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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are a small contractor in New England are are considering trying a lead service for our business. As a Thermo Pride furnace dealer, I could sign up with a service they have teamed up with for a small yearly rate and a small lead fee. It seems like a no brainer, but want to know if anyone has tried this service..qualitycontractorservices.com ? They claim to be new and want to give me a two year subscription for the normal yearly price. I get to see sales leads B4 I buy, and only 3 contractors can buy the lead in my zipcode area. They claim this keeps the homeowner from being overwhelmed w/ contractor calls and I have to only bid against 2 other companies. Would like some thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
online service

you pay for the lead only after you agree to buy it. You get to preview the lead for free. the one I saw very comprehensive. it gave info on zip code, how old the house, what kind of house, whether it was a renter or owner, single or multi family house, access to equipment, age of equipment, insulation in the house, electrical info..ie. breakers or fuses, and an area where the homeowner describes what it is they are looking for and what type of fuel they use. you get to decide if you want the lead after reviwing all of that. the leads all cost $24.95..flat rate.
 

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I've never used one.
I was thinking about using Service Magic.

Its about the same. But, it also includes service calls, and the fee for service calls is only 9 bucks.

100 bucks for the initial set up fee.

Haven't decided if I want to do it yet though.
 

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I've never used one.
I was thinking about using Service Magic.

Its about the same. But, it also includes service calls, and the fee for service calls is only 9 bucks.

100 bucks for the initial set up fee.

Haven't decided if I want to do it yet though.
My experience with Service Magic wasn't great. It's one thing to pay for leads on jobs that you don't land, but I ended up having to pay for leads on jobs in which the homeowner never returned my initial call (which happened frequently).

Another thing I did not like, was the fact that they took the money e.f.t. from my Visa card automatically, thus giving them the "power" in cases of disputes.

That was my experience. I have seen several similiar complaints and have seen some rather pleasant comments of the Service Magic.
 

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I've used Service Magic for several years and while I can't say I am overjoyed at how they do business, they do send leads that can keep things moving if it gets slow.

I have had some 'bad leads' where the customer changed their mind or never returned calls. You can dispute these and I have had several refunded. I know they used to provide a year end credit for bad leads, that was a percentage of your total. I have been mostly working from referals so I don't know if they still do this or not.

They do allow you to post an online profile, they market well (you will come up on several search engines...all providing their number) and they allow customers to review your work. It is nice telling potential clients you have a 4.8 out of five star rating, and that it isn't based on hand picking happy clients as references. Any lead that hires you can leave feedback. Of course, if you have a bad rating it might not be such a good selling point.

There might be other services out there, and they might even be better, but I know these guys deliver leads when you need them.

Gosh, my wife would laugh at this after my last call to their customer service department. She'd swear I hate them. Guess it is a love / hate relationship.
 

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I have tried 3 lead services. All are the same, all are a total waste of money and time. They sell you bogus leads. They say they only sell the leads to 3 contractors, but sell them to other lead services. It fun when you call on a lead and you are the 8th call in 2 hours. If they answer you will get an ear full!!

The other thing that bothered me the most is the people who use the lead services to find a contractor. They are all penny pinchers. You are only going to get the job if you are cheap. If you are doing small jobs under $2000 it might be worth giving it a shot, but if you are doing larger projects. You are going to spend a lot of time doing plans. proposals, running around for nothing. These people will not even return your calls after you spend hours putting together quotes. I have had the same result with all lead services. I have done 3 jobs from lead services. The 3 jobs I did. did not cover the cost of what I spent on the lead services. I have canceled all three services. I have filed a complaint with the BBB against Service Magic. I feel they are the biggest thieves out there. The charged me for leads with bogus email addresses and phone numbers, for services I don't offer and on and on. I was always fighting with them trying to get lead credits or refunds. The other 2 I dealt with were not much better. Reliable remodeler and Renovation Experts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
online leads

Thanks for all the feedback. I have learned a lot in a few posts. That said, I have heard from others that Service Magic can sell the same lead to whatever contractor indicates they do work in a certain zip code. That means that if 10 companies all want a lead in the same town, they all buy it and then the homeowner called by all of those contractors. Bidding against 9 other contractors doesn't seem to good to me. The quality contractor services .com seems better. Only a max of 3 companies can buy the lead. After that it closes, and you get to see the lead first. It is not a debit type buy. All the leads are a flat $24.95 each. Install leads only...not service calls. The way I figure it, If I sell one, it pays for itself many times over.
 

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When I talked to Service Magic.
They claimed that only X number of contractors in an area would be able to get the lead.

Lets face it, money talks, and they have more to gain from elling that lead to as many as they can.

If they simply sell the lead to companies outside your zip code area. They semi did what they said. Only 3 contractors in your area got it.
The other 9 were in different (zip code) areas.

Post back how you make out.
 

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Again, while I am not a huge fan of Service Magic, I must say I have not run into some of the things described above. I am definitely not the cheapest contractor around and I certainly don't try to be. I have had a few instances where I was thought to be way too expensive, but I have had the same things several times with non SM leads.

I have also, on a few occasions, called leads that several other contractors had called. While this has made me wonder about SM providing leads to more than 3 contractors as described in their contracts, I would guess they have a lot to lose if this were actually proven to be true. I guess I have always figured that a potential clients looking to hire, could just as easily have gone through the phone book after submitting to SM and called several other contractors to come out on their own.

I usually won't bother going out if this is the case, because someone who wants 8 estimate is usually the penny pincher type described above and I won't have a shot simply because out of 8 I won't be the cheapest.

I have found that I will usually land at the bare minimum 1, more often than not, 2 or more out of 4 SM leads. If the leads were $100 each, which they aren't even for large projects categories, that size of project would easily put well over $400 in my pocket and be worth the expense.

