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Hi i been a painter for 6 years now. I work for a painting company and i also do side jobs for my customer. I wan to take the step and start my business. I knw word of mouth is the way to go but i also wan to give angies list and home advisor a try. My question is for the veterans that have been in business for years now. Which one is better? Any input would be apreciated.
Thank you.
 

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Both are different. Angies is more about reviews, you're paying them to be at the top of the list verse ranking organically with your reviews. Home adviser is a lead service. They send you leads and you pay for them. I've never used home advisor, lead services tend to be the lowest of the low when it comes to lead quality so I steer clear. If you're looking for that type of service I'd suggest Thumbtack because at least you can choice the leads and I think they're pretty cheap in comparison. Also with Angies you have to have a couple good reviews prior to advertising with them.

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Both are different. Angies is more about reviews, you're paying them to be at the top of the list verse ranking organically with your reviews. Home adviser is a lead service. They send you leads and you pay for them. I've never used home advisor, lead services tend to be the lowest of the low when it comes to lead quality so I steer clear. If you're looking for that type of service I'd suggest Thumbtack because at least you can choice the leads and I think they're pretty cheap in comparison. Also with Angies you have to have a couple good reviews prior to advertising with them.

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Thank you. I heard alot about home advisor how they send the leads to many contractors on the same area.
 

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Two totally different worlds and customer types. If you want to just get tons of leads and pay for them, then look at lots of work that other painters will also look at, then go with home advisor.

If you do really good work, and less interested in quantity, more interested in quality customers, go for angies list.

It might seem insignificant, but by charging members (customers) a small membership fee, AL usually weeds out the price shoppers who like to be spontaneous and jump on HA for free.

Some painters don't really care what type of customer or work they get, long as they get work. I personally like good people and great work with very little competion because of my reviews. I also hate wasting my time with people that have NO IDEA what it costs to have quality work done.

AL members are usually intelligent enough to know that good painters aren't cheap, so I don't need to explain it to them. Makes my life much easier.
 

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A quick note, a fast and cheap way to get some leads is by talking to local paint store managers, staff and sales reps.
Ask if you can leave business cards in the store.
Present yourself well. Washed clothes,no smoke smell, not foul language, etc...
Make sure you have all insurances and any other coverage your state needs.
Online presence is great, but depending on where you live it may work or not.
Get some business cards out there and work on online opportunities when you have the time.
People that go into paint stores are getting painting done.....if you impress the store staff, they will be happy to give your card away before others.
This has worked well for me. But also, when the store speaks well of you, I have found the customers to be relaxed and have less worries. Most of by best customers are from local, family owned businesses.

Price jobs fairly, don't lowball, be honest,learn from your mistakes(you will make them) and always give your best quality work.
 

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I've tried them all...

Starting out can be a daunting task because you have to get customers first! I've tried a lot of the main "lead services" out there at one point or another. That's actually part of what drove me to get into what I'm doing now.
Not trying to promote anything here but we just wrote an article on this very issue. You're welcome to read it here: What Questions To Ask Before Buying Painting Leads.
Eventually you really do need a website with good local marketing and SEO behind it.
But to get started, you're honestly better off making up some flyers and knocking on doors to introduce yourself. Create an offer to get your foot in the door. 1 room free or 20%off etc.
The leads services tend to be pretty crappy. You buy a lead that is sold to 3 or more companies in the same area. Most of the time the people are just price shopping (at least in my experience) and not worth your time.
Angies List can be great, but they tend to cater to whoever pays them the most. If you have some money, they can be a good place to start. I've also heard some decent things about Thumbtack, although that's one of the few I never tried.
I would definitely at least create a Facebook Business page and get some pictures of your work on there. Plus you can usually find local Facebook Groups that are made up of people in your area. More often than not there are people on there asking for contractor recommendations.
I've made a TON of money just off Facebook for painting leads.
 

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Just a little correction about AL. they dont cater to whoever pays the most. The advertising rates are set by market demand in your area. Every advertiser pays the same rate for that area, its up to you what you do with your paid spot. If your work is not up to snuff, and you get negative or mediocre reviews, well then you'll be kind of wasting your money.

Whether you fly or die is totally on you.

Some say they were on AL but what they really mean is they listed themselves there in the free directory, that doesn't count. It really takes total commitment and focus on building a successful reputation if you want to move forward, some aren't very good at that.
 

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I've said it a hundred times before: AL is a scam. They scam their members by ostensibly providing their members with a list of 'good' contractors/vendors. However, what the members aren't told it that contractors on top of the list have paid for that spot. In fact, AL makes the lion share of their income from contractors that pay for placement on AL.

In general you have no control over being on AL if you don't pay this placement fee. You may be on AL in any case due to the fact that a member writes a review about your company. We don't pay a dime and we have 4 or 5 pages of reviews. We are constantly being bombarded by AL to pay for better placement of our listing. This strikes me as dishonest. They present to their membership with a list but charge the contractors to be on it that is a conflict of interest at best.
 

