One of the biggest challenges you will face as a contractor of any kind — whether a home remodeler, landscaper, cleaner or electrician — is generating enough leads to grow your business. While traditional means of marketing can help attract new customers, such techniques rarely draw in the volumes of leads contractors need to build and maintain sustainable business models. If you hope to achieve true success, you need a continuous stream of leads, like those provided by lead generation platforms. While there are several such platforms in existence, three are more popular than others: HomeAdvisor vs Angie’s List vs Thumbtack for contractors.
Angi Is Angie’s List
Before we begin to compare the various lead generation platforms for contractors, we first want to address one glaring point: Angie’s List is no more. In 2021, the company rebranded to be more in line with its parent company, ANGI Homeservices Inc., which acquired it in 2017. Funnily enough, the new parent company is also the owner of HomeAdvisor, one of Angi’s biggest competitors.
A major driving force behind the rebranding was the confusion its old name brought about. According to an ANGI spokesperson, “Angie’s List” did not reflect the website’s current business model. Whereas once upon a time, Angie’s List did, in fact, provide lists of available contractors and services, today it connects home and business owners to contractors and vice versa.
The company also wanted to emphasize HomeAdvisor’s current ownership of Angi, which it felt the rebranding accomplished.
What Is Better Than Angie’s List?
When considering tactics for lead generation for contractors, you may wonder, is Angi the best platform? Though Angie’s List has been around for decades — albeit, under a different name — more contractors are turning away from it in favor of HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack. This begs the question … Should you entrust a different service, too? To help you decide, we’ve put together this comprehensive comparison of HomeAdvisor vs Angi vs Thumbtack.
HomeAdvisor vs Angie’s List vs Thumbtack for Contractors: A Brief Overview
First things first, it’s important that you understand the types of services each platform provides and how it works. Though Angi did undergo a rebranding, it has retained some semblance of its former self. As did Angie’s List, Angi allows contractors to create business profiles for free. Through these profiles — which potential customers can view at any time, also for free — you can manage your reputation, showcase your work and build credibility.
More importantly, you can include your contact information, which neither HomeAdvisor nor Thumbtack allows. Thanks to this feature, there is the possibility of generating leads without you ever having to pay a cent. As was Angie’s List, Angi is largely a referral-based website that relies on reviews when delivering its search results.
Unlike Angi, HomeAdvisor is not a free service. To establish a profile on HomeAdvisor, you must pay an annual membership fee of $300. Once a member, though, you will not only have a profile on one of the world’s leading home services search engines but also, you will have the option to have leads sent directly to your phone.
When building your profile, you input your zip code, the services you offer and the distance you’re willing to travel for jobs. When home- and business owners submit a request for services that match your offerings, the platform may send the lead your way.
Thumbtack is a mix of Angi and HomeAdvisor. While it’s free to set up a profile on Thumbtack, and though the search engine relies heavily on customer reviews, contractors must pay to interact with potential leads. In addition to having to pay for leads themselves, you must pay every time you send a quote or bid on a job.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Service
When comparing HomeAdvisor vs Angi vs Thumbtack as a tactic for lead generation for contractors, there are several factors to consider. Use the following table to view each of those factors and see how they compare.
|A HomeAdvisor membership costs $300 per year. After that, you pay between $15 to $100 per lead you receive.
|Angi is free to use for both professionals and homeowners. However, to increase your visibility as a service contractor, you may want to invest in advertising. Advertising can cost you as little as $20 per month or run into the thousands. How much you pay depends largely on your budget, industry and growth goals. The average cost per click on Angi ads is $4 to $8.
|Thumbtack is a free service, meaning you can build a profile without paying any membership or annual fees. However, you must pay once leads contact you, assuming the jobs match your targeting preferences. The cost of leads depends on the value of the job and can range anywhere from $3 to $65+.
|HomeAdvisor’s user base of over 11 million consumers includes homeowners and business owners who are looking for larger and costlier jobs, such as kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, backyard makeovers and more.
|Many of Angi’s 6 million users are looking for handymen and women who can help with small jobs around the house. Through Angi, users find reliable, trustworthy and friendly “neighborly handymen.”
|Because Thumbtack, which has approximately 10 million users, caters to all types of working professionals, only a small portion of its users are actually in search of home services.
|HomeAdvisor caters strictly to home and business owners who need help improving or maintaining their properties. For this reason, it is the most relevant site for contractors who provide home improvement services of any kind.
|Angi’s user base generally falls into three categories: Those looking for professional services, those looking for auto repair services and those looking for home improvement services. About one-third of those users use the site to search for contractors.
|Though Thumbtack caters to all types of working professionals, many customers turn to it in search of home improvement professionals. This makes it a top site for lead generation for contractors.
|When it comes to lead quality, HomeAdvisor’s success rate is about 50%. Though actual statistics don’t exist, many of HA’s complaints have to do with contractors receiving fake leads or leads that don’t pan out. However, leads that do pan out can lead to valuable jobs and even more valuable connections.
