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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:Thumbs: We are starting an easy to use web site for Customers to come online and post a service need (for free). Service Providers (Contractors) can join for as little as $10/mo and get email alerts of all incoming Service Requests in their zone (You pre-set how wide you want us to throw your net.) No commissions, no hidden fees, no pay-for-leads, no pre-screening, no gimicks.

For a little more, (total of $15/mo) you can have an add that shows up for Customers in your area. Your Logo-Ad links the Customers to your profile, and that takes them to your website. (If you don't have a site, we build and host a simple, but professional, one for you for a little more $)

The customers say whether they are ready to buy, or just price shopping. You get the email alert, and you come online and post an estimate for the work. Nothing is binding. The customer gets to look over the various Contractors who responded and call whom they want. Simple. You can stop your service anytime, no obligations. We are investing in a heavy advertising campaign to get Customers to try the site.

Your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well...I am NOT saying the name of the site. I have been careful to not even hint at it. I am not seeking new contractors from or through this site. I am only looking for feedback. We are not a pressure selling kind of operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How many potential Customers per month would you need, to justify $10 per month membership fee, which gave you alerts daily of all Customers looking for your service?
 

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DGR,IABD
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newmatchservice said:
... and you come online and post an estimate for the work. Nothing is binding.
That's debatable.

Anyhow... how the hell can I offer a professional estimate through email without looking at the job?

newmatchservice said:
How many potential Customers per month would you need, to justify $10 per month membership fee, which gave you alerts daily of all Customers looking for your service?
I'll translate that for you guys.... "We ain't spending squat on advertising. We just want 10 bucks a month from lots and lots of contractors. We figure that they won't bawlk about 10 bucks a month if they get luck and land a job once in a while from our leads."
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dang guys....no need for such anger at this....we are simply asking the question. And no, there is separate $ for advertising. I meant this to be a friendly question. Sorry for the duplicate thread...my bad. The estimating online is to give customers an "idea" of your pricing. You don't have to post a $ amount, but if you do, you can say it is only a general idea. And finally, yes, it is definitely non-binding. Not debatable. Just looking for some helpful (hopefully friendly) thoughts.
 

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I'll be your friend, - - but I'll still have to charge you for any input, - - you understand, - - right, friend??
 

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Pro Painter
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Here's where a problem for my company comes into play. We are hardly ever the lowest bidder. So, for starters, it would most likely not benefit us in any way to post our prices online.

Also, say I bid a job, go look at it, and it needs twice the work an avg room would. The customer ends up with a price that is double what they thought from visiting your website, but is a real world cost for proper completion of the project. The problem is, the customer loses absolutely any value they may have perceived when using your service.

I guarantee that site will be over-run with low ballers doing whatever it takes to get the initial estimate. What does it matter if you can change it when you show up for the real estimate?

Then, you have the quality of leads issue to deal with. In a purposely competitive environment like that, the leads you generate will be the type that most of us don't want to deal with.....the cheapest price buyer. Getting someone like me to compete for a low price shopper like that is going to be impossible.

You wanted constructive input.....there's my opinion.
 

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Painting Contractor
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There is such a service in Toronto.
The reality is exactly what AA is saying.
People list their projects ( no details, really..)
Then contractors come up with a price ( how?)
All the prospects get is a bunch of prices.
Then obviously they are price shopping (they have nothing else).
Most good contractors want to sell their service in a way
that price becomes almost irrelevant. And yet all they show is a price.
 

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newmatchservice said:
The estimating online is to give customers an "idea" of your pricing. You don't have to post a $ amount, but if you do, you can say it is only a general idea. And finally, yes, it is definitely non-binding. Not debatable. Just looking for some helpful (hopefully friendly) thoughts.

Newmatchserivce - I didn't read your original post well enough, I totally missed your businsess model in regard to posting estimates and letting the customer choose to contact you based on your numbers.

Politely - but you are out of your mind if you think that is a viable business model. That's a waste of time for any seasoned contractors in business, you will get the new contractors and scammers to deal with your service doing that, but that will be a death blow to your potential.

Post a quick estimate for the work - nothing is binding

You need to do some realistic research as to how bad a system that is for both parties.

Contractor says - somewhere between $3000 and $4000 dollars.
Customer hears - $3000 dollars.

What a contractor will do in order to work your system - job is probably $5000.00

Contractor knows from experience that if he tells customer the real number he never hears from him, so he does what every contractor on your system does which is low balls every estimate.

No matter how you look at it you idea is flawed.

