Check out their ClassAction law suits.
Having tried HA for a few months, I’d agree with all the comments on here.
There is a small competitor, Thumbtack, that has much lower lead fees and automatically reimburses bad leads in certain situations, such as the dreaded “no call-back” lead that you’ve paid for and never actually got a chance to sell yourself to the lead. This is small, and I’ve gotten one inspection from them to-date. I hope these guys grow.
Yelp has the potential of generating a lot of business but it’s a regional thing…some areas use Yelp heavily. But their advertising fees are ridiculously high. Every click on your listing can cost $60. I dropped them.
What would be better would be a HA-like thing that charges a flat rate of actual sales, not these stupid leads. I’d be happy to pay a reasonable finder’s fee. But the lead thing…doesn’t work in this industry.
Edit to include quote
Amazon home service charges 20% for the work you get & 0% for the work you don’t.
How does that work?
- Your customer finds & selects you through Amazon home services.
- They pay Amazon for the work performed.
- Amazon pays you 80%
Never used them so I don’t know any more than on their online terms.
Has anybody here used Amazon Home Services for HI jobs?
Amazon requires $1 million in general liability insurance.
I spoke with an Amazon rep about 2 months ago. They called to try to sign me up. A couple things: I asked if he was with Amazon or if he was a contractor. He works for a contractor (phone marketing company). The upside is that a customer picks you off the Amazon list, no diferent than buying a toaster. So the client won’t talk to a competitor through Amazon. Amazon takes the client’s money when the appointment is booked. The inspector has to update his/her own schedule. So the client can pick the day and time as long as the inspector didn’t block that date as " busy". Amazon sets the pricing based on sq ft… period. A 2000 sq ft home pays the inspector about $200, maybe It was around $250. No matter where or how old the house is, no matter where in the country, it’s $200 or $250. Amazon makes about $60. Keep in mind, I didn’t write down these numbers but I know I’m close. So a $3 million 2000 sq ft home in San Francisco and a $150k, 2000 sq ft home in Texas cost the same to inspect. I charge $299 for a 1200 sq ft condominium my area. Amazon pay two cycles per month. So you wait a min of 15 days to get payed. I charge more in better neighborhoods because I can get It. Can’t do that with Amazon. I charge more for older homes and long drives, can’t do that with Amazon. If I were a 1st year inspector, I would consider this over HA. It’s just much easier to manage and no sales skills required. At least I’d be working and honing my skills. But, This is dirt cheap for an inspection. They do require 1mil liability and 1 mil e&o insurance, I couldn’t imagine working without that coverage… The upside is, you’ll meet new agents and possibly establish your business and won’t have to chase leads like you would with HA. Just click and book. The downside is, the pay stinks and I don’t think they’re actively marketing it yet. I’ve never seen or heard an ad for it… yet.
I told him to pass along a message to Amazon. Raise the prices about $150 and they would get more and better inspectors and call me back. They haven’t called back.
If an inspector decided they would accept that price, they could skip the premium for that limit of coverage, keep the full payment for themselves & stay plenty busy…until they go bankrupt.
That’s probably because they found out their idea was a flop. They were marketing this over two to three years ago. I was getting emails left and right, sent them to SPAM. Now they’ve “progressed” to cold calling.
There were many discussions about Amazon’s home inspector gimmick on the old Message Board a few years back.
My wife and I buy a lot through Amazon. Not always because they’re cheap but because it’s easy. Imho, it costs me money to leave the house and shop. If they raised their prices for an inspection to reasonable number and adjust the numbers to local markets, they’d still get business and better inspectors and decent reviews. To me, it’s a better business model than HA.
I love Thumbtack. I can deal with the occasional bad lead when it costs $15!
Stay away from home advisor.
They are useless and will just cost you money, they care not about your business just their bottom line.
Well, welcome to our forum, Dylan! There are no stupid questions.
“I charge more in better neighborhoods because I can get It”
Neil, I have the opposite strategy. I charge extra for the crappy cheap zip codes. For the same size, cheap houses in my experience have been in worse shape, which takes longer to inspect and report. Plus the drive is longer to get to crappy neighborhoods. I’d rather stay close to home and do the easy nice houses…so I charge less for them, and get more of those jobs.
Those are very good points. The main reason I do this is to hook up with younger/newer agents. Unfortunately, I also run into some more established “bottom feeder” agents too. But I can weed them out. I don’t market in lousy areas at all. I can almost see Baltimore from here and I don’t market there. I do most of my business and have developed a good reputation in the nicer areas but between those areas, are the lousy ones. So by default, I get some of that business. My hopes are that these younger/newer agents selling the small and crappy houses will grow into experienced agents selling nicer homes in nicer areas. I want to be their inspector when that happens. Believe me, I don’t lowball my prices, I just try to keep them affordable where I see potential growth in a referring agent. I’ve been very blessed to connect with some great, high volume agents. But they didn’t start out that way. This has more to do with marketing than immediate income. Although, it does help my income. If I’m slow, I’d rather earn $349.00 (my lowest price for a single family home) than sit at home making nothing while waiting for a $600 inspection. I’m just entering my 4th year and business is pretty good, it’s starting to snowball. But I still have slow weeks now and then, this helps fill in the cracks. Maybe in a year or two, I’ll have enough business to adopt your strategy. That is my end-game plan.
I did quite a bit through Thumbtack when I first started. Liked it much better than HA. But the leads just dried up. Went from a few a week to one in a 6 month period. They just don’t advertise, or at least in my area. When I turn on HA, I get several leads a day. One inspection a month pays my HA bill but I still have to come in pretty lean to win that work.