Women are sophisticated buyers. Women want to research services before contacting a building contractor. More than 20% of new home buyers are single women. Women make more than 80% of the decisions regarding home purchases for themselves and their families yet most marketing approaches come from a male perspective. It's well documented that women like to research a product or service before they buy. The title of this article says a lot, Men Buy, Women Shop: The Sexes Have Different Priorities When Walking Down the Aisle!
One of the primary drivers for the Assn of Women Homeowners is to provide women with the information they want related to their homes. Women don't just want a price for a new roof. Women want to understand why, what and how. Why they need a new roof, what choices they have to influence the look of a new roof and how the project will affect them, i.e. you need space for a dumpster while the old roof is being torn off … but not necessarily while the new roof is being installed.
Women Want Good Information
When women are researching a topic, product or service, they want easy to read information. Women want to find information quickly, information about the product/service and the contractor/company delivering the service. Women want the information promised by a link, without hopping from one link to another. Women want to decide when they're ready to get in touch with a contractor and who that will be. At HomeTips4Women we provide information and resources to help homeowners get the job done, the way you want it done.
Unfortunately there are many deceptive marketing tactics at play on the Internet. Here is an example of one string of links I stumbled into while researching my article summarizing Remodeling.com's annual Remodeling: Cost vs Value Report for 2010. I decided to share the experience here to show women they're not alone in chasing the wild goose, wasting time and getting frustrated when the web doesn't deliver on the promise.
- Researching methodology behind the Remodeling Cost vs Value report as I'm curious as to how they're selecting which projects to survey. The link “Free Remodeling Prices, Compare Remodeling Costs Online Free. Fast. Easy & No Obligation … and stupidly, I ignored the warning flag “Ads by Google”. You should never click on an obvious ad as 98% of the time they're just selling, not providing useful information.
- Stop! Do not pass go until you give me more information! We thought we were going to RemodelingCosts.Reply.com but landed at … Reply.com (and landing page changes with every click ?) No where on this page is the promised information, except if you give them a project and zipcode, but I want and expected to see a table. What I'd really like to see is a sliding scale showing me bathroom remodels from $1,000 to $20,000 so I can find one that matches my budget. Even worse, the minor kitchen remodel quoted on this page at $8,635 with a payback of 81% is way off the report I just linked from (cost of $21,695 with projected cost recovery of 73%).
- Drop down box is making me angry. Only remodeling options are accommodate a disability, basement, garage, multiple rooms … so I pick “other” and click and OMG.
- Arrived at the 2-ton gorilla site known as ServiceMagic.com (www.servicemagic.com/task.Addition-to-Existing-Structure-Build.40378.html) and they want me to enter my zip code again? I was promised “Compare Remodeling Costs Online Free. Fast. Easy … but there's NO cost information online!
- Time wasted clicking multiple links, providing date multiple times and … probably the goal is to badger you into continuing as you've come this far, so the shortest path is to keep going? Wrong!
Should You Use Service Magic?
You should START Over! You will only waste lots more time if you submit a request to Service Magic. Here's what happens and guess who benefits the most, Service Magic.
- Service Magic will sell your “lead” to at least 4 contractors who will pay from $10 to $50/more. This means on average, Service Magic will make $75/more from your inquiry regardless of the outcome.
- You will get deluged with phone calls, and after talking to 1 or 2 contractors you may decide to meet with them but hopefully you are starting to see how much time this will consume.
- Contractors who paid for your lead will keep calling and sending emails because they paid to get your information.
My experience is that even when I return calls in less than an hour, I only succeed in talking to 1.5 prospective customers for every 10 leads. If I pay for 30 leads, talk to 5 customers and land 1 or 2 jobs … I've invested $450 with Service Magic plus 15 to 20 hours of sales time. You can see why I no longer work with Service Magic.
Get a personal referral or research prospective contractors online!
You should be able to find every home professional online. The 100s of directories don't count as they are populated with minimal data by robots. Today every consumer focused business should have a website … or a blog … or a Facebook fan page … or at a minimum, a Google places listing that has been created by the business owner (so far Google isn't using robots to create these listings so you know a human was involved).