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Service Magic - A referal source for you.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I have made several comments over the years in this forum regarding my experience with Service Magic. I just wanted to share it again for those who don't know how it works or those who forgot.

    Service Magic is a very large company which specializes in advertising for all kinds of trades and then selling the leads they get to trade contractors. They have a very broad marketing campaign that covers just about every kind of media.

    When a customer calls wanting work done on their home, yard, etc. they are given 3 leads of 3 pre-qualified contractors. Some times less than 3 but never more than 3. Simultaneously, Service Magic notifies up to 3 local contractors that they have a new lead. As a member contractor, you get the lead via fax, email, pager, etc. and are responsible for getting together with the new client and offering them a bid. The average response is 2 contractors who actually respond to the client. So usually you're bidding against one other company.

    As a member contractor, you are charged a lead fee. This fee you pay regardless of whether or not you land the job. But don't worry - the fees are very small and if you just land one job once in a while, it pays for all of the leads.

    The customer pays nothing and gets the advantage of 1) having the contractor already checked out and 2) getting 2-3 bids with just one phone call.

    There are hundreds of lead fees based on the kind of service the customer wants. But here are some examples;

    Landscape Install = $18
    Sod Install = $18
    Landscape Maintenance = $10
    Shrub & Tree trimming = $15
    Sprinkler sys. install = $15
    Sprinkler sys. repair = $8

    Leads are seasonal, just like all other kinds of advertising. You may get a few during the winter. But you should get plenty during the spring-summer-fall.

    Service Magic charges your credit card once per month - a month after you get the leads. So almost always you've gotten a few jobs and been paid before YOU have to pay.

    Oh, also, you get to choose your work radius. You can chose certain zip codes or a certain mile radius from your main zip code, etc. This ensures you only get and pay for leads that are within your service area.

    I've been with them for almost 3 years now and couldn't be happier. They provide good quality leads and I land a good percentage of the ones I get. It's kind of one of these little secrets I don't talk about too much with my competition. I have a good 10 little "supplemental marketing tools" (I like to call them) like this that are always working for me in addition to my main means of advertising. But this is one of the best sources. I bet we got a good 10% of our leads last year from Service Magic.

    The best thing I like is that I don't pay a dime unless I get a good lead. And that's cool. No other kind of advertising offers that advantage.

    Member contractors have to be licensed and bonded to sign up. I think that's about it. Nowadays you may have to provide a reference - I am not sure. But it's pretty easy to sign up.

    Anyway, they are offering a $25 credit to all new members this month. If anyone is interested in this please email me and I'll get you the details. I think I get a referal bonus too if I refer someone new.

    It's not for everyone. But for those who are looking to grow and keep growing without spending too much on marketing - this is an excellent way to do that.
  2. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 363

    They wanted a $150 sign on fee & annual membership...
    The guy came to my house & fed me the BS, they wanted 20% of all jobs refered to me. Guarenteed a certin ammount of referals.
    I said nope I have nuff work... He decided to wave the fee & sign me up anyways as thay have no intrest from anyone else in the area. Mind you this was my fisrt year in business & we have more contractors here then 80% of the world. After 3 months pass I get a invoice in the mail for the $150 fee. I'm like BS I'm not paying this. I call the office & they "remove" me from their list of contactors. Mind you I recieved no calls in this time I was apparently a registerd contractor. Apparently this guy was fired not to long after but still...
    Hey if it's worked for you then great & Stick with it but personally I will never have anything to do with them again.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    hmmm. You've definitely had a drastically different experience than I did. I never paid any registration fee. Just the lead fees. And they've always been wonderful to work with.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501


    How could you and Got Grass? have 2 completely opposite experiences with them?

    Sounds kind of crazy, huh?
  5. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    Doesn't seem like they cater to Homeowners. Just other Contractors. Am I wrong??
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I dunno. But it seems to me that he more or less had a problem with the REPRESENTATIVE. And it sounds like Service Magic took care of that situation by firing the guy. So that's the difference, I guess.

    As for that whole "they wanted 20%" thing - that's totally untrue. I am not saying Got Grass made that up. I am just saying Service Magic doesn't do that. They just ask for a lead fee. I have a copy of the official lead fee schedule in .pdf format if anyone wants to see it. And except maybe a one time sign up free ( I never had to pay one but maybe they have one) you shouldn't have to pay a percentage of anything. IT's pretty plain and simple - a one time lead fee is assessed when you get a lead. Like $10-$15 usually. That's it!

    Also, I'll add my experience with them is very detailed and over almost 3 years now. Whereas Got Grass had a bad experience with mostly a rep. who didn't keep his promises and misrepresented the company and he only had a few months of experience with them.

    I've found my relationship with them to be WONDERFUL. In fact, I joined two other such services since then because I just like this concept so much. But Service Magic is by far the biggest, best, and most professional. And their marketing campaign is huge and produces LOTS of leads.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Where ever did you get that? No, in fact, their whole thing is to cater to homeowners. All of their marketing, web site, advertisements, etc. are directed toward the consumer and telling the consumer they can get 3 qualified leads with just one phone call.
  8. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    I read it a little differently for some reason.
  9. Chuck Sinclair

    Chuck Sinclair LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    All i can say is i had nothing but trouble with them.

    They do NOT qualify the leads and will not refund the fee.
    i have had leads i accepted and called the client and they say never mind i changed my mind, i called servicemagic for a refund and they never did give it to me.

    Most the leads i got where crap!!
  10. Sounds like it depends on the local office. Some doing a good job, others just pushing junk leads to keep their numbers up.

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