Hot on the heels of Google and Amazon’s entrance into the home services market, two other online home services mainstays have announced their own new offerings — giving contractors even more ways to leverage digital lead generation.
This week, Porch announced its new Porch Guarantee designation for contractors. The new service was launched in 28 markets across 10 professional types. Additional professionals and cities will be rolled out throughout 2016, according to a Porch news release.
Porch said it is using the following criteria to determine whether professionals can receive the Porch Guarantee designation:
- Proper licensing.
- Strong Better Business Bureau rating (Porch and BBB have a partnership).
- Stellar social reviews.
- Commitment to the Porch Pledge, described as a dedication to making it right for the customer.
- A clean background check.
If a homeowner is unsatisfied with a Porch Guarantee professional,
the company will work to resolve problems. If resolution is unsuccessful, the
company will hire another professional to remedy the problem and pay them up to
$1,000, according to Porch.
“We want to help the best professionals, the ones who go above and beyond to deliver quality for their customers, to thrive and grow their business,” said Matt Ehrlichman, Porch’s CEO.
Porch’s partner, Lowe’s welcomed the news — and hinted how it will help make the new offering successful. “As a promise to homeowners that they will get a quality professional that will do quality work, Porch is making it easier for millions of Lowe’s customers to find professionals they can count on,” said Jay Rebello, Lowe’s vice president of new business development and corporate innovation.
Meanwhile, HomeAdvisor rolled out its own new service to contractors along with a $40 million television marketing campaign, said Chris Terrill, the company’s CEO.
Called Instant Booking, the new service features Google calendar integration and an on-time appointment score for professionals, according to a company news release. After testing earlier in the year, the service launched nationwide in August. Terrill said he expects it to integrate with iCal and Outlook by the end of the year.
The technology allows homeowners to schedule appointments on-demand for more than 500 home tasks from plumbing to remodeling. Google Calendar integration means contractors can sync their work calendars with HomeAdvisor’s Instant Booking scheduler and provide real-time scheduling capability. HomeAdvisor says this ability will reduce phone-tag scheduling hassles for both homeowners and contractors. The service will also sync calendars with mHelpDesk, a leading field services management platform.
“We have invested in the technology to make HomeAdvisor a true one-stop destination for all home repair, improvement and maintenance needs,” Terrill said in the release. “Market testing of Instant Booking shows that it dramatically improves the experience of finding and hiring a pro, and customer satisfaction rates have doubled among HomeAdvisor users since we’ve introduced the service.”
Of course, both Terrill and Ehrlichman recognize they’re now competing against not just one Internet giant but two: Google and Amazon.
“Would I want Google and Amazon to be competing? I don’t think any entrepreneur would say ‘yes,’” Ehrlichman said. “But it’s inevitable. I mean this is one of the biggest industries that there is, period.”
Still, Ehrlichman and Terrill contend their companies offer contractors services the behemoths can’t match. “You can build the technology,” Terrill said. “But knowing how to put the right two people together and get them on the calendar is very different and very complex.”