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Porch.com Review: The Best Online Directory Yet?

As a handyman and writer of this blog, I’m always on the lookout for new ways of getting customers.  More specifically, I’m always looking for low maintenance ways of getting customers.

Personally, I don’t like to spend a lot of time marketing my handyman business.  Instead, I like to put in focused effort on the 20% of marketing methods that generate 80% of my new leads.  This allows me to make a full time living as a handyman while only working 3 days a week.

A few weeks ago while shopping for supplies at a local Lowe’s, I saw an ad at the end of the isle (as shown in the image to the right) and was instantly intrigued.  Lowe’s now had it’s own directory for recommending professionals.

Just as Home Depot has done with RedBeacon, Lowe’s was now working on a way to connect their customers with qualified home service pros.

I don’t know about where you live, but a lot of people in my city shop a Lowe’s.  But more importantly, a lot of non-contractor’s shop at Lowe’s.

This could be a game changer for many handymen.

What is Porch?

Essentially, Porch is a lead generation company.  Just like Angie’s List, Red Beacon, Yelp, and hundreds of others, Porch was created to connect homeowners with professionals.

On the site, customers can type in the service they are looking for to see a list of local professionals.  They can then browse through the list, take a look at previous jobs completed, and evaluate other customer reviews.  Pretty common structure when it comes to an online directory.

Creating a listing for your business is free. And, just like other directories, you have the ability to pay for a premium listing.

Porch may seem like just another directory, but it’s not.  Here’s why…

Why I Like Porch

#1 – Get recommended in store.

Porch is doing something very unique with it’s directory.  Not only can homeowners access the site from home, but Lowe’s employee’s will use the site to recommend service providers to shoppers in store.  From what I was told by Porch, certain Lowe’s employees will have iPads on hand that they can use to guide customers through finding a service provider.

That means you have the ability to be recommended by a Lowe’s employee directly!  I don’t know if it gets much better than that for building instant trust.

#2 – They’re Innovative

Not only is Porch partnering with Lowe’s, but they’re also partnering with Realtor.com – a website dedicated to helping people find a home.

How this works is really interesting.  Realtor.com will be using the jobs tracked on porch to create a history of each property.  This history will include maintenance, upgrades, and other information.

For example, if a homeowner used porch to find a contractor to do a kitchen remodel and then tracked the job on Porch.com, that history would be attached to the home profile on Realtor.com.  When a somebody else purchases that home in the future, they can see a complete list of maintenance and home improvements, including what contractor or handyman did the work.  

So, even if your customer moves, you still have the opportunity to retain the business for that specific house.  Or, other homeowners in that neighborhood could see what contractor’s their neighbor used.  Smart.

#3 – Transparency

Unlike HomeAdvisor (who has created quite a bit of controversy in the industry), they aren’t sending you the leads and forcing you to race and compete for the business.  Porch is simply recommending you and allowing the customers to call you if they choose.

So instead of chasing down fake leads and tire-kickers, you will only receive leads that are serious enough to pick up the phone and call you.

#4 – Accessible to Anyone

Unlike Angie’s List (not a fan), Porch is free for anybody to access.  This gives it a much wider user base instead of only allowing you to reach customers who have paid to see “the list.”

#5 – It’s Customizable

With with a premium listing on Porch.com, you have the ability to focus on very specific areas and services.  Only work in one zip code?  That’s where you’ll get your leads from.  Only want to advertise certain services?  They’ve got you covered there, too.

I like this because it allows you to build your customer base in a very small and specific area, allowing you to stay busy without having spend all day driving to and from jobs.

Low Hanging Fruit For Handymen

It all sounds good in theory, but does it deliver results?

When I first saw that Porch had partnered with Lowe’s, I immediately  knew this would be a big deal in the lead generation industry.  So, I created a (free) profile.  I then looked at my current competition on the site and saw that there was almost no competition.  Sure, there were a lot of professionals listed in their directory, but only a few had complete profiles.

I was able to stand out in a major way by simply uploading some pictures.  My profile stood out like a full page color ad in the white pages of the phone book.

