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topic id 32384: Private Chef/Catering Pricing
topic id 26197: Paying twice for the same lead
topic id 25265: Pricing
topic id 24883: The purpose of promotion and set your budget in advance
topic id 22503: Leads
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?
InspectorRon
Level 5

No business yet..

Hello! I am a home inspector trying to get business here, I joined about 2 months ago and have had zero business so far. So today I searched as a customer for a home inspector in my area to see hoe that works and my business is no where to be found. I searched in my zip code and got 24 other inspectors though. To date I have received about 40 messages from so called '..people looking for home inspectors', I always respond immediately and sent estimates to most of them. I tried both medium and finally low pricing just to see if anyone would respond, because by now I am thinking nobody is receiving my estimates and I have no way of confirming if they did. But finally yesterday I got my first reply, but only because the customer asked me if my 225.00 fized price covered the cost of two inspections, really?  (frustrating) I was charged for the lead just because he asked that question. Most of the time the potential customer rarely fills out the form completely so I am compelled 95% of the time to ask for more information. But if I do that then I will be paying every time a potential customer ask a question that should have been made clear in their form filing process anyway. The whole Targeting or Promoting features are also a little confusing. It seems like it would work better for everyone if we just paid Thumbtack a commission for each job we got hired on. Also, I know we can pull in references from other sites and I was going to do that until during the process I was was warned that by doing so I would be allowing Thumbtack the ability to change or delete my entire business account on Google. Anyone else feel my pain? lol

States
12 responses
Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: No business yet..

Hello @InspectorRon, welcome to Thumbtack and the Pro Community! I know when you're first starting that there can be a lot to take in and learn when it comes to how the site works, so hopefully, I can be of some help.

The process that you referred to when reaching out to customers and paying when they respond, sounds like quoting manually through the Jobs tab. This is more of a secondary way to introduce yourself to customers that have already reached out to another pro directly about their project. Many times they will stick with the ones they contacted but it can't hurt to throw your hat in the ring for consideration as well. 

The best way to get hired on Thumbtack is to put yourself in a competitive position in the search results and get contacted directly by customers that found and reached out to you specifically. The ways in which you can work to do this are listed in this help article HERE

I took a look and your profile is off to a great start. The biggest things I'll recommend to help with your ranking right now are working on your reviews and setting your preferences through promoting.

You can have up to 10 reviews from customers from outside of Thumbtack and there are a few ways to do this. You already mentioned importing your Google reviews and your hesitations there. Another route could be to share your public review link with past happy customers. You can learn more about how to do that and asking for reviews HERE.  

When you promote your business, you set preferences to get in front of more of the right customers. Because you’ve told us these are the jobs you always want (and that you’ll provide a great customer experience), we’ll give you a rank boost so the right customers are more likely to find you in search results. Setting preferences for your business is an easy way to boost your ranking in search results, and that gives you a better chance for customers to find you.

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope it helps. If you have any additional questions let me know.

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InspectorRon
Level 5

Re: No business yet..

Hi @Kameron!

 I appreciate your prompt response! I know I said a mouthful before and you addressed a lot of it, I will try to keep this more brief and seperate the questions for everyone's benefit.

    So if I understand this.. Right now if I look for a home inspector in my very small town zip code 30011, I get 24 results and none of them are mine, I just tried. So my questions are;

Questions;

1. In order to "Show Up" in those 24 results I have to "Turn on Targeting Preferences" or what is now called "Promote" correct?

2. Promoting sounds simple enough, and my Promoting choices are basic questions I need to answer like, "Target Location?"  50 mile radius, "Service Provided?" Home Inspection, "Business Hours?" Monday thru Sunday 9-5. Is that about right?

3. All 24 Inspectors pay the lead fee to "Show Up", but the customer may only contact one of them, is that correct?

Thanks again for helping!!

Ron Holbrook

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: No business yet..

@InspectorRon happy to help and clarify these things as best I can.

