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HomeAdvisor.com: A Quick Guide for Businesses

In the last five years, there has been a rise in the number of sites made available to consumers for the central purpose of connecting small businesses with pre-qualified service providers. These sites provide a more interactive and focused environment than what customers are likely to find in more generic consumer review sites such as Yelp.

The trend toward specialization in tandem with aggressive marketing made way for sites such as Angie’s List, and now HomeAdvisor and others that have gained popularity among consumers looking to engage contractors for repairs and remodeling projects with a high price tag, where reliability was a non-negotiable.

In the past, we have explored why contractors just like you stand a better chance of securing quality leads through no-cost sites (e.g Yelp) that offer un-gated access to all Web searchers, than by trying to secure leads from limited membership gated sites like Angie’s List. We stand by our recommendation, confident that you will indeed gain ground and exposure on free sites, but today we want you to go one step further.

Let’s take a closer look at how a highly marketed, segment-specific site that is free to consumers but not free to you may potentially increase the number and quality of your leads. Join us as we explore how HomeAdvisor can help contractors build their brand, increase their credibility, and grow their local business.

I Am Getting Calls from HomeAdvisor and Have Seen the Ads on TV. Should I Join?

It seems like every time you turn on the TV, you see a new commercial for HomeAdvisor. But should you join the new kid on the block? Before we touch on whether you should join or not, we want to give you some insider info. HomeAdvisor is by no means the new kid on the block. HomeAdvisor started in 1999 as ServiceMagic.com and was later acquired by InterActiveCorp, the original parent company for Hotels.com, and owner of a wide array of well-known sites like Match.com, About.com, Grid.com, Tutor.com, DailyBurn.com, The Princeton Review, and others.

Only four years younger than Angie’s List, and with more online tenure than Yelp, HomeAdvisor definitely has experience in serving prescreened contractor profiles to customers who prefer a pre-qualified lead. If your decision to join HomeAdvisor will be purely based on the credibility of the site, then our recommendation is to go for it. But before you sign on the dotted line, let us share with you some of the value-added features that may just make it worth your money.

HomeAdvisor Has a Dual Path of Engagement

HomeAdvisor allows shoppers to find you using two very distinct paths. The first and most traditional path mimics the experience a shopper is likely to have on a site like Yelp or Insider Pages. Search by category and have specific contractors listed based on star ratings. The second way HomeAdvisor equips shoppers to connect with businesses is by creating pre-qualified leads with detail-rich requests that allow contractors in the area to bid for the project.

HomeAdvisor Pre-Qualifies Your Leads

One of the greatest frustrations for tradesmen and contractors has to deal with a high volume of calls from shoppers who are simply testing the waters, or getting quotes exclusively for reference or as a means to contest their property taxes. HomeAdvisor filters their leads by guiding shoppers through qualification paths that request additional information regarding their project.

Their “Match Me” feature will ask potential customers for project specifics like permitting, initial sketches, need for demolition, as well as pre-qualifiers that let the contractor know if the shopper is ready to hire or simply getting and comparing quotes. A pre-qualified lead allows HomeAdvisor to point the lead to the best suited contractor, and equips the contractor with sufficient background to make a more accurate bid, or to pass on the project if the specs are not a good fit for his or her current schedule. 

HomeAdvisor.com: A Quick Guide for Businesses

Home Advisor Gives Shoppers Laser-Sharp Categories

Many homeowners are often frustrated when they are unable to pinpoint a contractor with expertise in specific areas. Through the provision of expanded categories, HomeAdvisor allows shoppers to view contractors that have significant experience in their area of need. For example, a potential customer looking for a contracting firm able to handle a kitchen remodel would have to follow this path:

  • Additions & Remodels?
  • Kitchen Remodel?
  • Maintain or Change Floor Plan?
  • Move or Update Cabinets?
  • Move or Update Appliances?
  • Update Countertops?
  • Update Flooring?
  • Update Sink?
  • Update Lighting?
  • Is the Property Historical?
  • Is This an Insurance Claim?

By the time a pre-qualified lead arrives in the hands of a contractor, he or she will have sufficient information to evaluate the potential of the project and the types of experts needed to complete the task. A pre-qualified lead is a lead that is easier to convert into real business. 

HomeAdvisor Lets You List Credentials, Licenses, and Areas of Expertise

Because most contracting is in direct association with a family’s greatest investment – their home – making sure a contractor or remodeler is trustworthy and reliable is a first priority for homeowners. HomeAdvisor is one of the very few sites that provide active members with specific subcategories that allow you to display credentials, licenses, and areas of expertise.

While you can still post these on other review sites under general descriptions, having a well-designed profile that directs the shopper’s eyes to said qualifications can make a significant difference when it comes to conversion.

HomeAdvisor Allows You to Increase Last-Minute Revenue by Listing Your Profile for Emergency Tech Services

If you are in the business of remediation, or if you are set up in such a way that you can help homeowners navigate the complexities of an insurance claim, then this feature will bring a ton of business your way.

HomeAdvisor offers shoppers a specific tab dedicated to vendors able to provide emergency services 24 hours a day. For a customer, this could be life-saving. A business having last-minute business-engagement opportunities can provide you with an additional source of revenue to help you boost your overall profitability. 

HomeAdvisor Adds Trust by Conducting Background Checks on Business Owners

This is where HomeAdvisor can truly make a difference when it comes to remaining competitive. HomeAdvisor runs criminal background checks on the owners of a business, giving consumers an additional data point to increase their peace of mind.

Now that we have explored some of the unique features that make HomeAdvisor a viable option for contractors and tradesmen, let’s talk money.

