Posted by Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator
July 30, 2019
If you’re in the home service industry, you already know how important it is to find reliable ways to connect with homeowners. One of the best ways to find your next customer? Local service provider directories like Angie’s List.
The main drawbacks of these sites are the required time and money involved. If you set up a profile with a directory, it requires a significant investment in time to properly monitor your presence online and money to increase your visibility via advertising.
With that said, there are plenty of service directories to choose from, including free ones! You’ll simply need to decide which one makes the most sense for your company, current market conditions, and your local service area.
Check out our comprehensive list of websites like Angie’s List below to find the right portal for your specific business so you can reach the volume and type of customers you want for your company. Before you know it, you’ll be converting visitors to your website into profitable leads!
As we mentioned above, one of the most popular referral sites is Angie’s list which acts as an online meeting place for homeowners to connect with local pros in their area. As a business owner, you can create a free profile so potential customers can find you.
While it’s true there’s no cost to join and to claim your business on Angie’s List, your mere presence on the site doesn’t guarantee you’ll be seen. This is because where you end up in the organic search (aka unpaid) results depends on the number of reviews you have and your overall average rating.
Your rankings can climb and drop based on the reviews that come in–but you can overcome a lack of reviews and poor visibility by using the optional paid ad services. As a paid advertiser, you’ll be positioned above other search results and listed with your Angie’s List certification, any Super Service Award, your number of reviews, and if you’re offering any discount codes.
Businesses that don’t pay for advertising appear in a much more bare bones–less “appetizing”–format in the Angie’s List search results. Depending on your particular market and category, there might be as many as 14 advertised results per search so it may be a worthwhile investment to pay into these services to grow your reach and stay competitive.
You’ll have to decide whether the investment in the paid Angie’s List features is worth it based on the budget you’ve set aside for marketing.
Around $200 a month
Per-click ad rate driven by the market
Ranges from $4 to $8 – can rise higher from there
Small to medium businesses
The market is saturated with Angie’s List competitors and one of those websites might just help you grow your business and take the busywork out of finding new customers.
Keep reading for our comprehensive list of Angie List’s alternatives including HomeAdvisor, Pro Referral, Porch, Houzz, and Thumbtack.
HomeAdvisor is not quite as well-known as Angie’s List (despite being owned by the same parent company) but still offers promising terms for home service professionals. HomeAdvisor is geared toward pros who want fine-tuned control over their budgets and the ability to set lead preferences.
Over 30 million homeowners have used the site over its history. It’s a tried and true directory that offers flexible account settings so you can modify your spend 24/7.
$350 annual fee
Lead generation costs from $15-$20 per lead or more
Small to medium businesses
If you’re deciding between using Angie’s List vs. HomeAdvisor but end up not moving forward with either, there are still plenty of choices out there that provide similar services.
Pro Referral, a site powered by Home Depot, is a portal you can use to connect with potential customers in your immediate area. It supports professionals in the home service industry like carpenters, housekeepers, electricians, plumbers, handymen, general contractors, masons, and landscapers.
It only takes 15 minutes to set up your profile, add services, add a work area, and to send in your required verification documents. Customers who are shopping at Home Depot stores or who are online looking for service pros are matched with your profile and sent to you as a qualified, free lead.
This platform requires identity verification, a background check, general liability insurance, and a state contractor license. It’s a great tool for small businesses looking for a free way to increase customer volume and brand awareness. The only cost you’ll be on the hook for is a $39.99 background check fee.
No membership fee
No cost for leads
$39.99 background check fee
You pay this fee once and then every two years thereafter
By joining Porch, home service professionals like yourself can create a customized business profile where you can display your expertise, credentials, reviews and project highlights to entice new customers. You can specify details such as your service area and home improvement projects or repairs you specialize in.
You can also decide how you’d like leads sent to you–via email, text or direct phone calls. In addition, you’ll be able to buy leads individually or set a monthly budget and get leads automatically. Or, you can combine those two options.
You also have the choice to upgrade and become a Vetted Pro to gain access to additional features. As a Vetted Pro, you’ll receive a special badge that denotes your trustworthiness in addition to your cool new title. Porch will also offer you 5% back on leads when customers purchase on-demand through the site.
First year $259.00
Small to medium businesses
Houzz is a great place to meet homeowners looking to hire service professionals for a variety of projects. In fact, 74% of users on Houzz plan to build, remodel, or redecorate in the next two years. For you, that means a captive population of potential customers looking exactly for what you have to offer.
One of the best parts of Houzz is that pros can collaborate with their clients in the cloud. You can also present potential clients with highlights of your past work by posting portfolio pictures, reviews, and have direct interaction with the Houzz community.
With a robust 2.3 million pros on Houzz, there are plenty of opportunities to help clients with home building, remodeling, and designing. Plus, there are 40 million active homeowners on Houzz that could turn into qualified leads for your business.
Basic account is free
$250 a month at the low end
Small and medium businesses
Thumbtack connects potential customers with local businesses, much like the other sites on this list. However, the difference here is that customers describe the type of services they’re looking for and then, leads are sent out to service professionals within the selected area. At this point, you have the chance to decide whether or not you want to apply for the job.
Service providers are required to pay a fee which varies by industry and can go up to as high as $15 to send prospects a response with their contact information.
With that said, leads for larger jobs are usually bigger. For projects like kitchen remodels, you may see leads costs in the range of $50-$60.
Thumbtack also allows businesses to promote their company, so you’ll rank higher in Thumbtack’s search results for the types of jobs you’ve pre-selected as projects you’re always looking for. As a bonus, you’ll get a 20% discount and pay for leads automatically that match your specifications. Here is a list of Thumbtack competitors.
Pay per lead
Cost based on these four criteria:
Type of job (bigger the job, the more the lead costs)
Size of job
Number of pros available
If you decide to pay to promote your company
You can set a weekly budget and adjust as needed
Cost depends on the budget you set
Small or medium businesses
As a small business, sometimes it can feel like a second job finding new customers. But with service directory sites, you can make the most of your limited time and resources. You’ll have to decide which site offers the best terms and conditions for your particular business model and services–and whether or not you’d like to pay for their premium services to appear higher in search results.
If you need even more help organizing your online presence, you may want to consider using Housecall Pro, a helpful business dashboard app built for trade service industry professionals.
This app helps streamline your back-office busywork like automating requests for service reviews and creates a seamless process for managing all aspects of your business. From payment processing to scheduling, we know how much you have on your plate. But with the right tools and small business management software at your disposal, you’ll be on your way to getting new leads, retaining loyal customers, and growing your business.
Housecall Pro is rated the #1 software to run your HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpet Cleaning and other home service businesses. Our features allow you to schedule and dispatch jobs, get booked online, send invoice and receive payment within minutes whether if you are in the office or out in the field. This comprehensive software can help you grow revenue by 30% in one year and save up to 500 hours a year. Join all the other successful home service businesses who have already started and try Housecall Pro for 14 days free today.