Not getting the calls you used to from your lead generation platform?
Mark Brozio, owner of Sun Painting Texas in Arlington, Texas, has been an Angie’s List member since 2009. Over the years, he’s found it to be a rewarding, if expensive, relationship. Not so much these days.
Here’s how Brozio describes it:
“Lately, our lead volume has dropped. The quality of leads has dropped. My business is drying up.
As one of their top 350 national contractors, I was invited to a seminar in Las Vegas a few months ago. Its purpose was to convince us that the HomeAdvisor takeover was going to be a good deal for [contractors]. As I had renewed a two-year contract the preceding July, I was very interested in getting the low-down.”
HomeAdvisor parent company IAC/InterActive Corp. acquired Angie’s List in late 2017. Last month, HomeAdvisor became the subject of a class action lawsuit by a group of nine home improvement contractors who allege that the lead generation platform uses misleading sales techniques to sell contractors “bogus leads” to generate higher profit. That suit was the subject of much discussion among contractors following the presentation, Brozio says. “‘Shady.’ ‘Crooked.’ ‘Deceptive.’ These were adjectives that kept popping up,” he shares.
Today, Brozio says, he sees little to no activity from Angie’s List. Three or four leads per week has become the norm—compared to 30 to 50 leads run in the past. “I couldn’t understand: How can a market dry up that fast? I have hundreds of great reviews. I am in all markets. My office staff is outstanding at phone and email work. So what’s going on?”
A phone call with his rep shed some light for Brozio. “Angie’s List, under HomeAdvisor’s direction, has been selling as many advertising slots as possible,” he says. “Whereas I was promised a maximum of five advertisers in a market, my Mckinney, Texas, market has 26. That’s right, 26 advertisers. If my math is correct, my marketing dollars have been diluted 500 percent. I’m competing with 25 other guys for leads.”
As of press time, Angie’s List had not responded to a request for comment on this issue.
Brozio isn't the only one to find he's competing for leads with more contractors in a single market. “We stopped using them because of their bogus old, leads and they would give these leads to six or seven contractors at a time,” commented painter Jeremy Rubin. “They would charge us for an exclusive lead and the homeowners would tell us that we were the sixth contractor who called.”
Adding further salt to the grievance, Brozio notes that his costs have remained the same.
While Brozio remains married to HomeAdvisor for 11 more months, he has some advice for other painting contractors considering lead generating platforms: “If you are on Angie’s list, set up a retail account and monitor your market. How many competitors are on the platform? Bet it’s lots more than last year.”
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