Our Take on 6 Lead Generation Companies

We work with contractors in a variety of industries and many have asked for details about companies that can link them up with projects to bid on. Here are our observations and opinions on 6 lead generation companies we’ve looked into recently.


Thumbtack will link a professional up with applicable project requests. The professional does not have to provide a quote for every project; they should only quote jobs they feel suited to.

ThumbtackCost: Credits ($1.67/credit).
Lead Process: User submits a project on the site and Thumbtack directs it to the appropriate contractors.
Review System: Yes
BBB: 199 Closed Complaints


How it works:

Users log in to Thumbtack and submit their request for quotes. These requests are then directed to the related business, which can submit a proposal. Businesses choose if it is a project they’d like to quote or not. If they choose to submit a proposal, they will pay the required number of credits per their industry for the quote and send their proposal back to the user. The user then chooses which company they’d like to use.


  • Credits are relatively inexpensive compared to other lead sites.
  • Businesses aren’t required to quote every request.
  • Straightforward process.


  • There can be an unlimited number of competitors in the area.

HomeAdvisor (previously ServiceMagic)

HomeAdvisor makes it easy to find local pros who specialize in exactly the type of work you need done. Just tell us a few details about your project and we’ll match you to the best pro for the job.

Home Advisor

Cost: Will not disclose until a business screening has been completed.
Lead Process: User submits a project on their site and HomeAdvisor directs it to the appropriate contractors.
Review System: Yes
BBB: 665 Closed Complaints


How it works:

Every contractor needs to run through a very detailed screening process before details are revealed.


  • They have a well-branded name.


  • They have poor support.
    • Chat directs to phone number.
    • Phone number doesn’t get to representative.
    • Phone actually disconnected on their end one time before I could even get to a person.
  • There are too many unknowns.
  • They have the highest amount of complaints.

Home Improvement Leads

Home Improvement Leads focuses on the US home improvement market. We connect contractors of all specialties to homeowners looking for home improvement services.

Because we specialize in search-generated leads, we reach consumers ready to plan and purchase home improvement services. We offer one of the lowest shared lead caps in the industry and never reuse old leads.


Cost: $45/lead
Lead Process: User submits a project to one of Home Improvement Leads many landing page lead generators. Any that match the location and service get sent to the business.
Review System: No
BBB: 29 Closed Complaints


How it works:

Home Improvement Leads has created hundreds of sub-site landing pages. They are using paid advertising to get these pages to show up in the search engines where consumers will find them and fill out their form. The business must commit to a 90-day contract and will receive (and pay for) every lead that comes in until their budget is reached.


  • Currently HVAC is an exclusive industry in the Denver area.
  • Primary focus is HVAC and Plumbing.


  • Nothing is keeping the category exclusive.
  • Must pay for every lead, as there is no option to turn down lead.
  • The use of hundreds of sub-sites removes national recognition. Meaning, the consumer doesn’t really know who is going to be calling them or may not recognize the company name when the business is calling on behalf of the lead.
  • No company profile.

Angie’s List

More than 2 million households use Angie’s List to find high quality service companies and health care professionals in over 700 categories.

Angie's List

Cost: None
Lead Process: User submits a project on their website and Angie’s list will direct them to the service pros who may reply with a quote.
Review System: Yes
BBB: 365 Closed Complaints


How it works:

Business creates a free profile and uses the Angie’s List tools to gain exposure. The customer must pay to be a part of the site, view the reviews, and submit quote requests.


  • No cost to the service provider.
  • Ability to respond to reviews.
  • Businesses can list offers with their profile.
  • Several tools are available for the business to succeed.
  • They offer a “Review Generator” tool to assist with reviews.


  • There can be an unlimited number of competitors in the area.


Get in front of homeowners in your area who are actively building, remodeling and decorating. Pro+ offers a unique opportunity to reach a local audience that is looking for your services.


Cost:   No cost for the free profile, but option to upgrade to Pro+ status for a monthly fee. Fee is determined after profile is created and we contact their marketing department again.
Lead Process: User sees the businesses work on Houzz or within the Houzz directory and contacts them. There is no specific lead generation tool.
Review System: Yes


How it works:

The business completes a free profile listing, which contains images of past work, business details, contact information, and reviews. Customers will then be able to contact the business regarding their upcoming project.

There is an opportunity to get an enhanced listing with Houzz upon filling out the basic profile.


  • Buttons and Badges for site.
  • Local advertising options are available.
  • Users are very likely to be ready to get started.
  • No cost per lead.


  • No direct lead generation method.

Amazon Home Services

Selling Services on Amazon allows top pros like you to offer your services on Amazon Home Services. Millions of people shop on Amazon and many of them are right in your neighborhood. With Selling Services on Amazon, we provide actual orders and easy-to-use tools, so you can focus on what you do best—delighting customers.


Cost: 10-20% of each transaction (there will also be background check & monthly subscription fees, which are currently waived until Dec 31, 2015)
Lead Process: Users find and purchase your services while searching similar products on Amazon and you are notified by email.
Review System: Yes


How it works:

First, you must qualify by completing an application, passing a background check and providing proof of appropriate licenses/authorizations and insurance. Once you’re on, it’s time to set your pricing. Amazon creates pre-defined scopes of work based on common customer requests which you are then able to pre-estimate and offer set prices for. For custom services, Amazon customers can submit requests that are delivered directly to your inbox. Users find and purchase your services when searching related products on Amazon. When an order has been made, you receive an e-mail notification with a list of date/time preferences for the appointment. You will be required to confirm the appointment within 24 hours. Before a job begins, you can review a customer’s specific scope of work and process a change order if needed. Amazon processes the payment and directly deposits your share of the sale after fees.


  • Transparency in competition pricing.
  • Amazon handles payment collection.
  • Reach a large number of people (but limited to your service area).
  • Competing only against other approved businesses, not every competitor in your area.
  • No time spent on bidding.


  • Monthly fee and percentage of every sale.
  • Extensive qualification process.

Summary and Recommendations

Angie’s List is our top recommendation, as it is a free service with several benefits for the service professional. There is nothing to lose, other than the time setting up the profile.

Thumbtack is another great option, as the cost per lead is low compared to the other sites. The business doesn’t have to pay for a lead if they don’t think it’s of value to them.

Houzz would be more for the remodeling side, but it’s worth setting up a profile. From there, an enhanced listing could be considered for even more benefits.

All three of these options have a nationally recognized brand, which provides more merit and drives more traffic.