Hi @ErrorUnknown, welcome to the community and I hope you find success on Thumbtack.
Take the time to read the posts here they will give you a primer on what Thumbtack is about and how it works.
The leads you will be receiving on Thumbtack are unvetted and unqualified.
I would be very cautious about using the Promote feature (at least not at first) until you are able to assess what Thumbtack will be charging you for your leads. The Promote feature allows Thumbtack to automatically charge you anytime a lead reaches out to you before you've had a chance to review the details of the lead. You have no real control over how your money is being spent other than to specify a weekly budget.
Thumbtack use a secret algorithm to calculate what they charge you for a lead. Every lead you receive on Thumbtack is unvetted and unqualified. Thumbtack have no idea IF the lead does actually want to hire anyone or whether the lead is genuine and neither do you. I estimate that only 5%-10% of the leads you will receive on Thumbtack will actually end up hiring ANY Pro, let alone you.
Thumbtack have a tendency to overvalue their leads and your chances of getting hired as a new Pro are slim, maybe between 1 in 10 to 1 in 20.
If you see a lead come in (and you're not on Promote) then you will be able to see the job details and estimate what you want to quote the lead for your services. You can Accept or Decline the lead. If you Decline the lead you will not be charged. Thumbtack will show you what is costs to Accept the lead if you choose to do so.
If a lead comes in and you estimate that the lead could bring in $2000 of revenue and Thumbtack want to charge you $100 for that lead then it's probably not worth paying for. With a 1 in 10 chance of getting hired you will on average spend $1000 to land a $2000 hire. That might work for you, I don't know, you'll have you own measure of ROI.
As a good rule of thumb (pun intended) if Thumbtack want to charge you more than 1% of the revenue you estimate you would get from the lead (should they decide to hire you) then Thumbtack are probably charging you too much for the lead.
Using the $2000 example above, 1% equates to $20 per lead. If you estimate that you have a 1 in 10 chance of getting hired then you will on average spend $200 for every $2000 hire. In effect over time you will end up paying Thumbtack a 'finders fee' of 10% for every hire which seems reasonable for a site like Thumbtack.
Don't waste you time quoting leads that you see in the Jobs tab. You'll very rarely get any response because Thumbtack don't notify the lead when you send them a quote.
So, keep an eye on what Thumbtack want to charge you for a lead, don't use Promote (at least initially) until you see how you get on and learn to use the platform.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
Excellent post and advice that is based on your personal experiences and observations. I fear that this is one of those posts that would be censored, which would be a shame as the whole point of the community is, and I quote: "This is your space to ask questions, get answers and swap ideas with pros like you." (emphasis added)
Many on the community appreciates greatly your honesty and willingness to share.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and welcoming new users @Lar. You mentioned "Don't waste you time quoting leads that you see in the Jobs tab. You'll very rarely get any response because Thumbtack don't notify the lead when you send them a quote." We do indeed notify customers about pros who are interested in working with them. The only time a customer won't receive a notification is if the customer has those notifications turned off.
@Meckell, I've had occasion in the last few weeks to make use of Thumbtack as a customer, most recently last week when I needed a garage door repair.
I reached out to one Pro (who I hired). I never received any notification via email or text from any other Pros, not a single one and all my customer account notifications are enabled.
When I look at my garage door project in Thumbtack this is what I see.
There are 5 'Pros who want to work with me'. Each one of those 5 Pros sent me a quote and I never received any notification via email or text that they sent their quotes.
I only know about these Pros because I logged back into Thumbtack, opened my project and saw that they were 'interested'.
That's why I said that when a Pro quotes you from the Jobs tab the customer will not receive a notification. I know because I didn't get a notification when these 5 Pros sent me their quotes even though all my notification options are enabled.
Tested this again last night @Meckell, my wife sent a job to a Magician friend of mine who wasn't available. She received an email notification that he wasn't available but has received no other notifications. All her notification settings are enabled in Thumbtack.
When she checked her account this morning for the Project she saw...
Two Pros had subsequently sent manual quotes via their jobs tabs. My wife received no notification that they had done so. The only indication that they were 'interested' was when she logged into Thumbtack and checked the status of her project.
Thumbtack is not sending notifications to customers when a Pro sends them a quote via the Jobs tab. The only way a customer will know that a Pro sent a quote and was 'interested' is if the customer explicitly logs back into Thumbtack and checks the status of their project.
@Lar thanks for sharing your experience in regards to those notifications. I noticed that you specifically mentioned not getting those notifications via text or email. I want to mention that those are notifications types that are much less likely to be seen when a pro quotes to a customer through the Jobs tab. The most frequent one they will see is the push notification through the app. When I recently went through the customer experience I was notified via push notifications through the app on my phone. Along with having your notification settings on in the app, I would also check to see if your phone itself is set to allow those notifications. If your phone is set to get push notifications as well then this may just be one of those times where the system didn't feel that a push notification was warranted. If you did not use the customer app and went through the experience via desktop that could explain this as well.
In short, we do in fact send them, but there are a wide variety of factors that will play into whether or not that notification is sent and they are continuously subject to change as we strive to find what works best at which times.
Not using the app.
Just informing you guys that no notifications were sent via email to inform the customer that they had received a new quotes from interested Pros.
My apologies if I asked this before.
If a user (on the buy side) wants to use TT, are they forced into installing and using the app, or can they simply use TT on the phone's browser?
If they are just using it on the phone's browser, and never install the app, would they still receive some kind of notification to prompt them to re-open the TT site in the phone browser to see a message from the pro?
It is likely that, if this is possible, many users have not actually installed the app and are using the system in the phone's browser.
@MR while we won't force them to download and use the app, I believe that while using the site via mobile browser it will be strongly recommended to the customer that they download and use the app. If they're a new user they'll be required to enter an email address to set up their account and receive notifications. If they are a repeating user then they'll already have an account and email on file. The notifications they receive most often, in this case, will be when the pro or pros they reached out to respond to them for the first time or those pros send a new message in the messenger if a conversation has already been started.