Should Your Business Be On Angie's List?

by Joanna Donaghue, November 19, 2020

If you’re in the roofing business, you’ve probably heard of Angie’s List. Millions of people use Angie’s List every month to search for home related services. It can be a powerful way of establishing trust with potential customers. The review site contains thousands of reviews on over 720 different types of services. Since the businesses listed on Angie’s List are vetted by real reviews from real people, it gives a sense of peace to a shopping homeowner.

Angie’s List opened its doors for business in 1995 in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, it was the first and only online review site out there. The founder, Angie Hicks, wanted to solve a basic problem. When people were looking for a home-related service, they had to ask their neighbors, friends, and family for a recommendation. The home improvement business was pretty much word-of-mouth. Angie Hicks wanted to give people an easier, more accessible method for finding reputable service providers.

The company Angie’s List was created on a simple concept. People would pay a monthly subscription to access reports and ratings of home-related service providers. The businesses on the platform were there because they had been vetted by real customer reviews. Angie’s List didn’t accept payment to vet businesses. This policy was what endeared Angie’s List to many homeowners and businesses.

The mission statement for Angie’s List was: Our mission is to help the best consumers find the best service providers and promote happy transactions.

How Angie's List Changed In 2016

Everything Changed In 2016

Angie’s List was the perfect platform for service providers to connect with homeowners until 2016. In 2016, the company changed its business model. It dropped the membership fee for homeowners and started pursuing revenue from the service providers. This was the exact opposite of what Angie’s List had started out to do. The company started pushing aggressive sales tactics to squeeze as much money out of the service provider as possible. Homeowners and businesses began losing faith in the company. This resulted in the company losing $7.9 million in 2016.

It’s not exactly known why Angie’s List decided to shift away from its homeowner-focused business model. The company could have been facing challenges to stay relevant in today’s climate. The revenue it was making from homeowners could have been decreasing. Or the company might have figured it’d make more money by going after the service providers. Despite whatever the reason might have been, it affected the company badly.

Angie’s List was loved by many people for providing a bridge between the homeowner and home improvement company. When the changes happened in 2016, everyone was upset but many held out hope that better things were to come.

In 2017, Home Advisor, another huge giant in the home improvement market, acquired Angie’s List for $500 million. Home Advisor wasn’t as well known as Angie’s List but had a better revenue model. In the second quarter of 2020, Home Advisor saw sales grow by 200%. Since the companies have merged, they’ve been able to scale effectively and boost their profits.

The question I hear asked most often in the roofing space is which company should you go with. Unaware of the changes at both companies, many of my clients will ask if Angie’s List or Home Advisor is better. I tell them that they should be on both platforms but avoid paying the high fees. Being on Angie’s List and Home Advisor will give your business extra exposure to home improvement shoppers. Since these sites contain thousands of reviews, it’ll also boost your company’s credibility.

We recommend establishing a presence on Angie’s List, but we don’t advise our clients to advertise on there. Why? One of our roofing clients, Jim, used to advertise on Angie’s List. He was a long time user of Angie’s List and had registered his business on the platform back in 2012. He used to receive a ton of business from the site. After Angie’s List made changes, his company saw a decrease in revenue. He tried advertising with them but ended up spending more than he made.

There are better places you can advertise your business such as Google Ads. We always recommend our clients to advertise on Google Ads rather than Home Advisor or Angie’s List. Why? Because we’ve seen better performance and return on investment. Google Ads has a higher conversion rate than these platforms and does a better job of bringing quality leads. It’s very scalable and you can control your costs down to the penny.

All good things eventually come to an end, and so it has been with Angie’s List. In the coming years, the company could recognize their mistakes and turn a new leaf. It was once the best place to promote your roofing business, but not anymore. Fortunately, there are a dozen better options out there for roofers to sell their services. From Google Ads to Facebook, the internet comes with a wide variety of methods. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so you should do your research before choosing. In the end, the best option comes down to your goals and budget.

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