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14 Thumbtack Alternatives for Your Home Service Business

December 15, 2021 8 min. read

Thumbtack is a popular website that aims to help home service businesses connect with new clients and collect more leads. 

But Thumbtack isn’t the only lead generation software on the market.

In fact, the home improvement market is stocked with Thumbtack alternatives to help service professionals grow their businesses. Knowing which lead generation option is best for your business can be a game-changer. 

To help you make the right decision, we’ve gathered all the details you need to know about Thumbtack’s top competitors.

Free lead generation apps like Thumbtack

  • Pro Referral 

Pro Referral is a lead generation site powered by Home Depot to help connect home improvement professionals with homeowners looking for their services.

Although it’s free to join, you must pay for a background check before starting your first job. Background checks must be renewed every two years. 

Unlike Thumbtack, which requires service pros to pay out of pocket for every lead, Pro Referral members pay for leads with points earned from shopping at Home Depot. Members earn 2 pro referral points for every $1 spent, and lead costs range from 40 to 80 points.

Sign up: Visit the Pro Referral website to create your free account and follow the prompts to register. Once your application is approved, you’ll be matched with potential clients in need of your services.

  • ServiceWhale

ServiceWhale’s mission is to provide a home service platform with a similar business model as Tripadvisor or Expedia. It gives users the ability to search for home maintenance services and compare pricing, just as you would for hotels or flights.

As a contractor, you provide your pricing lists and policies, and ServiceWhale automatically generates quotes for the homeowner on your behalf. 

Sign up: Visit ServiceWhale’s website and follow the prompts to create your account.

  • Angi (previously Angie’s List)

Angi is another highly rated Thumbtack competitor. As a home service pro on Angi, you have the option to either list your business for free, or invest in paid ads to get better visibility and more leads.

While it’s not a requirement, paying for ads can help Angi members:

  • Get listed at the top of the search results
  • Be shown on profiles outside of Angi’s platform (including Handy)
  • Offer deals for potential customers

Sign up: Visit Angi’s business center and provide your service type and zip code.

READ MORE: HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List: which lead generation site is right for you?

Low-cost websites like Thumbtack to get new leads

  • Lawn Starter

Unlike Thumbtack, which is focused on a wide range of home service businesses, Lawn Starter is specifically for green industries such as lawn care, leaf removal, and landscaping. 

Rather than charging per lead or for an annual subscription, Lawn Starter takes a small portion of the mowing fees. 

With Lawn Starter, service providers don’t have to worry about bidding on jobs or wasting time with leads. You just pick the jobs you want and schedule the work.

Sign up: Head to Lawn Starter and follow the prompts to create your free account.

  • Handy

Handy works best for solo entrepreneurs and connects house cleaners and handymen to potential customers.

The job rates are set directly by Handy and are based on your tier level or star rating. 

While it’s free for you to join, fees may be deducted based on performance-based issues such as:

  • Late cancellations
  • Missed appointment
  • Late arrival
  • Early departure

Sign up: Access new jobs through Handy by submitting an online application.

Pay-per-lead apps like Thumbtack

  • Porch

Like Thumbtack, Porch also follows a pay-per-lead payment model, where you can set a monthly spend budget or buy leads individually.

Porch also gives you the flexibility to specify your work preferences, choose how you receive leads, and determine how you want to pay for them.

Sign up: Create your account, then follow the prompts to build your company profile and set your lead preferences. You can also choose to become a vetted pro and access additional features for an annual subscription of $360.

  • HomeAdvisor

Another platform with a pay-per-lead pricing structure, HomeAdvisor connects a wide range of home improvement service providers with potential customers.

While HomeAdvisor works well in helping your small service business build an online presence and get more leads, it often comes with a high price tag.

A HomeAdvisor membership costs $300 annually, and the cost per lead can range from $15 to $60 each.

Sign up: Enter your postal code and follow the prompts to create your business account.

Subscription-based lead generation sites like Thumbtack

  • TaskRabbit

If you’re comparing TaskRabbit to Thumbtack, TaskRabbit is a much more affordable. 