Within a day or two of creating my profile, I was already receiving leads!  In a single day I got 4 leads just from Porch.com  The best part was I had instant credibility because I was recommended by a Lowe’s employee!  I was amazed.

Will this last?  Will I continue to get high quality leads with almost no effort for free?  Probably not.  Eventually, more professionals will figure it out and create a decent profile.  And soon, there will be handymen paying for the opportunity to be recommended by  Lowe’s employee directly.

For me, I’ve decided not to pay to be a go-to handyman in my area because my website generates more than enough leads by itself.  But, if I was looking to grow, you bet your ass I’d be paying for at least one zip code.

What are you waiting for?  Click Here and setup your profile today!  (I’m not affiliated with Porch.com BTW.  Just thought it could help you.)

If you found this article helpful, don’t you think others will, too?  Do us both a favor and share it!

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  • Ryan August 27, 2014

    Thanks for the heads-up Dan. I shop for my supplies at mainly lowe’s if I can help it the poeple there are very helpful. I’m excited to learn that lowe’s is doing this and I will definitely be using porch.com to get some leads. And hearing about your experience with home adviser I’m not sure if I will be going to use that as I was advised by a friend who I believe now had little experience with it. Thanks again for your very useful information and insights.

    • Dan Perry August 27, 2014

      Your welcome, Ryan. And remember, the key to standing out is to have a complete profile with pictures and projects listed. Reviews will come naturally if you do a good job and those help a lot, too.

  • Thomas August 27, 2014

    Ha this is great timing! I just saw the ad recently as well and thought it was something I need to look into but just haven’t yet. Thanks for the extra info and sharing, it’s now on my high priority list!

  • Craig Mckenzie August 31, 2014

    This is great!I just started my own handyman’s service and had a lot of unanswered questions until now.I think it’s great that your doing this to help the new comers get started.

  • Chris September 13, 2014

    Thanks Dan,

    I read this post a day after it came up, and made a profile around mid-night and added some pictures. The next day my local Lowe’s called to see if I would be interested in being one of their on call/in store local handymen (they were looking for 4). At the time, I had too much work lined up to accept. I was shocked at how quickly I got that call.

    • Dan Perry September 15, 2014

      Ya, they’re on it over there!

  • Jacob Kern October 20, 2014

    Signed up for porch less than a month ago. I am paying for one zip code. I have had more leads than I can keep up with. Thanks for the review. I don’t like throwing money at marketing without knowing that its working for someone.

  • True October 20, 2014

    Thanks for the advice Dan! I’ve tried the VERY expensive misleading, Thumbtack, and Home Advisor which can be pretty pricey as well. It’s refreshing to FINALLY find a site that will generate FREE leads to a professional instead of empty promises.

    I have a cleaning service and I am ALWAYS looking for new customers. Thank you so very much and wish you nothing but continued success in your business!

    Thanks again!

    • Dan Perry October 21, 2014

      Your Welcome. Happy to hear that so many have had success with Porch.

  • Aaron Klause January 24, 2015

    I do have a Porch listing that I spent quite a bit of time building. I did join their Lowes partner ship for a couple of months at $180 a month and got no leads. I have had a few from porch but nothing earth shattering. I recently had the opportunity to gain some inside info on the Lowes partnership and found that it is a bit misleading. There are end cap advertisements up in Lowes for Porch but the Lowes staff are making little to no effort to push it. Lowes has its own install program for most things. Fans, windows, doors, hot water heaters etc… and the store managers and staff have goals they have to meet. Porch unfortunately, is in direct competition with Lowes existing install services. Short story is they don’t push it much. Free porch listing is okay but i dont see the value in paying to be a Lowes partner.

    • Dan Perry January 26, 2015

      Thanks for sharing that Aaron. Always glad to get multiple perspectives on here to help people make the best choice for them. I also think it was good practice that you at least tested it out, found that you weren’t getting a good ROI, and moved on.

  • Andrew March 27, 2015

    Great article thank you for the information. Did Porch.com already have a profile set up for you on their site that you claimed, or did you create it from scratch?

