Have a question for Marco?

Community Veteran
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On Thursday, March 21st, we'll be hosting a live Q&A with Thumbtack CEO and co-founder, Marco Zappacosta (@MarcoZ).
 
Post your question here for a chance to win $100 in Thumbtack credit. Terms apply.
 
Want to know what we're working on at Thumbtack? Interested in learning more about our vision and strategy?
 
Marco will answer some of your questions live during the Q&A on March 21st.
 
All other questions will get a written response in the days that follow. Our moderation team is on hand to answer support questions, too.
 
Thanks for all that you do!
348 responses
Active Community Member

What's the longterm plan for TT? Going public or getting sold?

Active Community Member

What time?

Active Community Member

Where, What Time and How do I Join? Thx ~

Active Community Member

Do you only want questions from people who saw your announcement at this website?

Why don't  you announce something like this to everyone via email?

Active Community Member

I'm interested in hearing an answer to the previous question about getting sold or going public.

The changes over the last year seem like you're trying to squeeze every last drop of $ to show to prospective buyers.

Community Expert

@p19581 

I agree! Not everyone visits the Forums on a daily basis. I know of a few Pros who gave up the Forum because they felt that they weren't being heard. I also second an email blast to notify ALL Pros of Marco's live Q&A!

Active Community Member

Here is my question for Marco:

"Would you submit to a polygraph from a respected outside agency and answer questions about whether or not you, or people you know, are generating fake leads within Thumbtack"?

I have been with TT since 2013, and have around 388 hires (and another 80+ repeats). While I am dubious. A great many TT Pro's seem to be making this claim.  A little too many to discount as outliers, or crazy mental case people.

This is a sore spot for a great many TT Pro's. If you do not believe me; make it a question in your official survey's.

TackMaster
TackMaster

My questions for Marco:

1) What was your original vision, or concept for the changes made to "Promote" when it was in the planning stages? In your opinion, were the changes made due to the needs of customers, pros, or due to Thumbtack as a company?

2) What does long-term success of Thumbtack look like for you?

3) Are there any questions you think pros should be asking that we aren't?

Active Community Member

Marco,

Q1)  Would you consider adding a "winning Pro pays a fee" model that discounts all charges by 10% but adds a 20% fee for the winning pro?  I've posted more details about the concept here:  https://community.thumbtack.com/t5/How-Thumbtack-works/Thumbtack-should-charge-Pros-for-job-wins/m-p...

Q2)  Would you consider charging customers $5 to post after they have posted 2 consecutive jobs and have not hired a Pro?

Q3)  Would you consider deleting reviews from customers that never actually hired the pro (positive or negative reviews)?

Q4)  Would you consider forcing the job poster to type a minimum number of characters to describe what they are looking for?

Q5)  Would you consider making a "hire this pro" button?  Currently it is not obvious to most people how to mark a pro as hired.

Q6)  Would you consider moving the manual bid quotes/messages to the cusomter's Thumbtack inbox rather than just notifying them with a green bar that says "showed interest".  It feels like you are hiding the manually sent quotes. 

Q7)  Would you consider social media verification for job posters (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc)?

Q8)  Would you consider removing the canned responses from the job posters?    

Q9) Would you consider dividing the platform into two camps?  Personal projects and B2B projects.  Could be the very first question you ask the customer "Is this a personal project/task or is this for a business?".  Allow pros that only want to do B2B to opt out of personal project notifications.  

Q10)  Why are there so many technical "glitches" with the platform that your staff is aware of, but has never fixed?

Examples:

A)  Pros getting leads outside of the geographic area they selected

B)  Pros getting leads for types of jobs they don't do

C) Certain categories don't allow for pricing.  Pros can't opt out of getting notifications for jobs below a certain price point.

 

Active Community Member

Do you plan on holding events in major cities within the U.S. to meet pros?  I'd like to see a Thumbtack Pro Annual Conference where the top pros in the U.S. get awards, give seminars, and engage with other pros.

Active Community Member
I Agree! Love the questions.
Active Community Member

Yes, I can't help but suspect that to date the leads I've paid for have come directly via Forrest Lawn cemetery.

