Using websites for lead generation is a great way to build your client database and improve your online reputation. Two of the top directory sites for home renovations, landscaping and other related service contractors are HomeAdvisor and Porch. By taking the time to compare their costs, as well as their pros and cons you can find the one that’s better for you to build your portfolio of customers.

HomeAdvisor

On this site, contractors create a profile by paying a yearly fee and then pay in order to bid on the leads obtained through the site. However, these leads are not exclusive so there is no guarantee that the client will choose any of the contractors bidding on it. Some might even just be price-shopping.

The yearly fee to list your business is around $350. If you want to get leads, they’ll cost between $15 to $40 depending on the project’s price. However, if a promising lead doesn’t work out, they might sometimes reimburse the contractor for their bidding fee.

Many users specializing in smaller jobs have reported that leads rarely turn into regular customers, which might not be what you’re looking for. On the other hand, those who work larger jobs have reported that the leads have been a great ROI.

Of course, if you’re looking into these options you need the pros and cons. HomeAdvisor greatly benefits from its reputation since it’s the oldest and most popular of the sites for both contractors and their potential clients. Also, profiles are very easy to set-up and maintain, letting you turn leads on or off if you don’t need them.

As with every great service, there are cons and HomeAdvisor has become known for their sales calls. When you sign up and then stop using their service, you will start to receive sales calls, sometimes for multiple years.

It’s also one of the most expensive sites in its category since you have to pay for your profile and pay for the bids. Other sites let you create your profile for free.

Porch

Porch is one of the newer contractor sites and uses a different model than most of the others. It has two service models.

The first one is Porch Services where the homeowner can enter their project, get a quote and then book and pay for the service provided. On the other hand, we have Porch Pros where contractors can bid on a project posted by the homeowner and then complete booking and payment offsite. As a contractor, you can choose only Pro or both services.

Once again, let’s address the costs first. Creating a Porch profile is free and you get two payment options: Pay-as-you-go or subscription. If you choose the first option, you will receive notices on available projects and you can then decide if you want to pay for the lead or not. Lead costs will also vary depending on the project size, ranging between $5 to $20 on smaller ones and $35 to $65 on the larger ones.

If you choose the subscription option, you can set a monthly lead budget and porch will then send you the leads until you reach the budget max. If you don’t reach your monthly max, you will be charged less.

You will end up paying less as a subscriber than pay-as-you-go and you will also get the first shot at bidding. This is a big deal if you have many competitors in your area because Porch only lets four contractors bid.

Now let’s discuss the positives. Since Porch is a newer site and not as well-known, it will have fewer contractors competing for leads. Also, since creating a profile is free, you can set it up and pay-as-you-go if you get an interesting lead. If that lead works out, you can subscribe to save money in the future.

However, by being a newer site there might also be fewer leads to bid on since homeowners might not know it’s also available. Porch also tends to prefer companies that can prove they have experience, with multiple pictures of previous projects and a strong online presence. This can be difficult if you’re just starting out.

Which to Choose from HomeAdvisor vs Porch

There is no clear winner between the two and which site is best for you depends on a number of factors. When deciding which to choose you should consider your requirements and also consider asking for recommendations. Choose the right service for you and it is bound to be a significant benefit to you.

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