Leads For Your Lawn Business: How To Get Landscaping Or Lawncare Customers
The summer is here. For lawncare and landscaping businesses this typically means busy season. But is it busy enough? With lawncare there is competition from every angle. Even for the most long-established companies, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. This is where lead generating websites have stepped in. They help to connect customers who need the service with the professionals who can get the job done. The issue comes in deciding which website is the best fit for the lawncare company. The following breaks down how to get landscaping or lawn care customers.
This platform is one of the older platforms, although it was formerly called ServiceMagic from its inception in 1998 through 2012. This digital marketplace pre-screens various home project professionals and then connects them with homeowners. For homeowners, the service is free to use. For service professionals, there is a fee associated. It is important to note that while HomeAdvisor operates as a separate platform, it merged with Angie’s List in 2017. By 2015, the site had nearly 3 million verified reviews, had a network with almost 100,000 pre-screen service professionals, and over 30 million homeowners had found service professionals using the platform.
How It Works
A customer signs onto HomeAdvisor. They search for the service that they need fulfilled. HomeAdvisor then shows them the professionals that match their locations and needs. On the other end, service professionals fill out a profile, selling themselves and also setting a budget of how much they will spend on leads. The customer chooses the professionals that best suit them and either connects over the phone, the messaging platform, or sets an appointment on the professionals HomeAdvisor calendar.
With HomeAdvisor, there are no upfront fees. There is, however, a monthly subscription of $28.99 that is billed annually. Additionally, service professionals get charged for leads. In other words, HomeAdvisor does not hand professionals customers, they hand them leads. It is the professional’s job to follow up with the lead and sell themselves. The fee associated with the leads varies depending on the size of the job—usually between $20 and $80.
Pros And Cons
The biggest benefit of the platform is that it has many lucrative offerings for customers. These include:
- Instant Booking: Homeowners do not have to call or message professionals to schedule appointments. It can all be done through the platform by clicking a few buttons.
- Integration: The app can be tied to a number of smart devices, such as Apple Watch, and appointments can be made through Facebook.
- Same Day Service: Depending on availability, homeowners can get a professional out to their house the same day they book.
- Profinder: A matching tool to ensure that the right professional is suggested for every job.
- True Cost Guide: A tool that uses local and national data to make sure that every job is appropriately priced.
- Financing: A tool can be used to check customer rates, without affecting their credit score, and provide them with a home improvement loan.
In short, the benefits of HomeAdvisor include its history of success and the set of tools it provides to its customers and the service professionals in its network. The platform’s main disadvantage is that some leads can simply be homeowners who are price shopping and have no intention of hiring.
How It Works
Porch was launched in 2012. Since then, their more than 3.8 million service professionals have completed over 140 million projects. For a customer that needs their yard landscaped, they can visit the Porch website and answer questions about the landscaping they need done, including everything from a simple lawn mow to tree care. Their Home Assistant software then matches the customer with a landscaping professional.
When it comes to fees, landscapers and lawn care professionals have a choice. They can either pay a subscription fee and be eligible for discounted leads, as well as first access to leads, or they can pay for leads with a pay-as-you-go model. The subscription model, however, works in a unique way. Each professional sets a budget that they want to spend every month on leads. Once that total has been reached, that is what they are charged for (i.e. if they want to pay $300 for leads, they are given $300 worth of leads, and then charged $300 at the end fo the month. If the $300 budget has not been reached, it is rolled over into the next month).
Landscaping and lawn care leads typically cost between $13 and $20. According to Porch estimates, landscape maintenance and lawn and yard work leads typically go for $13, landscaping services–such as tree care–leads often cost $18, and landscape construction leads come in higher at $20. Subscribers will often pay a little less per lead because they are committing to Porch’s model.
The Pros And Cons
The biggest benefit of Porch is the cost of leads—they are significantly less than any of the other platforms. Additionally, there are routes for reimbursement if a lead is a deadend. There is a reason for this: There are just not as many leads available.
Thumbtack was launched in 2009. It is unique from Porch and HomeAdvisor in that it offers a wider range of services, including lessons in instruments and fitness instruction. The site offers more than 250,000 professionals and has an annual revenue of over $1 billion.
How It Works
From the customer’s side, Thumbtack works the same as Porch and HomeAdvisor. From the professional’s side, though, instead of charging a set lead fee professionals are charged credits.
Each credit costs $1.67 and the higher paying the job, the more credits it costs to get the lead and contact the customer. The cost of leads is generally between $20 and $80 for lawncare services.
The Pros And Cons
The benefit of Thumbtack is that it has plenty of leads and there is no subscription fee—professionals only pay for the leads they purchase. Additionally, the technology behind thumbtack is advanced, with an easy-to-use app and the ability to create a comprehensive professional profile. The downside is that the leads can be expensive and there is no recourse if the lead does not turn into a customer.
This home services website was founded in 1995. Every year, more than $10 billion is transacted between customers and service professionals on the site every year.
How It Works
The unique aspect of the site is that businesses and professionals are not the ones that pay to be connected to customers. It is the other way around. Customers are willing to pay this premium because the website is extremely accurate with ranking the best service providers and offering in-depth reviews.
In order to show up at the top of customer service searches, service professionals have three options. The first way is to have lots of customer reviews and a high rating. Unfortunately, this can only be achieved by being on Angie’s List for a longer period of time and getting plenty of customers on the site to provide reviews. The second method is by offering discounts. The third method is to pay to move up in the rankings.
The Pros And Cons
The benefit of Angie’s List is the transparency. Service professionals who do a great job will consistently rank high and continue to gain leads without having to pay anything. On the other hand, in order to bring in the reviews it is almost always necessary to either offer significant discounts or pay for a higher placement.
A Side By Side Comparison
Each of these professional services platforms has their upsides and downsides. Ideally, in order to effectively bring in landscaping leads, professionals should use each of the platforms in different ways. The logic behind this is that most individuals will choose a single platform, meaning that the best way to get lawn care customers is to be available in each potential pool of customers.
In short, Thumbtack and HomeAdvisor should be used for their deep pool of customers and the ability to buy leads even as a new professional to the site. Porch is ideal to pair with these because leads tend to be much cheaper. In the long-term, though, Angie’s List could provide the best results.
A smart way of approaching Angie’s List is to initially offer discounts for specific services, such as gardening, lawn mowing, and tree care. Even though little to no profit will be made from these customers, they will leave reviews. Once ten good reviews have been earned, it is time to begin paying for a better search ranking (The good reviews are necessary because without good reviews, even a top ranking search result won’t gain many leads. Customers need to see that other customers were pleased before they are willing to trust a new landscaping professional). As time goes by and more and more good reviews come in, it will no longer be necessary to pay for a high ranking in the search results.
With increasing competition and the internet offering easier access to a wider range of professionals, it can be difficult to find out how to get landscaping and lawn care customers. However, with the right techniques, landscaping leads will soon be coming at you from every direction.
For more help building your landscaping company, please contact us.