  1. Not necessarily, but it will go a long way to help. Especially if all of the other pros in the list have chosen to promote. 
     
  2. Sounds like you've got the gist. You can learn more about Promoting and setting your preferences HERE.
     
  3. No pros pay up front to show up. By setting your preferences through promoting you're helping us know which jobs to show you for and you'll receive that rank boost for doing so. When a customer finds and contacts you directly from the list is when you'll be charged. IF they contact you but their project doesn't entirely match your preferences, then you'll be given the option to review the lead and accept or decline.
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InspectorRon
Level 5

Re: No business yet..

Hi @Kameron,

   I have done some more reading around this, please forgive me if you already explained this.  I have seen several articles, videos and messages regarding all this and some seem a little vague.  @Mckelle and @Lisa offered help too, so just to keep it all in one place I will seek help here only.

 I think most of us home inspectors in Metro Atlanta have similar target audiences, basically we just want homes to inspect within a reasonable drive, say 50 miles. That being said I am trying to avoid the following scenario, if possible..
 
For example;
 
Lets say in my are there are 24 inspectors and we all have the same 3 basic target audiences, A. "50 mile radius", B. "Any Square Feet"
C. "Normal business hours". I am worried that I could be busy for a few hours, then come back to Thumbtack and suddenly have 10-20 leads I auto-paid for sitting in my message box because a thumbtack algorithym decided they were good for me because I "Turned ON Targeting". And those same pre-paid leads are now in 24 other local inspectors mailbox.
 
Question;
1. Is that scenario a possibility?
 
I appreciate your help!!
Ron
Moderator Meckell
Moderator

Re: No business yet..

We're happy to clarify @InspectorRon! If a customer reaches out to you directly, their job will still get sent to other pros Jobs tabs for them to quote on if they'd like to. Customers also have the option to reach out to multiple pros. I have personally never seen a customer reach out to as many as 24 pros, but they are able to. 

 

I understand where your concerns are coming from though. If you're on or in between jobs and customers reach out to you, have you thought of possibly just sending them a quick note saying "I'm in between jobs right now, but will look over your request and get back to you in a few hours." I've seen many pros do that and have found a lot of success with that. Let me know what you think! 

 

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InspectorRon
Level 5

Re: No business yet..

Good morning! Thank you for the reply! To answer your question, yes, I did think about replying briefly but if I'm on a roof or in a crawl space replying to one or two may be realistic but any more would be problematic.
You did clear up a little, but please let me ask this question based on the same scenario;
Question;
1. Will all 24 inspectors with those same parameters as myself be charged a lead fee?
Thanks!
Ron
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Moderator Meckell
Moderator

Re: No business yet..

@InspectorRon The only way all 24 would get charged is; if all 24 pros have their targeting preferences set, the customer's job is a perfect match to those preferences, and the customer chooses to reach out to all 24 pros (which is very rare from what I've seen.) If a customers request matches the pros targeting preferences and they reach out directly to the pro, that's when the pro is charged. If pros quote on that job through the Jobs tab, they won't be charged until the customer responds. 

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InspectorRon
Level 5

Re: No business yet..

Hello! I really appreciate you helping me understand this! And I know changes are ongoing, but for now if I understand you correctly.. 1. If 5 pros have the same Target preferences, only one pro is charged if the customer contacts one pro correct? True or false?
2. Thumbtack may notify the other Pros that their target preferences were met, but that does not mean they are being charged correct? True or False?
Please forgive me for my Elementary level questions I went to night school!
Thanks again, Ron
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Moderator Meckell
Moderator

Re: No business yet..

@InspectorRon no need to be sorry, we're more than happy to give you clarification! 1) Yes, if the customer only contacts one pro, only that pro is charged. 2) Yes, the job can go to other pros Jobs tab, but they will only get charged if they decide to send that customer a quote and the customer responds to that pro. 

I recommend watching this video with more info on when a pro is charged. If after watching that you have further questions, don't hesitate to reach out! 

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