If you have been in the home service industry even for a short while, you must have heard about HomeAdvisor. It is a platform that connects homeowners to pre-screened professionals. As a home service contractor, HomeAdvisor promises to connect you with homeowners that need your service in your local service area.
That sounds great, right? But with varying reviews from professionals, you may be wondering right now – are they legit? Is it worth adding your business to HomeAdvisor? Can you make money using their services?
The short answer to all these questions would be yes. But let’s dive deeper into the details. This way, you can better understand how HomeAdvisor works, how it can benefit your business, and if it’s worth getting into at all.
The History of HomeAdvisor
Formerly known as ServiceMagic when it was first founded and established in 1998, HomeAdvisor might have changed names and management through the years. Still, their commitment to serving both consumers and service providers has stayed the same.
Do you remember the time when many of us had to use an actual directory book to look for a plumber or a carpenter? We’d call each one up to get a quote or set an appointment. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Rodney Rice and Michael Beaudoin, the founders of ServiceMagic saw the potential in this. They want the search for home service providers to become easier for customers and the other way around. They also want you, the professionals, to have access to a wider market within your service area.
Even before many residents across the country have started using the Internet, ServiceMagic has become successful in helping service providers get connected to potential customers.
In 2004, IAC acquired ServiceMagic, and in 2012, rebranded as HomeAdvisor. The company continued to acquire similar home service marketplaces and lead generation platforms. Before long, in 2017, another home service marketplace giant, Angie’s List, merged with HomeAdvisor in what is now called ANGI Homeservices.
Today, the marketplace is officially HomeAdvisor Powered by Angi.
Why HomeAdvisor is Important
How do you find your customers? Do you spend thousands of dollars on marketing and advertisements? Do you hand out flyers or display posters in your community? All these methods may be effective, but not many home service providers have the budget, time, resources, or manpower to do all of these. That’s why HomeAdvisor is so important. It does all of these for you and more.
Here are only a few of the many reasons you should consider becoming a HomeAdvisor Pro.
HomeAdvisor is legit. Although there are many mixed reviews around, if you understand how the platform works and make it work to your advantage, you will find it very beneficial for your business.
As earlier mentioned, HomeAdvisor has been around since 1998 – the company has been in existence even before some of us were born. They have been acquiring and merging with a lot of other online marketplaces and platforms to build this one huge marketplace where service providers can thrive.
If they have been around that long and continue to dominate the online marketplace for service providers, they are indeed effective.
HomeAdvisor Will Help You Grow Your Business
Word of mouth has been an effective way to grow businesses for many years. However, many service providers, especially those who are new in an already saturated market, might find it challenging to compete with already established businesses.
At HomeAdvisor, you can have that opportunity. You can display your skills and build a strong portfolio. Best of all, your satisfied customers can leave reviews on your HomeAdvisor profile so that others can see that you are indeed a great choice. That’s the modern way to succeed via word of mouth, and it really works!
HomeAdvisor Allows You to Control Your Budget
Although HomeAdvisor is not a free platform for service providers, it gives you some control over your expenditure. You can set a spending target and limit and know exactly how much your annual fee would cost.
How HomeAdvisor Works
Potential customers look for service providers in different ways. Some would search for the service they need directly on Google or other search engines and choose from companies that come up in the results. If you have given your website enough attention and exerted a lot of effort in your SEO (search engine optimization), then these customers might just find your company and give you a call.
Because HomeAdvisor has a professional team of digital marketing professionals, more often than not, search engines would include their website as part of the top results.
In addition, HomeAdvisor spends a lot of money on advertising and reaching out to your target market too. Therefore, many of these potential customers would go directly to the HomeAdvisor website and look for a company to work with there.
A potential customer may or may not create a profile when looking for a particular service on HomeAdvisor. Either way, they will be required to fill in their contact information so they can be reached by professionals who can assist them.
