Recently I have tried to quote a job after I have worked a full day and returned home to the computer.
I follow the link in my email and it opens TT to a message that says: "X pros have already quoted on XXX's request."
How many quotes are allowed befor TT cuts it off, and how can we learn this number without having to ask in support of in the community?
We have a right to know this number every time it changes. I have seen in the past as many as 17 pros quoted one job.
@HansenJC jobs in the Jobs tab will come and go very quickly. Currently, once a job is placed into the Jobs tab, we allow up to 5 pros to quote on that job. Once 5 pros have quoted it will be removed from the Jobs tab, however, customers will be able to reach out to more than 5 on their own through the search results
@Kameron This is confusing. With most of my competitors using "Promote" and the Job Poster not being able to see the quotes from non-promote Pros because those quotes do not appear in their inbox, how do I compete with the Promoted Pros?
The promote exposes me to an unacceptable level of risk because TT is unable to fine tune the selection criteria to the jobs that are truly the jobs I want. Promote is increasing my risk on every job.
@HansenJC If I remember correctly, the main factor you have trouble with when setting your preferences through promoting is based on how we ask you to list your prices, correct? While this is feedback that we've passed on from you I want to mention in case you weren't already aware that pros can still promote while hiding their prices if they feel they don't necessarily apply to them. To do this, just visit your Services page, click on the service you wish to promote (in your case Home Inspection), then Prices. From there you can set the pricing as closely as it applies to your business and at the bottom of the page click on Hide Prices. When you do this you'll continue to be promoting and have the rest of your preferences set in the meantime.
@KameronThank you for that information. This leaves me with a much deeper question now. Exactly how many Job Posters will ever contact a Promoted Pro who does not provide his pricing? OK, it is worth a shot, but do you see that one change in any way improving my odds when the Job Posters are making their choices on price?
@InspectionsJCH there are some customers who may contact a pro even if pricing isn't listed, but it just depends on the customer and what they're overall looking for. As far as your question, we don't have that data to share. One thing that you could also do is list your prices in your profile. That way, customers see it right when they look at you. As always, thanks for sharing your point of view on things.
@Meckell "... List your pricing in your profile" I have heard that advice from Thumbtack and here in reply is pretty much what I have said before..... No businessman will put his pricing strategy on display for his competitors to read. Business just does not work that way.
But here is what I have written so that the Job Poster is forewarned of the extras:
"Inspecting and reporting on a finished basement or a wood deck is an extra charge. If you have asked for that pricing in the description of your work including the size of the finished basement and the size of the wood deck, I will have those prices included in my custom quote for your request. Other inspectors may not have those prices in their quote."
Also, Thumbtack has stopped verifying state licensing of Home Inspectors so I had to add something to my profile about my State of Illinois Home Inspector License in my profile to assure the Job Posters that my License is current. This was the only way to assure me that I would get a refund from TT when I am charged for that question from a Job Poster and then ghosted. (Yes it has happened.)
I also had to add this: "Thumbtack has in the past allowed me to attach a sample report to my custom quotes, but they no longer provide that functionality. You may view a sample report of a previous Home Inspection that I have done in the past by visiting my website."
And because TT does not ask enough questions of the Job Posters I also had to add this so that I would get a refund when the Job Poster adds one of these service onto their initial request and then declines to use me because I have to increase my price over the original bid when I learn they want more work done. Thumbtack could improve all these issues if they qualified the Job Posters more thoroughly with the right questions. But they are actually asking fewer questions like the age of the house. Older homes take longer to inspect and the report writing takes longer as well. And if you say that the Job Poster gets stuck on a question then they do not know the house they made an offer on and they do not have a desireable job for any Thumbtack Home Inspector Pro.
Please take note of how many of the changes that Thumbtack has implimented in the past year have reduced the fuctionality of the program for both the Job Poster and the Pros.
@HansenJC jobs in the Jobs tab will come and go very quickly. Currently, once a job is placed into the Jobs tab, we allow up to 5 pros to quote on that job. Once 5 pros have quoted it will be removed from the Jobs tab, however, customers will be able to reach out to more than 5 on their own through the search results.
