Lead generation sites have only there own interests in mind
We parted ways with Home Advisor. Here is why.
Using Home Advisor for leads seems to make since in the beginning. It is after you learn about everything that they do to keep their name above your when being searched on Google or Bing, that you find out that you have been paying them to advertise as your competition when customers search for your company.
We gave Home Advisor a try in early 2015. They ended up being the marketing agency that brought us the most business over the course of several years. We paid a straightforward fee of around $300 to be in the directory for a year. And paid $35-$45 for roof repair leads, while they wanted around $70-$100 for full roof replacement, and installation leads. You would then share these leads with a couple of contractors. In our experience, it would normally be 2-3 other roofing companies that we would be bidding against.
We never felt that it would be profitable to pay the price they ask for the full roof replacement leads. But the repair leads were fairly reasonable, and we were able to get quite a bit of work, and met lots of awesome people. We earned best of Home Advisor from 2017-2019, and always kept the top rated and elite service badge, with a 4.97 rating, and over 55 5-star reviews.
We started finding out through homeowners that we worked with, that when they called Home Advisor and asked for our services. They would be told that we wern't performing complete roof installations. And would offer them other contractors that were currently doing entire roofs. The truth is, we simply weren't paying for full roof leads, and the other roofing contractors at the time were. We also found that in some of our directory listings, Home Advisor would use their own phone number instead of ours, to confuse customers, and get a chance at taking the lead that would come to us, through the homeowners research into the companies that they were interested in hiring.
Possibly one of the worse issues people commonly have with this lead provider, is that after pausing your leads for a specific period of time (48 hours was the generic option), they would restart the amount of money you were willing to spend in a month. And would sometimes send an overwhelming amount of leads when your spend target reset at midnight of the day you started receiving leads again. Hundreds and even thousands of dollars can be lost in a very short amount of time, if you do not keep a watchful eye on your account. Also, some fake leads would be credited, while others would not be if the lead went to a working phone number or email. This would happen regardless of if the customer had already had the work done, or never replied to confirm the lead was legitimate in the first place.
If you are a roofing contractor, or any other type of business that is using Home Advisor, they will do everything they can to be found when the name of your company is searched on the internet. It's not only the leads that they receive through other means of advertising that interests them. They are fully invested in getting all of the easy brand name search leads that would normally go to your company when a potential customer is searching for you online.
We have spent thousands, upon thousands of dollars in advertising with HA as a local roofing company in the North Atlanta Metro Area. When we finally cut ties with them early this year, we walked away with nothing for all of our hard work and loyalty to their platform. All evidence of previous advertisement is wiped away if you do not continue to pay for their services. There are other review sites, such as Facebook, and Google, that you can build a basic advertising platform at no cost, and work from their with paid advertising and marketing. The bulk of your hard work stays in place when you step away. Your files, reviews, and other information are not at risk of vanishing.
We have tried Angie's list advertising, Home Advisor, Thumbtack, and others. Starting out, these may be a good way to be found, but if you don't also invest in your own online presence at the same time. You will find that you are no where to be found, when people would normally find your company organically in a web search. While most, if not all of the available platforms to advertise on, have paid programs for the businesses that use them. Some will let you build a foundation, only to pay for the services that you feel will benefit your company at the given time.