they can before making the decision on which shop to go to. Second is that most shops do not have the time, resources, or insight to drive the online community purposefully to their business.

You may disagree with that premise for a couple of different reasons. First could be that a large majority of your customers are referred either through a direct repair program, traditional media, or word of mouth. Consider though that over the last ten years time spent online has doubled from 7 hours a week to 14. Consider also the affect smart phones (like the iPhone or Androids) and tablets (like the iPad or Kindle Fire) will have on the way people do their research when looking for repairs. With the technology at our fingertips, it becomes more appealing for customers to Google“collision shops” and choose the shop with the highest rating. While the majority of your customers may be coming through traditional media, that doesn’t mean you’re pulling in all the customers you potentially can, and as time goes on the number of customers coming from the internet will surely increase. By not making your internet presence known may prove detrimental to your shop long term.

Second, you may say that your shop already has a website. But is your site SEO optimized? Do you know what SEO is? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the reason why certain websites show up higher on Google than others. Currently I’m attacking SEO hard, and it’s expensive. For you to be doing the same means you’re spending much more than you have to. As you may already know, a basic website build can run more than $10,000, and that doesn’t include the back end work of driving people to your site consistently through SEO. Wide Open West is running an SEO special for $600 a month. A spot on Yellow Pages will cost you about $200. We provide the content of a website and the SEO of Wide Open West for a fraction of the cost.

Why BK

BK has four distinct advantages over the competition. We are cheap, we are effective, we are specialized, and we work hard for you.

In terms of cost, an advanced spot on our website, which includes priority placement of your listing at the top of the search results for listings within 25 miles of your zip code and a detailed profile, typically goes for $49/month. However, sign up using the code LDJAuto and receive a discount bringing the price down to $29/month. The code won’t expire until next January so take your time checking out our site before making the decision.

In terms of how effective we are, currently I have a total of 5 backlinkers and 3 bloggers, and I’m looking to grow those numbers aggressively. What backlilnkers do is strategically place links to the site over the web to increase our presence, and I’ve got thousands of links being created every month. What bloggers do is to add content to the site, which brings more customers in to find your listing. These are things that drive SEO. These are the processes we put our time and resources into so you don’t have to.

In terms of specialization, we are purely automotive. What differentiates us from Google and Yellow Pages is that our profiles are specific to the industry you are in. If you are a collision shop you will be able to list collision-specific information like turnaround times, paint lines, extra services like detailing and loaner cars, and more. If you are a mechanical repair shop, you will be able to fill out your mechanic related information. What we did was create a simple to fill out template for you to leverage when creating your profile, and the template changes depending on the services you provide. However, there is also room to add extra information you feel is important.

Finally, we work our asses off, just like you do. We’re constantly working to make the site better. Over the next few months we will be rolling out our BKBuySell section, which is a place for individuals, shops, and dealerships to list cars for sale. Signing up for an advanced BKListings profile will mean that you list cars you have for sale for free once we get the site up. Other features we’ve added in the past that we think are useful include the Request An Estimate section on the home page. With this the customers can submit details about his/her job and shops with advanced profiles in that area can pull the customer’s submitted information and bid on the job, proactively driving business to your shop.

Wrapping Up

There’s a great chance your shop already has a basic listing on BK Listings (one including name, address, and phone number). All you have to do to confirm this is to go to bklistings.com, type in your zip code under the type of service you provide (collision, mechanical, etc), and make sure we have you on there. Basic listings are free so if you don’t see your shop please tell us so at admin@bklistings.com or you can email me directly at bradleybrennan1@gmail.com and I’ll add your shop asap.

We really appreciate LDJ allowing us to guest-post on their blog. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to help each other expand our reach into education for both customers and shop owners. I hope in the near future I have the honor of LDJ guest-posting to my blog at http://www.bklistings.com/Bklisting_Blog/.

Unlike the seasoned professionals at LDJ Auto News, BK Listings is at the beginning of our mission to provide a medium for both shops and customers to be able to find useful and beneficial information. It’s a mission we will not give up on, a mission we will work incredibly hard to see through. I truly hope you’re there with us when we do.

Until then, take care.


Brad Brennan


  1. Your auto warranty provider will also most likely be able to provide you a list of mechanics and shops they recommend.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Auto Body Collision Repair is my favorite topic thanks for sharing you are doing a great job


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