I have a concern that the phrase "# Pros Contacted" has multiple meanings and I for one do not know what Thumbtack really is trying to do with this information. Are they using this information to encourage us because very few, or no other Pros have been contacted yet by the customer? Or is Thumbtack trying to discourage us by letting us know that 2 or 3, or 9 or 10 Pros have all been contacted already, and therefor it would be a waste of our time to quote a Request that is seeing so much activity.
In the days before Instant Match, I thought that I understood how many Pros had quoted the Request. For me it meant that if 2 pros had Quoted the customer already, and I would be the third Pro to quote, and by the shear force of momentum, I would have a 1 in 3 chance of having the Customer read my quote. When 3 or more pros had quoted, the chances of being read dropped rapidly and 4 Quotes meant I was problably wasting the money I would pay to Quote the Request.
Now, I do not know what # Pros Contacted means. Is this in any way useful information? What would happen if this number matched the number of Pros that have been contacted with a chargable question or message? Would you jump on that chance to join the other Pros in the swimming pool? Would there be any water left in the pool to drink? When I see 10 pros contacted, within 3 minutes of the Request, this tells me that the customer DID NOT read everyone's Profile. Would you wish to send a Quote to a customer who contacts every Pro within 3 minutes. I would choose otherwise, but this is primarily because I do not really know what "# Pros Contacted" means.
Do you know what it means?
I could be wrong here but I think it's really just Thumbtack alerting other pros that the potential client/customer is being proactive and having conversations with other pros. In my field, I rarely see anymore than 3 or 4 pros tops are contacted and usually just 1 or 2. So, to me, it's always worth "throwing my hat in the ring." The potential client is generally not going to contact you unless genuinely interested so there should be no fear of wasting the $$ spent on contacting.
I see a fair number of Requests where every one of the Pros gets contacted. This is a concern if the the customers are more likely to be chatty than hire.
@RobBuck I can agree that some specialties, and some geographic locations have a balance that works for the Pros. But I assert that the TT system is flawed when, as I have seen in Requests that I have sent quotes on, that 12 Pros to as many as 17 Pros were contacted. The system is so flawed that it damages the credibility of TT and they should do something to improve the system other than force their Pros to agree to arbitration simply to avoid litigation. At the point where 17 Pros or even 12 Pros are contacted, TT is making more money on that Request than the Pro who gets hired. This is unacceptable. This turns TT into something quite diifferent than a lead generating platform. My difficulty with this situation is that I have no polite words to describe what TT is. And whatever I might say on this topic will surely be sensured or deleted by TT.