    • Dan Perry March 28, 2015

      Andrew, I created it from scratch.

  • Verne April 28, 2015

    You didn’t post my last negative review of porch.com. Are they throwing you shekels to screen contractor’s opinions? Embarrassing Dan… Truly BS.

    • Dan Perry April 29, 2015

      No, I am not affiliated with Porch outside of listing my handyman business with them. I get nothing for writing about them.

      I don’t remember your comment and it may have been deleted by my anti-spam plugin. Or, if it was inappropriate or wasn’t clear then I may have deleted it.

      If you’d like to leave a review of your experience then I’d be happy to have it on this site. Please just keep it as objective as possible, though, as I do want this to be a resource for people to make good decisions with their businesses.

  • Angela May 5, 2015

    I recently paid $350 a month for 2 months with porch and did not receive 1 single lead from them. I spent hours on my profile adding tons of high quality photos. They have a new policy that a customer reviewing your company must verify their review with their facebook profile, I find this absolutely ridiculous as not everyone has facebook. I would not recommend them, I threw $700 away with Porch for not 1 single lead!

    • Dan Perry May 6, 2015

      I always recommend to have reviews on a platform before paying for exposure. Did you have any reviews?

  • Rob July 13, 2015

    Here’s what I don’t understand is why contractors do not read and understand the terms of service. For instance, did you know that Porch.com owns any and all data that you submit That they can make money from your pictures, reviews and and information you submit with out ever having to pay you a dime. And it is forever. They can sell it, license it, change it…they can do what ever they want to it and never have to give credit where credit is do. Here is the section from their TOS:

    “License to User Submissions. With respect to both User Submissions and Pro Data, you grant Porch a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sub-licenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, publish, broadcast, publicly perform, make, use, import, offer to sell, sell, and otherwise transfer and exploit all copyrights, inventions, and other intellectual property rights in the User Submissions and Pro Data in all media. We will not pay you or otherwise compensate you for User Submissions or Pro Data.”

    Worst part about it is it’s not reciprocated. Any information they give you cannot be used by you for any reason for anything. Here is the excerpt from their TOS:

    “Information Regarding Users. Porch may provide you with personal information relating to individuals that are seeking products or services from you. You may not rent, sell or otherwise provide this information to others. You may not use, or attempt to use, this information in a manner that would violate these Terms or for any purpose not explicitly intended by Porch.”

    If all of that were not bad enough, they have collected the information on every contractor they can find and are using that information, without permission, in their website to generate revenue. While they say its to provide consumers with as much information as possible. Anyone searching for my company could be led to Porch.com and because I haven’t paid porch to be a porch contractor, they will be directed to my competition.

    I have requested that my company information be removed from their site several weeks ago and it is still being used today. This company isn’t about helping the contractor or consumer but exploiting the small guy to make big money. It’s shameful that anyone would recommend them.

    • Dan Perry July 14, 2015

      Thanks for sharing, Rob. I appreciate your feedback on this and I’m glad you brought it to my attention as well as my readers. It’s always good to read the terms of service before signing up for anything. And honestly, I don’t see these terms as that big of a deal. It just sounds like they are protecting themselves in an environment where everyone is lawsuit happy.

    • mark September 7, 2015

      @Rob,
      All contractor referral sites “own” the pictures you upload, especially Yelp. At least you have the choice to sign up or not (unlike Yelp).
      And I don’t see the issue with not being able to use the information they give you. It was given to you…what would you want to do with it???

      For a referral site this is a great option so long as it pays off. You simply get a referred call and you can do what you want with it, no need to pay a commission for a job that never came through.

      Also, though I would want , my listing taken down asap, I am not sure what the problem is if they keep your listing up. What is the worst that could happen? You get a call for a job?

  • vernechia williams September 2, 2015

    I like the work u did with putting up a door to my home.The door look nice.

  • brian brooks October 21, 2016

    This is another app that has more promise than reality, don’t bother. If you live outside a major city they just have some other referral service out of chicago call you with no sense about contracting they are just a phone room

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