flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

HomeAdvisor Spending $100 Million to Combat Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Advertisement
billboard -
Business

HomeAdvisor Spending $100 Million to Combat Word-of-Mouth Referrals

The writing on the wall says that word-of-mouth referrals are losing their relevance


By By James F. McClister April 19, 2017
This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of Pro Remodeler.

HomeAdvisor is spending $100 million to convince homeowners to rely on its platform above referrals from friends and family. That should tell you something about where the market is going.

In its new campaign, dubbed “Just Ask HomeAdvisor,” the message is simple: Your friends and family can’t give you the same assurances HomeAdvisor can.

Through a series of nationally airing vignettes that play off neighborly moments, HomeAdvisor illustrates the shortcomings of personal referrals.

A Fair Message

The first ad shows two neighbors checking their respective mailboxes. One asks for a recommendation on a roofer, and the other gives one—or at least attempts to. Before the second neighbor can say the name of the company, the first is rattling off requests. He needs a background check, quotes from competitors, average prices for the area, and he wants it scheduled two weeks in advance. The first neighbor walks away before the second can find the words to respond, and the commercial ends with the tagline: “You can’t expect your neighbor to do everything HomeAdvisor can.”

It’s a well-aimed message, considering the trends.

Of the 69 percent of homeowners surveyed in a recent Zillow trends report, about half used an online resource to help with the project. The growing consumer reliance on the internet has irrevocably altered the home improvement process, making way for new industry staples, such as HomeAdvisor and Yelp. As a testament to their popularity, during last year’s fourth quarter, HomeAdvisor’s revenue growth jump from 27 to 35 percent, while Yelp’s revenue increased by more than $150 million.

A Total Trust Problem

But even with a stunning surge in popularity and relevance, those review sites have so far been unable to overtake personal referrals as the industry’s go-to who-to-hire authority.

“It’s a total trust problem,” said Rick Cleri, general manager of internet marketing agency Contractor Nation, whom Professional Remodeler interviewed last year. Cleri was referring to a survey in which 62 percent of respondents reported finding their contractor through a friend of family. “The bigger the job, the bigger the trust problem.”

A Transition Year

Chris Terrill, CEO of HomeAdvisor, hopes the “Just Ask HomeAdvisor” campaign will address that issue. “Ninety percent of project referrals are word of mouth, yet the majority of homeowners consistently tell us they want background checks and scheduling,” Terrill said in an official statement. He went on to predict that 2017 will be the “tipping point … at which we begin to see the offline word-of-mouth market materially move online.”

Terrill is not alone in his prediction. In Chicago, Matthew Stock, who runs U.S. Waterproofing, has seen the same writing on the same walls. “Word-of-mouth referrals still have a slight edge over the internet, but that gap is really tightening,” Stock says, citing his own market research. “I would think in the next few years the internet will surpass word-of-mouth, at least for our target market, which is Chicagoland homeowners 35 to 64 years of age.”

Of course, Chicago is just one market. But then again, it's a really big market.


written by

James F. McClister

James McClister is managing editor for Professional Remodeler.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Related Stories

What Kind of Business Are You In? (Is it Really Remodeling?)

The answer to that question is not as obvious as you might think

How to Have a People-First Company

On this episode of Remodeling Mastery, industry advisor Mark Richardson dives into the importance of your people and how to ensure a focus on their success

5 Areas to Reassess for Business Success

Give these key business areas your intellectual horsepower moving into the new year 

What's Your Game Plan for 2023?

Key industry influencers weigh in on what the future holds

2023 Game Plans: Invest in Your People

Remodeling industry Thought Leaders share their perspectives on growth, challenges, and plans for the new year

2023 Game Plans: Modest Growth Expected in Bathroom Remodeling Market

Remodeling industry Thought Leaders share their perspectives on growth, challenges, and plans for the new year

2023 Game Plans: Year of Concerns and Opportunities

Remodeling industry Thought Leaders share their perspectives on growth, challenges, and plans for the new year

2023 Game Plans: Less Growth, More Marketing

Remodeling industry Thought Leaders share their perspectives on growth, challenges, and plans for the new year

2023 Game Plans: Larger Remodelers Benefit Most as Lead Times Shorten

Remodeling industry Thought Leaders share their perspectives on growth, challenges, and plans for the new year

2023 Game Plans: Extra Vigilance Amongst Continuing Challenges

Remodeling industry Thought Leaders share their perspectives on growth, challenges, and plans for the new year

Advertisement
boombox1 -
Advertisement
native1 -

More in Category




Advertisement
native2 -
Advertisement
halfpage1 -