On May 1, 2017, the parent company of Home Advisor, IAC, and Angie’s List announced they had reached terms to combine Angie’s List with Home Advisor in a $500 million deal to create a new company called ANGI Homeservices Inc. In making the announcement, IAC was quick to share their plans to maintain the two brands.
So what does this mean for a service provider who has relied on either of these sites for their business? For the time being, not many details have been announced. The fact that IAC will operate both sites separately means that no major changes should be expected right away. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be changes, though. Here are five steps to take to stay ahead of the curve as the deal closes and IAC begins to merge the two companies.
Go Where Your Customers Are
Keeping the sites separate means your customers will continue going to one or both of these sites to find you. It’s important that you advertise where your customers are.
If 90% of your potential customers go to site A and you only advertise on site B, you might be missing a lot of opportunities. Make sure that you have a presence that brings you the most business.
But it’s not only about the volume of business. Make sure that the business you get from either site is the right kind of business. Getting calls for only small jobs that aren’t profitable, even if there are dozens a day, isn’t the right way to grow your business.
Digital Marketing for Contractors
Download this free, 20-page guide that will walk you step-by-step through building an online presence. From your website to SEO to social media, you’ll learn tips and ideas to help you succeed. Download Now.
If having great reviews on Angie’s List brings you new customers then you probably shouldn’t change anything. Or if you get to bid on projects through Home Advisor that you would otherwise be missing, then keep bidding. It’s important to find the right customers for your business.
Find the Best Return
If you have a listing on either Home Advisor or Angie’s List, you’ve probably kept it because it’s generating profitable sales. This should stay your number one focus with any new announcement. Regardless of how the companies might change, it’s important to keep your eye on ROI (return on investment).
Do you regularly reevaluate your spend with all of your advertisements? Reviewing the numbers regularly ensures you’re getting the most from your investment.
Make sure you’re asking where someone saw your listing when they call. If they don’t remember, ask them if they saw you on one of these sites. Then keep track of the numbers for calls, proposals, and opportunities you win.
If you’re getting business from either of these sites, don’t change just because of this announcement. And if you aren’t, it’s time to reevaluate where your advertising money is going.
Watch Your Reputation
No matter what happens in the market, it’s important to keep an eye on your company’s reputation. Both companies offer profiles and ratings, so it’s going to be important that you watch what customers are saying on both sites.
Think you can focus on just one? Maybe you use the Angie’s List seal on your website and brochures, so you only point prospective customers to that site. What if they decide to combine reviews in the future? It’s impossible to know where a potential customer might look when making a decision, so make sure you have good reviews on both sites.
And if something happens and you get a negative review, make sure you deal with these reviews in the right way. Even if nothing changes in how the platforms work, not having high ratings can hurt your business.
Take Advantage of New Opportunities
It’s impossible to guess what might happen with both of these sites, but it’s a safe bet that they will continue to evolve and change. That means they will continue adding new features and new ways of bringing attention to your business.
As they release new features, try them out if they can add value to your business. Be on the lookout for new opportunities to get your business in front of customers. And make sure you’re using technology not just to find customers, but to manage your business as well.
New features also mean changes to the potential return on investment you can get from each site. Look at these updates as a reminder to go back and evaluate which site works best for your business – and where you can get the biggest ROI.
Guard Your Sales Pipeline
The new, combined ANGI Homeservices Inc. will become the biggest player in the market for digital home services. While this means that they can help you reach more customers, it can also mean a bigger impact on your business if they change something you rely on too much.
A lot changed when Angie’s List went from a paid membership model to offering free memberships. It’s easy to imagine that other changes could have a similar impact.
As the largest player in the market, make sure you aren’t getting all of your business from one of these sites in case things change. If you see that most of your business is coming from Angie’s List or Home Advisor (or the two combined), look for new ways to find leads for your business. Especially since there’s now less competition due to the merger.
The More Things Change…
While no one has a crystal ball, and no one can predict what changes might happen, there are some practical ways to stay one step ahead. Using these points can help prepare for doing business as these two big players join forces.
The most important thing you can do is to keep an eye on the market. At the end of the day, these sites offer a way to reach customers. Continually evaluate them, and other sites, so you spend your money where you will get the best return. As changes happen, look at how they impact your ability to find customers, and make adjustments as needed. Always be on the lookout for the right mix of tools to build your business.