People are always in need of a contractor to handle various home improvement projects, large or small. With its marketing tactics, Service Magic makes it seem as though you are receiving qualified contractors to present free quotes. Keyword: “Free” (estimates and quotes). Now, I want to define the word, free. What is free? Is the contractor’s or sales rep’s gas free? How about vehicle maintenance’s, tires, oil changes, brakes, transmission services, are they free? Let’s go a step further; what about the contractor’s or Sales rep’s time, is that really free? It is my assessment of the “free” situation that somebody is getting paid for all of these services, except the contractor. These are contractor or sales rep expenses. Now let’s add service categories to the free estimate issue concerning the marketing tactics performed by Contractor Referral Websites.
There are multiple categories for home Improvements and sometimes those categories get overlapped. When this happens, you will soon receive multiple phone calls. This will continue until you answer them all or just get plain frustrated with the call volume. Why does this happen? Here’s why: As part of this pre-qualified free service to you, the homeowner, each offers multiple categories. These categories include: Siding, Windows, Roofing, Kitchens, Baths, Painting, Room additions, etc. You, as just a homeowner who is shopping, are basically a goldmine for the lead referral service. Meanwhile, the contractors are paying.
The submission form for a free estimate does result in multiple contractors being contacted and, of course, your phone ringing off the hook. Because these construction sales’ leads are force-fed to the contractors within the system, who are trying to survive and stay in business, you can expect the constant contact. In some cases, a contractor may just show up at your home when you least expect it. They are being charged, at the same time, anywhere from $35.00 to $70.00 each for your submission for a free estimate. Add that up by 3 to 10 Contractors on average. Can you blame a contractor who has a credit card that is being tagged over and over?
This affects you! Multiple confusions and people who are not as financially set as others are helping this travesty of marketing management, or spamming of homeowners and contractors, by the contractor referral services. This will make some contractors become upside down financially before they can start your project, and possibly fail you in the long-run. Free is not the path of a good end result. Having made this point, please put yourself in the contractor’s shoes of providing great service. If you are getting leads that cost you money every time your cell phone goes off and you have to jump into making a phone call almost immediately, as well as setting an appointment against 3 to 10 other contractors, how are your current projects going to suffer if you are not able to manage your existing projects hands-on?
Please rethink free estimates on these types of websites before you submit your information to any contractor lead referral service. We, as contractors, can appreciate that you are just beginning shopping for a home improvement project. If you are not ready to move forward in a reasonable time frame, then we also appreciate you waiting until you are financially ready. Your contractor or sales rep’s time is very important and should be considered as such. Contractor referral services are, of course, the “big fish” in all of the search engines. This is why I have used them as an example. There are many more of these types of services on the internet, and I recommend checking out the firms before you start submitting your information. By the way, pre-qualified does not mean an excellent end result. You still get what you pay for in the long-run, but many contractors simply build in the rate of failure per lead right into the job.