Allow us to give you an example. When a customer visits HomeAdvisor and looks for a home service provider, HomeAdvisor will ask for the following information:
- Customer’s location
- The service required (Example: HVAC)
- Residential or commercial?
- Is it an emergency?
- Description of the problem (Example: Air conditioning repair)
- Are they ready to hire, or are they just planning & budgeting?
- What’s their preferred schedule?
- Project description (Example: My air conditioner is leaking)
When all of these are filled up, HomeAdvisor will begin matching the customer to professionals in his or her service area. The customer will then be asked for a phone number and email address with an option for free project cost information.
Instead of the customer calling you, their contact information will be given to you so you can call them up. The customer may also opt to schedule an appointment with you on your HomeAdvisor profile.
How HomeAdvisor Makes Money
HomeAdvisor will help you find customers who will hire you for the service they need, but they need to make money for them to do this. They have to maintain a secure platform and advertise their services so that more customers will visit HomeAdvisor to get directed to you!
All these aren’t free. HomeAdvisor earns by charging an annual subscription fee for service providers. The membership costs around $300 every year.
HomeAdvisor generates more revenue by selling the leads they get for contractors. Each time you receive leads or potential customers you can call, HomeAdvisor will charge you a certain fee.
It is important to note that these leads are not guaranteed sales. This means that you might end up calling a customer who has decided to go elsewhere or not get the service at all. Even in cases like this, you will still be charged a lead fee by HomeAdvisor.
We cannot give you a specific price for the lead fee because it can be anywhere from $15 to over $50 per lead. Factors affecting the lead fee include the type of service or even your location.
While this seems like a disadvantage and might make you question if HomeAdvisor is even worth it, you should know that based on the experience of many other service providers, the pros outweigh the cons. Also, you can set a spending limit on your profile so you won’t go beyond your budget.
What is a HomeAdvisor Pro?
When you have already signed up for a HomeAdvisor account, you become a HomeAdvisor Pro. Service providers who subscribe to HomeAdvisor are from all across the United States, offering a wide range of services. As long as you provide services for homeowners, you can sign up and become a HomeAdvisor Pro.
There are over 500 service categories on the HomeAdvisor platform. Some of the most popular categories include general contractors, pest control services, solar companies, HVAC contractors, garage door installers, home builders and remodelers, flooring companies, cleaning companies, and roofing contractors.
How to Become a HomeAdvisor Pro
HomeAdvisor is serious about giving customers great options when they’re looking for service providers. They promise that all service professionals on their platform are pre-screened. Signing up is simple and convenient, but be prepared to present some proof of business legitimacy too.
Visit the HomeAdvisor Pro Login, then enter the following information:
- Type of business
- Company name
- Zip code
- Contact’s first and last name
- Telephone number
- Email address
You will then have to create your HomeAdvisor profile, where you can add information about your company, your portfolio, the services you offer, and other items that can attract potential customers. HomeAdvisor performs a rigorous background check on businesses signing up for an account to ensure that only legitimate and capable businesses can be part of their network.
Tips for Making Money Using HomeAdvisor as a Pro
If you have already decided to sign up to become a HomeAdvisor Pro, you might as well make sure that you’re making the most out of your subscription. Here’s where problems kick in for some service providers. They complain about the annual fees and lead fees not being worth it for the types of leads they’re getting.
Again, at HomeAdvisor, you can make the pros outweigh the cons when you understand how the platform works and use it to your advantage. So many businesses have succeeded and continue filling up their calendar with appointments from HomeAdvisor. You can make this happen, too.
So, how exactly can you make money by using HomeAdvisor as a pro? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Be Specific With Your Services and Serviced Areas
Build a strong profile, showcase your services, display great images, and show off your portfolio. Use targeted keywords when it comes to the services you provide. Use words that customers would use. Add as many services you provide as possible on your HomeAdvisor profile.
The same goes for your serviced areas. Include all areas you are targeting in your profile.
