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HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List are two of the most well-established digital home service marketplaces out there.
In the last decade, millions of homeowners have flocked to both to find and hire local vetted professionals without the hassle of calling and getting quotes from each one individually. Whether you’re shopping for someone to construct your dream patio, tend to your lawn, or fix your PC, contractors are waiting for you online, tools at the ready.
In addition to the benefits HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List provide for homeowners, they are also valuable marketing channels for contractors. Rather than growing their business only through referrals and traditional advertising, contractors can sign up with these marketplaces and instantly connect with potential clients (“leads”) who need their services.
So if you need service, should you look for professionals on HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List? If you’re a contractor, which site is better to grow your business?
In this article, I provide an in-depth comparison of HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List and detail everything you need to know about each company’s background, their business models, review systems, cost, and how to optimize your time with them.
Use the links below to navigate straight to a particular section:
- HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List: 30-Second Summary
- HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List: Comparison Chart
- HomeAdvisor: Quick Overview
- Angie’s List: Quick Overview
- How Do Their Review and Rating Systems Work?
- Common Complaints
- How Much Does It Cost for Homeowners and Professionals?
- Bottom Line: Which Home Services Marketplace Should You Use?
If you prefer the short and sweet version, here is a summary to help you decide what is best for your home or company:
- Both are highly qualified service provider websites that have been around for over 20 years.
- Every service provider on both sites is pre-screened for your safety.
- Neither allows anonymous reviews on their platforms.
- Both offer free membership options for homeowners.
- Homeowners receive an enormous volume of calls from professionals soon after requesting quotes.
- They merged in 2017 to form ANGI Homeservices but still operate each site separately.
- Both have millions of satisfied homeowners, yet reviews from contractors about the effectiveness of each platform are mixed.
- Contractors pay a monthly fee to be listed on HomeAdvisor, but they don’t have to pay for Angie’s List.
- In addition to the monthly fee, contractors can purchase leads on a pay-per-lead model from HomeAdvisor.
- On Angie’s List, contractors have the option to buy advertising on a pay-per-click model, which puts their business at the top of the search results.
- According to anecdotal reports, hiring a contractor on HomeAdvisor can be more expensive because some contractors pass the cost of the lead onto the customer.
- HomeAdvisor offers TrueCost Guides, DesignMine, loan assistance, and other helpful free resources.
|Member Count||30 million homeowners||6 million households|
|Reviews of Professionals||Over 5 million||Over 10 million|
Cost for Homeowners
|Cost for Professionals||Monthly fee, pay-per-lead (Learn More)||Optional advertisement fee (Learn More)|
HomeAdvisor has been equipping households across the globe with the knowledge and the professionals they need for all their projects since 1998 when they first launched their platform.
You might have known them as “ServiceMagic” until they rebranded themselves as HomeAdvisor in 2012, to conform more with their mission to guide homeowners. They didn’t lose stride in between name changes; by 2015, their website had accumulated 35 million users. Since then, they have continued to grow, offer more tools for supporting homeowners, and merge with Angie’s List to form ANGI Homeservices Inc.
Today, they offer a beautifully streamlined website with hundreds of categories for home improvement, maintenance, and repair.
Their pre-screened professionals have collected over 5 million reviews by legitimate customers, and each review passes through the HomeAdvisor employee network to ensure there are no bots or anonymous contractors trying to sneak in an inaccurate rating.
If you’re a homeowner in need of service, here’s how HomeAdvisor works:
- First, you go to HomeAdvisor.com on your desktop or mobile device.
- Then you fill out a quick questionnaire that confirms your location, contact information, and asks for a few details about the service you need.
- After you complete the questionnaire, HomeAdvisor picks a few best matches for you to browse while your contact information is shared with contractors behind the scenes.
- You have the option to “Invite to Quote” one or more of the “best picks” or call out to a list of other options below.
Here’s a quick look at the steps you need to take as a homeowner seeking service on HomeAdvisor. Of course, you can go to HomeAdvisor.com and try it out for yourself too.
Contractors looking to grow their business on HomeAdvisor are required to pay an annual membership fee just to be listed on the site and receive reviews from customers. They also have the option to buy leads (contact information of homeowners looking for service) for a variable dollar amount per lead.
Angie’s List has been in business for over 20 years now and is considered to be the mother of all home service providers.
Its CEO, Bill Oesterle, was inspired by an even older company named Unified Neighbors that operated under the same motto as Angie’s List: neighbors exchanging information with neighbors. This idea of trustworthy advice between real people is an operating model that Oesterle and then-intern Angie Hicks co-founded Angie’s List on.
