I want to share my experience with Contractors.com, an alleged lead referral business. Last year I signed up with them, hoping to be connected to pre-screened job prospects.

In my experience, every single lead referral was bogus. My e-mails to prospective clients were never returned. When I would get a prospective client on the phone, they either did not know what I was talking about, or were not interested in actually remodeling. In only one case was the client actually interested in proceeding with a remodel, but they “already found a friend to do it”. I was unable to schedule even one job site visit to discuss a prospective job with a client. If you get any messages from contractors.com offering to increase your business with pre-screened lead referrals, throw it in the garbage. One sucker in the group is enough!

I had a similar experience the previous year with Service Magic. All money out, real contacts back. Avoid them also.

Has anyone else had any similar experiences, good or bad, with these or other referal businesses?

Aside from direct referrals from former satisfied clients, which accounts for the lions share of my business, I do only a small amount of traditional advertising. In addition to a website, I advertise in my local neighborhood phonebook, which has generated enough interest to pay for itself. I also keep my name out in the community by advertising with a number of arts or service groups. These are often groups that I would want to support anyhow with a charitable donation, so feel like I’m getting a two for one when I advertise with them.


Paul Lawton  SCCG member

5 Customer Testimonials
  1. Kathleen Bernokeits says:

    I used “Construction pipeline” for nearly a year. The lead list had some valid leads but most were as Paul has indicated, bogus. They simply issued a general contractors name in a specific area but the lead was bogus in that the general contractor was not looking for or not in process of accepting bids for anything.

    We contacted many contractors from the lead list and struck out time after time.

    You are right Paul. Contracors beware of paying your hard earned cash for “lead lists,”
    The sales pitch is enticing, the result is nothing.


  2. Todd Randall says:

    Interesting how different individuals and experiences go. I’ve done custom woodworking since 1978. In the earlier years I’ve taken full-time positions with other companies while also doing my own work. Over 20 years I was working 70-80 hour weeks average, and some weeks as much as 110 hours. I don’t recall many good jobs that ever came through a yellow page add for myself or for the companies where I was foreman/production manager. Referrals always seemed to give my name out to people who couldn’t find someone to do the more complicated, or less profitable, projects. I seems everyone is eager to do the standard or straight forward work, but few want to work for the tougher client, the highly-detailed projects, or tackle those tasks that come attached to a limited pocketbook. I’ve tackled many of the less desirable jobs. Often these have been the most rewarding, and the most educational, in the end. Those easier and more profitable jobs must go to “the friends”.

    The very best work I’ve had came through my own direct efforts in the market. This is often the work others pass over. The worst jobs have been referrals– not all referrals– those people that friends know are never happy, so they suggest this “nice guy” who will bend over backwards to service the customer. I’ve learned to better recognize the situations that are not “win-win”. I’ll let those people find someone else. I want those people who appreciate a “nice guy” who bends over backwards to service the customer. I’d rather stand by my own work than try to live up to “the hype” which can create false expectation.

    If someone hasn’t seen my work then I question that they would be my preferred customer. I question that these other referral services could send me the leads that best suit my skills and my personality– but this is just my individual viewpoint. It can be different for others.

  3. Carey Casey, Casey Building Design says:

    I don’t even use the phone book anymore. The only calls I ever got were people looking for free advice or lowball bids. Talk to people, hand out business cards, make sure clients are happy at the end of a job, keep in touch with past clients – those things all work.

  4. Aaron Anderson says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I received a e-mail from constructiondeal.com I will delete it now thanks again for taking the time

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