Porch.com, the latest entrant to the consumer home repair lead-gen / picture-fest/contractor review website space has a number of things going for it, some confusing aspects to the site and some great opportunities for contractors.
About Porch.com via TechCrunch:
Porch is a Pinterest-like platform for home design and improvement that also connects you to professionals who can make the designs and reconstruction a reality in your own home or apartment. You view other neighbors’ home projects, see their actual project costs, and decide on the right professional by seeing friend endorsements.
1. Right now, there probably isn’t a lot of competition in your market
2. Advertising on the site is very aggressively priced
3. This is a site your company can grow with over time
The homepage is a bit confusing in how they lead readers (Mrs. Jones) into finding contractors. This is something I think the guys over at BuildZoom.com do much better. I think just having a search box is a better user experience. Remember, always keep it simple!
I am not a fan of the pricing component. I think Mrs. Jones will put too much emphasis on price and not enough on quality. Honestly, I think the first site that can develop an algo that measures price as a percentage of overall quality will win this space.
The I’m not sure…
They promote the fact that “We never rank professionals based on who’s paying us” but then say that with their paid profile you will be “Featured on the Porch home page for neighborhoods you have worked in” which sounds like paid placement to me. Again…if anyone from Porch wants to clarify, please do.
I LOVE the social engagement, social monitoring and crowd-sourcing the site uses to recommend contractors, and this will only improve as the site grows. This is another case of be in on social early or get left at the station!
In the end, I think having even a paid profile on Porch.com makes sense to most contractors right now. Being the first mover on these types of sites before they get too crowded is a good way to maintain margin and grow your business.