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Why Property Owners in the UK are Choosing Rated Locksmiths


Jul 31, 2023

Manchester-based tech entrepreneur Al Lijee and founder of Rated Locksmiths recently met with us to discuss his latest business venture and how it’s helping property owners, tenants, and letting agencies in the North East and elsewhere in the UK find qualified residential and commercial locksmiths.

Tell us a little about Rated Locksmiths

I started Rated Locksmiths in 2019 following the success of my other online business ventures. Anyone living in the UK can use Rated Locksmiths to find local, qualified residential and commercial locksmiths. It’s a platform that makes it fast and easy to find service from vetted and approved locksmiths, all completely free for users without any need to register or have a membership. We hope to stimulate healthy competition for legitimate locksmithing businesses in the UK while giving users the peace of mind that they aren’t dealing with a rogue locksmith.

The idea for Rated Locksmiths is similar to some of my other business ventures such as myWindscreen whereby we use digital marketing strategies to improve the online visibility of small and independent businesses in the UK. Believe it or not, finding reliable assistance from a genuine small business can be much harder than it needs to be, mostly because many locksmiths (and automotive glaziers, in the case of myWindscreen) lack a strong presence on search engines like Google.

What are some of the services that users on the platform can find?

Since we simply operate the Rated Locksmiths platform and don’t provide locksmithing services ourselves, the specific services depend on the individual member partner our users choose to contact. Generally, most of our members provide residential and commercial locksmith services such as emergency lockout assistance, response to burglaries by replacing door mortice locks, key cutting and duplication.

These services make up the vast majority of reasons why people call locksmiths, but some of our members may provide additional services and/or specialisations in things like home and business security solutions, CCTV & burglar alarms, vault & safe installation and relocation, boarding up services, or electronic access control for large buildings such as schools, for example.

How is Rated Locksmiths helping property owners in the UK?

Most locksmiths in the UK operate small, independent businesses, often just sole proprietorships or perhaps working in small teams. We believe that Rated Locksmiths helps users by providing them with quick, easy, and hassle-free access to local, approved locksmiths operating in their postcode.

Moreover, locksmithing is unregulated in the UK and so there is a growing presence of rogue traders scamming property owners and we believe that by having a strict onboarding procedure we can keep these scammers at bay whilst only working with honest, hardworking locksmiths.

What is the competition like in this market and how is Rated Locksmiths competing?

Online searches for locksmiths in the UK yield websites of locksmith businesses and aggregator sites that provide a similar service to Rated Locksmiths. For the former, there are many locksmiths with simple landing pages that are surely generating traffic but many are simply drowned out amongst the competition and can benefit from joining a platform such as Rated Locksmiths.

As for other aggregator sites, the problem is usually that they charge quite high fees for anything beyond simply listing a locksmith business, including high per-lead fees and membership fees. Rated Locksmiths does not charge any per-lead fees and instead charges a competitively-priced annual membership fee. We have far lower overheads than some of the other big websites and can charge fair prices for digital marketing for locksmithing businesses in the UK.

Walk us through some of the challenges that a platform like Rated Locksmiths might face

Just going off of the types of calls that locksmiths usually receive, by sheer volume, most property owners are calling a locksmith out of urgency. Usually, it’s for emergency lockouts (e.g. they lost their key or accidentally locked themself out of their home or business) or after discovering their door or window forcefully opened or the locks damaged from a burglary.

Most of the time, that leads to hasty and often impulsive choices when it comes to finding a locksmith near you. Unfortunately, locksmith scammers prey upon this and often pull out expensive pay-per-click (PPC) adverts in order to be at the top of Google results. Avoiding these sorts of scams is something we all hopefully want, but it’s likely to remain a challenge so long as property owners continue calling these rogue traders.

Although we cannot resolve this problem and it is only a small minority of locksmith businesses, by only choosing to work with legitimate and qualified locksmiths in the UK we’re hopeful that we can help customers feel reassured and satisfied with the service received.

What’s new and exciting in the future of Rated Locksmiths?

The priority now and for the foreseeable future is to attract more small, independent commercial and domestic locksmiths in the UK to join our network and to grow, thereby providing customers with ever greater choice in postcodes all across the UK.

As for the website itself, we’ve recently refreshed the layout and content to be more user-friendly and we’ve revised our existing content to provide more quality content.

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