HomeAdvisor Acquires Angie’s List and Rebrands as Angi
Angie’s List combined with HomeAdvisor, IAC’s home services marketplace, into a new public company called ANGI Homeservices. It’s time for independent home inspectors to guard their business and take a stand.
Different Name, Same Practices
The new branding does not mean that the corporate strategy has changed. The class action lawsuit In re HOMEADVISOR, INC. LITIGATION, Case No: 1:16-cv-01849-PAB-KLM (D. Colo.) takes issue with the following practices against home service providers like home inspectors, unfair business practices including, but not limited to, the following:
- Maintaining and employing systematically flawed and deficient processes to generate leads;
- concealing and omitting material information about the quality and sourcing of Leads;
- using heavy-handed and coercive means to solicit new Home Service Professionals for Membership Programs;
- concealing and omitting material information about substantial monthly fees for mHelpDesk, a startup, cloud-based field service software;
- blatantly disregarding Home Service Professionals’ lead parameters and budgets;
- distributing leads that are bogus or otherwise defective for the following reasons (among others):
- sending the same lead to more than four Home Service Professionals;
- sending leads for non-responsive and/or fake homeowners; and
- sending leads for homeowners outside of the Home Service Professionals’ designated service areas;
- adopting uniform internal procedures intended to deny and discourage refunds and/or lead credits; and,
- misappropriating HSPs names or likenesses to generate Leads for HomeAdvisor.
You can read more about the case and the Court’s initial findings here. If you are a home service professional (and reside in the United States), who has experienced the problems with HomeAdvisor that are at issue in this case, you are already considered a general class member.
The obvious downside to using HomeAdvisor as a service provider is the high cost tied to leads.
The Secret Attack
If you’ve done business with HomeAdviser, Angie’s List, or Angi you may be familiar with some of the practices and how they impact your business finances. But, there’s a hidden attack against independent service providers in the online world: a concerted effort to outbid any advertising.
For example, when local home inspection businesses raise advertising bids to meet HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, or Angi, they raise their bid. The net result is that a single, independent home inspection business would have to have a monthly ad spend budget of $1,000. That’s per month.
The Strategy Behind the Attack
IAC and Angi know that home inspectors are vital to the real estate purchasing cycle. The strategy isn’t to put you out of business.
The strategy is to make you so invisible online you’ll be forced to go to Angi in order for consumers to connect with you. They want everyone in the home services industry online to go through them.
What Angi’s Strategy Means for Your Online Visibility
Open an incognito window and start looking for a home inspector. Then look and see which ads show up. Try it with different search terms a consumer might use—home inspection, home inspector, home inspector near me, inspection for a home sale, etc. What that’s going to do is correlate the presence of Angi and help you understand just how these impression shares reach consumers.
Angi being so large, it doesn’t really matter what you type in, when you’re looking for a home inspection or home inspector, HomeAdvisor or Angi or both are going to pop up.
If you want to be a local small business home inspector and if you want to compete, you have to have a very effective strategy and advertising campaign. It has to be very well crafted, because you’re going to be competing now against Angi and HomeAdvisor. They’re directly going in your local market to compete against you.
Take A Stand
Don’t give in to Angi’s tactics. If you are advertising with Google ads, persist with your campaign.
Think of a big shark sweeping through the waters with many tiny fish. Each time a tiny fish gets a small meal the shark has to work harder, and better. Be a tiny fish. Take your bite.
United as independent home inspectors, it makes a difference. Our industry is based on truth, honesty, and unbiased observation. Remain steadfast in your commitment to your home inspection business, continue to elevate your education, and directly contribute to raising the standards of our profession.
We are independent home inspectors … and we want to remain independent. Inspect.com is committed to serving the home inspection community.