This makes perfect sense; there are a lot of hungry Pros out there waiting to get their quotes in.
What I don't understand is that this observation (i.e. that 5 Pros are quoting quickly on jobs in the Jobs tab) contradicts one of the reasons we've been told for Thumbtack's decision to abandon the old system and switch to the Search/Promote platform.
In the old system job posters would enter the details of their job and that job would appear in the Inboxes of every suitable Pro for them to respond to if they wished. Up to five Pros could quote on that job. The Jobs tab in the current Search/Promote system is to all intents an analog of how the old system used to work.
We've been told that one of the reasons for Thumbtack's decision to abandon the old system and switch to the Search/Promote system was that too often customers would enter the details of their job and NO Pro would respond at all.
This reasoning always struck me as strange because it was the complete opposite of what I observed with the old system. With the old system you had to reply very quickly otherwise 5 other Pros would beat you to the punch and get their quotes in before you. With the old system I had Thumbtack on my Wife's PC ready to bang out a quote as soon as a lead came in. If you were slow then in less than 10 minutes 5 Pros would have got their quotes in ahead of you. That's how competetive it used to be.
What @HansenJC is observing with the Jobs tab (i.e. he can't quote fast enough) and @Kameron's assertion that 'Jobs in the jobs tab will come and go very quickly', verify my own experience as to how things were with the old system. There were very few occasions where a customer wasn't contacted by at least one Pro.
This contradicts one of Thumbtack's reasons for abandoning the old system, namely that too often customers would enter the details of their job but receive no response from ANY Pro.
Look at it this way. With the old system imagine a customer enters their job details and that job ends up in the Inbox of 30 Pros. How likely is it that at least ONE of those Pros will respond to the customer. A response from at least ONE of those 30 Pros is virtually assured and its a very good bet that 5 Pros will respond in short measure to the customer as I routinely observed with the old system, and as @HansenJC is observing with the new system, which @Kameron also confirms.
If a customer wasn't receiving any (or very few quotes) then it was usually down to budget. If the customers budget was unrealistically low for the gig they wanted then they struggled to get quotes from Pros. No Pro wanted the job, it wasn't worth their time. You're not going to find a Magician to do a 90 minute full stage show for 200 people for a customer with a $300 budget and they expect you to bring all your own lighting, sound system and staging. It's not going to happen.
The other reason some customers didn't get quoted was because their was something in the additional explanation they provided which made their job request either impossible to provide or not worth the money.
@Lar and @Kameron The contradictions from Thumbtack about how Thumbtack works and what customers want are voluminous. The original system allowed me as a new Pro to make an impression and get work because I was faster to send my quote than other Pros who were out on the job working. I also wrote detailed messages that were relevant to the Job that was posted. When I was the first of three or four Pros I had a chance at the Job. Now the TT algorithm has reduced my leads nearly to zero. In favor of what???? I have no way to be certain of why I am not getting good leads within my area other than my arbitrary ranking established by an algorythm that has never been fully explained by anyone at Thumbtack. OK, so I turn on Promote and BAM, I jump from #15 to #8. YAY! But a week later I am at #10. And if I turn off promote, I fall to 18! What is up with that? There is no way to predict or explain that change in ranking in just one week.
And for those Pros who promote, I still believe that the Job Posters are looking for the lowest possible price. So I price myself near the bottom price of my top competitors. Even THAT does not work. So, the bottom line is that no answer from any TT employee can truly sort out what it takes to be a success on Thumbtack in my category. Home inspections are not a commidity product.
What I really think would work is to do away with Promote and let the Job Poster tell Thumbtack what price they wish to pay. This would be similar to the Budget that is used for other categories. When the Job Poster gets quotes from any Pro, it would be a true match. If they get too few quotes or no quotes, the Job Poster may re-list the job and raise their budget untill the price meets the true market level. In the category of Home Inspections with so many qualified Pros in my area, Price is the only differentiator.