If you’re a homeowner, it’s a given that at some point in time you will a) want to make improvements to your home or b) need to make repairs to your house. It could be something as simple as upgrading your front porch lighting or as complex as replacing your home heating and cooling (HVAC) system. Depending on the complexity of the project, it may be necessary to hire a professional to do the job. The thought of finding the right home improvement contractor is what sends chills down the spines of many. It’s a process that often involves getting recommendations from trusted friends and family, scouring the internet for local contractors and reviews, making phone calls and appointments, and then spending hours of your time meeting with the various service providers you contacted. No wonder people find it to be a daunting and frustrating process.
Recognizing that this method of finding and hiring a home improvement professional can be overwhelming, numerous websites have popped up over the years in an attempt to simplify the process. Surely you have heard of at least one or two of these sites. Does the name Angie’s List ring a bell? How about HomeAdvisor? I would even bet that you or someone you know has used one of these services in the past but what exactly is it that they offer?
Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor
Websites such as Angie’s List (AL) and HomeAdvisor (HA) connect contractors with homeowners. Both sites provide the capability to search for contractors in your area and read customer reviews, though there are some differences. Angie’s List, which has been around since 1995, relies heavily on user-generated reviews and ratings. In order to search for a professional in your local area or to browse through the reviews, you must first become a paid member of the site. There are three tiers of membership on AL – basic, plus, and premium – costing anywhere from $3.75 per month to $59.99 monthly. If you want to see service providers outside your area, maybe you have a second home in another location, it will cost you extra. The charge to see this information is not always received well by homeowners. The website doesn’t even offer a free trial to determine if in fact you will find value in a membership.
HomeAdvisor, formerly ServiceMagic, is a well known competitor of Angie’s List. Like AL, it provides users with contractor listings and reviews; however, HA does not charge homeowners to use their site. The information is free for all to see and rather than the user blindly searching through their contractor listings to find someone capable and available to take on their project, there is a series of questions that must be answered in order for HomeAdvisor to match you with a contractor. The contractor is then sent the project information along with the user’s contact information.
While both sites are somewhat useful, neither are delivering everything their visitors want.
Extensive research has shown that homeowners shopping for a big ticket home improvement project will conduct a search related to the cost of the project up to 40% of the time. They are looking for something that neither Angie’s List nor HomeAdvisor are giving them, upfront prices. Of course they are looking for a great reliable contractor, who isn’t?, but what they really want to know is what their new roof, HVAC system, flooring, etc… will cost them. In order for them to find out how much money they will need to spend to get what they want, they must first invite a contractor into their home. This has been the tried and true method for getting an estimate and, although inconvenient and time consuming, it has been accepted as a necessary evil. Now if you plan to just get one estimate and go with whomever it is that shows up, it may not be that big of a deal, but the average homeowner wants 3-4 quotes before making their decision. Meeting with four contractors can easily eat up hours and hours of your valuable time and there’s still no guarantee that you are getting a good price or a qualified professional.
I know what you’re thinking “Why are telling me this, it’s old news and it’s just the way things are.” This was true for a very long time but not anymore. ServiceWhale is the first and only online marketplace for large home improvement projects that gives homeowners exactly what they are searching for. Visitors to our site can find local contractors, reviews and (get ready for it) pricing! Our patent-pending technology enables contractors to deliver instant, custom quotes using their individual pricing policy after the homeowner answers a few simple questions about their project. You can compare multiple quotes and hire a great contractor in just minutes without having them visit your home. Best of all, it’s free to use our service and once you book your project, your price is backed by our ServiceWhale Guarantee Other home improvement referral services just can’t match what we do. How do you like them apples?
Next time you are looking to make improvements or repairs to you home, be sure to visit ServiceWhale.com to find and compare contractors, reviews and prices. There’s zero risk and if you book a project on ServiceWhale, you’ll get 5% cash back after it’s completed!