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I've said it a hundred times before: AL is a scam. They scam their members by ostensibly providing their members with a list of 'good' contractors/vendors. However, what the members aren't told it that contractors on top of the list have paid for that spot. In fact, AL makes the lion share of their income from contractors that pay for placement on AL.

In general you have no control over being on AL if you don't pay this placement fee. You may be on AL in any case due to the fact that a member writes a review about your company. We don't pay a dime and we have 4 or 5 pages of reviews. We are constantly being bombarded by AL to pay for better placement of our listing. This strikes me as dishonest. They present to their membership with a list but charge the contractors to be on it that is a conflict of interest at best.
I agree 100%!
I also like to add that in our market Homestars operates about the same and does not make it well known that the overwhelming majority of the best rated contractors are advertisers. I am surprised no competition bureaus or government agencies don't see this.
 

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If you have 4 or 5 pages of reviews, get plenty of work based on that, then you don't need to pay, plain and simple, why would you?

AL isn't the first or last advertising method that allows you to pay to be at the front. Some people like to be in the front, me being one of them. It doesn't work for everybody, nothing does. It just happens to work for me and plenty of others that don't need to put their cards up on the supermarket bulleting board with all the other scrappers, or ride around with lettering all over my vehicle hoping someone will see me on the highway and give me work, those days are over. Also Roamer remember that you may also have much more competion in your area especially if you do exterior, so I can see why it might not work for you.

If you have all those great reviews, but no one sees them cuz you're on page 12, well that would be in your control to be more visible. Common sense will tell you that most customers are calling guys on the first few pages, why would they look at the back?

Honestly, I don't need or want anyone calling me unless they find me on AL. My way of screening out dirtballs.
 

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If you have all those great reviews, but no one sees them cuz you're on page 12, well that would be in your control to be more visible. Common sense will tell you that most customers are calling guys on the first few pages, why would they look at the back?
I know it doesn't probably make money sense but it is all about our integrity. I don't want to be associated nor line the pockets of a dishonest organization like AL
 

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What about customers that don't pay you and when you take legal action to get your money they post negative revues? And get all their friends and family to post negative revues. Until there is some semblance of honesty on the internet i would be very wary myself of these types of "services".
 
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Based on this and previous threads, it sounds like the AL experience varies tremendously from market to market. For a OMS doing small interior residential jobs, it may be just the ticket. For companies dealing in a broader market, or with a crew or crews, it may not cut it.
 

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I think there's a big disconnect with y'alls perception of AL and reality. :yes:

AL promises to present their subscribers with a list highly rated contractors with good local reviews. That's exactly the product they deliver.

They don't say we're going to present you with a list of contractors in order from the most reviews to the least. Nope just a list of good contractors with legitimate local reviews.

You have to be a good contractor to earn those great reviews. AL don't write up a bunch of fake ones because you pay to show higher on the list. They also don't hide any negative ones because you're a paid advertiser.

Tell me how that's a bad thing? Because the list isn't put together in the order you like? All the guys at the top of the list (paying to show up there or not) earned those good reviews through good work so what's the problem?

Is Google a two faced monster because they show paid advertisers at the top of their search results instead of the organic rankings? It's the exact same concept. If anything Google is worse because anyone idiot can pay to be at the top of their list. With AL you have to have at least a B rating to advertise.

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I think there's a big disconnect with y'alls perception of AL and reality. :yes:

AL promises to present their subscribers with a list highly rated contractors with good local reviews. That's exactly the product they deliver.

They don't say we're going to present you with a list of contractors in order from the most reviews to the least. Nope just a list of good contractors with legitimate local reviews.

You have to be a good contractor to earn those great reviews. AL don't write up a bunch of fake ones because you pay to show higher on the list. They also don't hide any negative ones because you're a paid advertiser.

Tell me how that's a bad thing? Because the list isn't put together in the order you like? All the guys at the top of the list (paying to show up there or not) earned those good reviews through good work so what the problem.

Is Google a two faced monster because they show paid advertisers at the top of their search results instead of the organic rankings? It's the exact same concept.

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why, YES, indeed:yes::yes::yes:
 

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Based on this and previous threads, it sounds like the AL experience varies tremendously from market to market. For a OMS doing small interior residential jobs, it may be just the ticket. For companies dealing in a broader market, or with a crew or crews, it may not cut it.
Exactly right, thats why when I see guys like the OP trying to figure out a roadmap to get going in the right direction, i and other can honestly tell him how AL works, instead of just bashing it. Probably not very realistic or helpful to him. Sure there are plenty of other things he can do to market himself I.e. website, seo, facebook, driving around to construction sites etc.

Some of them are slow and painful, and typically don't pan out for the energy or cost put in. For him to ask about AL and HA, and to have people tell him its dishonest, or a scam is just silly. Kinda like telling him theres no good way except the hard, slow and often unsuccessful way. Thats really not being fair to him. What, you don't want him to succeed?

Btw, yes AL is great for a OMS, which sounds like he's in that category, and I personally don't do small jobs, unless you consider the whole house 3-5 weeks small.
 
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