Survive to Thrive: Generating Business and Turning a Profit

The 5 factors general contractors should consider when picking a site to partner with

Now is the time to be careful about which jobs you consider, estimate, and take on. Whether you’re looking to grow your business, provide consistency, or focus on niche projects, it’s important to have the right tools to help prioritize your funnel and be more efficient with your time. We encourage you to consider the unique needs of your general contracting business when evaluating the different kinds of business development sites/lead generation for contractors (of course we’re biased and think Sweeten is the best!)

Here are the top five factors to consider when choosing a lead generation site to partner with:

1. Does the site charge you upfront, or only if you sign the job?

There are three basic ways that lead generation platforms can make money: 

  • Pay-to-play: The platform charges you for every potential client they send your way. Costs vary depending on the size of the potential project or quality of the lead. Sites like HomeAdvisor and Porch operate with this model.
  • Pay-for-placement: the platform charges you for better or more frequent placement on their site. The platform typically also charges either an annual/monthly fee or a fee for every potential client they send your way. Sites like Houzz and Angi follow this model.
  • Pay-per-win: The platform charges you only when you sign a contract with the potential client. The fee is typically a percentage of the project value. Sites that follow this model are considered true marketplaces, because money doesn’t change hands unless there’s a sale of services. Sweeten is one of the only sites that takes this improved approach.

Pay-per-win platforms tie their success to their contractors’ success. These platforms are incentivized to help their GCs win more jobs, as opposed to the other models, which make their money whether or not you succeed. With Sweeten, you only pay when you win a Sweeten project. 

Tip: Make sure you keep track of your return on investment (ROI) with any lead generation platform you may be considering. 

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2. Does the site focus on serious renovation projects that require a general contractor, or on handyman tasks?

Before signing up with a platform, find out the average size of its projects. Look for a focus that aligns with the work you do, and the work you’re seeking. Many platforms specialize in projects that average just a few thousand dollars. At Sweeten, our average project size in 2019 was $126,000. About 50% of our contracts were over $50,000. Our minimum project size is $15,000. We can win you the kinds of leads that are most profitable, rather than stretching your resources thin with distracting singe-trade work. 

3. Does the site focus on the quality or the quantity of remodeling project leads?

Ask a representative how many leads you would typically see from the platform in a month as well as how they qualify those projects. Sweeten prescreens every project to make sure its scope and budget align with rates in your area. We also educate potential clients on cost, scope and process, in order to manage expectations from the start. In addition, we support your firm on the project from introduction until the punch list is complete—because your client is our client, and your success is our success. You’ll have a dedicated Sweeten account manager who can offer support during project milestones, and help with any communication problems with our shared clients. And you’ll have access to your Sweeten dashboard, with digital tools for scope support, estimate creation, e-contracts, and digital payments.

4. Does the site vet its contractors?

Look for a platform that cares about quality and is committed to improving the renovation process for all parties involved. If you carry a home improvement or general contractors license, insurance, and other certifications, look for a platform that sets you apart from less qualified tradespeople. 

At Sweeten, we vet every contractor who applies to our network. We accept fewer than 20%. All qualified contractors carry the proper licenses and insurance for their service area, and have a proven record of quality craftsmanship and successful projects. As a Sweeten partner, you’re part of a group of highly-qualified, talented, experienced professionals.

5. Does the platform encourage healthy competition?

How many contractors does the platform send to each lead? Are contractors segmented by skill set, company size or services offered? Look for a platform that helps differentiate your firm from the pack! Sweeten matches each project to 3-5 general contractors who are a strong fit, based on the project type and scope. Clients love this because it offers them a manageable number of relevant choices, rather than bombarding them with dozens of questionable ones. Contractors love this because when we match you to a project, you’ll probably find it attractive. And you’ll have a genuine chance of winning. 

What sets Sweeten apart from the rest?

Sweeten’s digital platform makes managing projects easier

Sweeten’s combination of smart technology and client service means real renovations with real budgets. Our advanced matchmaking service matches each prospective project only to the most compatible general contractors. 

Sweeten gets to know you and your firm’s strengths for the best fit

As a Sweeten general contractor, you won’t be thrown into a large pool of firms fighting for one project. You’ll get only qualified leads specifically suited to your firm. Sweeten is the best lead-generation source because it provides viable leads, a “pay only when you win model,” and dedicated support to help you succeed.

Interested in joining Sweeten’s network of general contractors? Click here to sign up.

Here’s how a general contractor can use social media to grow their business.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.

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“Sweeten was really helpful — we wouldn't have found our contractor without them, and the bid-leveling call was absolutely essential for us.”

— Dara R. from New York, NY

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