HomeAdvisor uses all of this information to match you with potential customers. If you do not specify your services and locations your company services, you might not get matched with as many leads as possible.
Respond to Inquiries
When a customer inquiries directly from you, then make sure you respond to them promptly. Many potential customers can’t wait to get a service done. A lot of them would likely choose the contractor who would respond to them first. So make sure you give them enough attention.
Modify Your Spend Target and Availability, As Needed
Your HomeAdvisor spend target is an estimated amount within a 28-day period. HomeAdvisor will keep on sending you new leads when this spend target is not yet met. If you feel that you are not getting enough leads, increase your spend target.
An important note, though, your spend target on HomeAdvisor is not equivalent to a spending limit. It is not a hard cap. They are merely goals of your monthly expenses on leads. You can place a target, but it is still possible to exceed it. And as earlier mentioned, leads are not guaranteed winning opportunities. You still need to contact those leads and convince them to hire you.
You can also modify your schedule availability on HomeAdvisor. This way, you won’t be sent as many leads or any leads at all when your schedule is already full. This is one way for you to control your expenses on HomeAdvisor.
If you want to pause your leads, you simply have to log in to your HomeAdvisor account, go to the Lead Center page and click on the Manage Lead Flow option. You can pause leads for up to 14 days. If you want to turn off your leads beyond 14 days, you have to call the HomeAdvisor customer support number directly at 877-947-3676.
Wear Your HomeAdvisor Badges With Pride
There are many service providers on HomeAdvisor. You have a ton of competition there so you have to set your brand apart and find your edge. One great way to dominate over competition would be earning HomeAdvisor badges.
The badges you can earn from HomeAdvisor include Top-Rated Pro, Elite Service Pro, 20/50/100 Homeowner Reviews, Best of HomeAdvisor, Seal of Approval, and 1/3/5/10 Years with HomeAdvisor. All these badges play an essential role in boosting your profile and making your company stand out.
How can you wear these badges with pride? Display them anywhere you can! For example, you can download these badges and show them off on your website and social media platforms.
Remember, HomeAdvisor exerts a lot of effort and spends a lot of money on advertising. They would consistently encourage customers to visit their website to get service from pre-screened pros. Therefore, when you have this badge displayed, you are already creating a great first impression on your potential customers. It also gives an impression that you are a capable and trustworthy company.
Is HomeAdvisor Legit?
HomeAdvisor has been in the local homeowner services online marketplace since 1998 as ServiceMagic. Today, HomeAdvisor is powered by Angi, which used to be called Angie’s List, another huge company offering similar services.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, HomeAdvisor has over 2,000 employees. Its parent company, Angi Inc.’s revenue in 2018 reached over 1.1 billion dollars with more than 4,500 employees. By looking at these numbers plus the fact that many service professionals attest to its effectiveness in bringing business to their companies, it is definitely safe to say that HomeAdvisor is legit.
While they weren’t exactly the first in the business, HomeAdvisor managed to stay strong since it started as ServiceMagic in 1998. The HomeAdvisor business model works. Therefore, it is no surprise that many other businesses followed their lead and tried to replicate what HomeAdvisor has done over the years.
If you are curious about their competitors and some of the alternatives to HomeAdvisor, here’s a list of other websites that offer similar services.
Founded in 2008, Thumbtack has become a popular online directory and lead generation platform for US home service professionals. It is known to be a cheaper alternative to HomeAdvisor because there is no annual fee. Leads can cost anywhere from $1.50 and up. Thumbtack vs Homeadvisor
It isn’t exactly like HomeAdvisor because Houzz is primarily marketed to consumers looking for home interior design, architecture, landscape, and home improvement. It has a relatively large online community where consumers can build their profiles, too.
Porch is free for consumers to use pretty much the same way they would use HomeAdvisor. They also have a vast network of service providers who can create a free account or a pro account. Membership to Porch’s Vetted Network for pros costs $360/year.
