I want clarity about this: " And it won’t cost you anything unless a customer reaches out to you when they think you’re a good fit for their job." When it is so much easier for a customer to just click a button to get a quote from me instead of perusing my profile to get more basic information, and if Thumbtack decides that's a quality lead and that I should be charged for it, then the result will be that I'm going to end up being charged a lot of money for leads I previously would have sorted out and not replied to. Easy button = easy money for thumbtack? If this is the result you will see me and a bunch of other pros jumping ship, unless there's a way to opt out and filter quotes the old way.
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I moved recently from Rural, Poor, New England to wealthier, populated Southern California. I can't compare apples to apples because I moved across the country and am in a totally new situation. It's been working for me so far here in CA but I think thumbtack needs to get out of the grey area here and decide
1. Pay for credits, old style
2. Pay a higher fee, on CLOSED business, on a clear percentage basis for the referral, no or wondering what it will be
3. OR an amalgam of both? Pay for credits at a lower cost and then charge a low percentage for closed business. That way Pros can price in the marketing cost without wondering what it will be and they are only paying a larger marketing fee for cash in hand transactions.
And no matter what, charge the customers a subscription or at the very least a nominal per quote fee to weed out the people who are not serious. I think Thumbtack owes this to it's professional community.
My impression is that a lot of people use thumbtack to get quotes and then look elsewhere for business, and the current platform encourages lowballing. I've definitely quoted lower than I wanted to because I didn't want to quote my premium services for a lead that may or may not work out. That doesn't make sense. I need to be able to interface with potential customers without worrying about what I'll be charged. My perception is that in my business I either hear nothing from people because my prices are a lot higher than other pros or I tend to close a good percentage of the interest I get. So personally this is working (for now) but I could see how it could be a major problem for lots of other business owners, and it's very particular to my situation - ie there is a paucity of pros with the depth of skillset that I have in this area.
One challenge for Thumbtack may be that the best fee structure for my business (music entertainment and education) might be totally crazy and make no sense for someone like a contractor or landscaper. I'd be curious to know if those pros would be able to pay the higher fees on closed business rather than warm referrals.
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