I hope it works out. I know that service magic has done well for us in lead generation. many people do not like it, but my experience is about 75% of the leads that come from service magic at least buy from someone. I drive by all the bids I do not get to see. I close anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 of the leads I get from service magic.
So it has value for me. But I wish they would be more discriminating who they list on their site as a contractor. They do make sure my liability insurance is up to date, but they need to include workman's comp. Also, In my state You are required to have a contractors liscense to do any job for anyone over $2000 as of this year. You have to pass a test, pay a fee, etc, and I wish they would check for that as well. Having 3 customers as 3 legit references would also help weed out the contractor herd as well. Photo's of work, website links, etc. all these things help consumers make better decisions and eliminate contractors who are not really in this as a business.
The whole idea for lead generating sites is to provide a service to both contractor and homeowner, and in service magic's case the idea seems more about lead generation fees trumps vetting the contractors as good installers.
All these things would add value to the homeowner side as well, since they are thinking that using a referral site gets them a good contractor.
Since there is a sign up fee, it would seem that the site is getting compensated for setting up a new contractor, so would it be possible to include some of these items to bring more value to the service? It would be a way to make it a more valuable service than service magic.