Just wondering if someone could give me some feedback on this site and what would you rate it out of 10 as a means for advertising and getting actual contracts.
As a contractor is this a site that works for your company.
Thanks very much.
I am outside the Edmonton city limits (by about 80 Km). I do get a good amount of leads from the city and some closer to my location. Most are relatively small projects, but the occasional big project comes along and if you don't know about it, you can't provide a bid. So, I would say yes, it's worth the investment until you have enough work from referrals or a large project.
As to the number who see the requests, that may be an issue. Many others who see a project will estimate but you'll never know if they are comparing apples to apples, just trying to get work, or are serious good contractors.
Try it for six months and then decide on your own. Now is a good time to start.
I've been testing the waters also (6 month trial).
I watched the leads for awhile before signing up to see what came in. The leads so far are all over the map from a $500 bathroom to a 250k addition. Just like any other source of leads you have to qualify your prospect. The 250k addition was under budget for what they were asking for. That doesn't mean they wouldn't upgrade.
Fact is there have been more leads generated here than my Yellow Page investment so far. A smaller handyman outfit could do pretty well here I think, but one fair sized renovation would be worth the investment here also. Still waiting to connect with one.
It can be a very trying spotty relationship because the prospects you receive here have access to unlimited estimates. Usually they have 10 - 15 contacts, by the time you reach them, so if your resilient and can bounce back after doing 20 - 30 estimates and have no business, it can work out occasionally. In a bad streak it's more work then it's worth.
As well, they do not carefully audit or remove inappropriate comments by dissatisfied clients, (they thrive on controversy) so contractors take the risk of being manipulated by unscrupulous homeowners, who can easily destroy your reputation.
The best place for fair and honest evaluations is though the BBB. I've been there and here and others as well. My advise is to take good care and be very discriminating and meticulous about who you do business with... Like always "caveat emptor". Use other sources for leads.
I have had my ad with this site now for over a year and I can say that not one customer has ever mentioned finding me here. That said I have listings on other sites similar to this, and the same holds true.
Yellow Pages got me to do a min. one year advertisement, but as soon as that is done so are they as they have brought in on repair which does not cover even the small investment that it is.
Good old "word of mouth" advertising has carried my business.
I recently signed up for this web site in December and have sat back and observed a lot of stuff. It has been quite educational. I live in eastern Ontario in cottage country so I do not get a lot of leads like in the major cities. That saying this I have observed.
Customers looking at price have gone through the phone book looking for who will do the job for nothing. This attracts the scammer contractor, they get a deposit, bid low and when that money is used their gone. Have seen this where so called pro contractors bid $15-25 a foot to do a basement. We do decks outside for $25-40 !!!!!! You never hear anybody talking about permits and inspection... Look at Right a Review... unreal.
I have seen clients budgeting on price that does not even cover material new home $600,000 for 250K or basement reno for 10K or a full bath reno for 3-4K.
In Toronto this site has I believe 800 basement contractors they all are getting your job post. Yes many may not respond but where do I stand. If you have a good rating that is important as long as it is legit. Most of the clients I have received project info on don't seem to make this important... cheap seems a bigger sell...... No wonder Mike has his own TV show and Magazine.
Go for it you will learn a lot.
I have been using it for over a year and have had about 40-50 jobs and calls from the reviews alone. It took quite some time to get some ratings built up, but now that feedback is there, it puts my company in a good profile and clients say "wow, you've all 5's, you've gotta be good so I don't want a quote, just come and do the work". I laugh and say "yes I do my best". haha.
I have found many contractors have lost sight of customer contact and relations that need to be built. Even though this site is a help, it is down to the user and contractor to go beyond all the other guys and answer their exact questions, not simply say "I am contractor X, I need to meet you, etc etc. Follow up with phone calls and reassure clients that you care about them and want to help. Without clients, we are all unemployed.
This site has certainly given my annual fees back through clients and referrals! Great user interface as well.
Datawise Solutions Inc has been on the site since early 2011 for the most part. For us it is part of an overall web presence and is not used in isolation. We really don't advertise much per se outside the internet and have tried some other lead generating options, but have found that this site requires little effort to generate some good leads. The site has paid for itself in lead generation to closure, but in the end you will require the traditional 'word-o-mouth' to get you to your next contract. Datawise Solutions Inc has had only one 'less than positive' review on this site, so the review section is working positively. Clients do mention the review section and the fact that it is spidered helps with our overall strategy.
As a tradesman, I participate in the discussion forums and try to provide advice and assistance where possible. I believe that most people (home owners or businesses) are pretty web savvy and are able to navigate the web and find out pretty much about your company if they want to.
We do get hundreds of 'leads', and we filter them out as we get busier and open them up as the calendar opens up. I have also referred other contractors from this site to clients with positive results. That is not to say that everyone on here is an A+ contractor, but it seems to have a pretty good basis of contractors that give the site and the members a level of credibility not found in other lead generation sites.
Datawise Solutions Inc
I have been with Handy Canadian for about 18 months. While I get lots of leads I know other contractors are getting the same leads, so there can be a fair amount of competition. One customer told me that he got 25 replies to his ad!
What I have found most helpful is to get customer reviews. When a potential customer gets a response from me, I direct them to both the reviews I have on Handy Canadian as well as to my website. Most customers have chosen me due to the reviews. In fact, lately I have not even responded to many ads because people are calling me based on the reviews. Of course this does not guarentee I will get the job, but I do get to meet potential customers and leave them with a good impression. Recently, I had two people call me back after accepting another contractor's quote and both noted that they wish they had gone with me in the first place.
So, in summary, taking out a membership with Handy Canadian is well worth the money (in fact, I don't advertise anywhere else!).
Lone Wolf Contracting
(A Division of Lone Wolf Enterprises)
i get more from my BBB listing than this site.
the clientele i have found from this site have all been quite cheap.
not a dig to the demographic, but the name speaks for itself
a list of handymen website.
so it's a good site for the people who are offering a specific trade for service oriented jobs.
but large scale renovations, i don't see the traffic at all.
and to be honest, if i was looking to spend over 100,000 to do a renovation, i would not look to a handyman to do it! lol
i would do my due diligence,
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