Community Regular
How can we handle the customer contacting a Pro, the Pro responding to no answer and having to still pay a 86.00 lead fee. I’ve stopped using thumbtack after no solution from support. I would not have to pay if I sent a quote with no response. I became a Top Pro Handyman in the city of Atlanta in 6 months using your company. You really are losing an asset.
Community Regular
Why is it my business gets a bunch of leads, or a customer reaches out, and when we respond to them NOBODY EVER RESPONDS back??? Yet we have wasted yet another week of money paying for leads that produces NO hires and or NON responsive customers. That's so aggravating. Are these leads fake? We need answers, assp. Thanks!
Community Regular
Will you be advertising more to bring in new customers?
Community Regular

I own my own DJ company. I don't have any employees so as soon as I'm booked for a day I can no longer quote for events on that day. For businesses like mine that are "date specific" the automatic quoting option doesn't work very well. I spent a lot of money last year on quotes for posts that I was unavailable to actually perform. 

Is there anything in the works where a business like mine can have an online calendar where we can mark out dates as unavailable so that an "auto-quoting" program won't send out replies for those specific days?

Thank you.

Community Newcomer

I have a few questions:

1) how do I put my status as Pro on my profile for potential clients to see?  it is not there, and I have no clue how to add it.

2)  I have been getting several wedding potentials from way out of my area.  it is time consuming and a waste for me to continually delete these.  I have sent email to ask not to be given further than 60 miles, but still recieve MANY from Pennsylvania, Buffalo,  Albany, and places near New york City!  I used to get many in my area of Syracuse, but very few this year.  Can you please help me with that?

3)  you have sent me potentials under a heading of (Promoted).  and these I am being charged for even if I do not respond.

I have sometimes already been booked on that date, but you charge me because they fit my profile!  this is not fair.  I feel pressured to answer them to see if I can change their time to fit it in, but that has not worked out.  so I do not want to get charged for what I do not respond to.  example:  a person wanting healing in Rochester that I did not respond to, showed I was charged anyway because it fit my profile!  please let me know if this will continue or if you can stop charging me for what i am not responding to.  

4)  can I have different subtitles for my different businesses without a problem, so I dont have to have them all under one heading?

Thank you,  Reverend Beverly Owen

Community Regular

Why doesn't TBT do more for its Top pros. There is very little reward. How about discounted quoting for top pros. I've been a top pro for 4yrs now

Highlife Productions

Community Newcomer

Thumbtack changed how it charges for leads so that now I have to pay just to start a conversation with someone who has supposedly "picked" me from my profile. But I get people all the time asking for services I don't provide, or who are outside of my service area. Under the old model I could respond to them to tell them I didn't service their area or do board and train or provide some other service they were looking for so they at least got a response. Now it would cost me $15 to do this. Simply not responding makes me look unprofessional and doesn't make Thumbtack look useful. I've called multiple times and spoken with customer service about this, but nothing changes. I am also spending hunderds of dollars more a month responding to leads and get lower results. Most people are tire kickers and not really interested once they realize the costs. I can't post prices up front because my price ranges and there is no option for that in your template. 

Community Regular

The pricing model for Event Catering is completely off especially for the NYC market. A customer cannot get Premium ingredients for ($) money. that does not exist. in addition events that require, more than just food, event staff, beverages, equipment are WAY MORE then the current price structure. When we cater weddings for all Food, Beverage, Staff and equipment you are looking at $250-$270 per person!

 

HIGHLIFE PRODUCTIONS

Community Regular

why have you raised my price for a 45 min golf lesson 95%

Active Community Member

Firstly, I love most of the changes you've made. I love the new model. Having the customer come to me has been a terrific game changer. Yes! 

Here are my questions:

1.  The company has changed its business model a few times now. I think pros and maybe customers (and staff, I imagine) have change fatigue. Some of us plan our work with Thumbtack around your new model and go with the flow, but it takes getting used to. What is your long view when it comes to more process changes? Do you think your approach will be transient or do you feel you've now found a long term approach?

2. You have the unenviable tough job of having to please many parties in many fields. How do you balance this? How do you ensure you're being fair?

Community Regular

Can you make the potential customers profile picture clickable so that I can enlarge it?  I do complimentary initial consultations.  I meet the potential client often in Starbucks or a local restaurant.  It would be helpful if I could enlarge their profile pic in advance to recognize their face among a crowd for my initial consultation.

Please put back the ability to mark hired and to ask for a review.  My last few hires, I have to ask TT support to do these things for me.  Don't understand the reason for that change.

Can you make it so that if they do provide their phone number, we can call with a tap?