However, because the platform is focused on providing homeowners with one-off services, it’s not the right solution if you’re looking for long-term contracts.

TaskRabbit freelancers fall into a variety of categories, like a wedding photographer, HVAC technician, dog trainer, florist, tutor, home project provider, and more.

To become a Tasker, you pay a small $25 registration fee—there’s no cost per lead. 

Sign upCreate your account, build your profile, and then follow the prompts to submit any required business certification.

  • Houzz

Houzz is primarily geared towards home builders, architects, remodelers, interior designers, and handymen. They offer three subscription levels with membership fees ranging from $65 to $199 per month.

In addition to leads, Houzz offers marketing and business tools to help your home improvement company stand out from the competition. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a free basic directory listing with a limited profile and lead inbox.

Sign up: Enter your business email address and a password to create a free account. Then follow the instructions to complete your profile and choose your subscription level.

Free directories and other Thumbtack alternatives 

Using a lead generation platform isn’t the only way to get your home service business in front of prospective customers. 

Listing your services on free online directories and other Thumbtack alternatives can help you increase your brand visibility and reach a whole new audience. Here are a few free directories to get you started:

  • Google My Business

Creating a Google my Business account helps your business appear to homeowners searching for your services online. 

It can also help you keep customers informed about changes within your business, and build your reputation as a reliable service provider by collecting reviews.

Best of all, it’s 100% free.

To set up your accountsign in to Google my Business using any Google account, then follow the prompts to add your business, your location, and your contact information.

Once your account is set up, you can start adding service details and images, as well as request Google reviews from past or current customers.

  • Yellow Pages

Claiming your free business listing on Yellow Pages can help your small service business reach new customers, improve your online visibility, and be found on Google and Apple Maps.

Looking for more? Invest in the Yellow Pages’ wide range of marketing solutions, including digital or print advertising, website management, and more.

To get startedclaim your business by entering your home service company details. Then follow the prompts to complete your YP profile. 

  • Yelp

Yelp helps your home service business get discovered by ready-to-hire homeowners.

Businesses on Yelp have the option to manage their page for free or upgrade their package to convert page views into new customers.

To get started, visit Yelp for Business and follow the prompts to set up your business page.

  • Google Local Service Ads

Use Google Local Service ads to get discovered by new customers and book jobs straight from your ads.

To get started with Local Service ads, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign up as a service provider
  2. Set your advertising budget
  3. Turn on Google ads

Book more leads with less effort using Jobber and Google’s Local Services Ads.

READ MORE: How Marianna’s Cleaning Co. doubled new leads with Google’s Local Services ads and Jobber

  • Facebook

For service businesses, Facebook is more than just a platform to connect with family and friends—it’s also a prime tool to help you grow your business.

Optimizing your Facebook business page can help you attract new customers, appear in Google search results, and book more jobs.

READ MORE: 17 expert tips on using social media to grow your business

How to pick the best lead generation platform for your business

When it comes to lead generation websites for home service professionals, the options are limitless. But how do you pick the right platform to invest in?

Here are three steps to help you pick the right lead generation platform for your business.

1. Do your research

We’ve given you the information you need to get started, but you’ll still want to do your homework to make sure the company provides the services you need.

To make the right decision, consider the following:

  • How much will you be paying for leads or subscriptions?
  • Are there any other hidden fees (e.g., cancellation fees)?
  • What does the competition look like in your area and in your industry?
  • How does your pricing compare to the competition?
  • What other services or features does the platform offer that would benefit your business?

2. Browse each platform as a customer

Get a better understanding of your competition by searching service providers on the customer side of each platform.

This will help you see how much competition exists within your industry, and how your business, your services, and your prices stack up.

3. Test them out

If the lead generation site is free, runs on a pay-per-lead basis, or offers a free trial period, test the waters before you make a major investment.

Keep detailed notes on the leads you receive and the profit they bring to your business.

Testing a couple of different platforms is the perfect way to determine which option is the most valuable to you and your business.

Originally published August 2020. Last updated on December 15th, 2021

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