By Elin Enrooth
Home service directories are incredibly valuable to both homeowners and businesses that service homeowners. While they can offer homeowners the ability to search and vet different service providers for the jobs they need done around the home, they provide the most value to home service businesses by exposing them to a massive consumer base that is looking for all types of home repair and improvement services.
Two of the most popular websites are Angi and Thumbtack. In this post, we’ll cover the pros and cons of both, and which is more likely to take your business to the next level.
Angi (formerly Angie’s List) was one of the first home service directories and is used by 6 million homeowners. Founded in 1995, it is considered the gold standard in the home services industry and focuses on finding homeowners the perfect service provider for their home. You can find plumbers, roofers, electricians, landscapers, remodelers, house cleaners, and more.
The company is known for its great customer service. They perform background checks and guarantee the businesses they advertise on the website, so users don’t have to worry about the trustworthiness of any providers.
To grow on Angi and appear on top of the results page, providers have to maintain an A or B grade on their profile. These grades determine whether or not providers can advertise with pay-per-click ads.
While Angi only caters to home service providers, Thumbtack helps its 10 million users find all kinds of work online. Founded in 2008, Thumbtack has built up a large network of service providers. Users can search for caterers, DJs, painters, makeup artists, attorneys, and more.
However, because there is such a large variety of service providers on the platform, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. Business owners need to have a well-crafted mission statement and profile to entice a potential customer to click.
Thumbtack caters to service professionals from every field. The website boasts more than 900 unique services in 13 distinct industries, while Angi only offers 720 services and is best for home service professionals.
While this may seem like more of a benefit for homeowners, it’s actually very valuable to home service providers. More variety means that users will get longevity out of using the site. Since there are so many services available, customers that may have used the site for one service are more likely to return to search for more.
The majority of people using home services websites make their decision based on ratings from previous customers, so it’s important that service providers offer excellent customer service and solicit as many reviews as possible.
Angi has a report card style review system from A to F, whereas Thumbtack has a star rating system. Both systems are essentially the same: after a customer receives a service, they rate the professional and leave written feedback about their experience.
Angi prides itself on getting more than 60,000 reviews a month, with 12 million total verified and authentic reviews. It also has the most organized review system. The verification process eliminates anonymous or illegitimate reviews.
Users have access to all reviews before choosing to hire a professional. However, only member’s reviews can help professionals build a reputation. Members can only submit a report on a service experience once every six months, to ensure that nobody can write multiple reviews in favor of or against a company.
This is a tough question to answer. It’s difficult to know which companies will perform well in a given marketplace. As a service provider, the companies that you may be bidding against depend on the location and the number of providers in that area. Large Metro areas will reflect a healthy competition for jobs. If you're the only provider in town, you could corner that particular market.
While Angi only caters to home service businesses, Thumbtack attracts users from outside the home service industry, which can result in lower-quality leads.
However, Thumbtack still has a smaller pool of providers for you to compete against. But if you're looking for a larger volume of leads, it may not compete at the same level as the more established providers.
Ultimately, the providers that will receive the most leads are the ones that take the time to build a strong profile, solicit a good number of reviews, and are quick to respond when a bid comes through.
Since Angi is the leader in the home services industry, most service professionals on the platform have built a strong reputation, thereby allowing them to charge what they deserve for their expertise.
Thumbtack, on the other hand, is a crowded marketplace with professionals with different levels of experience. Bidding sites like Thumbtack are notorious for forcing business owners to lower prices in order to close a sale. When you bid on a project, make it tailored to each individual prospect; don’t rush just because you want to make a quota.
Angi is free to join but does require a membership fee for contractors. While they started off as a paid-only model to build a solid database of service professionals, by 2016, it was changed to ‘free to join, pay to play’. It’s also known for typically costing a bit more due to its popularity and verified legitimacy.
To set up a business profile, create a company page, solicit reviews, and become a “certified service provider.” To become a certified service provider, your business will be screened annually for felony convictions, you will have a verified page and A or B rating, and must have any required licenses.
Thumbtack is also free to join and doesn’t require an annual subscription fee. This is because contractors only pay for the leads they choose to contact. When a customer contacts a provider, the provider can choose to bid on that job. This means you get to pick and choose the jobs that look promising and the ones you want to ignore. Lead costs will vary by location and the type of job.
After you pay for the lead and contact the user, it's up to providers to close the deal. Excellent closing skills are a must. If you do discuss a bid with a potential client and they don't hire you, you're still on the hook for the cost of the lead.
To set up a business profile, select a category and upload a headshot, add a description, business hours, service areas, and payment methods. The platform will then match incoming customer job requests with the service providers best suited to complete them. Professionals can also purchase a lead subscription at 20% discount to have automatic access to leads.
However, keep in mind that these sites should not be your only presence online. Take the time to build up your own digital presence and don’t completely rely on these companies for lead generation.
Take the necessary time to research each platform and see which one is right for your business. Look at the key features of each platform, check out the reviews, and evaluate the number of people in your state who use the platform. Then make the decision that’s right for your business.