In November 2015, Angie's List announced the launch
of a new feature to their marketplace called LeadFeed, "a product designed to capture demand from free online visitors and turn that demand into leads for service providers."
As an Angie's List advertiser myself, I received an invitation from them
to begin using the beta version of LeadFeed to "complement [my] advertising to members with a new stream of non-member leads delivered straight to [my] inbox. View project details, take [my] pick, and pay only for leads that fit best."
Then last month, TechCrunch
outed Facebook's testing of its new local services lead generator at Facebook.com/Services
, from which Facebook directs members of its social network toward the best-rated and reviewed local service providers on its platform.
These sound like advances to compete with similar feature-rich marketplaces like Amazon Home Services, HomeAdvisor, and Yelp, which all started out as a simple online product retailer, a lead generator, and a service review site. In Angie's Lists case, this leads me to believe that this is Angie's List's response to HomeAdvisor's attempt to buy them out
in a hostile takeover earlier this year. For Facebook, this is all part of its continuing quest to dominate as the #1 used lifestyle site and network.
The face of advertising a home service business is changing rapidly, and in a way that may make it necessary for businesses to buy-in to all of the major marketplaces where consumers can shop, get a guaranteed quote, price compare, schedule and pay for your services without ever actually talking to you.
Derek Christian is the owner of My Maid Service with locations in Cincinnati, OH and Dallas, TX, as well as a business coach through Cleaning Business Builders and publisher of CleaningBusinessToday.com. Derek is now an investor in several cleaning companies including My Maid Service Dayton and Real World Services Columbus.