Home advisor good or bad idea for the new small business?

Hey guys , so I own a small window cleaning company (part time now) hopefully full time one day. However this year I really plan on trying to get into the residential market. I bought Chris’s book which was full of great ideas. I’ve done my homework and plan to do some EDDM mailing this year. However I keep getting calls from home advisor, I finally had a conversation today with one of there reps. We went over pricing and leads etc. From your experience for the small new guy (part time guy) would you do it, did you make money or lose money ? We’re the leads good? Should I do it ?

I’d say it is highly dependent on your market. Could be awesome or it could be terrible.

Like any form of marketing you need to keep track of the costs and return.

I tried HomeAdvisor for a little while but it didn’t pan out well, they seemed overly pushy and confident about all the clients they had for me in my area but in reality they didn’t deliver much and when they did it was lower paying jobs.
I’ve had more luck with Thumbtack, a fair few jobs booked through them and repeat business too, but as mentioned it can entirely depend on the market in your area, I know there are people who have good returns from HomeAdvisor, and poor returns on Thumbtack

I considered using it last year while getting my new route off the ground. I talked to a friend that uses it for his landscaping business. He gave two thoughts:

  1. follow up on leads asap. Recognize that one job will pay for several leads. Push addons.

  2. most importantly, he stressed being very particular with the zip codes you select. This minimizes how much running around you do. Pick the richest ones.

As I said, I never tried this, but he said it is very effective if you keep the parameters tight.


So do you think I should try it and see if it works? I’m not overly worried about the lead price I’m more worried about the $280 start up fee. I’m worried I’ll spend the cash and not got any quality leads and be out $280. Or should I take a chance and see what happens? Knowing one job should cover that and possibly more.

I don’t like them and never had anything good come from them. Other markets have great returns on it. Tell them you don’t like the setup fee and maybe they’ll waive it. Maybe they won’t.

“Trying is the first step to failure”. - Homer J Simpson


I’ve heard good and bad about both HA and Thumbtack.

In my I opinion I would do doorhangers/flyers, $280 worth of door hangers or flyers will get much more work. Make a good looking piece with a call to action ($ off or free gutter inspection or something of the sorts.)

Your starting off you have more time then money. Use your time wisely.
Later this season once you have work under your belt and money in the bank, you can think of HA etc and Eddm.

Good luck out there, if you need help with flyers doorhanger start another thread on it when you have a basic design and the forum members can give you advice on what works a what doesn’t.

Check out this thread on door hangers…

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I didn’t like it because they get a request from a customer and I am not the only one that gets the notice from H.A. So basically it’s whomever gets there first. I paid $18 per, just to get the customers info. So I’m paying for the lead, not paying a percentage if I get the job. No thanks.


Small guy here, barely brought in 10k last year…

HA sucks, the others are so right on how they charge a setup fee. Which all that means is allowing you to be called for leads.

When you finally do get a call for a lead, it’s at an inconvenient time and you pay $20~ per lead while others also paid for hat same lead… when you call the customer they have already received two offers hours (some times days) prior, so no go for you…

$300 start up and 15 leads later = $600 down the drain… the calls were so far apart… mostly once per month… and I was able to make it two 3 of the leads to actually give them a quote, two were worth $50.00 each… and third never called me back… yep one job can give you your fully ROI… if you can actually get a paying job… oh did I mention before I actually signed up they would call me at least 10 times per week to remind me to finish verifying with them to receive leads…


It sounds like one company is making money anyway…


I would give them a shot to just see for myself if it wasn’t for them stealing SEO and people who would have been my own personal leads to begin with.

Third parties suck.
Ban them from existence…


I’m still screening calls from them.

Haven’t used them, but thumbtack has been really good on the roi.Its landed me a few jobs, and the jobs cost me a few bucks.

I just accepted a quick exterior dollar clean, and it was 2 something for the lead.

When I first started out, I didn’t polish out my profile to look as good as possible, so you’ll be skipped over.

Clean windows from friends to get reviews, or ask previous clients, reviews helped immensely with landing leads.

Can’t say anything bad about HA, as I haven’t used them, but the annual signup fee turned me away, while thumbtack charges for leads only.

National management companies too, while we are at it.

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Hey guys, brand new to the forum, but I have a marginally successful company and have been washing windows for almost 15 years so I figured I’d add my two cents and hopefully it will help folks in the future.

I have used Home Advisor and there is one thing I like about them and one thing I don’t.

The think I don’t like first: THE LEADS.

The leads you get are almost always not very good. I’ve found that they come in at very bad times (when I’m out with the family at the movies, at dinner, stuff like that). You have to call on them right away to be competitive, because it seems as though everyone else is able to call leads back in the first hour (who are these other window washers who are just sitting beside their phone??)

Assuming you call on a lead right away, I have had very bad luck with the lead just immediately going to voicemail or even to bad phone numbers. Then you have to call HA and try to get your money refunded for the lead which is a big hassle.

Now to the thing I DO like: they list your website on a bunch of other sites, which really helps with SEO. I gotta be honest: having a listing with HA increased my webpage from page 3 all the way to page 1 of Google, which is awesome.

Honestly, I pay the annual fee for just the listing and turn off the leads for the whole year (you have to call Home Advisor to do this, just be warned).

So if you are looking to play the long game and want to help your overall website, I say go for it. If you are brand new and just looking to quickly get some leads, I would pass unless you have the time to immediately call leads back.

Hope this helps!



I have never tried them either. I was wondering about AMAZON for the same service, third party business referrals. I don’t see anything about them on the forum. Have you researched them also?

I’ve never used Amazon. I played around with setting up a services account with them but never turned it on. For some reason I got nervous about being in the Amazon ecosystem. :worried:

I know this is a bad timing since its old but my saying of home advisor is they send you too many dead leads meaning almost impossible to get the job because , they dont call back, they are only trying to get a quote to see if the current contractor is pricing fairly, i have even gone to peoples home without appointment after too many bad leads and they where people out of town trying to get repairs done in the past i have dealt with a few and they disapear and never answer? Some give out the wrong adress, and the worst is i dont need an estimate i already have someone from homeadvisor coming to take a look! lol most of the time you have to call withing 3 minutes or else your doomed! so if your taking a shit you better pull them pants up and call, if your at a birthday party call!

The best thing is i just use it for seo services turn my leads off but its a hasle because they call you every now and then to try and get you to put services on your page, but you can take them off and if you have nor services to display you get no leads you just have to pay the anual fee but once your on first page google you dont need them anymore

This is my bad experience

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There is a ton of info on the pressure washing site.