As a general contractor, one of the biggest challenges you may face is generating enough leads to have consistent work and, more pressingly, to grow your business. Though referrals will come, it takes time to generate the type of reputation that warrants them. In the meantime, you need another source of leads. While there are dozens of lead generation platforms for contractors, two of the most popular are Thumbtack and TaskRabbit. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide comparing Thumbtack vs TaskRabbit to help you decide which, if either, platform is right for you.
What’s Better TaskRabbit or Thumbtack?
Thumbtack and TaskRabbit are comparable services, but they are by no means the same. They differ greatly in terms of everything from how they operate to the types of people they cater to. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these differences so that you may make the most informed decision for your budding business and bottom line.
That said, before you can confidently compare TaskRabbit vs Thumbtack, it may help to have a brief understanding of each platform.
What Is TaskRabbit?
TaskRabbit, in the most basic sense, is an on-demand service marketplace for gig workers. In terms of how it operates and the types of jobs people request/look for through the site, TaskRabbit is comparable to Upwork, Fiverr or Guru. Though service professionals and companies can market their services on TaskRabbit, the site caters mostly to gig workers who hope to make a bit of extra cash by performing odd, one-off jobs. Types of jobs people post on TaskRabbit include assembling furniture, patching holes in the drywall, mounting televisions and trimming trees.
While TaskRabbit can serve as a way for consumers to connect with reliable handypersons and vice versa — for handypersons to connect with homeowners who have never-ending honey-do lists — the platform’s main purpose is to help people with short-term, easy-to-do and one-off jobs. Many of its service providers are not skilled contractors or licensed professionals. Rather, they are everyday people who need quick cash.
What Is Thumbtack?
Thumbtack was founded in 2008 and primarily as a platform to connect homeowners with home service providers. As a result, Thumbtack users are typically in search of professionals and qualified experts who can complete larger and more complex projects. Types of projects you may frequently find on Thumbtack include interior and exterior painting, flooring installation, cabinetry installation, plumbing services, long-term housecleaning, bathroom renovations, kitchen remodels and the like. You can find simpler tasks on Thumbtack, such as dog walking and babysitting but, for the most part, people who use the platform are in search of help with large-scale projects.
Thumbtack Vs TaskRabbit: Advantages and Disadvantages for Contractors
Now that you have somewhat of an idea of how both TaskRabbit and Thumbtack operate, it’s time to consider the finer details. How easy is each to use? What is the cost to advertise your services on each platform? Can you find the type of work you’re looking for on each respective site? The following table addresses each of your concerns so that you can easily answer the question: Thumbtack or TaskRabbit for contractors?
|Cost||As a contractor, you can list your services for free on Thumbtack. However, to obtain leads through the website, you must purchase “credits,” which start at $1.50 each and go down as you buy in bulk. How many credits you need to purchase a lead depends on the size and perceived value of a job. For instance, for handymen services, you’re looking at paying between $8 and $10 per lead. However, for larger jobs that require more specialized skills, you may pay between $50 and $60.||TaskRabbit charges a one-time registration fee of $25 for each user. It then charges taskers a 15% service fee, or “commission,” on the total price of the job once the customer pays in full. The platform then charges the customer a “Trust and Support Fee,” which is 7.5% of the total price of the job.|
|Ease-of-Use||Because Thumbtack is a more “serious” platform than TaskRabbit, it takes safety very seriously. For this reason, the platform only allows legitimate contractor to register as a pro. Though not required for all professionals, you will likely need to submit proof of licensure/credentialing, background clearances, customer reviews and photos.||TaskRabbit’s requirements are much more lenient than Thumbtack’s. To become a tasker, you simply need to prove that you are 18 years of age or older, are eligible to work in the U.S. and have a valid checking account. You must also consent to and pass a background check and be able to pay the $25 non-refundable registration fee.|
|Clientele||Thumbtack users are typically homeowners who need help with larger projects around the home or who need help from a certified or licensed professional, such as an electrician, plumber or HVAC tech.||TaskRabbit customers are both homeowners and renters. They may or may not have large budgets and typically need help with small odd jobs, such as folding clothes, building furniture or moving.|
|Relevance||As a contractor, Thumbtack may have more relevant jobs for you, as the platform’s clientele is more interested in having specialized projects done by qualified professionals.||Though TaskRabbit is a great way to make extra cash quickly, the platform may do little to help you grow your business. TaskRabbit customers often want jobs completed quickly and cheaply. They often care less about taskers’ qualifications than they do about affordability and convenience.|
|Industries||Thumbtack caters largely to skilled tradespeople and licensed contractors. Types of professionals that do well on Thumbtack include but are not limited to electricians, plumbers, framers, painters, HVAC techs, landscapers and remodelers.||TaskRabbit caters largely to unskilled, unlicensed gig workers. Think dog walkers, babysitters, movers and cleaners. Many people also hire taskers for yard cleanup, event setup, mounting and installation.|
|Average Rates||The average professional on Thumbtack charges between $40 and $70 per hour. The average job request on the platform is $600.||The average tasker charges $25 to $60 per hour. Most tasks take between one to two hours, and most taskers book one to four jobs per day.|
|Lead Generation Ability||Though Thumbtack charges for leads, the leads are of much higher quality than what you would get on TaskRabbit. Moreover, the platform strives to limit the competition by limiting how many professionals a customer may contact per request within a specified period. For instant, customers may only contact five contractors within four hours before sending out new requests for bids. If customers like your work, you are likely to get repeat business from them.||TaskRabbit is less about generating leads and more about finding same-day, quick paying work. Even if a customer likes your work, it is unlikely you will get repeat work from him or her.|
|Reviews||Thumbtack allows customers to post reviews about contractors, which show up on contractors’ profiles and which prospective clients can review.||Like Thumbtack, TaskRabbit encourages customers to post reviews about the contractors with whom they work. These reviews show up on contractors’ profiles and are visible for prospective clients to review.|
|Geographic Performance||Thumbtack is most popular in Idaho, Utah and California.||TaskRabbit is more popular in larger cities. The cities that garner the most demand for taskers include LA, Orange County, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C. and London.|
What Are Alternatives to Thumbtack and TaskRabbit?
