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Every day a lot of people bump into the necessity to fix something in their house or apartment, improve their smallholding, etc. It often happens that people can’t find a good specialist quickly because not all specialists can afford to have a separate website. A HomeAdvisor platform was created for them. Due to this resource, homeowners can directly contact specialists and choose one, who has a proper level of qualifications to perform a specific work
. Also, specialists present themselves and their own services. In this article, we’ll unveil the secret of the success of this resource and talk about how to create a similar website
HomeAdvisor – what is it?
Rodney Rice and Michael Beaudoin founded this web resource back in 1998. The platform was called ServiceMagic then. The objective of this project was to set up communication between homeowners and specialists, who provide services in repair, maintenance, and home improvements. When the clients go to the site, they can view project costs or choose a specialist, etc. All specialists, who are offering their services, are passing a pre-check
(including criminal records or bad financial history).
HomeAdvisor bought Angie's List (an American website of home services that was founded in 1995) in 2017 and the company was named ANGI Homeservices.
HomeAdvisor's business model
At the moment, it’s the largest international website
that connects homeowners with specialists. Statistics are truly impressive.
The project has several sources of revenue.
- Sponsored banners are placed on the resource.
- Commission fees. The website takes $15 to $60 USD for each lead, from registered businesses for qualified leads.
- Subscription for business. It’s possible to get a subscription for 1 month or 3 months or 1 year on the website. It allows for more active matching of tradesmen to leads and gives access to marketing features and business management. A basic subscription costs $300 per year.
For example, both platforms (HomeAdvisor and Angie's List) gave ANGI Homeservices Inc. $1,3 billion in 2019.
Let’s puzzle out the technical part of the website creation.
Three sections are important here: for homeowners, for tradesmen (businesses), and for admins. Let’s review all these features in more detail.
Feature for homeowners
First and foremost, let’s consider what features for homeowners should be there.
This feature is very important because a potential target audience will be making a decision about further usage of this website based on it. Before the registration procedure, a person visits the resource to get familiar with it. The user should see a swift and robust search with necessary filters by type of service, area, rating, price, etc. to conclude that the platform suits him. For a more precise search, you can equip the system with a matching algorithm that will use a combination of search attributes to narrow down the results list.
To save time and the nerve of its clients, the HomeAdvisor website provides pre-qualification checks for clients. It allows reducing the number of calls from competitors, who just want to know tradesmen’s prices, and people, who have nothing better to do. The client is required to provide some information (email, physical address, description of the required job, photos, and sketches). If the system cannot identify the client as reliable, it does not proceed with the request to the Pros.
3. Client’s profile.
After a successful pass of the pre-qualification process, the system creates the client’s profile; where all the contact information and requests for jobs are stored.
4. Video messaging.
Coronavirus made some adjustments to business. For this reason, HomeAdvisor released new features for contactless communication and payments in April 2020. Once principal conditions are agreed on, a homeowner and a tradesman can start a video chat to discuss the order details.
5. Order booking.
Some websites allow clients only to see the information about a specialist/business and their contact info. And for HomeAdvisor, it’s possible to book professionals directly from the website. On receiving the request for an appointment, the pro can either confirm, cancel, or send back up to three options of available time slots (to meet and discuss the project) to choose from. There’s also a possibility to schedule an appointment for the same day.
6. Contactless payment.
Statistics show that more than 50% of consumers pay specialists in cash. The HomeAdvisor platform gives the possibility for contactless transactions. At the same time, the platform now can regulate all the payments for the services. Besides, there is a feature of tips for especially meticulous Pros after a job is complete.
As is well known, the estimated cost of the job differs significantly from the final one very often. It’s recommended to develop a special calculator to calculate the costs of one service or another so that clients can avoid disappointment and stressful situations.
The majority of consumers of goods or services read other users’ reviews and feedback before choosing something. Perhaps it’s the strongest motivation that influences a buying decision. That’s why consumers should be able to select a technician by the ratings and other clients’ reviews. Besides, a good reputation means traffic growth as reviews are indexed by search engines and attract more consumers to your site. It is also important to timely check and moderate reviews to prevent offensive and spam ones.
You can increase the loyalty of your homeowners by rewarding them with cashback, discounts, or other goodies for writing reviews, completing projects, and other activities.
You should create a blog so that it will be interesting for the users to visit the site and spend more time there. The blog can be filled with useful information on topics related to the platform and interesting articles. Good content increases the traffic on your website and uplifts your position in the searching engines.
Moreover, to warm up clients’ interest, you can add a little interactivity and gaming to the site. For example, this might be any particular resource design constructor or a board for pinning the best completed projects and creative ideas.
What’s also important?
The website interface should be simple, user-friendly, and convenient. In addition, you can’t forget about functionalities. That’s why it’s very important to keep a perfect balance between beautiful and usable.
Don’t forget about a clone mobile app
either. The majority of people prefer visiting resources via smart devices
now, so this product will be very handy. You need to remember that the development for both Android and iOS will be needed to expand the user base.
Features for specialists
Let’s talk about what features should be provided for specialists and businesses now.
When a tradesman or an enterprise offering their services creates a profile on the site, HomeAdvisor redirects them to the Pro directory dedicated to tradesmen. There, a user can complete a profile and add all the required information.
To ensure the security of users, it’s necessary to provide a pre-check of companies that want to offer their services.
The easiest way to do it is to use third-party resources. For example:
- Licensing and State Business Filings – enterprises have to document their right to engage in work;
- Criminal Records Search – it’s possible to check if a potential specialist has been prosecuted for fraud and if there have been any legal proceedings;
- ID verification – you can include an indispensable condition when registering – a documentary ID verification.
This will help to prevent fraud cases that can spoil the reputation of the future website.
Tools and member account
This site is a marketplace to sell and buy services
in its essence. For this reason, the tradesmen will need their member accounts with certain tools
to view their rating, the revenues from completed deals, organize orders, and the like.
You also shouldn’t forget about rewards for tradesmen and businesses. You can reward specialists for getting their ratings up
with badges or icons in the profile, which can be seen by clients.
Features for admins
Besides the user functionalities, you need to look after how things are going from the side-scenes. Both professionals and consumers may need Admin support. In addition, it’s needed to know your audience better, upload new content, make reports, etc.
The following functionalities will be useful for management:
- accounting and invoicing – it’s necessary to track all transactions and create respective documentation;
- Customer Relationship Management (both consumers and businesses);
- reports to analyze your business by different measures;
- Content Management System;
- digital notification system – push notifications, SMS, emails, etc.
You may need several different roles of administration with different responsibilities and levels of access.
As you completed the list of desired features, you may start considering what goes into building a site
like HomeAdvisor. Of course, a platform owner has no necessity to dig down too much into details, but still, some basic understanding of what is under the hood is useful.