Both HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List are popular resources for homeowners, but New Hampshire homeowners should be cautious of using these “services”. Are they good resources? It would be easy to make this article a 3-word answer: DON’T USE THEM.
However, that wouldn’t be helpful to you, the homeowner. So, let’s do a breakdown of how HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List (now known as Angi) really work (or don’t as you’re about to learn).
How Do HomeAdvisor and Angi Work?
These companies like HomeAdvisor and Angi exist for one reason: to make money off of you, the homeowner. So how do they do it?
Homeowners sign up thinking they’re getting access to a large network of pre-screened, qualified contractors in their area. And while that is kind of true, what these companies are, is a lead generation platform. That means they make their money by selling your information to contractors. For a contractor to be able to gain access to your information, they have to pay these companies.
So how does this affect you?
You the homeowner search on your computer “Roofing companies near me”. At the top of your search, you find HomeAdvisor and right below them Angi, right below them Yelp. How did they get there? They pay a lot of money to be at the “top”.
So you do what most of us do on the internet: you click, you fill out their form inquiring about “roofing companies” in your area. This marks the beginning of what could be referred to as the ticket scalping of the service industry. You know, the shady individuals that stand out in front of TD Garden hollering about the tickets they have for sale?
Well, Angi, HomeAdvisor, Yelp, and all of their cousins are outside the stadium. Except they have 1 ticket, you and they’ve photocopied your information and are prepared to sell 10 copies. You may not even be ready to purchase a roof, you may have just started your research. They don’t care. They’ve already started screaming “Roof for sale, roof for sale”.
You didn’t ask for 10 roofing companies to start bombarding you with phone calls and emails. But that is what you signed up for when you used their services.
These companies have created a process where they exist only to make money, not to help homeowners find quality contractors (as they’d have you believe). So what happens after you submit your information?
What They Do With Your Information As A Homeowner
Just like you’re eager to get your hands on a roofing contractor, these lead generation companies are just as eager to get their hands on your information and sell it to whatever contractor they can. In most cases, they’ll sell your information to the highest bidder.
Remember, these aren’t the best roofing contractors, they’re simply the ones that are willing to pay the most money.
So say Energy Shield of New Hampshire is signed up with HomeAdvisor to receive “leads” from them. So are 10 other companies in your service area. You would think that HomeAdvisor would only share/sell your information to one company, us.
That’s not how it works. HomeAdvisor ends up selling your information to all 10 companies, who will then start calling and emailing you.
You didn’t ask for 10 roofing companies to start bombarding you with phone calls and emails, but 10 roofing companies just got their hands on your information and are hungry for your business.
It’s a race to the bottom where companies are trying to undercut each other on price in order to get your business. This is how Angi and HomeAdvisor make money, by being the middle man in this never-ending game of telephone tag that homeowners have to endure when they use their services.
As a matter of fact, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor were both parts of a class-action lawsuit for false advertising and not vetting the contractors they were recommending to homeowners.
What Kind of Quality Can You Expect From These Companies?
Again, there is no vetting done to ensure these contractors are reputable. As long as they can pay for your information, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Yelp, and all the others will throw your information all over the place. Now that’s not to say all contractors that buy leads from these companies are bad, but it’s important to do your research before hiring anyone.
As a matter of fact, in the past, we here at Energy Shield have even used such services to acquire new business. What we encountered were frustrated homeowners that normally don’t want to talk to us let alone have their roof inspected. These homeowners were in the beginning stages of conducting their research.
What Is The Alternative To Companies Like Angi or HomeAdvisor?
Now that you know how these services work, our recommendation for New Hampshire homeowners is to conduct your own research. So where do you start?
Start with a Google search.
“Roofing companies near me”
You’ll start to see a list of companies that service your area. Look at their Google page, and check out their reviews.
Here is Energy Shield of New Hampshire’s Google profile so you can see what it looks like.
Visit each company’s website and read their about page. Do they have pictures of their crew and their work? Do they list their services? Do they have any awards or recognitions? How much information do they have to help educate homeowners like you?
After visiting each company’s website, you should have a pretty good idea of who the reputable companies are and who you can trust. Once you have a list of companies, give them a call! A reputable contractor should do their best to answer all of your questions over the phone without trying to schedule an appointment unless absolutely necessary.
Ask them about their process, what kind of products they use, how long the job will take, and most importantly, what their price is.
You The Homeowner Are In Control
When you use companies like Angi or HomeAdvisor, you’re giving up control. You’re at the mercy of whoever is willing to pay the most for your information. When you conduct your own research, you’re in control. You get to decide who you want to talk to and who you want to hire.
There is no reason to use companies like these when there are much better alternatives out there. At the end of the day, your research will pay off and you’ll be glad you took the time to find a reputable contractor that you can trust.