Our Blog & Other Interesting Tidbits

Don't become a cherry-picking Home Pro

  • March 1, 2018 by John J.

Too many home service pros cherry-pick reviews from only their happiest customers. Rather than requesting a review after every job, these pros get reviews sparingly due to a concern that clients might submit an average or negative review. This is a mistake and it can be costly to their business…literally!

When you think about the way online marketing works (and human psychology), you’ll realize how much a business benefits from leveraging each client relationship. Let’s take a closer look:

Protect & expand your online reputation
A reputation marketing platform, like HomePro Revews, can help you get lots of great 5-STAR reviews. It also helps with keeping not-so-great reviews in their proper context. So even if a few negative reviews occur, they won’t do much harm as long as they’re mixed in with dozens of positive reviews. In fact, a negative review that’s handled properly can demonstrate transparency which most people respect.

In contrast, sites like Yelp and Rip-off Report frustrate home pros because extreme opinions often appear in isolation- typically by just a few past clients. Your online reputation can suffer because your MUCH larger "happy majority" of customers simply aren't represented. To make matters worse, it can take YEARS for a local business to bring its overall rating back to normal- say from 2.5 stars up to 4.3 stars.

Improve your search engine optimization
SEO experts agree that customer reviews are a TOP 4 ranking factor on search engines. Google’s algorithms examine the QUANTITY, DIVERSITY, and RECENCY of one's reviews. This means that more reviews are better than less, and recent reviews help your business more than old ones.

Studies show that consumers have greater trust in a business with a long track-record of positive reviews. They also view them as being more “successful”. And it's a safe bet that these pros have a much higher click-thru rate (CTR) on search engines, too.

Create more referral opportunities
Everyone knows that WORD-OF-MOUTH is the best type of advertising. HomePro Reviews is designed so that satisfied clients can easily refer your business to their friends & neighbors- via Email, Text, or Facebook.

The reasons to send out review requests go beyond improved SEO and customer feedback. It’s now a highly effective way to gather LEADS for web-savvy home pros like yourself!


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Who doesn't like to see a 1500% improvement?

  • January 12, 2018 by Sam L.

97% of homeowners have searched online for a local business according to a recent report, and 85% say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

On the flip side, home service professionals tend to get a review from only 3-5% of their satisfied customers. That's the industry average, and those odds aren't very good obviously.

HomePro Reviews is hands-down the fastest & easiest system for collecting lots of great customer reviews. Most of our home pros see a success rate of 55-65%. That's about 15 times better and all it takes is 25 seconds of your time!

Why does our platform deliver such superior results?.

Timing is everything.   Use our handy smartphone App to EMAIL or TEXT review requests at the most effective moment- before you even leave a customer's driveway. If you really want your requests to turn into actual reviews, then it’s best to “strike while the iron is hot”.

Reminders work.   Even your happiest customers need a friendly reminder at times. Our system automatically sends follow-up messages (if necessary) which increases your chances for more 5-STAR reviews.

Customers want hassle-free.   Keep in mind that satisfied clients are doing YOU a favor by submitting their review. They prefer easy options, and don’t want to be forced into logging in or creating a new account on a 3rd party website. Our data proves that this method works best.

It's time to step up your marketing game. Start making reviews a routine part of every job you do!


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Google now highlights "Reviews from the Web"

  • September 5, 2017 by John J.

When Google makes a change on their search results pages, it’s a good idea for local businesses to pay attention. “Reviews From The Web” is a new feature that you’ll see on the right side for most company-specific searches done on Google. It appears directly below one’s N.A.P. information (Business Name, Address, & Phone#).

For premier members, HomePro Reviews embeds search-compliant microdata into each customer review you receive. Google prominently displays the aggregate rating, # of reviews, and a link to each website listed in this section as you can see below.

google-my-business

If you haven’t claimed your "Google My Business" profile, then we strongly recommend you take advantage of this free service. Click here to sign up for your GMB account. With a rock-solid presence on Google you’ll significantly improve your chances to get more calls and win more bids.

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Lead Generation Sites: Be aware of the downsides

  • July 7, 2017 by John J.

Simply put, lead-generation websites are online marketplaces.  Their primary goal is to introduce Sellers to potential Buyers in exchange for a fixed fee or commission.

When Home Pros decide to "sell" their services on marketplaces like Home Advisor, Houzz, or Porch (just to name a few) they face some unique challenges. However, there are similar problems for small retailers who sell their goods on eBay or Amazon Marketplace, and for the drivers on Uber and Lyft.  In each kind of marketplace, it’s the Sellers who typically get squeezed financially.

This isn't to say that paying for leads is always bad. It can be worth the high cost when you're trying to jump-start a new business or you move to a different city. But, as many Home Pros now realize, there are serious risks if your business becomes too dependent on lead-gen sites.

Unqualified Leads are Profit Margin Killers
Go to any online forum for contractors and you’ll see lots of complaints about leads that never resulted in actual jobs. Some pros go as far as to call these websites “scams”, but it’s more likely that those homeowners were just window-shopping a project or looking for multiple bids.

Whatever the reason, chasing low-quality leads can do serious harm. It’s the time, the energy (i.e. gas expense), AND the cost of buying the leads that will put a major dent in your net income.

The bottom line is that online marketplaces work best with commodity items or very simple services. Most home improvement projects are more complex than that. There are too many variables that distinguish one project from the next as well as one contractor from another.

Expect a higher Price-Per-Lead as a Marketplace grows
Venture capitalists have funded most of the largest marketplaces. A lot of this VC money is spent on “eyeballs”. This means attracting Buyers (e.g. homeowners) to visit their websites because they know that Sellers will soon follow.

As a marketplace grows, there’s more competition to be on / near the top of the search results. Since the amount of “real estate” is fixed, marketplaces respond by increasing their price-per-lead, or by allowing Sellers to bid for the top positions.

eBay and Amazon Marketplace are both prime examples in which small Sellers have been pushed out by rising lead fees / higher commissions. When Home Advisor paid $500 Million for Angie’s List last year, many Wall Street guys cheered the news as a way for the merged company to increase its scale and, therefore, command higher lead fees from home pros.

A core marketplace goal is to "own" the Buyer
Marketplaces like Home Advisor need buyers to return to their website again and again. It's what marketing people call maximizing Customer Lifetime Value- CLV. Each time buyers come back, it’s another opportunity for the marketplace to generate more lead fees.

To them, it doesn’t matter that your business paid big $$$ for the Lead and actually performed the work (successfully!). The marketplace still “owns” the customer in their eyes, and they don't like it when YOU market to these customers later, or try to get referrals from them.

This is why many Lead-Gen Sites have invested in features like payment processing and text messaging tools. While they’ll say it all about improving the user experience, the unstated goal is to maintain their middleman status and drive users back to their website. The Terms of Service on some marketplaces, like Amazon Home Services, go much further and actually PROHIBIT you from "marketing communications of any kind" with the customer.

The value of repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising is obvious to any web-savvy home pro. It’s a huge reason why you deliver excellent customer service and top-notch workmanship. Be careful before diving into Lead-Gen Sites!

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