ServiceWhale's New Survey Highlights Inefficiencies Consumers Face When Shopping for Major Home Improvement Projects

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Homeowners express concerns about finding and hiring trusted contractors

ServiceWhale, Inc., the only online marketplace for major home improvement projects, released new survey information today, revealing consumers have difficulty finding and connecting with a trusted contractor when shopping for a major home improvement project (over $1,000, multiple days of work, etc.). ServiceWhale’s survey shows that in its entirety, the process homeowners face when shopping for home improvement projects is slow, outdated and complicated from initial inquiry to completion.

Of the 210 homeowners surveyed, the number one concern when initiating a major home improvement project was that they “are not sure that they can afford to do the job at this time (29%).”

“To even get an idea of the price for a major home improvement project, the homeowner must take a number of initial steps,” said Dmitri Saveliev, founder and CEO of ServiceWhale. “In today’s fast-pasted world, where consumers can purchase almost anything with the click of a button, the home improvement industry is old and outdated.”

In addition to affordability, respondents were concerned with:

  •     “I fear of getting ripped-off by a contractor I don’t know” (13%)
  •     “I haven’t found the time to research contractors” (12%)
  •     “I really don’t know how to go about finding a good contractor” (10%)
  •     “I think the quotes I have are too high/I am looking for better quotes” (10%)
  •     “I haven’t found time to schedule contractors to provide on-site estimates” (7%)
  •     “No one I know has been able to recommend a contractor to do the work” (6%)
  •     “I just don’t like any of the contractors I have found/heard about/researched” (5%)
  •     “I cannot find a contractor that is available at this time to do the work” (3%)

“The results of our most recent survey show evidence that homeowners use a convoluted, outdated process to shop for major home improvement projects,” said Saveliev. “ServiceWhale provides homeowners with an all-encompassing, online marketplace experience that allows them to thoroughly shop for the contractors and services that best suits their needs and budget.”

To get a better understanding of the home improvement process, ServiceWhale asked participants to rank, on a scale of 1-10, the importance of the sources they would consult when looking to hire a contractor (10 being the most important and one being the least important). According to respondent’s, personal familiarity, or that of a close friend or neighbor were preferred.

  •     “Use a contractor you have used in the past” had a mean of 8.2
  •     “Ask a friend, neighbor or family member to recommend a contractor” had a mean of 7.9
  •     “Call Someone you know who is in the construction industry for advice/referrals” had a mean of 7.87

Researching an online review listings and rating sites was the next most common source of consultation (average mean of 7.63). “Online review listing/rating websites” was consistently very high among 30-55 year olds. Less so for 22-29 year old respondents and those older than 56, who generally ranked this source between 6 and 9.

Respondents were also asked if they, or someone close to them, had negative experiences when working with a contractor. The number one issue cited was that contractors “never returned my initial call/inquiry” (47%). In addition to not responding, three of the top five negative experiences reported related to difficulties with the estimating process:

  •     “Estimate was significantly higher than other quotes” (28%)
  •     “Failed to provide an estimate after speaking with me” (25%)
  •     “Would take too long before coming to do the estimate (put-off site visit for weeks/months)” (23%)

Additionally, 15% of respondents felt estimates did not include critical job details or included incorrect information. Twelve percent complained that contractors failed to respond to questions about their quotes, and 11% said they could not find a mutually convenient time to see the job for estimating purposes. Other problems consumers had during the estimating process included estimate details (15% of respondents felt estimates did not include critical job details), follow-up questions (12% complained that contractors failed to respond to questions about their quotes), and scheduling in home visits (11% said they could not find a mutually convenient time to see the job for estimating purposes).

“It is obvious that the process in which homeowners shop for major home improvement projects is broken,” said Saveliev. “ServiceWhale is providing those homeowners with a proven experience that eases the concerns that are ingrained within the home improvement industry.”

About ServiceWhale, Inc.
ServiceWhale, Inc. is the only online marketplace for consumers to shop for and buy major home improvement projects. Through ServiceWhale’s patent-pending quoting technology, contractors simplify their estimating process by pre-loading pricing for the services they offer, and consumers receive instantaneous custom prices with no risk or requirement to proceed. ServiceWhale also offers MyServiceWhale, a subscription-based white label solution that allows contractors to instantly generate quotes directly from their own website by simply installing a widget. For more information or to book your project, please visit ServiceWhale.

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Robert Kreis
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