Filter by message states (for user id: -1, login: Anonymous):
results: 10
topic id 32826: Raising prices but do not state what the prices are!!!!!
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?
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ErrorUnknown
Level 5

First impressions and suggestions

I have been using websites and apps like Thumbtack for about 8 years now. I run a very successful IT business with 2 part-time employees and virtually no overhead. There is a lot of money to be made in any industry working as a contractor. In the end that is what we are when we take jobs through thumbtack or any website. We are contractors.

I like a lot of things about thumbtack. Compared to the other websites I use it's much more personal. Whether or not that will actually make a difference remains to be seen. Other than that thumbtack really isn't very different from most other job platform sites. With one exception. If you've used any other platform you already know what it is. Paying for leads.

I don't necessarily have a problem with it. I'm not against or for paying for leads. All but one of the other websites I use treat the contractor's / professionals on the site as fodder for the buyers whom they consider their actual customers.

Buyers make all the rules. You either accept them and succeed or fail miserably. There are no exceptions. The rules are concrete. Take it or leave it.

I think thumbtack is a step in the right direction. A step towards a platform where the commodity are the professionals not the buyers. Without people to do the job right you don't have anything at all. There will be no revenue of any kind if no one can do the work that you need done. Work will always be there. That goes without saying.

Good people will leave if pushed far enough. I've walked away from many many customers over the last eight years. I will not be treated as anything less than an expert in my field. Because that is exactly what I am. There are a lot of people out there that masquerade as experts. Eventually they get weeded out. But their overall effect on the market is always negative. They create a system where as a professional I have to agree to ludacris terms sometimes to get contracts. Even from some of my best customers. While I understand the need for terms and conditions in a contract. When you have an open and free market place filled with unqualified people it creates and even more negative environment that is detrimental to everyone in the end. It creates an atmosphere of us versus them. Buyers versus professionals. Instead of working together to accomplish the same objective. We end up worrying about whether or not the other guys going to screw us over.

Which brings me back to the leads. I have not paid for any myself yet. I've read the terms and conditions. I've read with some other people have posted. There's definitely a lot of room for improvement on the system.

For starters the automatic payments. You will pry one of those from my cold dead hand. I'm not even sure if I'll be willing to pay to contact a customer at this point. I will admit it's only been a couple of days. Every lead I've been sent so far is for residential electrical work. I am not an electrician. I don't accept residential work of any kind. I install structured cabling. Cat5, Cat6, fiber etc. there needs to be a separate category for that. Not just a general wiring category. Servers? POS equipment? Where are those categories? Printers? You can't just lump all those things into general categories. I don't do printers. But I do servers, networks, cabling, POS installations, you see where I'm headed with this?

Regardless of whether or not the customer base exists at this time if and when it does the job will get routed to the wrong people.

Where do we go from here? for starters no one should be getting charged automatically for a lead. You're either a lead generator or platform website. You can't be both. What I would like to see is the current system stay in place. Leads get sent out and we choose who we contact. Thumbtack as a company collects on the back end of each job rather than the front. That is standard industry practice. It is also the only fair way to do it if you really want to be a platform website.

Listen to the community. Listen to what those of us who have been doing this for a long time have to say about it. Make the professionals the product that you sell. The jobs will always be there. The leads will always be there. Professionals who don't get treated like professionals don't stick around for very long. Especially when you have them competing against people who are not even qualified to do the same work.

I understand the point and the idea behind having a free marketplace. But you have to police it. you need to make sure that people who register are actually qualified to do the things that they do. Otherwise you will end up with a marketplace full of armchair technicians. Part-time pros. Profiles need to be confirmed and vetted prior to being sent leads. That is how you can separate yourself and succeed.
States
18 responses
Lar
Level 10

Re: First impressions and suggestions

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.

FYI

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.

Cheers,
Laurence.

 

 

MR
Level 11

Re: First impressions and suggestions

@Lar 

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. 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

Re: First impressions and suggestions

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. 

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Lar
Level 10

Re: First impressions and suggestions

@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.

Image6.jpg

 

Image7.jpg

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.

Regards,
Laurence.

 

 

 

Lar
Level 10

Re: First impressions and suggestions

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...

Image3.jpg

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.

Regards,
Laurence.

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: First impressions and suggestions

@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.

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Lar
Level 10

Re: First impressions and suggestions

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.

Regards,
Laurence.

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MR
Level 11

Re: First impressions and suggestions

@Kameron 

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.

 

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Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: First impressions and suggestions

@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.  

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