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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by macaw, Apr 5, 2014.
Anybody use them.
Do a search
I used Home Advisors , not for my business , but to find a plasterer that could repair a foam wall we damaged during snow. I went through all the reviews of people listed and picked him. The work he did was off the chart nice and the price was just right
Define "use them".
I gave them a try and my advice is stay away, far away.
I usually don't buy into the crap that people call me trying to sell, but I thought I would give this one a try.
At the time I signed up, the never told me that I had to also pay for each lead. I had to pay $88 for 3 months of being on there site.
After they got my money I spoke with them to set my account up and then I was told about the fee for the leads, but I had 5 free leads.
They want about $90 every 3 months and then they want about $30 per lead that they send you and keep in mind that they send every company in the area the same lead if they are signed up with them, so you still have to win the jobs and compete against others for the jobs.
Lead #1 "I need a quote for service"
This lead was not in my area. I called home adviser and they said they fixed the problem and that they would credit this lead, which they never did.
Lead #2 "I just need a one time service because I am moving"
I closed on this lead
Lead #3 "I need biweekly service"
I closed on this lead and after a few cuts there was a sign on the door that the house is abandoned.
Lead #4 "I need service while my leg is broke"
I closed on this one the customer is still using us for weekly service
Lead #5 "I need a quote for weekly service"
Ok mam no problem.
"are you local? I want someone local"
Yes mam we are based in this city.
"Are you dependable"
Yes mam, we guarantee we will have it done on time.
"Ok, I think I will go with someone else, goodbye" *click*
At this point I have got
1 weekly customer
1 one time mow
1 biweekly customer that skipped town
1 that I didn't close on, but sounded fishy because I was everything she wanted, but she seem like she had already decided not to use us before she called.
1 that was out of my area that I never got credited for.
I call Home Advisor up to cancel.
"oh, just give it more time, you will get more leads" "we will give you 5 more leads for free"
Okay, I'll give it a little more time
Lead #6 "I need someone to mow one time only"
I closed on this lead
Lead #7 "I just need a one time service until my house is rented"
I closed on this one.
Now I am almost at the 3 month mark and I have pretty much just gotten 1 decent lead that I am still servicing.
I call them up again to cancel.
"but you still have 3 free leads left are you sure you want to cancel?"
I don't care how many leads I have left for free. I don't want to pay $88 again.
We went on and on with them trying to offer me this and that and finally I got them to cancel my account, at least I hope it is canceled.
So let's say I was not getting these first leads for free. Here is what the cost would have been for 3 months (rounded):
$90 for the service
$30 x 7 leads = $210
for $300 I can get a LOT more customers my self
It is not worth it.
Also keep this in mind. ANYONE can go on there and request an estimate. That means that someone wanting to run the cost of all the companies that get leads from them up could easily go on there and request estimates. Sure they let you claim that a lead is not legit, but you will be very lucky if they ever take it off of your account. I had one lead that was not in my area and they still didn't take it off after several weeks and it was still there today when I canceled.
If 7 companies in your area are on there, Home adviser gets $210 for that one lead. If a competitor was to request a quote for 5 different addresses and this was not found out that they were fake, Home Adviser would take $1050 and the companies would pay for it.
angies list was OK, homeadvisor I would never do. I would never pay for leads.
We no longer use angies list but got a few customers from it, one that was worth over 6k one year and is still a complete customer worth 1k a year. I think they were a diamond in the rough though.
Lets say you keep that customer for an entire season. Lets say your season is 30 weeks long. So thats 30 cuts plus the one time plus the bi weekly town skipper (2 cuts). Thats 33 total cuts (if you service the weekly a whole seaon). If your average cut is $30, that $990 in a season. Thats 30% ROI. Not great but not too bad. It costs money to get customers. What if the weekly sticks with you for 2 years? 3? Orders extra services? Now we are talking $300 to make several thousands...
Food for thought. Look at the big picture.
I have never used any of these but I have landed several good ones from thumbtack.com
How do you get new customers? Mailers? Fliers? SEO? Newspaper? Very few leads come free. How much did you spend on Angies list to get a $7000 customer? Was it worth it?
We do a flyer in the paper in the spring, has to be the perfect time. That worked out pretty good. Word of mouth is still the #1 advertising. We also do some online stuff, like DEX or yellow pages, that has worked out O.K. We did checkbook once and are still getting customers each year from it. A good websight is a big help too, plus if your tech savy, its extremely low cost. Websight has got to be one of the best low cost ways, I would say every company should have some type of websight, over the slow months work on updating and SEO.
If I could get a $7000 customer from angies list each year, yes. Only problem was out of all the inquires we had, there were SO many that felt "entitled" because they were a part of angies list. "give me a free estimate etc, etc," On top of that they call NONstop trying to get more out of you.
Out of all the online advertising, angieslist may be one of the better ones, but it is expensive and we have gotten better results from the other things we use.
Oh and GET A WEBSIGHT. Did I already say that?
What I am saying is that I could cut out the middle man and I can get those customers myself for less. I understand that it takes money to get customers, but for x amount of dollars, I can do much better.