If you run a painting company, or any home service business, you’ve probably heard of HomeAdvisor Pro – a site that connects homeowners with professionals.
I’ve worked with HomeAdvisor on and off for several years, and have hundreds of customers who have used their services and given me feedback.
In this article, I’m going to cover:
What is HomeAdvisor Pro and how does it work?
Why are there so many complaints about HomeAdvisor from contractors
How to get the best you can out of HomeAdvisor
Other options for marketing and lead generation
Is HomeAdvisor Pro right for your business?
What is HomeAdvisor and How Does it Work?
They are the giants in the industry of connecting homeowners with professionals to get home projects completed. Millions of homeowners use their site to get their home projects completed.
Customers search online for a contractor and find HomeAdvisor. They request estimates through HomeAdvisor, who promises to connect them with pre-screened professionals.
After the customer submits their project details and contact information, HomeAdvisor sends that customer referral to four painting contractors who can compete for the business.
Each contractor who receives the lead pays for that lead.
From there, it’s like any other referral. Contact the lead, schedule the estimate, and compete for the business.
This is how many lead services work. HomeAdvisor is just the biggest company out there. They can provide more leads than most other lead services, but there is a price you pay when you work with them.
Why are There So Many Complaints About HomeAdvisor from Contractors?
A simple search of “HomeAdvisor reviews” or “HomeAdvisor scam” or “HomeAdvisor complaints” will show you a lot of angry contractors.
Here are some of the main complaints you’ll find:
- They have shady sales practices. They will call you pretending to be a customer wanting an estimate, but when you return their call you soon find out that they are actually trying to sell you leads.
- The service charges a high price for leads. Nobody charges more for leads than HomeAdvisor. This isn’t a problem necessarily, but…
- They are terrible about granting refunds on bad leads. You really have to fight and battle them to get credited for bad leads.
- Lots of competition. Since HomeAdvisor is the biggest lead service out there, they have a ton of contractors. Although they promise to sell the lead to a max of four contractors, many contractors have complaints that more than four companies received the same lead.
- They steal your business and sell it back to you. When you set up a profile with HomeAdvisor, it shows up on Google. Customers searching for your business find your HomeAdvisor profile and request an estimate through HomeAdvisor, who then charge you a high price for that lead. Even though the customer was searching for your business in the first place.
- If you don’t set a budget, they’ll drown you in leads and charge you a ton of money. Many people have sued HA for this practice. I’ve heard from people who were charged $1,500 in a single day from HomeAdvisor and didn’t book a single job. Then they don’t refund any of those leads. Be sure to set a budget!
- There are some other complaints not listed here, but you can find them in numerous threads around the internet.
How to Get the Best Out of HomeAdvisor
Despite all of the challenges and complaints, you can utilize HomeAdvisor successfully to grow your business. It’s just not easy. We have success in some of our locations, but not all of them.
Here are some keys to succeeding with their service from our experience, and from what I’ve been told by other contractors who have success with HA.
- Be selective with the leads you accept. HomeAdvisor allows you to choose the lead types that you are competing on. Be picky about the types of leads you receive.
- Set a solid budget so you don’t spend too much money too fast.
- Be a stickler about getting refunds on bad leads. You have to be persistent to make sure you get credited back on bad leads. This is very important!
- Focus on the big job sizes. Full house exteriors, interior 4+ rooms, etc. These job sizes are usually $4,000 and up. With a large job size like that, you can spend up to $400 to book a single job.If you are competing on small leads, you need to have much higher conversions to make your marketing spend worth it.
- Have a strong sales process. I outline our sales process in great detail in my course.
- Track your results to ensure you are having success.
- Be willing to fail, learn, and improve. The first $300 you spend might not yield a great return. If you learn and improve, the next $300 you spend should yield a better return. Tweak and improve again until you are getting the return you want.
- Build a strong profile on HomeAdvisor and get reviews as quick as you can.
What other options are out there?
There are other services that are less expensive, involve less competition, and offer better customer service than HomeAdvisor.
If you can’t generate a good return on these other services, you will not have success with HomeAdvisor. Start with these other services first, then add more services once you have a good process.
Painter Choice and Craft Jack are both less expensive than HomeAdvisor with better service, but they are similar services.
I’d recommend starting with those services first.
Other similar lead services you can test out are Thumbtack, Networx, and Porch.
Is HomeAdvisor right for your business?
There is only one way to find out, which is to test the service. But try to follow these tips to make the most of your testing.
When you are testing any type of marketing for your business, you should track the total amount you spend on marketing, the number of leads you generate, the number of estimates you generate, the number of jobs you sell, and the total sales.
The amount you spend on marketing should be no more than 10% of the total sales generated, and ideally, you want that number to be under 7%.
Since HomeAdvisor is one of the more expensive services, it’s better to start with some of the less expensive lead services first.
If you are generating sales through Painter Choice or Craft Jack, for example, with a marketing spend of under 10%, the next step is to test out HomeAdvisor.
If you are using Painter Choice or Craft Jack and spending more than 10% on marketing, then you should tweak and improve those services before testing HomeAdvisor.
If your marketing spend is 15% on Painter Choice, then you can expect HomeAdvisor to be even more expensive.
That said, remember that you have got to spend money to make money! Marketing is all about testing and tweaking until you hit the numbers you need.
Get after it and start growing your business!