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Meet a Best Pick Reports Researcher: SheridenJuly 28th, 2015 by
The initial idea behind Best Pick Reports was simple: go straight to the source—homeowners—and gather invaluable data on company performance in a variety of categories. What began as a door-to-door review aggregation service is now backed by a robust database of hundreds of thousands of unbiased reviews, covering over sixty different categories and spanning across eight major metropolitan areas. As the voice behind our data, our in-house researchers conduct thousands of phone interviews each year to ensure our recommendations are second to none—and now we’re turning the spotlight on them. Through our “Meet a Best Pick Reports Researcher” series, we hope to give you some insight into the men and women behind the phone calls.
What initially interested you in EBSCO Research?
The EBSCO name was very prominent to me, not in a home services context but in an academic context. I was familiar with the name because of the journal database I used when I was a student at Georgia State University. The name has a sort of prestige to it, and I wanted to be attached to that in any way possible. When I learned more about the extent of what EBSCO does, it intrigued me about working with the company even more.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about the job is talking to homeowners who are really passionate about a company that is trying to make it into our publication. “Like attracts like,” and I think that certain homeowners who encounter our phone calls are both astounded and honored that their voices are heard in regards to what makes a company qualified and what makes a company not only good but great. So when I’m able to be in contact with those types of individuals who radiate that kind of passion, it makes everything worth it.
What qualities do you think make for a good researcher?
I think, more than anything, it’s being a people person. People get unsolicited phone calls all the time, but what makes them hesitate to hang up on me? Warmth, friendliness, and empathy. I know exactly how they feel, and I really try to be self-aware and have a friendly disposition during the calls. Also important is listening more than you talk. People usually give you a lot more information when you let them do the majority of the talking. It’s also helpful to have a lot of patience. You don’t always get homeowners who are receptive, and you have to be okay with that. You have to be okay with getting hung up on or yelled at. You have to be able to not internalize the negativity and still exude positivity.
Is there anything you were surprised to learn about home services during your time as a researcher?
The fact that there were so many things that could be done around the home! Growing up, I had only really been exposed to a handful of home services: plumbing, lawn care, pest control, HVAC. The end. Short and sweet. But to see that home services consist of so many different categories and sometimes even subcategories really amazed me.
What’s a fun fact about you or something unique that you bring to your role?
I think it’s my personality and my voice because sometimes people who don’t want to talk to me hear me speak and change their minds. They’re like, “Aww, she sounds sweet, I’ll entertain her for 30 seconds longer.” They hear me out and give me a review and a grade of the company they used. There have been so many times when I was able to turn a “no” into a “yes” just because of who I am, so it’s amazing that I can do that here in some way as well.
Before working at Best Pick Reports, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Well, I worked as an infant teacher at an in-home day care center that this woman set up in her basement. That was a particularly unusual working situation, but we all have to start somewhere!
What three traits define you?
I’m friendly, upbeat, and sensitive.
If you could do any other job for just one day, what would it be?
I know the question says “job,” but I would definitely be Beyoncé. I think that being her for a day could count as a job. I just think she’s fabulous, confident, worldly…she gave me the anthems of my life, so if not her, then what?
What is the best book you have ever read?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s all about the laws of attraction and how the universe works with you to help your destiny come to fruition. I just think Paulo Coelho is a brilliant storyteller. He inspires me and my writing. His cadence is everything.
If you could interview one person (dead or alive), who would it be? Why?
Tupac. His worldview was just very interesting. I loved the way he saw things and how real he was about life, and I think he said a lot of profound things. To sit and talk with him and just allow one answer to stem from one idea and expound into another, then another, then another, would be beautiful. He’s not only one of the greatest rappers ever, he was also an intellectual. I don’t think a lot of people know that about him, which is a shame.
What is the best movie you have ever seen?
I never know how to answer this type of question because I looooove movies. Right now, it’s House of Flying Daggers. I loved that it wasn’t a martial arts film as much as it was a film with martial arts in it. I loved the love story and the use of vibrant colors. It was visually striking, and I got so lost in the story that I forgot I was reading subtitles—my favorite kind of foreign film.