If, after comparing Thumbtack vs TaskRabbit, you feel neither option is right for you and your business goals, know that there are other options. Some of the best alternatives to either site include the following:
- Amazon Home Services
- Pro Referral
- Google My Business
Does Thumbtack Cost Money?
Thumbtack allows contractors to create profiles for free, which prospective clients can browse at their whim. However, if a prospective customer decides to contact you, the platform charges you. There are three types of contact actions that trigger charges:
- The customer messages you
- The customer calls you
- The customer attempts to book an appointment with you
The charges come in the form of credits, which cost $1.50 at most but could cost less if you buy in bulk. So that you don’t accrue excess charges, you can set a weekly budget. You can edit your budget as you see fit, even if in the middle of a billing cycle. You can also pause your account if you either book your schedule full or feel as if Thumbtack isn’t meeting your needs. Finally, you can track your spending through the app or website for ultimate confidence and peace of mind.
What Percentage Does TaskRabbit Take?
In addition to the $25 registration fee it charges both taskers and customers, TaskRabbit charges commission and other fees. For customers, the platform charges a Trust and Support fee of 7.5% of the total cost of a job. For contractors, it charges 15% of the total cost of the job. It bills both customers and taskers after the customer pays the contractor — which customers must do via the platform.
Though 15% may not seem like a lot up front, it can quickly add up to more than what contractors pay per lead on Thumbtack or similar platforms. For instance, for, say, a $3,000 job lead on Thumbtack, a contractor may pay $50 to $70. However, for the same size job on TaskRabbit, you’re looking at paying $450 in service fees.
Of course, most jobs on TaskRabbit never exceed more than a couple of hundred dollars. Even so, if you take on a $300 task via the site, you’re looking at paying $45 in fees. However, a lead for a $300 job via Thumbtack will likely cost you half that.
Does Thumbtack or TaskRabbit Make Sense for General Contractors?
Given that Thumbtack and TaskRabbit cater to drastically different needs and user bases, the Thumbtack vs TaskRabbit argument is almost a moot point. However, because you can, as a contractor, find jobs via both sites, it was worth comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each.
If your ultimate goal is to generate more leads and grow your contracting business, using Thumbtack instead of TaskRabbit is a no-brainer. The very purpose of Thumbtack is to help aspiring contractors and small business owners generate leads by placing their information directly before consumers who are looking for precisely what said contractors have to offer. Compared to the size of the average job, Thumbtack’s leads are inexpensive and leave room for sizeable profits.
Moreover, though Thumbtack has more stringent requirements for setting up pro accounts, it’s well worth it to meet those requirements, as its user base is generally more serious about hiring qualified help. Additionally, Thumbtack customers typically own their own homes, meaning they’re more willing to pay for quality services and to hire for ongoing work.
Finally, Thumbtack professionals — because of their licensure and credentialing — can charge more than taskers on TaskRabbit. When you take both the size of jobs into account and a nearly double hourly rate, you stand to earn far more on Thumbtack than you do TaskRabbit.
When Does TaskRabbit Make More Sense?
Though we strongly recommend Thumbtack over TaskRabbit for general contractors, there are a few instances in which TaskRabbit may make more sense for you. For instance, if you live in a large city where residents value convenience over almost anything else, you may find that you can make considerably more doing odd jobs than you would by taking on larger ones.
TaskRabbit may also make more sense for you if you aren’t necessarily skilled in one trade but rather, are an adept handyperson. Finally, TaskRabbit is beneficial if you need cash quickly and without expending too many of your resources.
Both TaskRabbit and Thumbtack have their advantages and disadvantages for various skilled professionals. However, in terms of lead generation capabilities for contractors, Thumbtack is a clear winner. It also makes more sense for more serious and qualified tradespeople and handypersons who want to grow their businesses on a budget.
Recommended: General Contractor License Requirements: State-by-State Directory