Service Magic ?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawnpro724, May 12, 2008.

  1. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    I just received a call from Service Magic about signing up with them. I'm not familiar with them. Does anyone do any business with them? They told me they send me leads for landscaping, mowing, hardscaping and so on but said there is a charge for each lead they send me even if I don't get the job so not sure if this would be a good idea. They also said if I sign up with them they will design a web page and host it for free and list everything with all search engines. I would like to hear from those of you who use their service. How many of the leads they sent you turned into actual jobs? Are the jobs you get from them profitable? Do you get enough work from them to pay their fee for all the leads?
     
  2. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    I signed up with Service Magic as we started to slow down for the winter. Over the past 6 months, I've received about 50-60 leads. Not a single one of them has turned in to money for us (though I did have to pay SM for each one).

    I'm not at all happy with Service Magic. Maybe it's just my area; maybe it's just them..
     
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,749

    Look up landscapers on verizon superpages and see how much company you will have.
     
  4. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 425

    Service Magic is such a joke. I should have saw it coming!
     
  5. ropinghorns

    ropinghorns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    If you call me [918-808-6404] I can help you with my opinion. I love lots of things about them. They have made me lots of money. You may need to visit with them about the local compition. I charge $25 for an estimate. So my customers from there have been serious about there needs.[most of them]
     
  6. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Posts: 907

    I've been using them for about a year now. There ok, I have gotten some decent jobs so I can't complain. There mostly smaller jobs though. There ok about giving credits for bogus leads over all I would give them a 6.5 out of 10.
     
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    I would venture to say I have more experience using S.M. than any 5 guys here on lawnsite combined. Our bill just last month from them was $1600.00. We've been using them for, dang, I can't remember how long. I guess I first signed up with HandyMan Online in about 2000 and then a year or two later, they got bought out by Service Magic.

    Nowadays, we get all kinds of leads from them. Maintenance, hardscape, landscape, irrigation installs, irrigation repair, you name it.

    Results from S.M. vary a lot from area to area, company to company, and even from one lead type to another. Don't expect to be impressed with the leads you get from them right away. A lot of the leads we get from them are cheapskates and tire kickers. And I have to pay for every one of those. But it's all good because even though I might get 10 tire kickers in a row from them, the 11th one will often turn out to be a $10,000 or $20,000 job that keeps one of my install crews busy for a week or two solid.

    Probably 50% of the bids we give as a company come from Service Magic. But I land a much lower percentage of those leads than the leads that come from other sources like our website, referrals, trucks, my own landscape, etc.

    If a lead comes to us as a referral or from our website or something like that, I will generally have about a 30-50% chance of landing that job. But if the lead comes from S.M. I probably only land about 20% or less. But again, that depends on the kind of lead. I am speaking mostly about landscape design/build and irrigation design / build leads here. But I don't mind the fact that we don't land so many of them. As I explained above, the ones we do land make it all worth it.

    For "Irrigation System Repair" leads, we probably land 75% or more of those. I guess that's because most of our competitors don't have FT irrigation repair tech's who are loaded with a parts van and ready to go handle a repair on just a few days notice. We make good money on this service.

    For our "landscape maintenance" leads, we have been landing about 50% of those this year - which is a friggin' LOT. We've added 33 maint. accounts in the last 2 months and the majority came from S.M. We have also landed about $40,000 in small maintenance related jobs from S.M. over the last 3 months or so as well. Just clean-ups, mulch jobs, pruning, etc.

    So for those kinds of leads, it's pretty successful.

    On the other hand, there are some lead categories where I was landing such a low percentage of bids that I finally just removed those kinds of leads from our S.M. profile. Fences and Decks was one that didn't pan out. Everyone seemed to be able to find someone else to do it much cheaper than we do it. So I finally got rid of that. Same with outdoor lighting and concrete leads.

    I often wonder if it's really worth it to pay as much as we do in lead fees every month to S.M. I know we could survive without it. But I also know I'd be giving only half as many bids and doing a lot less jobs if I quit them too. And just about the time I wonder if they are worth it, a $25,000 job comes along and totally restores my faith in them!

    The main thing about S.M. is most of the people who use them are just fishing for prices and can't afford ANY landscaper. It's just a way for them to price out a certain job and see if they can afford it. Once they get their 3 bids, they realize they can't afford to hire out for it and then decide to do it themselves. That's half of what you get from S.M. Another 25% of the leads you get from S.M. are people who are just looking for the cheapest price. If you're any good, you probably aren't that guy. So then you end up fighting over the remaining 25%. But some of those leads are well worth fighting for!!! (Again, speaking mainly about big install leads, design/build stuff)
     
  8. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    i have been with them for 4 months . so far so good. here one one is signed up with them in my area but me . so i pay $18.00 per lead . just for mowing trimming and such. i have had 18 leads and signed 16 for yearly accounts and one was a bad lead that they refunded (credited) my account and the other one was just pricing. so for me this is good for now.
     
  9. rbtree

    rbtree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    good post, Jim..and nice website.

    I'm a Seattle based arborist, and have been with SM since 2001. Until recently, I haven't been all that thrilled with SM...lead quality, lead replacement hassles, etc. But, since our big windstorm Dec 2006, my YP results have been dismal. Print YP isn't working as it used to with the maturation of the internet. So, I'm augmenting SM with AT&T's yellowpages.com. Having them build a website for me....which has been hard for me to work on, as I have to provide all the text, and photos, and work is still busy, though not like after the storm.

    I'm finally working on putting photos up on my SM profile, and working at asking for feedback from completed jobs. I've had quite good experiences with SM customer service.

    Over at contractors.com, 90% of the talk about SM, and all other lead generation outfits is negative. I have to agree, the leads aren't always the best, but lately, I've been doing pretty well. Just have to communicate with the customer early and well. And they've been accomodating me with lead replacements, even on refused ones, when i've called to clarify the problems.

    Your website is nice, Jim...Certainly I will do better when I get mine up, and it will be good, as I'll put up a lot of photos, (with a nice large file size like yours, or even more---I'm a pro photographer as well), lots of text, and links to tons of good data from research site, and arborist organizations. Then, getting it linked to search engines will be a must as well.

    I'm thinking I should register my own domain name, rather than have AT&T do it?
     
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Mine's good, but you'll do better? Gee.....thanks.....I think... :rolleyes:
     

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