Today, over 6 million households have signed up for Angie’s List to find reliable service providers in 720 (and counting) different home improvement categories.
Like HomeAdvisor, homeowners in need of service are free to browse the full list of companies after inputting their project details or logging into their account.
For homeowners, the website experiences on Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor are almost identical. Here’s a quick look at the flow on Angie’s List:
Professionals can advertise their business in various trades, from plumbing to dentistry, amass positive reviews on their profile, and respond to customer concerns within a monitored, safe website. All of the professionals on Angie’s List have gone through background checks.
In terms of costs, Angie’s List offers homeowners three types of memberships, Green, Silver, and Gold. The Green membership is completely free, however, to gain access to extra services and exclusive discounts, you need to pay an annual fee for a Silver or Gold membership.
For contractors, it’s completely free to create a business profile on Angie’s List. Unlike HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List does not sell leads to contractors; however, as long as your business has an overall rating of A or B, you have the option to pay an advertising fee to get your business placed at the top of the search results.
HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List center their businesses around safety and trust so that neither the homeowners nor the contractors feel like they’re taking a leap of faith in choosing one another. Both sites promise fair and uncensored reviews so that you have full access to the experiences that millions of other homeowners have had.
HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List don’t allow either side (homeowners or contractors) to be anonymous. All member reviews have their names displayed for the sake of accountability, and contractors can then respond with their side of the story if necessary.
In addition to the transparency this provides, it also eliminates the risk of contractors disguising themselves as homeowners and giving their ratings a boost.
On HomeAdvisor, homeowners are asked to give their hired professional an Overall Rating as well as Quality, Customer Service, and Value for Money ratings, plus any additional comments they feel inclined to write. They use a standard 5-star rating system.
Here’s what the ratings and reviews screen looks like on HomeAdvisor:
On Angie’s List, professionals receive letter grades based on response time, price, professionalism, and quality of work. For contractors, this is the determining factor for whether you are eligible to pay for ads on Angie’s List; you’ll still appear in customer searches if you have a C or lower, but only companies with an A or B can buy their way to the top of the page.
Here’s what the ratings and reviews screen looks like on Angie’s List:
HomeAdvisor is entirely free for homeowners searching to have work done. After submitting your information, you have access to professionals immediately, and you can choose one the contractors presented to you, or sit back and wait for your phone to ring with free quotes from contractors that bought your “lead”.
For professionals, however, HomeAdvisor requires an annual fee and gives you the option to buy leads for a dollar amount per lead. The annual fee is a fixed amount necessary for maintaining your profile on HomeAdvisor. Lead fees are variable, meaning that you will be charged more to obtain leads for larger projects, and charged less for each smaller one.
Home Advisor offers several types of leads, including Instant Booking, Instant Connect, Exact Match, Job Opportunity, and Market Match.
A Market Match lead occurs when a consumer enters information about their location and project, and that project is matched with a professional who does business in that location. For example, if someone says they have a leaky pipe in Boston, Massachusetts, that person’s contact information and project details are sent to plumbers in the Boston area.
The other types of leads I mentioned (Instant Booking, Instant Connect, Exact Match, Job Opportunity) occur when consumers seek out your particular business and want to get in touch with you. These leads cost 1.5x more than Market Match leads because the chances they become a customer are much higher.
In the past, Angie’s List was not free for homeowners, which was meant to prevent random, non-paying customers from leaving reviews wherever they pleased. Luckily, in recent years, they’ve found a way to make membership free while still offering reliable reviews.
Customers now have a choice between the free Green Membership, the low-cost Silver Membership, or the pricier Gold Membership. You get all the necessities from a free membership – full access to service providers and their reviews – plus a digital subscription to Angie’s List magazine.
If you’re willing to pitch in some extra money to get the Silver membership, you’ll receive exclusive discounts, their Fair Price and Service Quality Guarantees, project financing and scheduling, Member Care support through email, as well as a hard copy of Angie’s List magazine.
However, only Gold members have an avenue to some important Angie’s List features, such as Complaint Resolution Processes, which handle disputes for you. It also allows you to call Member Care Support instead of emailing, contact an Emergency Support Line for fast fixes, chat online with experts, and qualify for limited-time eCommerce Savings. Their Gold-exclusive “Insta-Hire” feature even acts as your personal assistant, finding professionals and quotes for you based on your needs.
