Within the space of one month, HomeAdvisor (formerly ServiceMagic) has taken some key steps to becoming a leading contender in the home services referral business.
In Cincinnati and Dayton, OH, my market for My Maid Service, HomeAdvisor popped on my radar last month with the news that it had made an aggressive offer to purchase and merge with Angie’s List. While that deal is still in the talking phase only – at least as far as the public knows – this latest announcement by Google is even bigger.
Now, when your prospective clients start their search for service contractors – including cleaning services – the Google results will include service providers who
- Are “HomeAdvisor screened and approved”
- Show profiles
- Include price estimates up front
- Offer immediate online booking
The key element here that I think will make the biggest difference is the availability of online booking. While I have not eliminated phone and in-home consultations for booking service, I’ve added online booking to my website and made it the primary way to get in touch with us.
Why? Well, think about it this way: people who search online and are heavily involved in social interactions online are far more likely to purchase online than to close their app and dial a phone – even the smart phone in their hand.
Oh, you caught that social reference, did you? That’s critical as well now that Facebook and Twitter are adding direct sales features to their platforms, opening up the potential for prospects to search and evaluate reviews and buy right inside a platform that doesn’t feel like it’s selling to you – like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor do.
As I said when I commented last month on the HomeAdvisor bid for Angie’s List, this is a market development that really intrigues me, so I’ll keep you updated as new information emerges.
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.