HomeAdvisor Is Not Free

In direct contrast to Yelp, HomeAdvisor is not free, nor does it allow you to engage or receive leads at a basic level unless you are a paying member. Before you decide to move forward with HomeAdvisor, you can request a free 30-day trial. Additionally, they can set you up to receive live sample leads. While you may not contact these leads, it equips you with the necessary info to evaluate the value this service can or can’t have for your business. 

HomeAdvisor Does Allow Claiming of Free Listings

You don’t have to pay to claim your business listing on HomeAdvisor, though. It’s free to get listed, although of course your ability to engage will be more limited than if you paid to receive leads. Keep in mind that claiming your page confirms that the contact info is correct; it also allows you to add details about your business for HomeAdvisor users to review.

To claim your HomeAdvisor listing, visit https://www.homeadvisor.com/directory/ and perform a search using your business name OR phone number.

HomeAdvisor’s Prices Vary per Market and Type of Job

This is where it gets tricky. Unless you speak to an account representative and get a quote, there is no way to know the cost per lead for your specific niche. The cost of a lead will vary based on the competitiveness of a market as well as the potential price tab of a job. Commercial leads are always more expensive than residential leads. Keep in mind that a lead is not a guarantee for business; rather, it is a contact that has been prequalified. Leads for mid-price contracting services, such as carpet cleaning, can cost from $20 to $80 for a commercial lead.

HomeAdvisor Leads Are Sent to More Than One Contractor

Like we mentioned before, leads are sent to multiple contractors. Before you move forward with this type of engagement, we want to encourage you to do your homework, and make sure that you are competitive in terms of quality and pricing when comparing yourself to other listings on HomeAdvisor. If you are confident your offering is competitive, then go ahead and give HomeAdvisor a try.

HomeAdvisor is not for everyone, but we feel it has sufficient strength as a review and marketing platform to be worth considering. Make it a point to manage and monitor all your reviews, from no-cost as well as paid review sites like HomeAdvisor, to better understand which channels are best suited for your business. To best handle review traffic from multiple sites, consider the benefits of incorporating review monitoring and reputation management software to your online marketing strategy. Let us know how we can help you get started!

Crystal Shuller

Crystal is the Director of Customer Happiness for ReviewTrackers. She's known around the office for E-mails that make everyone smile, and she has a bag of tricks and tips to help businesses solve their problems and delight their customers.

Discussion

  1. Don

    Sounds like you get what you pay for. If you’d rather save money then you’ll end up spending a lot more time slogging through empty leads.

    Reply
  2. Winona and Gerald Toburen

    I’d like to recommend Bill Dean Mechanical to people in the Kansas City area. We had an electrical problem in our master bathroom and he approached and solved it in an orderly and efficient manner. If we have any other issues we will be calling him. Bill Dean’s phone number is (913)724-3294.

    G &aw Toburen, Olathe KS

    Reply
  3. Benito Salvatore

    Reply to @Winona and Gerald Toburen:
    Bill Dean Mechanical should create a profile on HomeAdvisor and marketing through there and not through commenting on posts. If they are so good then advertising on HomeAdvisors will not be a problem for them.
    And about the HomeAdvisor, I think the site is great and you can find business of any type you need for solving your problems. All at one place, time saving and usually the companies with good reviews will get the work finished in a timely and professional manner.

    Reply
  4. socialanim00

    If your business is successful and you want to improve even more, you should definitely use HomeAdvisor. It is not the same for small companies and new start ups thou. The HomeAdvisor is not cheap at all. You can find yourself wasting time and money and get nothing in return. If you are starting a business, first make sure that people are satisfied with your work and establish some steady work. After you are a well established company, you can start using HomeAdvisor.

    Reply
  5. Shawn

    I would love to see if there is a report out there with stats on how ROI for homeadvisor. How much do I need to spend to acquire a customer. I understand the importance of calling the lead immediately, maintaining great reviews etc.

    I am interested only in recurring weekly or every other week leads.

    Our there any independent studies on this info?

    Reply
  6. Jacquelyn

    I was very disappointed with the services we received from Home Advisor. I signed up 2 of our contractors with them and it was a huge mistake. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that our contractors specialize in window and door installations, but not only were the leads we received unqualified, but contesting the unqualified leads was a nightmare; it took weeks to have the charges taken off our contractors account, if at all. Often we would receive calls from random 800 or unlisted numbers with no one on the other end and we would be charged for the “lead” even though no one answered the line. This was quite upsetting especially since the sales rep I signed up with blatantly lied to me regarding what constitutes as a qualified lead. I was specifically told I would not be charge for dead/no response leads. Use these guys at your own risk. Their sales people will say anything to get you to sign on with them. I also found it funny that I don’t see them on Yelp anymore. I guess they would prefer to keep their many unhappy clients from leaving negative reviews on them.

    Reply
  7. Rick Ellis

    We tried HomeAdcisor as a lead source for over a year. They gladly collected our money and never generated one lead that resulted in a sale. Not one. Our business serves over 3,000 customers on a regular schedule and at least that many “as needed” – we have been in business over 28 years. Every one of our sales people asked for HomeAdvisor leads to stop as the “potential clients” were only interested in low price and did not seem to be interested in superior quality.

    If you have a question or complaint and try to contact HomeAdvisor you can expect to be on hold for an extended period every time. Your “advisor” will give you a direct line but will never answer it, and instead will send you and email suggesting you call “customer service” where you will wait on hold.

    Our experience with HomeAdvisor was below poor and typified by bad customer service and “leads” that only cost us time, aggravation and money with not a cent in return. Avoid them, especially if you cater to quality conscious clients.

    Reply

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