One of the most important aspects of starting (and growing) a home service business is generating new leads. Whether you’re a house cleaner, a dog walker, or an HVAC pro, you need a steady flow of jobs to keep your business going.

Using a lead generation platform is a good strategy to increase your brand’s visibility, and win more jobs with less effort. From Porch to Home Advisor, there is no shortage to choose from.

For home service professionals, Thumbtack is one of the top options. If you’re considering taking the leap but not sure if it’s the right fit, read on to learn everything contractors should know about Thumbtack.

What is Thumbtack?

Similar to HomeAdvisor or Angi (formerly Angie’s List), Thumbtack is one of the best lead generation sites for home improvement services and small business owners. 

Homeowners can use the platform to list the task they need done and to connect with local home service professionals in their area, such as handymen, electricians, or plumbers. 

For a small fee, Thumbtack then alerts qualified contractors that there’s a new job for them to bid on.

READ MORE: Thumbtack vs. TaskRabbit: which lead generation service is right for you?

How does Thumbtack work?

The purpose of Thumbtack is to connect clients in need of services with the right contractors.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A client enters information on the service they’d like completed. This could be dog walking, plumbing, or yard work, for example.
  2. Based on the information they provide, the client is then directed to a list of qualified contractors in their area. Clients can filter the list by adding additional job details.
  3. From there, clients can review contractor profiles and decide which pros they would like to contact for a quote.
  4. Once a client and a contractor come to an agreement, their working relationship moves off Thumbtack and into the contractor’s CRM

Thumbtack is free for clients to find contractors on. Once a quote is accepted and the job is complete, clients will have to pay the service provider directly.

How can contractors get started on Thumbtack?

1. Sign up 

To start working as a contractor, visit the Thumbtack Pro sign-up page

You’ll be asked to enter your basic work details, including what services you provide and where you work. Then follow the prompts to finish your registration.

Pro Tip: Respond to new leads on the go by downloading the Thumbtack Pro mobile app for iOS and Android.

2. Build your profile

Your Thumbtack profile is your first opportunity to impress potential clients. Simply put—the better your profile, the more work you’ll get.

Service pros can make the right impression by including the following information:

  • Summary of yourself or your business
  • Type of service
  • Customer reviews
  • Number of years in business
  • Whether or not you have completed a background check
  • Links to your website and social media profiles
  • Pictures and videos
  • Accepted payment methods 
  • Business hours
  • Service areas

This information helps Thumbtack—and the clients who use it—determine which contractor is the best fit for a job.

3. Get a background check

Background checks are a great way to demonstrate your trustworthiness to new customers.

The best part—completing a background check through Thumbtack is completely free for contractors. 

To complete your background check, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number (SSN) or a valid photo ID. You’ll receive the results in an average of five to seven business days.

Once the check comes back cleared, Thumbtack will reward contractors with a badge on your profile to show potential customers that you are safe to hire.

4. Update your targeting preferences

Setting your target preferences tells Thumbtack which leads are appropriate to send to your business. It can save you from wasting your budget on bad leads and help ensure the right customers find your business using Thumbtack’s filters.

Set up your targeting preferences from your services page. You’ll have the option to update your job types, travel areas, and work availability.

5. Get a customer review

Before a customer hires you, they want to make sure they can trust you with their business. The good news is, nearly 70% of consumers are confident about a business after reading less than 7 reviews.

Thumbtack lets you share positive reviews from Thumbtack customers, Facebook, and Google.

To add your first review to your Thumbtack profile, either share your review link with past customers, or import Google reviews.

How to unlock Top Pro status

Standing out from the competition and attracting more leads to your business is a whole lot easier with Thumbtack’s Top Pro status. And it’s truly an elite club—only 4% of pros qualify.

When potential customers see the Top Pro badge on your profile, they’ll know you are highly skilled and experienced.

As an added bonus, Top Pros have access to other perks such as VIP treatment when calling customer support, as well as access to exclusive programs, new features, and events.

To become a Top Pro on Thumbtack, contractors must:

  • Respond faster: Reply to leads within 4 hours at least 75% of the time
  • Provide great services: Hold a minimum rating of 4.8 based on verified reviews
  • Ask for reviews: Get at least 5 verified reviews within the last 12 months
  • Pass a background check: Complete a background check through Thumbtack

How much does Thumbtack cost for contractors?

While listing your services on Thumbtack is free, collecting leads through the platform will cost you.

Every lead has a monetary value. The pricing for each lead will vary based on factors such as region, industry, job type, job size, and job competition.

The bigger the lead is, the more you’ll spend on it.

If you’re not careful, paying for leads on Thumbtack can turn into a major expense for your service business.

Pro Tip:  Stay in control of your lead spending by setting a monthly budget on your Thumbtack account. To set your budget, go to your services tab and select edit weekly targeting budget.

What is the Thumbtack Pro Rewards program?

Thumbtack Pro Rewards is made up of 3 tiers: silver, gold, and platinum. To reach each level, contractors must earn points by responding to new leads and accepting jobs.

Only contractors with completed background checks will qualify for the Thumbtack Pro Rewards.

Reaching each Pro Rewards tier unlocks new rewards for the contractor, including:

  • Expedited phone support
  • Success workshops 
  • Marketing support
  • Thumbtack swag
  • A “Top Pro” badge on your profile once you reach platinum status

Is Thumbtack Pro worth it?

Thumbtack’s value as a lead generation tool depends on what you put into it.

If you have a complete profile, price your services competitively, respond to leads quickly, and provide high-quality services, your experience with Thumbtack is going to be a success.

To help you make the most out of their platform, Thumbtack will send you weekly updates on competitor jobs and pricing. This will help you see what’s working for others and how you can make more strategic decisions for your business.

READ MORE: HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List: which lead generation site is right for you?

Thumbtack Pro reviews

For many contractors, Thumbtack has been a great source for collecting new leads. But don’t take our word for it. Here are some reviews from happy contractors on Thumbtack:

Thumbtack for contractors

Thumbtack for contractors

While some service providers have been impressed with the business Thumbtack has helped them drum up, paying for leads seems to be a sore spot for others.

Thumbtack for contractors

As with any lead generation platform, your experience with Thumbtack may vary. 

However, by improving your presence on the site—with a strong profile and plenty of positive reviews—you may just find the benefits outweigh any downsides.

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Originally published October 2019. Last updated on December 16th, 2021.