You need to eliminate the estimate process from your system and just use it as a lead service or a means of customers and contractors to contact each other.

-- but, oops that puts you right back with everybody else. So you are stuck - like I said spend as much money advertising as Service Magic does and I will sign up, other than that what incentive is there to use your service when they are doing a better job for me than you can?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, for a second let's look at from the Customer's point of view. I am in a suburb of a big city, and my garage door just broke loose from the rail. Now, I can go to Google and put in my town and garage door service, but that gets me nowhere and is very frustrating. I can go to the Superpages and do the same, but that too just gives me a list of numbers. I have to call each one (1/4 are no longer in service), leave 4 or 5 messages and wait for call backs. Talk to each one and ONLY THEN find out if they can fix it within two days. VERY FRUSTRATING. And usually, I have NO IDEA of their service quality, I am just glad to finally find someone. But with this service I come on and post my need. I say what kind of garage door I have and basically describe the problem. I also say when I need it done. Immediately that goes out to all the contractors who are members who said they wanted to be alerted to a garage door service request in my zip code. They come on and read the request, write back, and post their basic service call price (just as they would do on the phone). I then am alerted to their estimates, and can look them over before I call. I don't have to repeat everything....the contractor already knows, and I already know if the contractor is bonded, insured, etc. I don't want Service Magic's limited number of higher-dollar contractors....all I want is someone who can come fix the dang door.

Ok....what say you to that?

(I really appreciate the input)

Oh, and I realize that many services won't work for this...but MANY will, from tax preparation services, to fence painting, to catering, to lawn care.
 

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Painting Contractor
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We are in
www.erenovate.com

It is exactly what you are proposing.
Results have been laughable.
You have people wanting to paint an entire interior with
a budget of $500.00 to $800.00.
What price exactly should we throw at them?
It has been a waste of money and mostly time.


"from tax preparation services, to fence painting,
to catering, to lawn care."

Any reason these companies would be any different?
 

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DGR,IABD
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That example you just gave doesn't make any sense. You say you want contractors, but your example makes you appear like you want to be a pimp for the local handyman services.

There's no way to get around the fact that your current model, as it only asks for sight unseen estimates, will only attract price shopping customer candidates.

No thanks. I really don't want these customers, and wouldn't pay money to potentially get more of them.

You think we're being angry? Perhaps, when necessary. Your idea sucks from a contractor's point of view. We've told you why, and you refuse to listen.
 

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newmatchservice said:
Ok....what say you to that?

(I really appreciate the input)
I say you are extremely hopeful and unfortunatly your hope is based on mis-conceptions which will lead you to end up being just another stumbling and failed poor man's version of Service Magic.

1) Using Google or superpages as an example of the only viable way customers find answers to their problems is naive but once again hopeful because you are using Internet based solutions which you want to be part of.

2) Saying that customers will only end up with poor service (leaving 4-5 messages 1-4 not in biz anymore) makes it sound like evey other service available to a customer has poor quality contractors. I have news for you but your service won't do any better than anybody elses at screening contractors. no matter how you want to explain it. So once again wishful thinking.

3) I don't want Service Magic's limited number of higher-dollar contractors.... - you have no idea about your competition, you better figure them out first because you are way- way- way off.

4) write back, and post their basic service call price - those aren't contractors those are handymen.

Your service is set up for low balling the customers, that's the only way it will work, and in reality most contractors won't bother with you because you won
't be able to deliver the goods.
 

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oooh

Mike Finley said:
Newmatchserivce - I didn't read your original post well enough, I totally missed your businsess model in regard to posting estimates and letting the customer choose to contact you based on your numbers.

Politely - but you are out of your mind if you think that is a viable business model. That's a waste of time for any seasoned contractors in business, you will get the new contractors and scammers to deal with your service doing that, but that will be a death blow to your potential.

Post a quick estimate for the work - nothing is binding

You need to do some realistic research as to how bad a system that is for both parties.

Contractor says - somewhere between $3000 and $4000 dollars.
Customer hears - $3000 dollars.

What a contractor will do in order to work your system - job is probably $5000.00

Contractor knows from experience that if he tells customer the real number he never hears from him, so he does what every contractor on your system does which is low balls every estimate.

No matter how you look at it you idea is flawed.

You need to eliminate the estimate process from your system and just use it as a lead service or a means of customers and contractors to contact each other.

-- but, oops that puts you right back with everybody else. So you are stuck - like I said spend as much money advertising as Service Magic does and I will sign up, other than that what incentive is there to use your service when they are doing a better job for me than you can?
them sounds like fightin words!
 
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