Should I try a lawn care lead generating service?

There are plenty of lead generating services out there. Are they helpful though? In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from some landscapers who have experimented with such sites and what they like or dislike about them. Included are some tips to really maximize your potential profits.

One lawn care business owner asked “has anyone used any of these lead generating sites? The type that get home owners to choose which services they need and then the site contacts local contractors to bid on the job? I talked to a salesman from one of these sites and he said there are tons of calls for lawn care in my area, but I am thinking he just said that to hook me. I did research on the company, and there are a lot of mixed reviews. Some say its a total scam and rip off, and then others say the people saying it’s a scam don’t know what they are talking about and are using the service wrong.”

A second lawn care business owner shared “I know two people that used such sites.

One is a lawn care professional and he hated it, said it was a scam. They would give him bids outside of his service area and then charge him for the chance to bid on it. Other prospects he called immediately and someone else already had the job. So you have to be fast. You pay for every lead whether the customer changed their mind or the job is taken.

Another friend does home improvement. This guy likes it. For him it’s worth paying the finders fee to them for thousand dollar jobs. He gets the majority of his work from them. The downside is, to get the bids, he doesn’t even look at the jobs. He just bids them blind. He is about 50 miles away from me and called the other day asking if I knew someone who could do demolition in my city. I said sure I’ll bring some guys by. How many hours? He said he didn’t know, maybe 4. It took the 2 of them and my guy 12 hours. I’m assuming he bid it for 4-5 hours.

So from that, the usefulness of such sites depends on what services you offer. If you’re offering hardscaping, excavation, construction, it’s probably worth it. If you are doing $100 jobs and you pay 3-4 times to land one job then it’s not.”

A third added “I agree with you. I tried such a site for my mowing company and it almost put me in the poor house. I had to cancel the service because I got two jobs from it. Most people were just trying to find cheaper estimates to lower their current mowing bill.

The two jobs I landed were one time yard repairs for around $600. However getting those jobs cost me about $1,400 for leads on jobs I didn’t tell them I wanted or were way too far away. Once I canceled the service, they continued for 3 weeks sending jobs (that I never contacted) and this is still continuing. They sent me to collections for it and I had to hire an attorney to deal with them. Such sites are useless for lawn mowing, maybe good for larger jobs like hardscaping.”

A fourth said “I have had a great experience with lead generating sites. I up my advertising budget with when I need work. When I am busy, I dial back the budget. From my experience, probably 1/3 of the callers are looking for the cheapest company out there. I have done around $12,000 in landscape work this year.

In the off season, I offer property clean ups, lawn reworks, or landscape maintenance provided by them to supplement my mowing. Many customers expand their services with me and sign contracts. I pay $7-22 per lead.

To really benefit from such sites you need to focus on higher profit services & target higher income zip codes. You also have to be quick responding to leads.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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