And, as mentioned by others, please correct the issue of flooding my inbox with jobs that are 100's of miles away from my targeted area.  It wastes everyones time and is not productive.  I realize that if I sign up for promote then it would be resolved, but that sounds like I'm being forced into a decision unwillingly.

Along those same lines, I completely disagree with the method of allowing a potential client the opportunity to request a unpromoted quote from me (which I like because I do not have to pay unless the customer responds).  Within seconds of her sending that to me, TT allowed her to send me another request but this one comes to me as a "New Lead" which I must pay first before sending the quote.  Support says "yes, she 'SELECTED' you based on your profile and decided she now wanted a quote specifically from you because you were 'SELECTED'.  Please, please keep things fair.  If a potential client already sent a quote request via non promote/non selected/non new lead method, please do not allow the customer the option to then switch to a new method.  It only seems to benefit TT.  Your business is technically all of our businesses.  If you keep frustrating all of these businesses, what happens next?  The pricing structure changes, this type of lead switchery, the lack of ability to even mark a job as hired anymore all do not seem to support the small businesses who use your platform. 

Community Regular
Lately in my "Jobs" category on thumbtack I have been receiving partial matches. I don't understand what these are or if I should reply or pass on them most of these jobs are at least 100 miles outside of my thumbs service area.
Community Expert

@TrainerDad good news! In your account, you already have access to the pro calendar. In the app, you can find it by clicking on the profile, the settings cog, and it will appear at the top of the page. By desktop, you can find it by clicking on the arrow in the top right-hand corner. Once you're on the calendar you can block days that you are busy and this will help with the issues you've mentioned. If a customer does reach out to you directly for a day you're booked you'll get the option to accept or decline, and if you decline we'll kindly let the customer know that you are unavailable. 

Community Regular
Why is it that Pros or even Top Pros at thumbtacktack are not involved with the any decision process at all. We always learn about thumbtack decisions after they have been implemented and have no input into the process at all. This makes our (pros) business model more reactive to your business model and feeling as if we have no input or foresight to what's happening in the future.
Stephen
Community Regular

Would you consider having all leads screened by Thumbtack professionals prior to being charged? Only, in some instances, I am given the choice to decline/accept the lead.

Active Community Member

 Why am I receiving job notifications for jobs all over Northern California when I am only interested in working in San Francisco? That’s very annoying and not helpful at all so please stop.

Community Newcomer

In the last year there has been a lot of tweaking of the inquiry distribution model.  Can you share any information about how this has helped Thumbtack and providers?

Community Newcomer

Would you consider requiring the customer to provide an address and phone contact that is then provided to the pro after the lead is paid for?  There are too many non responses or worthless information. After being the only top pro selected from our profile and paying $75, it is rediculous not to have the customer phone number and address. If they never respond, which has happened, it is hardly a valid lead to the pro.

Thank you

Community Newcomer
When will Thumbtack have the ability to share calendars with Google calendar
Community Newcomer

I have been fighting this issue for years. Why can't Thumbtack separate Weddings and Events category? I have corporate clients ask about this all the time. Thumbtack looks unprofessional to corporate people. Make 2 separate categories Corporate Photography and Corporate Videography. Weddings should be a category itself. I don't do weddings and hate to go thru all the jobs with weddings to find a few corporate jobs. Thanks, Mike

Community Newcomer

Why am I not able to set a minimum project budget for clients who reach out through the 'promote' feature. I have spent hundreds of dollars receiving requests from clients whose budget is too small for my services. Please allow us to set a minimum rate before we can be contacted for a quote.

Community Regular

For those of us using the "promote" option, why should we have to pay as soon as someone "contacts" us? In my experience, when I view the competition insights I invariably see that they also contacted several other pros. That means every one of us paid you and yet only one will get the job and only one had an actual shot at getting the job.

Your users rarely take the time to actually view my profile or website to see if they really want to hire me and they also don't know my fee until they contact me and get the automated response with my estimate. Yet, I have to pay even if once they see my estimate it's more than they wanted to pay.

Initial contact should be free and we should only be charged if we respond to that contact to begin a conversation. That would give us the chance to see exactly what they wanted and what their budget was. If their budget was too low or their description was something we weren't interested in doing, we wouldn't respond to their contact and shouldn't have to pay.

Community Regular
I totally agree! Weddings are huge in CA and consume the Events category. I had to turn mine off because I was getting all these wedding notifications and I dont do weddings.
Community Regular
Can you talk about how prices are set?
Active Community Member
Are you using more than 1 model for different catagories?

It seems, from reading forums, that some pros are still able to quote on individual leads.

I, myself, am not able to interact until a user contacts me. I no longer have any control and leads are down 95%. (Many pros agree)

How can you think that this is good for my or any other business?
Community Newcomer
I’d love to have industry based communities that could be made up of complimentary competitors — like Getting Married or Just Bought a House or DYI Designer etc and have collections of related professionals that keep clients sifting through suggested professionals in related categories to help clients stay and “shop” — ex. Bride wants a DJ but then after she puts a request out TT suggests, Have you Booked Your First Dance? And then it feeds the bridge dance teachers. It would be great for the bride, TT and Pros. Then — what about community based gatherings like all SF Based or Marin County Based Wedding professionals have industry night at a Wedding Event Venue sponsored by TT. Ideas! What do you think, Marco?! Two ideas that would help the full circle involved — client, Pro, TT and beyond. Thank you!
Community Newcomer
What is going on with the location on our profile it keeps sending me a hour away from jobs. Also is face painting in my area on strike or no longer exists because I have not gotten a job since January on Thumbtack.
Community Regular
It seems like Thumbtack is making constant changes to its platform and the Service Pros very rarely or never get notified, will thus change or are there any plans to do so?
Community Regular

I've shut off Instant Match on all of my services. The number of auto responses" When are you available", "What makes you right for this job" are just draining money. And when I respond, I get NOTHING back from these customers. This new system is seriously flawed. When the new format was announced, I was excited to be a top pro and have the opportunity to be towards the top of the list shown to potential customers, but you need to eleminate charges for the one buttom responses and only charge when it a legitimate contact i.e the customer actually writes an inquiry.

Community Newcomer

Since you have revamped Thumbtack, my customer quota has dropped quite a bit. I try to stay on top of things, having listed as "Promote" and being a "Top Pro" in my category. How do I optimize for better customer aquisition? Also, will you offer services to help your pros get return customers?

Community Newcomer

I am a wedding officiant who has enjoyed great success on Thumbtack. However, it seems every time I receive email notice of a prospective client, two or three of my competitors already have bid on the job by the time I click on it. Sometimes, EIGHT officiants have responded to the job and I’m shut out by the time I’m even aware of it! How can this be? And how can I get on the “A-List” of vendors who see the jobs first?

Community Newcomer
Why have jobs significantly slowed down for makeup in the DC area compared to last year? The estimate says 130 a month for my area but that is a lie. Just flat out a lie.
Community Newcomer
I believe all the changes has hurt my business of makeup artist with using thumbtack. Why do you think the new changes help? It seems like you’ve lost business.
Community Newcomer
I’m a makeup artist, I’ve paid for lots of jobs that customers who have selected me from the list, are not actually looking to hire anybody. I mean they selected me and I respond and then radio silence from them. This is happening more since the last round of changes to format. Their booking day goes by and I follow up again and again. Why do you think this is fair for the pros to have to pay for this? It makes me question if thumbtack is really worth it.
Active Community Member
Do your lead algorithms vary depending on whether one promotes or doesn’t promote?

Explain the differences between using each, going beyond the price break.
Community Veteran

This is exactly why I stopped using TT about 6 months ago.  From highly successful on this site to my business dropping off 100%.  I stopped all together with this site.  It was all totally profit driven for TT only.  So waited a few months and this week I am trying out "promote" to see what my results will be after one week.  I feel I can not complain unless I try out the service and see how it goes.  Last week I had requests come in that would have been $50 to respond to - whereas a year ago - and all the years before that - that same lead would be about $8-$11.  And that customer already responded to 9 pros.  Really?  How much did TT make off that one lead request?  I just hope pros are not responding to these and understand the system so they don't waste their hard earned money.  Keeping my fingers crossed that this week goes well and I book at least 1 person on the "promote".  

Active Community Member
You’re fortunate that you still have instamatch. They’ve taken it away from my category and now I have no way to interact with client. They have to sift thru all other pros and then contact me. There are no quotes at all.
Community Expert

@BeDeCluttered Instant match is no longer a feature on Thumbtack for any pro or category. If you have further questions about this feel free to send me a direct message so we can make sure you're set up in a way that best suits you and your business.