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Lead generation to grow your remodeling business


By Clare Kaufman

When print media reigned, consumers found home services professionals via ads in the yellow pages. Today, the Internet serves as the main marketplace for connecting homeowners with qualified, local contractors. A 2010 study by BIA/Kelsey found that 97 percent of consumers use the Web to research products or services in their area. For contractors, lead generation websites have become a major source of new business.

Leads as a tool for business growth

Online lead generation offers a powerful tool for contractors to connect with consumers and grow their businesses. Word-of-mouth referral is, of course, the surest path to winning new customers. But few contractors can sustain their business on personal recommendations alone. Obtaining online leads expands your reach well beyond your existing customer base and their acquaintances.

A win-win for contractors and consumers

QuinStreet's online lead generation process serves the common interest of contractors seeking the right client, and clients seeking the right contractor. Here's how it works:

Contractors

  1. Establish a budget and target the types of leads and geographic areas they wish to receive. For example, contractors may sign up for leads in a particular area of expertise
  2. Receive leads in real time, qualified through a three-step validation process
  3. Follow up on leads by phone or email, provide service quotes and close the deal
  4. Share feedback on leads with QuinStreet to optimize future leads

Consumers

  1. Conduct a proactive web search based on keywords related to the work or expertise they seek
  2. Build a deeper understanding of and commitment to the home improvement job by reading informative content on the topic
  3. Complete a service request form identifying their needs
  4. Connect in real time with a contractor by phone or email

The broad reach of the Internet allows contractors and potential clients to find the best match for a home improvement project.

Leads are a powerful growth lever

Qualified leads have the potential to expand the scope of your business, because they are more likely to close. A Denver-based online marketing firm ranked lead generation second only to personal referrals in the sales success rate, with 35 percent of online leads closing, compared to the 50-percent close rate for word-of-mouth leads. Online co-op leads closed at a rate of 20 percent or lower, and online advertising yielded significantly less business for the spend.

Given these results, it's no surprise that buyers and sellers are matching up online. Online lead generation is among the fastest-growing segment of Internet marketing. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, lead generation spending increased 25.4 percent from 2010 to 2011, rising to $805 million. Contractors are taking advantage of real-time customer connections online to expand the scope of their business.


Clare Kaufman lives and writes in her 82-year-old Craftsman home. A Berkeley, CA native, she draws inspiration from Julia Morgan and the Arts and Crafts movement. With the help of a local contractor, she is finishing the attic and adding a staircase. Clare has a graduate degree in English.

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