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    Diamond Certified Expert Contributors
    Read topic-based expert articles and watch informative video tips by Diamond Certified Expert Contributors, each of whom manages a local company that has been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®.

    Diamond Certified Consumer Blog
    The Diamond Certified Blog is updated bi-weekly and features helpful articles and videos on a wide variety of topics. Read blogs about home, health and auto maintenance; learn about industry-leading organizations; stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the Diamond Certified Resource; and much more.

    Savvy Consumer Tips
    Read the latest consumer advice and tips from Chris Bjorklund, a Bay Area consumer advocate with more than 35 years of experience. You can also access archived Savvy Consumer Tips and contact Chris about consumer issues in your area.

    How to Be a Savvy Consumer
    Watch a video and read informative articles to learn how you can be a savvy consumer and get the most out of the consumer experience.

    Local Company Owner Blog
    Read our comprehensive series of business-to-business blogs to gain valuable insight into topics like customer retention, brand building, improving market signals and more.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS
Helpful Expertise® From Owners of Top Rated Companies

If you want to gain knowledge on specific local services and become a more savvy consumer, we encourage you to access the Diamond Certified Expert Reports through the search options on the right. These mostly industry-specific articles, tip sheets, videos and blog entries are created for consumers by local experts. The authors know what they’re talking about because they own or manage local Diamond Certified companies that have been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®. Each has contributed their expertise to create these reports for you and other consumers as a way to give back to their community.

Adam Garza Owner
San Jose Plumbing, Inc.

John Gorman Owner
Save Energy Company

Agustin Cruz Owner
Cruz Auto Repair

Alain Joske Owner
Inscapes

Amanda Lafferty Design Associate
National Blinds & Flooring Inc.

Amie Prendergast Owner
Precision Door Services of the Bay Area

Alex Oceguera CEO
Cosmos Roofing

Alex Nunez Manager
B & J Transmissions

Blaine Lucas Owner
Foothill Locksmiths, Inc.

Carlos Aguilera Owner
A C A Remodeling Design

John Gingrich Owner
Gingrich Horticulture Service

Alan Kostelnik Owner
Gardens of the Wine Country

RECENT DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT REPORTS

Video: Lead-Safe Painting Protocol

OAKLAND — Host, Sarah Rutan: When repainting a home built prior to 1978, proper lead-safe protocol is a must. Today we’re in Oakland with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Soumil Amin of CertaPro Painters of Berkeley to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Soumil Amin: Today, we are going to be talking about lead-safe sanding and preparation procedures. Any home that’s built before 1978 has a potential for lead-based paint. It’s a big deal. There’s been a lot of research and developments on the effects of lead-based paint if it gets into your blood stream or if it gets into your environment. So, proper procedures is important to do when you’re preparing your home. Read more

Video: Brake Rotors: Resurface or Replace?

FREMONT — Host, Sarah Rutan: When having your brake pads replaced, one decision you may need to make is whether to resurface or replace your rotors. Today we’re in Fremont with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Eduardo Porta of Fremont Foreign Auto to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Eduardo Porta: We’re here today to talk about brakes on the cars of 2004 or newer, that’s include Japanese, domestics and Germany cars. Do not turn or resurface rotors. And the reason is, is that you put in new pads and reusing the rotors or you turn the rotors, six months later you still have new brakes and you coming to a stop and you have a pulsation problem. Read more

DIAMOND CERTIFIED CONSUMER BLOG
Blog
How to Prepare Your California Home for Winter: Exterior Maintenance

Posted on November 13, 2018 by James Florence

California winters may be mild compared to what other parts of the country experience, but the weather can nonetheless take a toll on local residences. When a home isn’t properly winterized, the heavy storms and occasional freezes can cause everything from dry rot and roof leaks to cracked water pipes and crawl space flooding. That’s why, even in California, it’s crucial to perform preventative winterization measures on your home and property in the fall. Read more

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Posted in: Energy Efficiency, Home Maintenance, Seasonal, Home Tips, Landscaping Tips
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Specialty Spotlight: Hair Loss in Women

Posted on November 08, 2018 by Jennifer Chan

“About one-third of women experience hair loss (alopecia) at some time in their lives; among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots.”—Harvard Women’s Health Watch

In Western society, we often don’t talk about female hair loss, but the fact is that approximately 40 percent of hair loss sufferers are women. And with so much of our identity literally tied up in our hair, it’s important to get all of the facts. If you’re a woman concerned about hair loss, we have some answers and some help. Read more

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Posted in: Specialty Spotlight, Health Tips
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HOW TO BE A SAVVY DIAMOND CERTIFIED CONSUMER
Watch this video to learn Chris Bjorklund's Top 10 ways to be a savvy consumer.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMPANY YOU CHOOSE

Your Role in Creating a Win-Win Relationship

Many consumers find that it helps to know the scope of their jobs and their overarching goals before talking to a local service company. By knowing what you want to accomplish… Read more

How to be Their Favorite Customer

When you work with a local company, it’s ultimately their responsibility to perform a thorough and complete job, but you play a big part in the success of your project, too… Read more

Best Practices for Communicating with a Company

Delivering feedback to a company is like landing an airplane on an old runway—it can be bumpy or smooth depending on how much work has been put into maintaining the area… Read more

WHAT TO DO IF THINGS GO WRONG

How to Develop the Relationship to Prevent Problems

Be willing to be satisfied. It’s strange but true. Small-business owners and their staff really like making their customers happy for its own reward. They’ll go the extra mile for customers… Read more

The First Steps to Problem Resolution

“Don’t make assumptions.” This piece of wisdom is perhaps the most powerful guiding principle in conflict prevention. I picked it up from a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz… Read more

Go to Problem Resolution and Mediation Hub

This informative page will teach you what to do when you have an issue with a local company. Read more

LOCAL COMPANY OWNER BLOG
Blog
Level Up!

Posted on October 14, 2018 by Matt Solis

The other night, I was watching one of my new favorite TV shows, “Black Mirror.” If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it features stories that explore the social implications of how technology might be used in the not-too-distant future. Usually, it’s about how certain technology can lead to disastrous situations when misused, but some episodes take a more optimistic perspective.

The episode I watched, “Nosedive,” is about a society where every individual gets rated on an app based on each encounter they have with a person or business. Their overall rating dictates their socioeconomic status and allows them to earn certain benefits. The main character is a woman who wants a high score in order to qualify for a luxury apartment, Read more

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The First Four

Posted on September 15, 2018 by Matt Solis

One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, four-one thousand. That’s how quickly prospective clients judge your company. In just four seconds, your company has made a first impression, and after four minutes, that impression has solidified. And although this impression can change during the course of an interaction, getting the first impression right gives you a huge competitive advantage. In the first four minutes, your potential customers are quickly answering these subconscious questions about your company: Read more

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Making the Grade

Posted on August 15, 2018 by Matt Solis

In my family, August has always meant “back to school” time. Now that one of my daughters is in college and on the quarter system, she doesn’t start until September, but that doesn’t change the fact that August is still a great time to plan for the rest of the year. I think this is common for most families. People are back from their summer vacations and starting to plan their projects for the upcoming months. Whether it’s major car repairs, home remodeling jobs or health checkups they’ve been putting off, this is the time of year when people make the calls.

If you qualify for Diamond Certified, you’ll be in a unique position because you’ll have access to tools that make your company stand out from your competitors and help you capture the best consumers who will keep you busy through the typically slower months of the fall and winter. Read more

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