@CordeliaH The Thumbtack Top Pro status is unfair in this current climate of Pros whose ability to get both Requests and get hired has taken such a profound hit over these past few months.
Try this to test what I suspect to be true. Run a query on Top Pros for the past 5 years. Then run another query on that dataset to find all those Pros who are no longer Top Pros this year. Now with all the brain power available to you at Thumbtack, dig deep to find out what significant event occured to knock those Top Pros off their perch. I am willing to wager that the common denominator is the implimentation of Instant Match.
Think about this issue long and hard before you come up with the official Thumbtack rebuttal.
And to confirm my hypothesis, invite this special subset of all Pros and create a poll to get a response from them. I doubt there is more than one or two answers that would cause the decline or shift in the Top Pro status this year. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. It is Instant Match that has upset the system.
Thumbtack has moved the Top Pro goalpost and it is no longer the same game.
Hey @HansenJC - Just wanted to weigh in here, since I oversee the Top Pro program as well.
To your question, about 60% of our Top Pros are requalifying Top Pros - meaning, they've been Top Pros before and they've been able to keep their Top Pro status. Conversely, 40% of our Top Pros are new Top Pros - meaning, they've just qualified for Top Pro for the first time. This split of 60% vs. 40% has been pretty consistent since we launched the Top Pro program in 2016, before Instant Match launched.
It's also worth noting that # of hires isn't a requirement for Top Pro qualification anymore. We only look at (1) average star rating; (2) # of verified reviews; and (3) response rate within 24 hours. You can see the full explanation here.
Ultimately, Top Pro status has always signaled the same thing: that you consistently provide exceptional customer experiences to Thumbtack customers. That was the case before Instant Match, and it's certainly the case with Instant Match, too
Hi Top Pro Team
Since Q4 of 2018, I've maintained 4.8 rating and have more than 5 verified reviews. Also the Insight shows I've 100% responses within 24 hrs. Still Top Pro was not awarded in Jan, since the Insight was not updated at the time when Top Pro was being reviewed. I'm being told need to wait till June for next review. Will I not get more business for these 6 months if I can show Top Pro badge. Why this review happends semi-annually and not monthly or weekly standing on 2019. Also the review is far from perfect I believe.
Jason, Read your own link: here. That is the same description that I recall reading over a year ago. It still says 10 hires are required. RE-READ what is written there: "Top Pros respond to new customers within 24 hours at least 75% of the time." With Instant Match, we have no control over the speed with which we respond. (Yes I have written this before.) -- And, it is hard to get 5 reviews when we cannot even get 5 requests. Please do the math and tell me why I am not a Top Pro. No Requests, No Quotes, No Reviews. I have been put out of business by Instant Match. In the past, when I competed for a spot at the starting gate I had a 1 in 5 chance of getting my quote in front of the customer. I had a chance because a pro that was on the job and working was less likely to stop what he was doing and place his custom quote. Those of us sitting in front of our computers waiting for requests had a slightly better chance of getting our quote in the cue in front of others. So, there was a natural balance of work to available time to quote. Now, all of that balance has been turned on its head by a computer algorithm. That algorithm cannot create more requests in my category. There are a finite number of people buying and selling homes. All the algorithm does for a Pro is increase the number of competing quotes by 350%. (14/4=3.5) How would you enjoy a game of football with your oponent putting 38 men on the field? Please update your link here. "The Top Pro class of January 2018 had to have at least 10 hires and had no response time threshold. Additional Terms and Conditions apply." And you have not addressed the question of WHY Top Pros are not not requalifying this year. Just ask them. I do not think their quality is slipping as reflected in the 5 Star rating. I do not think the reasons are the same as previous years.
As noted on the Top Pro page you linked to, we used to require 10 hires to qualify as a Top Pro, but we removed that requirement for the July 2018 class. So for the most recent class and going forward, we are not requiring that Top Pros have 10 hires. Keep in mind that we have two Top Pro classes every year - one in January and one in July. That page is entirely up to date.
Also, when we say that you must respond to new customers within 24 hours, we mean that you must respond to their first message to you within 24 hours - we're not talking about their request. Whereas Instant Match is sending quotes on your behalf, it is not sending follow-up messages on your behalf. It is the pro's responsibility to send that follow-up message within 24 hours, once they hear from a customer.
You are right, though, that you need to get contacted in order to get reviewed. Have you spoken with anyone on our team about ways to make sure you're getting contacted as much as possible?
@JasonB, Yes, I have spoken to one of the moderators. And while the advice is intended to be helpful, it is next to impossible to get an Instant Match quote when the field of Pros is 45 and less that 25% of them can ever get quoted. (10 IM Quotes for 45 Pros). Now look at the number of jobs in this category 95. Thumbtack has still not chosen to tell us how the IM BidBot chooses who will win the Lottery and be quoted.
And knowing the quoted price spread does not tell us about the Buy Spread. I am confident that the buyers are taking the lowest 25% to 30% pricing. This is a race to the bottom.
So, for 95 jobs against 45 Pros, how many quotes would you think I can expect?
And.... @JasonB Do you understand what is required to respond? We must first be contacted. Then we must either type with our thumbs into a phone if we are out on a job, or we must have the computer open and at the ready to spring on the first sign of a reply to a quote.
If you think I have ever let a reply go stale by as much as a few hours, I want to see your records. I often reply in minutes. That is of course when I actually get a reply.
Here is a concept for you. Stick with Instant Match and add a new twist to it. Example: For the 45 Pros who all do home inspections in my areas, 10 of them get Instant Match. The other 35 Pros get shut out of the game. They ride the bench waiting for the lottery to put them into the IM game. Thumbtack should send the Request to all 35 pros who were shut out with this message: Your IM was not chosen for the lottery drawing, but you still have an opportunity for the last 5 custom quote slots. Take your best shot at writing a truly meaningful quote that might put you back into the running.
Everyone deserves a second change. As it is now, I stand a better chance (50%) of getting my custom quote in with four other Pros who do Custom Quotes because there are only 10 custom quote Pros in my category. 9 Pros who are doing Custom Quotes understand the Odds. Which odds would you rather play? 25% or 50%?