These are the Google results when I type “tile installation near me”. Rather than list tile companies Google shows me lead generation companies.
Many of us use Joist Inc for our invoicing and estimating software. Just this month, they announced a partnership with a company called EverConnect which is one of these lead generation companies similar to Angie’s List (now ANGI) and Thumbtack.
No doubt, your information that Joist collects is being sold to a lead gen company which will now target you and attempt to sell you job leads.
Solving your Problems
The problem is that most small contractors are good at their job but lousy at marketing and sales.
So, these types of companies, like ANGI, Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, Porch, and others will attempt to ‘solve’ your problems by sending you the contact information of people that are interested in your services.
It’s a great idea but typically lacks in execution.
Preying on contractors
Companies like Yelp! and HomeAdvisor (now affiliated with ANGI) quite often make headlines with their business practices.
For example, one of the most famous news stories about Yelp! is the restaurant owner that asked his customers for 1-star Yelp! reviews.
He did this because he felt he was being extorted by the lead generation company.
Even more recently, Home Advisor was penalized by the FTC for misleading contractors about the quality of its leads.
It’s not all bad
To be fair, I personally know a contractor, in my area, who received 100% of his business from (then called) Angie’s List. He had a great relationship with them for well over a decade and made a very good income.
I have also heard, second hand, about another contractor’s success story with Home Advisor.
So it is possible that this relationship can work. The companies send qualified leads to contractors who pay for and follow up on them.
A nod to CTEF
Notice in my image above that the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation listing is in 6th place.
I would much rather have them up there than any of the lead-gen piranhas.
It’s also an incentive to get certified as smart consumers will use the CTI listing to find contractors.
If you can generate your own business leads then you will be ahead of a lot of contractors that are caught between a rock (no leads) and a hard spot (lead gen companies).
Take a look at my post from last month that talks about 6 ways to generate business that are 100% free.
Also relevant, is my recent podcast that I did with Floor Academy about what it takes to hustle and get your business going.