Hello! I am a home inspector trying to get business here, I joined about 2 months ago and have had zero business so far. So today I searched as a customer for a home inspector in my area to see hoe that works and my business is no where to be found. I searched in my zip code and got 24 other inspectors though. To date I have received about 40 messages from so called '..people looking for home inspectors', I always respond immediately and sent estimates to most of them. I tried both medium and finally low pricing just to see if anyone would respond, because by now I am thinking nobody is receiving my estimates and I have no way of confirming if they did. But finally yesterday I got my first reply, but only because the customer asked me if my 225.00 fized price covered the cost of two inspections, really? (frustrating) I was charged for the lead just because he asked that question. Most of the time the potential customer rarely fills out the form completely so I am compelled 95% of the time to ask for more information. But if I do that then I will be paying every time a potential customer ask a question that should have been made clear in their form filing process anyway. The whole Targeting or Promoting features are also a little confusing. It seems like it would work better for everyone if we just paid Thumbtack a commission for each job we got hired on. Also, I know we can pull in references from other sites and I was going to do that until during the process I was was warned that by doing so I would be allowing Thumbtack the ability to change or delete my entire business account on Google. Anyone else feel my pain? lol
Hello @InspectorRon, welcome to Thumbtack and the Pro Community! I know when you're first starting that there can be a lot to take in and learn when it comes to how the site works, so hopefully, I can be of some help.
The process that you referred to when reaching out to customers and paying when they respond, sounds like quoting manually through the Jobs tab. This is more of a secondary way to introduce yourself to customers that have already reached out to another pro directly about their project. Many times they will stick with the ones they contacted but it can't hurt to throw your hat in the ring for consideration as well.
The best way to get hired on Thumbtack is to put yourself in a competitive position in the search results and get contacted directly by customers that found and reached out to you specifically. The ways in which you can work to do this are listed in this help article HERE.
I took a look and your profile is off to a great start. The biggest things I'll recommend to help with your ranking right now are working on your reviews and setting your preferences through promoting.
You can have up to 10 reviews from customers from outside of Thumbtack and there are a few ways to do this. You already mentioned importing your Google reviews and your hesitations there. Another route could be to share your public review link with past happy customers. You can learn more about how to do that and asking for reviews HERE.
When you promote your business, you set preferences to get in front of more of the right customers. Because you’ve told us these are the jobs you always want (and that you’ll provide a great customer experience), we’ll give you a rank boost so the right customers are more likely to find you in search results. Setting preferences for your business is an easy way to boost your ranking in search results, and that gives you a better chance for customers to find you.
I know this is a lot of information, but I hope it helps. If you have any additional questions let me know.
I appreciate your prompt response! I know I said a mouthful before and you addressed a lot of it, I will try to keep this more brief and seperate the questions for everyone's benefit.
So if I understand this.. Right now if I look for a home inspector in my very small town zip code 30011, I get 24 results and none of them are mine, I just tried. So my questions are;
1. In order to "Show Up" in those 24 results I have to "Turn on Targeting Preferences" or what is now called "Promote" correct?
2. Promoting sounds simple enough, and my Promoting choices are basic questions I need to answer like, "Target Location?" 50 mile radius, "Service Provided?" Home Inspection, "Business Hours?" Monday thru Sunday 9-5. Is that about right?
3. All 24 Inspectors pay the lead fee to "Show Up", but the customer may only contact one of them, is that correct?
Thanks again for helping!!
@InspectorRon happy to help and clarify these things as best I can.
I have done some more reading around this, please forgive me if you already explained this. I have seen several articles, videos and messages regarding all this and some seem a little vague. @Mckelle and @Lisa offered help too, so just to keep it all in one place I will seek help here only.
We're happy to clarify @InspectorRon! If a customer reaches out to you directly, their job will still get sent to other pros Jobs tabs for them to quote on if they'd like to. Customers also have the option to reach out to multiple pros. I have personally never seen a customer reach out to as many as 24 pros, but they are able to.
I understand where your concerns are coming from though. If you're on or in between jobs and customers reach out to you, have you thought of possibly just sending them a quick note saying "I'm in between jobs right now, but will look over your request and get back to you in a few hours." I've seen many pros do that and have found a lot of success with that. Let me know what you think!
@InspectorRon The only way all 24 would get charged is; if all 24 pros have their targeting preferences set, the customer's job is a perfect match to those preferences, and the customer chooses to reach out to all 24 pros (which is very rare from what I've seen.) If a customers request matches the pros targeting preferences and they reach out directly to the pro, that's when the pro is charged. If pros quote on that job through the Jobs tab, they won't be charged until the customer responds.
@InspectorRon no need to be sorry, we're more than happy to give you clarification! 1) Yes, if the customer only contacts one pro, only that pro is charged. 2) Yes, the job can go to other pros Jobs tab, but they will only get charged if they decide to send that customer a quote and the customer responds to that pro.
I recommend watching this video with more info on when a pro is charged. If after watching that you have further questions, don't hesitate to reach out!