Angie’s List also has free options for contractors. Creating a profile on their website doesn’t cost you a dime, but if you want to advertise, then some companies have reported paying about $4-$6 per click. Angie’s List also requires that you offer discounts to customers when they feature you at the top of their search pages.
Any massively successful company comes with its fair share of complaints, and these two service providers are no exception.
HomeAdvisor’s thousands of scalding reviews have earned them a 1/10 on Reseller Ratings, and a 1.3/5 on Sitejabber. However, some review sites are magnets for negative feedback, and you should take note that HomeAdvisor has a 4.6/5 rating on ConsumerAffairs, and a stellar 9.5/10 score on Trustpilot across 18,000 reviews.
Angie’s List has a more positive reputation on other websites as well, including an 8.06/10 on Reseller Ratings, and a 7.6/10 on Trustpilot. But even the smallest amount of customer complaints should be taken as a warning for new members.
Homeowners Get a Ton of Calls
For homeowners who are using either service, you’ll likely receive a flood of calls from contractors immediately after submitting your information. Since the competition is fierce on either website, contractors could lose out on jobs if they don’t reach out to their leads immediately.
If you like shopping around for professionals and don’t mind them blowing up your phone, then this isn’t a huge issue. After all, the reason you’re on the website is to get connected with professionals.
Your Contact Information Is Shared Across Companies
The most troublesome complaints come from members of both sites who realize that their information on Angie’s List is being sold to HomeAdvisor.
Overall, consumers tend to be satisfied with who they hire on Angie’s List. But some are uncomfortable with the idea of Angie’s List taking their personal information and passing it along to HomeAdvisor.
Service professionals on HomeAdvisor occasionally call a lead and find an aggravated, confused homeowner on the other line; they had been receiving calls for days after casually browsing Angie’s List, and now they’re getting offers from HomeAdvisor too. If you’re a professional who operates on both websites, then you might find yourself getting duplicate leads for this reason.
Paying for Leads Doesn’t Guarantee Jobs
If you’re a professional working on HomeAdvisor, you get charged for every single lead given to you, whether the client is serious about buying or not. So, you end up paying for the homeowners, known as “tire-kicker”, who only provide their information so they can window shop. Professionals have been suspicious that HomeAdvisor might even send them bad or fake leads when the market is getting sparse.
Angie’s List is reported as being more contractor-friendly because there is no fee to create your profile, but many people have still lodged complaints about their system. Budding businesses that don’t have the money or reputation to advertise themselves on Angie’s List tend to struggle to get on the front page, while more established professionals monopolize it.
Since you’re also not spending money on leads, there is no guarantee that Angie’s List will get you the massive influx of projects that you might expect from such a popular site.
You Could Get Overcharged for Services
Customers on HomeAdvisor should compare the price of their project against other websites since professionals might tack on their lead fees as part of the bill. Unlike Angie’s List, there is no form of Gold membership on HomeAdvisor that offers help with disputes, so be sure to read reviews carefully while you’re price-checking.
For homeowners on Angie’s List, having to pay to receive customer support and other convenient features can end up being a headache if anything goes sideways with your project.
In comparison, HomeAdvisor offers a wealth of resources for free, such as their TrueCost Guide, which gives you accurate project estimates derived from thousands of other HomeAdvisor members.
Screening Is Not Ongoing
HomeAdvisor only requires a single pre-screening upon sign-up, so a business could have potentially done some unlawful things in between registering for HomeAdvisor and taking on your project.
Homeowners, if you’re tired of hidden fees and tiered memberships cutting you off from resources, then I would strongly suggest HomeAdvisor.
It’s free for you to use (and not pay to play), it comes chock-full of pre-screened professionals, and all their customer reviews are at your disposal. Plus, they offer unique tools like the TrueCost Guide and design boards reminiscent of Pinterest, all bundled into a neat, intuitive interface.
For service professionals, I would recommend creating your profile on Angie’s List, even if you don’t intend to do business through it. For free, it gives a place for happy customers to be directed to when you want them to leave reviews, which should show up in a Google search when any new prospective clients look you up.
With Angie’s List, you don’t have to fret about turning leads on and off, and you don’t have to pay a monthly membership fee like you would on HomeAdvisor.
If you’re a brand-new business provider, HomeAdvisor could give you a leg up. Their lead system makes it easier for you to get customers, gain some traction, and build up a reputation for yourself.
Used correctly, HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List could both be invaluable marketing tools for your company. You can put yourself directly on the playing field with other reputable businesses and utilize the treasure trove of homeowners willing to give you positive reviews.
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