When it comes to growing your clientbase, you no longer have to go from door to door looking for clients. With all the apps and websites available, you can find new clients from the comfort of your home. But do these apps and websites actually help you get quality leads and clients? Can they really save you time and effort when it comes to growing your business?

Let’s take a look at Thumbtack Pro, a site that’s trying to change the way that customers and vendors connect.

What is it? How does it work?

Homeowners use Thumbtack to find local contractors for projects. They fill out their project requirements. Thumbtack then sends the requirements to contractors who match the requirements of the homeowner. As a contractor, you pay each time you send a quote to a client.

Thumbtack Pro is Thumbtack for professionals. Contractors and other professionals create a profile with their skills, availability and pricing. The more details you add, the more suitable the jobs you’ll receive. The Thumbtack app makes it easy to use on the go, making sure you never miss out on leads. They are all right at your fingertips.

Pursuing Leads

Contractors can use Thumbtack Pro in two different ways, either by sending estimates manually or automatically.

With the instant option, your quotes are sent instantly to homeowners who have a project that fits your profile. This means less work for you since the leads contact you. The downside is that you need to pay each time someone contacts you, even if you aren’t interested in the job. Thumbtack Pro does not check with you before sending you the lead.

You can also manually send quotes. Customers submit their job requests and then you receive a notification of their request. You can choose if you want to respond to them or not. With this option, you only pay when you respond to a request with a quote. While this is more monetarily conservative, it is more time consuming.

Sifting through leads

Thumbtack Pro forwards leads to contractors who match the project requirements. They don’t just send out 1 or 2 leads (unless you are in a highly specialized field); they process a LOT of leads. This may seem too good to be true. Who doesn’t want to have tons of leads for potential work? But from what we have seen, many of the leads are unqualified and far less often lead to an actual job. So not only are you spending money to send a quote, but you also put time into quotes that have no guaranteed return on investment.

So if you send a quote, will it mean that you will get the job? Not so much. Unfortunately, some of the categories have significant competition. This means that your chances of winning the job are very low, even among the jobs that are legitimate.

Is it worth it?

This is a tricky question. It depends on how much you want to invest in sending quotes if there is no guarantee that you will actually get the job. Some contractors have been known to make good money from Thumbtack Pro, but it doesn’t happen often and certainly isn’t guaranteed. Instead, you end up spending a lot of time sending out professional quotes to customers or paying a lot of money to receive leads, without signing a contract.

Let’s make things simpler. Unless you are just beginning to build your client base, Thumbtack Pro isn’t really worth your time and effort. If you know that there is a high chance that you can close a contract, you may want to invest some time and money into Thumbtack. Otherwise, there are other methods to market yourself and get new clients, without having to spend time and money on leads that may not ever actualize.