State of home improvement lead generation industry.

Illinois roofing leadsJust googling the term “roofing leads” or “contractor leads” will show you just a fraction of how many lead generators there are in this space.  The massive size of the home improvement lead industry is intriguing.  So, there’s obviously a huge demand for leads.  Basic supply and demand right?

Here’s where things get weird.

I ran an experiment.  I filled out a contact form on over 100 home improvement lead generators websites and here’s what I found:

Around half (50%) where out of business. Their websites looked great, they had webforms, blogs, etc but yet no one responded, ever.

A quarter (25%) wanted money upfront. This group promised me that their leads were better than anything I’ve ever seen.  Then when confronted with their poor ratings online and lack of web presence they stopped returning my phone calls or insisted I give them money for a “trial.”

15% where the big names in the industry. They took my calls, some wanted a upfront payment, others gave a free $50 credit.  These guys all promised top quality leads that I’d share with a 3-5 other contractors.  But I couldn’t find a positive review online.

10% Said I could buy phone calls or pay for sales. Intrigued, I pressed in.  I would have to take all calls, at all hours of the day plus weekends and pay for them even if I wasn’t able to answer their call.  Great for us since we have a call center, bad for the contractor busy meeting homeowners… Paying for sales sounded even better but the more I dug in the more I discovered I would have to do all the work, call leads, qualify, report back to them, and in the end pay them upwards of 25% of the job.

Also I asked some contractors about demand.

 Why do you keep buying crappy leads?

Because it’s been the only way to get interested homeowners (There’s actually a better way right here)

Why are you unhappy with online lead generators?

The leads rarely answer the phone, they’re unqualified when they do, and I can never get credit for bad leads.

In Conclusion, Here’s what I found.

  1. Contractors need to get in front of homeowners who need projects done.
  2. Home improvement lead generators will keep producing and selling crappy leads.
  3. Contractors will keep buying crappy leads.

But… you already know there’s something way better than leads, Contractor Appointments.