If things are slow, I don't see how you could go wrong with that, even if some of the leads were bogus, or you couldn't ever get in touch with the person.

If your closing percentage is much lower than that and you are requiring many more leads to land jobs, then I'd suggest investing in the sales side of the business, by reading some good books, or sending the people meeting with the clients to some sales training, or people skills workshops.

Of course, reputation is the most important thing. If you can't keep a good rating or reputation on the lead site, then the potential leads are going to be a lot more hesitant to hire you.

Ideally, I try to not use SM leads, and just work from referals, but if things get slow, it is nice to know yu can at least get in front of potential clients instead of doing whatever else you'd do to generate busniess.

Just my two cents.
 

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Smallcontractor, I checked out Quality Contractor Services and have come to the conclusion that you either work for them or know someone who does or are trying to get a business going. The site isn't even complete, kind of armature. I have also noticed they you were pushing this company in another thread. A little suspicious if you ask me.
 

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While I have been with service magic since 2005 it can get aggravating. Nothing pisses me off more then getting a lead and being charged 45.00 and can not get in touch with homeowner. I would get a answer machine and leave like 10 messages along with 2 or 3 emails with no response. I think SM can work well depending what the trade is and where your located. this year alone a paid 5600 to service magic while I had many lost leads do to the homeowner and some due to my slowww response. leads from them put 100k back into the Co. All so have to keep in mind al the time and effort going on the leads,doing load calculation, ect,,,
 

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Is that 100,000 gross, or 100,000 net profit.

If gross, then if all those leads you closed, lead to a sell of a furnace change out at 3200 dollars per change out.

It added 179 dollars to the cost of each those change outs in the form of over head.

And if 3200 is your normal change out charge. You lost 179 dollars on each of those jobs, over a job that you would have done by referral.
On their lead fee alone.

So do you add 10% more over head into your estimates on those leads, or just add an additional 5% to all estimates you do, weather or not they came from SM.
 

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New Lead Generation Site

Hey guys, I have been in the construction business for over 30 years and know how difficult finding decent leads can. This is why I am in the process of developing a site for contractors to connect with homeowners.

I'm an actual contractor with a degree in Computer Information Systems and build my own websites to generate leads for my little company. We are generating some leads from around the country and more everyday, and looking for competent contractors in the home improvement business to make referrals to.

Since I am in the development stages of this site, any leads generated in your area are free for now. However once the site is completed I will be requiring some kind of fee. But for now, I just want to get this thing off the ground. That's as honest as I can be. All I as is that you ad a reciprocal link on your site.

Feel free to submit your link on my site at http://www.myhandymanpage.com/submit-site/

Submit your info and I will have it available next time we get a lead in your area. Help us grow, we'll help you grow... fair enough?
 

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As far as rankings go...I use Home Advisor, mainly because they pop up 1,2 or 3 every time I search for a General Contractor in my area. And I come up on the first page. Am I thrilled with Home Advisor? HELL NO!!!! Most times I feel like they are ripping me off by sending me leads that are far from being qualified. And then I play Hell trying to get credit for them. I could go on, but that's for another post. But I have a meager budget with them, only a couple hundred dollars a month, and I get a lot of exposure for that price. I am looking to spend some money on SEO after the first of the year. Any suggestions or recommendations for a good company would be appreciated. Everyone have a safe and productive week.
 

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I dropped Home Advisor...there were a lot of utterly useless leads and it became difficult to justify the expense. Yodle has been calling...anyone have any experience with them?
 

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As far as rankings go...I use Home Advisor, mainly because they pop up 1,2 or 3 every time I search for a General Contractor in my area. And I come up on the first page. Am I thrilled with Home Advisor? HELL NO!!!! Most times I feel like they are ripping me off by sending me leads that are far from being qualified. And then I play Hell trying to get credit for them. I could go on, but that's for another post. But I have a meager budget with them, only a couple hundred dollars a month, and I get a lot of exposure for that price. I am looking to spend some money on SEO after the first of the year. Any suggestions or recommendations for a good company would be appreciated. Everyone have a safe and productive week.
Hey Glenn,
SEO is obviously the way to go since you're building something for the future. Just want to say to be very careful if you're looking to source it. A lot of companies still operate in the climate a la 2011, 2012...etc and hinge their work too heavily on Google's algorithm, which of course changes all the time and could lead to problems. Avoid any company that "guarantees" rankings (huge red flag) among other red flags. Best luck.
 

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As far as rankings go...I use Home Advisor, mainly because they pop up 1,2 or 3 every time I search for a General Contractor in my area. And I come up on the first page. Am I thrilled with Home Advisor? HELL NO!!!! Most times I feel like they are ripping me off by sending me leads that are far from being qualified. And then I play Hell trying to get credit for them. I could go on, but that's for another post. But I have a meager budget with them, only a couple hundred dollars a month, and I get a lot of exposure for that price. I am looking to spend some money on SEO after the first of the year. Any suggestions or recommendations for a good company would be appreciated. Everyone have a safe and productive week.
How are you getting exposure from HA.They are sending you a lead,sometimes bogus,taking your money for a job that you cannot make a contact to sell.Your website is redirected to them if you have one.Your paying money to HA for their exposure.Not yours.Nobody that called HA for a lead is going to call you.They will call HA.Then you can pay them again if it was a legitimate lead.
 

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Lead services like Home Advisor get a LOT of bad quality leads and they don't take the time to weed out the bad ones.

The best approach here from my perspective is to find a guy that build a lead gen site for you. You can agree on the desired quality of the leads and you won't get charged for bad leads

Just my 2 cents.
 
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