|Angi does not have the best reputation among contractors. Per reviews, the cost of advertising is astronomical and does not yield a sustainable ROI, if it yields an ROI at all. However, if you do get a lead, it’s likely to be a high-quality one, as leads are pre-sold. If you do a good job on the project, you will likely receive more quality leads.
|Because Thumbtack does not focus exclusively on home services, the competition is minimal on this platform. If you receive a lead and pay to send a bid, you will likely get the job. Also, Thumbtack does limit the number of contractors customers can contact for any given project to five within the first four hours of posting the job.
|HomeAdvisor’s biggest competitor across all 50 states is Angi, with Angi claiming the overwhelming majority of users. However, HomeAdvisor is most popular in Idaho, Oregon, Nebraska and Wisconsin. It’s almost equally as popular in several other states as well.
|Angi claims the majority of customers across nearly all states. However, it is particularly popular in Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, New Jersey, New Mexico and Nevada.
|Thumbtack has a small user base across all states, with HomeAdvisor and Angi claiming most consumers. However, Thumbtack is particularly popular in Idaho, Utah and California.
Is Thumbtack and Angi the Same?
In terms of platforms for lead generation for contractors, Thumbtack and Angi are different in one distinct way: how they operate. Angi is a free service for contractors. Contractors only accrue costs when they want to pay to advertise their profiles. Angi does not charge for leads and nor does it charge for contact information.
On the other hand, while profiles on Thumbtack are free, you do have to pay to receive leads — assuming, of course, the job in question matches your targeting preferences. In addition to having to pay per contact, you also must pay to send bids or estimates to prospective customers.
That difference aside, Angi and Thumbtack both rely heavily on customer reviews. The more positive the customer reviews that contractors receive, the more likely they are to show up in the search results for targeted criteria. In this way, both platforms operate somewhat as referral platforms.
Which Site Should You Use as a Subcontractor?
If you are a skilled tradesman and operate as a subcontractor offering plumbing, electric, HVAC or related services, you may not need to grow a large, private customer base. Rather, you may rely heavily on general contractors to find you work. That said, say you’re looking for weekend work, or to grow your name so you can branch off and do your own thing. In this case, which platform is right for you?
After comparing HomeAdvisor vs Angi vs Thumbtack, Thumbtack may be the best option for you. We only say this because it’s free to build a profile and, while leads will cost you, they are almost always high quality and come with little competition. If you respond to a lead quickly, you are likely to land the job.
HomeAdvisor vs Angie’s List vs Thumbtack for Contractors: Our Final Verdict
After compiling this guide, we have a tentative verdict for the proposed problem: HomeAdvisor vs Angie’s List vs Thumbtack for contractors.
Simply because of geographic performance, we must conclude that Thumbtack is not the best lead generation platform for contractors. Unless you live in Idaho, Utah or California, you are unlikely to gain the kind of traction that leads to true business growth using Thumbtack alone.
That leaves Angi and HomeAdvisor.
Though similar in terms of geographic performance and relevance, the platforms vary in terms of their user bases, success rates and cost. HomeAdvisor has almost double the number of users as Angi, with 11 million users compared to Angi’s 6 million. As a result, it can provide you with a much greater reach. However, also consider that HomeAdvisor caters more to contractors who can complete larger-scale projects, whereas Angi is better suited to subcontractors and skilled tradesmen.
In terms of success rates, HomeAdvisor seems to have more positive reviews than Angi — though, neither reputation is stellar. Despite delivering fake leads frequently, HomeAdvisor is successful at connecting contractors with customers who are willing to pay for quality work.
Cost is the third and final consideration we made before coming up with our verdict. Despite a $300 membership fee, HomeAdvisor does offer more bang for its buck. To see real results on Angi, you would have to pay at least $300 in advertising costs, though many users claim they pay substantially more. Even if you pay for advertising, there is no guarantee you will earn the business of a person who clicks on your ad.
However, when you pay for a HomeAdvisor lead, and, assuming it’s legitimate, there is a strong chance you will land the job if you contact the customer right away. You do have to pay per lead in addition to the $300 annual fee, but for many contractors, it’s well worth it.
Given all this information, we tentatively conclude that HomeAdvisor is the best lead generation platform for contractors. However, every contractor’s situation is unique, so it’s important to do your due diligence and find one that is right for you.
Is Angie’s List free for contractors?
Angi is free for contractors who simply want to build a profile and take advantage of the SEO benefits the platform offers. However, the cost of advertising can add up quickly, which is something to consider if you base your decision primarily on cost alone.
What does each service charge for leads?
HomeAdvisor charges anywhere from $18 to $100 per lead. The cost of leads on Thumbtack is between $3 and $65 or more, while Angi does not charge for leads at all. However, you do have to pay per click on Angi ads, which average between $4 and $8.
Are there alternatives to Angi, HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack?
There are dozens of alternatives to consider outside of the major three discussed in this article. A few include Houzz, Porch, Pro Referral, Homeflock, CraftJack, 1800Remodel and Hux.