Community//

My experience working with online service platforms: HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, Porch, and HireRush

Every business needs development, I want to tell a story of how I became a well-off master of my own life.

You can always find your own way

I usually do not know where to start, so it’s probably better to start from the very beginning. My name is Greg. I’ve been a mover since 2012. Recently I got several friends asking me where to find a source for stable orders as they mostly wear out the seat of their trousers for several days or even weeks in a row. I am surprised because I do not feel any problems with workload now. But I remember how it was back in 2012. Anyway, I told my story and shared my experience so often that finally decided to pass it on to the public. I cannot say I earn enormously but I definitely have enough money for my family now and do not waste time searching for orders.

Employment in private company vs. individual contractor career

Usually, when you work manually, you have to either find orders yourself or go to the company where the boss takes the bigger part of your profit. For instance, when I did not know where to start, I tried some private moving companies but I was mostly ripped off. I refuted it quickly. So I decided to be an individual mover.

It was hard and I barely found people who needed my services and did pay for them. In a word about pros and cons of being an individual mover which are the flip sides of the same coin from time to time:

  • You are not accountable to anyone and
    simultaneously take all possible risks including unpaid orders, unreliable
    customers, etc.
  • You constantly search for orders but after all
    get all the income and do not have to share it with anyone.

Being at the very beginning of my career, so to say, I gave in this idea quickly as I earned poorly and I decided to find some place, some “source” for orders.

HomeAdvisor

So I googled and found HomeAdvisor: I took into account their presence on the market, experience, and reputation and decided to give it a try.

I don’t want to make it long, so I just outline what I liked and disliked about it. Almost immediately I received a lot of leads (potential customers) from the platform. That was great. But at the same time, I had to pay about 100$ in total for different bids and it didn’t guarantee that the lead chose me to do the job. Besides, month subscription was charged for the whole year which was incredibly inconvenient taking into account that this platform was new to me and I wanted some stability and was not sure if it could give me one and, therefore, didn’t know if I needed it for that long. But I really appreciated their technical support. Still, I decided to move on in some time and try something new and maybe cheaper.

Thumbtack

Then I found Thumbtack. Almost the same story: lots of leads but they were no cheaper than on HomeAdvisor. I had to constantly monitor new quotes and was not always able to get the next one. It resembled me hot pies on the market. And again, the leads didn’t always select me. Not much to tell. Thumbtack system differs greatly from that of HomeAdvisor but I decided to move on being sure there must be another option for me.

Porch

My next try was Porch: This platform had other pros and cons: the first and the main one is that the leads were cheaper than at HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack, but there were less of them here. I used pay as you go program. Well, it was not bad, so not bad that I continue using it till now. Besides, I gained some reputation in some certain circles outside the platform and it works now as a word-of-mouth advertising. My approval to this platform.

HireRush

And another platform I occasionally started working with is HireRush. I have to say, I never knew this one before but one day I just received a message from them about some lead. You see, I never got any lead for free before so I thought it’s some humbug, but as I got interested I called the customer and to be short, I got my money for the order carried out. I checked what they are about and why I never saw them before. Well, the platform is in operation since 2015; that sets things straight. Now I got an account on their platform and have my personal page on their website. But they have the same problem as Porch: low number of leads. Still, I am planning to try even more there and have my personal website with them (it’s supposed to be 50$ a month which is almost the same price I had to give on some other platforms for one lead, so not much to lose).

To visualize the information, I made this table:

HomeAdvisor

Thumbtack

Porch

Hirerush

Foundation

1998

2008

2012

2015

Lead sale

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lead limit

Max.3

Max.5

Max.4

Max.5

Price for one lead

Yes

(5-30$)

Yes

(3-7$)

Yes

(5-65$)

Yes

(from free up to 20$)

Annual/monthly fee (subscription)

347,88$ for annual membership

No

Pro plan or pay as you go

Pro and Premium

Company profile for providers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Website provided

Yes

No

No

Yes

Rough estimate

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Refund

No

No

Yes

Yes

Customer support

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

To sum up, registration on some platform gave me personally more
opportunities rather than my first independent attempts to find the leads. I
strongly recommend starting your business on some platform, it’s a good
beginning until you gain some experience and your own clients make your
reputation work for you. You can delete your profile on the platform in some
time if you do not need it anymore. But that is my personal vision. Hope, I
didn’t miss the boat and examined all points mostly considered by individual
contractors. Good luck everyone!

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