It’s no surprise to many of us that Homeadvisor and Angie’s list are under fire from contractors for providing fake leads and unsatisfactory customer service. Just this past week Homeadvisor made the news when they connected some unlucky homeowners with a convicted felon who trashed their home.
All one has to do is read a few reviews of these services written by contractors to understand that they are generally not very popular from the professionals’ point of view. It begs the question then: Why are these online marketplaces so popular?
If you’re reading the reviews online, you’ll have to sift through a few positive reviews written by homeowners to find a negative one written by a business owner. The fact is these services make finding professional service providers a lot easier for homeowners, at least they used to.
10 years ago the internet was young. Most businesses didn’t have a website, a Facebook page, or any online presence. They were working off of word of mouth and traditional marketing mediums like radio and tv.
When services like Homeadvisor and Angie’s List first made their appearance they were revolutionary in a sense. As thousands of consumers turned to the internet to find the goods and services they were looking for, a few businesses, the early adopters of the internet, were soaking up all the leads and profiting hugely.
Over time, two things have happened:
1. A lot more businesses have signed up to be service providers on Homeadvisor and Angie’s List.
2. Angies List and Home advisor have grown to be enormous enterprises with gigantic marketing budgets.
Now, in 2018, there are more businesses than ever sharing the pool of leads provided by these services. There is real pressure on companies like Homeadvisor and Angie’s List to continue to stay profitable amongst rising costs of advertising
Over the years they have managed to spend more on marketing than any other companies in the industries they serve. This is why when you search for a remodeling contractor in your city, Homeadvisor and Angie’s List are the first search results you see. They paid for that!
These companies have spent millions of dollars to be on top of the search results and they have to transfer these costs to someone. That someone is the businesses that rely on them to stay in business. This is why the price per lead has continued to rise and these mega-companies have had to resort to selling the same leads to multiple professionals to make ends meet. Some businesses have even reported receiving fake leads. But, how do you know if a lead is fake?
There is no way to be certain from the perspective of the home improvement professional. All they know is they paid $127 for a lead that never returned their call. Some have even reported talking to customers that already started and sometimes finished their projects.
There’s no doubt that something is amiss amongst these online service provider marketplaces…
So what does this mean?
The conclusion I come to is simple. These giant companies just aren’t needed anymore. These days it doesn’t take much for a business to get their name out there online without having to rent a listing from a company. Especially a company that doesn’t seem to value their business in the first place.
There are a few things every company should do, and often it’s enough to get all the jobs they want:
- Have a professional website
- Set up a GMB account – Google Maps listing
- Actively seek positive reviews from happy customers
- Be an active participant in their community
- Be active on Facebook and create a presence on social media
The over-arching idea is simple. Today’s community is taking place online, so be a part of it. Make your company known and put a happy face to it. Get good results for your customers and get them to talk about it. That’s really all it takes.
Continuing to rely on companies like Homeadvisor and Angie’s List to have your best interests at heart is a losing proposition and should be approached with caution. If this is your plan instead of doing the things listed above, you are digging a hole for yourself and hoping that Homeadvisor and Angie’s List will provide a ladder to climb out. Trust me, they won’t.
You can read more about it at http://www.remodeling.hw.net/
Curious about how these various services compare? Read all about it here:
Wondering what other types of marketing you can do online? Find it here: