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topic id 25265: Pricing
topic id 24883: The purpose of promotion and set your budget in advance
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topic id 26197: Paying twice for the same lead
topic id 22064: Questionable leads
topic id 14288: Declined "Leads" charged
topic id 19454: Marketing Executive From Thumbtack Chooses Promoted Lead, Then Radio Silence
topic id 18206: New Model?
topic id 100: Is quick reply worthy of charge?
HansenJC
Level 10

How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

When customers do an initial search for a Pro, where does Thumbtack get the zip code? (No, they do not ask the customer.) I have tried it. Even when I clear the Zip code, and then open TT without logging in, I see my local Zip code. Where did that come from? Is Thumbtack taking it from my IP address or the location of my phone? If so, is it possible that customers are finding Pros who would not wish to be found at the location of the computer or the phone where the searcher is located?

Is there a place for the JP to enter their address and zip code after they choose the Pro? (I cannot test this myself without choosing a Pro)

If TT is inferring a location for the work on a JP's home, how would they search for Pros near Grandma's house two towns away? They are not even asked or prompted to enter a Zip code. (I was not asked.) What if they want to find a Pro near their vacation home? For jobs that are done at a venue such as a church wedding or a reception, when does TT give the customer the opportunity to think about where the work will be done before they choose the pro they want to send them a quote? The pro has already been chosen.

I fear that TT is assuming too much. They make an assumption without even checking with the customer to verify the Zip code for the search of desirable Pros. Thumbtack has the whole thing backwards. They collect no data on the job until the Pro has been tagged by the JP and is then set up to be charged by Thumbtack.

Zip Code.png
John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections
Occupations (1)
States
7 responses
HansenJC
Level 10

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

And what about the Job Specifications that are intended to help the Pros "Target" the jobs they wish to receive as leads? Like the size of the Job? Thumbtack does not ask the customer what the details are. Yet the Pro is selected based only on the category and the Zip code. How could Targeting EVER work?! The Pro just gets selected by Zip Code.

John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections
Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

@HansenJC when a customer first begins their request a zip code will appear based on our reading of their location. They can change the zip code shown right next to the search button in the screenshot you've attached. If the customer deletes the zip code shown they cannot continue with their search until one has been put in and the zip code field will turn red (also shown in your screenshot).

One of the questions that the customer is asked when contacting the pro is for them to confirm where they need the home inspector (see attached screenshot). This will verify that the original zip code in the search is correct, or the customer can enter a new one. In an instance where a customer may change the zip code when asked to verify it can affect whether the contact for the pro is a partial or exact match based on the pros preferences. 










For home inspection, once a customer begins to contact a pro from the list they'll be asked a series of questions. The list of questions we ask the customer about their home inspection reflect the preferences you can set. Square footage, why they need the inspection, bedrooms, bathrooms, a question about other things in the house (attic, pool, chimney, etc), the type of property, etc. Based on the answers to these questions and how they match the pros preferences we determine the type of contact that the pro will receive. 

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HansenJC
Level 10

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

@Kameron  Thanks for the explanation. Please see this from a Customer's perspective. If I am not a match for the job, why am I shown in the list of Pros who are presented to the customer based entirely on Zip Code? The wrong Zip Code? Thumbtack is not helping the customers find the right Pros for the job when they offer the Pros that the customer may choose from BEFORE the program has any details about the job. This is not Targeting. It is a grab bag.

My suggestion is that Thumbtack should gather the details on the job first and then show the MATCHING Pros to the customers. It will be less frustrating to the customers. Pros that match the Job will be a much better list than Zip code matches.

You said it yourself. Thumbtack has determined a Zip code which will be used in the selection of Pros who will be listed based on its reading of the customer's location.  ~~And the program is "Reading It Wrong".~~  Just let the customer tell you where the Job is - don't guess.
I also think that when using a phone, the customers "accept" the wrong Zip code because they want to get on with the process. Reviewing the Zip code of the job location as the last step is the WRONG TIME to be thinking about the Job location. Use the hierarchy of importance. The Job location should be the FIRST step and it should be done by the only sentient being who knows where THE JOB will be located. Don't use the location of their phone or computer when they are contacting Thumbtack. Phones are mobile and laptops are too. They may even be logging on from work, or on vacation.

You gotta do better. (Not you personally @Kameron, but Thumbtack must do better.)

The location is a part of the Thumbtack promotional line on the first page that the customers see: "Find Local Professionals.....". Start with the location and get that right first. Job location is the first key to finding the right Pros. The search for a Pro will be difficult when the wrong key is given to the customers.

Just ask the customer where the job is located BEFORE they see a list that includes the wrong Pros.

John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections
HansenJC
Level 10

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

@Kameron Let me explain that Thumbtack does NOT allow me to target the jobs that I want. Yes this is off topic, but it is still relevant to the idea of placing the right Pros in the list of Pros that the customers may choose never really happens when I want to target jobs very differently than Thumbtack allows me to.

I want home less than 50 years old. TT once had the age of the house in the questions that you asked the customers. Now that question is gone. Bring it back. Older homes take longer to inspect and the reports are much longer. Not knowing the age of the home increases the risk that I take when I bid the job competitively against all the other TT Pros. 

New construction is NOT the same as recently renovated, or rehabbed, or remodeled. In fact, recently renovated and rehabbed is cyber-code for a flip house. Flippers often do terrible things to a house to make it look good. This takes a home inspector far more time to uncover all that has been covered up by the flipper. And you do not ask about Bank Owned homes. Bank Owned homes are in terrible shape. The utilities are often times not turned on, and the inspection frequently takes a second trip after the bank gets their act together.

And with very tight margins, driving a long distance to any job is a painful slow drip of financial losses and time wasted. Sending me leads that are 2x, 3x, or 4x times my preferred travel distance is a high risk lead.

And we still get leads from states where I am not licensed. Fix that please.

John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections
nora
Level 6

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

All very valid points.
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Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

@HansenJC thanks for sharing your point of view around this. I want to reiterate that we do attempt to get as much information from the customer about their job upfront as we can, including correct location. As I mentioned when the customer chooses to reach out to you directly if they are not a match for you're preferences or travel it will have an effect on the type of contact you receive is an exact match or partial match. In the case of a partial match, you can review and accept or decline the lead. 

In regards to your feedback about the age of the house, I'll be notating and sharing that feedback to see about the age of the home being added back into the preferences list.

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HansenJC
Level 10

Re: How does Thumbtack determine the job location when a customer is searching for a Pro?

@KameronAgain, you are writing this response as if you are speaking to my concerns.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Why would a customer want a list of pros that was less than 100% relevant to their job location? Then, once they have selected one or more Pros to send they job request to, Thumbtack has done nothing to identify the distinction between the Exact Match Pros, and Partial Match Pros. The customer has no way to filter Exact or Partially matched Pros. Show the customers the proximity that a Pro is to their job, the degree of match accuracy to their job selection criteria, and then sort the Pros in that order and you will serve the customers and the Pros more completely.

John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections