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ServiceMagic?


Bob White
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I hope this is the right forum . . .

I was contacted yesterday by a rep from Servicemagic, a referral operation.

As my business is less than a year old and I can always stand more referrals, I am consiering their proposition ($99 start up, then $11 per referral)

Iwas told at another forum that, once getting the referral info, I'm than competing with 3 other local inspection firms to close the deal with the client.

Does anyone here have experience with Servicemagic?

Do you have experience with other referral services?

What are your impressions of these operations?

Bob White

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I have never heard anything good about Servicemagic. They promise you the moon and provide little.

I would join a national association and a local chapter. You will get referrals from the national search feature and after you make friends with other inspectors they might send you their overflow. Cost would be about the same in the long run, and with one inspection you would just about cover your dues.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

I have never heard anything good about Servicemagic. They promise you the moon and provide little.

I would join a national association and a local chapter. You will get referrals from the national search feature and after you make friends with other inspectors they might send you their overflow. Cost would be about the same in the long run, and with one inspection you would just about cover your dues.

Not to turn this into a B-ASHI thread, but I've gotten exactly 1 referral from the "national service feature", and I was one of the first to activate my info about 18 months ago. This is in an area where ASHI is very much known.

As far as Servicemagic, you can do a lot better for your $11 per referral money. You could take that $11 and buy a dozen Krispy Kremes. Leave them at a local real estate office with a stack of brochures. Probably get yourself a nice fat agent!

I've wasted good money on referral services, over the years. There's one called "inspector locator" The price ain't bad, about $2 a referral, and as long as you keep at least $10 in you account, it stays activated. Problem is, of the 20 or so referrals I've gotten, not one has generated an inspection! Most contacts I get request being contacted by email. If I was the suspicous type, I'd swear that they were just feeding me crap every month or so to keep me on the hook. Fool me once...

I don't spend a lot of money or time marketing to agents, about 60% of my business is construction related. What little agent marketing I do is face-to-face. If you want to get noticed by the general public, write articles for the local weekly papers. Every time I write one, I get 3 or 4 calls.

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Hi Chris,

I have to agree with you on the referral numbers, I am sitting at 3 for the year that I know of. I use to average about 4-6 a month. The only thing I can figure out is the search area is much larger. I am trying to get them to reset the search area so the person searching can choose the distance.

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My experience is that the people that sell you marketing programs are the only ones that make the money on the program. 99% of my business is word of mouth.

How about this idea...

Put together information lectures about subjects that you are comfortable speaking about ( i.e. how a furnace works, how termites get into a building, etc..). Offer them free where anyone will listen. Try the local library, real estate offices, lawyer's offices or wherever they will take you. Keep them simple-know your audiences.

When you are done, provide some type of advertising specialty item such as note pads or pens along with cards and brochures about your services.

I like the article idea too.

Before you know it, people will be talking about the smart home inspector guy and how muc they learned from you. Many people have no idea how things work and would appreciate the education.

Good Luck

Steve H.

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I tried ServiceMagic for about a year. There were already several inspectors in my area who had been with them a while and were a lot cheaper on their inspection fees than I was. They also received the 5 Star Provider status. I received exactly 1 inspection from them. Not worth my time to chase all those price shoppers.

My experience with the "locator" services has been the same. A lot of "email leads" but darn few actual inspections. I think most of those people are your competition or price shoppers.

If you have cut rate prices, they'll probably work for you. Otherwise, you'll have to find another avenue.

The locator service on ASHI has actually worked pretty well for us. It may be because there is only 8 (at last count) ASHI inspectors in Houston, I don't know. Just started doing commercial inspections for a RE investment company out of Cal. that found us on the ASHI locator. We've done 2 restuarants and 1 day care for them in the last 2 days. Nice thing is they didn't quibble at my prices.

The article for a newspaper thing is good. The last time ASHI is mentioned in the Chronical (which isn't very often), we'll get 3 to 6 inspections out of it.

Your best bet is to try different things and see what works for you. Never stop testing, that's Marketing 101.

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