HomeAdvisor’s Edge Over Competition
We would list down many more websites similar to HomeAdvisor as alternatives, but not many seem to match what HomeAdvisor offers. If we were to be brutally frank about this, many simply don’t deserve to be on the same page as HomeAdvisor and be called their competition.
For instance, we’ve checked out a couple of home service platforms offering paid leads that did not even have any HVAC contractors or tree service providers listed in popular cities like Orlando, FL, or Los Angeles, CA.
That being said, HomeAdvisor has the edge over their competitors and many who can only claim to be their competitors because of the thousands of inquiries they receive every day from potential customers and countless companies signing up with them.
It also helped that they have acquired or merged with other similar and large online marketplaces in the United States, Canada, and Europe since the company started. While Angie’s List could have been the largest competitor of HomeAdvisor, their merger simply made the HomeAdvisor platform more powerful. It is now HomeAdvisor powered by Angi.
So, when it comes to building a great reputation and trust among potential customers, there’s really no significant comparison between HomeAdvisor and other companies.
Earlier, we discussed how customers could place their inquiries on HomeAdvisor. This is exactly where HomeAdvisor gets their leads and transfers them to qualified service professionals.
So, first, let’s talk about where these customers are coming from.
From hiring professional marketers to spending money on research and a wide variety of advertising methods, HomeAdvisor displays the correct ads and translates them into customers that would visit their website. When these customers visit their site, they become leads who they would then send to service providers.
HomeAdvisor also displays ads on third-party websites. If you have tried online advertising, especially PPC (pay-per-click) in the past, you would know that this type of ad can cost a ton of money. Without proper knowledge and experience, you might get a shocking bill of thousands of dollars after signing up!
Organic search also plays a vital role in getting these leads. SEO or search engine optimization may cost a lot of money, time, and effort, too. HomeAdvisor got this covered as well. They’ve become an authority website with high trust and domain authority scores, which means that Google and other search engines would likely display their site on top of search results.
There are two types of leads from HomeAdvisor that you should know about before deciding if it’s right for you to sign up. These are market match leads and exact match leads.
Market match leads are sent to you and several other service professionals available in the customer’s service area. This means that you would have to compete with these other pros before winning the job. They cost less compared to exact match leads.
Exact match leads are sent only to a specific requesting member. Since these are exclusive leads and more likely to result in a won job, it costs more.
You can set your spending target at a specific dollar amount within a 28-day period to manage your lead fees. As mentioned above, this isn’t a spending cap or limit. You can still be sent more leads even after reaching your target. You may opt to pause leads for up to 14 days through the Lead Center on your profile or call customer support directly to turn off leads for an extended period of time.
Ideally, the leads sent to you are customers who are ready to hire. The perfect scenario would be that you will be calling the customer, scheduling an appointment, getting the job done, and getting paid.
However, that isn’t the case 100% of the time. HomeAdvisor does not guarantee jobs or leads. You will always be charged with the leads you receive, whether or not you ultimately work on the job or get paid for the job. You will still be charged for the lead even if the customer decides they wouldn’t be hiring anyone for the job.
This may seem like a disadvantage. But again, the advantages of using HomeAdvisor, the exposure your business can get, and the potential number of valid leads and won jobs outweigh the disadvantage of not having guaranteed leads.
HomeAdvisor is a legitimate platform that connects serious homeowners within your service area to pre-screened professionals like you. They can book by phone, email, or schedule an appointment directly on your HomeAdvisor calendar.
If you want to grow your business and build your online presence while receiving leads, build your profile on HomeAdvisor. Your portfolio can only become stronger with great reviews from previous customers and badges you can earn from the platform. You can also use HomeAdvisor to track your jobs, create invoices, and collect payments.
There are plenty of advantages of using HomeAdvisor, whether you are a newbie or an experienced home service professional. Although it is not perfect, it is definitely worth your while to check and try it out. It might just be the key ingredient you need for your business!