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Thread: service magic

  1. #1
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    Default service magic

    Hey guys....got an invite to join servicmagic... has anyone dealt with them? are they worth the time? thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: service magic

    No, and that reminds me, I need to call and cancel their service.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: service magic

    A lot of the leads are old and not worth pursuing. After my experience 7 years ago I have never heard anyone have a good experience with them. Probably better to invest in your website.

    //Rick

    FHA Compliance Inspections

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  4. #4
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    Default Re: service magic

    Quote Originally Posted by William Slade View Post
    Hey guys....got an invite to join servicmagic... has anyone dealt with them? are they worth the time? thanks
    Do a search on this topic on this website. Very little positive information about them.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: service magic

    Used them for over a year. Spent most of my time trying to get reimbursed for bad leads. Good leads (and they were few) were mostly price shopping customers. Leads are sporatic, too. I am in Chicago and at one point I went 5 months without a lead. Just doesn't seem like a good fit for home inspectors to me.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: service magic

    I had looked in to them a couple months ago. Very unreliable servers so their internet site is often down. According the the person I spoke with they have no backup power, so every time their area experiences a power outage they go offline.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: service magic

    Signed up eight years ago. Basically it becomes a bidding war for work! You get charged for every lead even someone just curious! Canceled after 1st year and they call every year begging to have me back at a reduced rate.

    FWIW,They did credit my account when I complained about customers just curios and price checking!

    James Bohac

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: service magic

    They will credit your account but you have to jumps thru hoops and fill out info on what ever the reason was you are looking for a refund. It never used to be like that. You could call or send feed back and they would call the "potential" client and just be verified and refund you your lead money.

    I actually used to have pretty good luck with them when I signed on 5 or so years ago. At that time of course they were throwing leads to a few individuals in the same area. They still do send leads to only three inspectors but now there are a couple dozen in each area the leads get rotated around. The remark above about a bidding war is true. Thats all folks are using that sight for now. It was once pretty decent. I use to get 2 out of three calls booked. Now or should I say when I canceled some time ago you were asked to give out a quote and they moved on to the next guy. The leads got real foolish. I never sent back all the lousy no lead calls. I would have folks calling me in the morning asking for pricing and then get the same folks in the afternoon thru service magic. Sometimes it would be from one day to the next.

    The stupid Google map (can I say that) is a hateful thing. All it did when they went from three folks beside the map to 10 and then dropped it back to seven was create a list for folks to run down getting quotes. Most of the time they just get the number and never look at you sight or information at all. They just call the list of numbers asking for quotes. That one single item has half destroyed the work I used to get. I used to get 80% of my work from the INTERNET. Bring in 7 folks next to the map and my calls died down to very little. Now adays if someone types in Bost home inspectors on Google you will see a list of inspectors next to the map. Forget about being number 1 or 2 or 3 in the top of the list of organic searches....you won't get a third of the calls you used to get from the INTERNET.

    The map is now a pay to play game. You pay an article writing and submission company enough and he will have you at the top of the map...........If you live in that city. If it is three towns away then you are not at the top of the map and ....no calls. Try submitting multiple city locations to be next to the map. You will drop out of site. If you are going to do the pay to play game pick a big city and nail it down.

    Endless marketing info.

    There is a particular inspector that spends a fortune on marketing throughout DFW, literally, He will be at the top of the page in the payed spots in most cities in the area. He has been doing it forever and his name is always up there. I guaranty it is a ton of calls but the take from those calls is way down. But if you spend enough the work will flow. I just don't want to work for a week for free out of every month, or more, probably more, just to pay for the marketing. Work a week less and spend next to nothing on marketing. Could not tell you at this point which is worth more.


  9. #9
    Eric Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: service magic

    I signed up last year and it initially cost $100. After that, it was $12 or so per lead that I had to pay each week...they auto draft your account...I never was able to actually make contact with any of the leads, but still got charged for them. I canceled within 3 months. Never had the first job from them and it cost me eve3ry week. There is a company now (can't remember the name) that is referred by NACHI that charges a monthly fee for the referrals. They just called me last week trying to hook me up. I told them if they wanted my business as bad as they said, they ought to give me a free trial for a month or so...you guessed it...no dice on that!

    Echoing the previous advice...spend your hard-earned money optimizing your website. Hire you a pro to design it and put the right words where they need to be to get you at the top of the search page and keep you there. If you need a referral, I've got a guy here in TN that does it for a living and does it pretty cheap.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: service magic

    My state (Oregon) has specifically forbid inspectors from using Servicemagic. They say it's paying for leads which is spelled out in our SOPs as being against the rules. It kind of annoys me that there are still a bunch of inspectors on the list for my area. Basically, the state just hasn't gotten to them and fining them yet. Some guys in the local association I belong to each got zinged for about $800... with no prior warning, of course. I guess the contractor's board members needed some granola.

    I'm fine with them ruling it out (I don't agree but I don't really care to fight about it... as long as the rules are the same for everyone I'm okay).. I just wish they'd make everyone aware of it.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: service magic

    Been using them for a few years. As mentioned you pay for every lead they send you, weather you book or not.

    Recently more price shopping. Used to convert about 1/2. Much lower conversion rate now. I have had good luck calling and having them reverse charges for improper leads. The caller doesn't want a home inspection, they want something else.

    I have it set up so they send me email and call me at the same time. When I get the call from service magic, I push the button and it dials the client. I speak with them immediately. I follow up with an email once back at the office. I am averageing about 2 leads a week for the past month or two. Yesterday they wanted a price on a 23 year old double wide. My price was too steep.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: service magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Been using them for a few years. As mentioned you pay for every lead they send you, weather you book or not.

    Recently more price shopping. Used to convert about 1/2. Much lower conversion rate now. I have had good luck calling and having them reverse charges for improper leads. The caller doesn't want a home inspection, they want something else.

    I have it set up so they send me email and call me at the same time. When I get the call from service magic, I push the button and it dials the client. I speak with them immediately. I follow up with an email once back at the office. I am averageing about 2 leads a week for the past month or two. Yesterday they wanted a price on a 23 year old double wide. My price was too steep.
    They went back to being able to call them to get reimbursed for bad leads? I was with them for a few years and they started out like that but then went to filling out a list on the website and it usually did not match what the problem was. They made it very difficult to get your money back. I stopped last year sometime in the beginning of the year or the end of 08


  13. #13
    Mickey Elias's Avatar
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    Default Re: service magic

    Have been using them just over a year. Last year it was profitable for me. It was touch and go through out the year though. I would be frustrated with them and then I would get something that worked out. At the end of the year I spent $1200 on leads and brought in about $25,000.00 This year has been all bad for me. Seems like every lead is bad. Either they don't answer or they state is was an accident or it's something there thinking about a year from know! I'm gonna stick with it for a while longer though. I was thinking about complaining.
    I was wondering if they had changed there ad campaign or something.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: service magic

    I'm not a conspiracy theory type person by any means but it does make me wonder if the rash of bad leads isn't somebody on the SM end entering bogus leads to increase revenue. I was signed up for them for alittle while a few years ago and my experience mirrored that of most others here.......bad leads and maybe a job or two out of it.


  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: service magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey Elias View Post
    Have been using them just over a year. Last year it was profitable for me. It was touch and go through out the year though. I would be frustrated with them and then I would get something that worked out. At the end of the year I spent $1200 on leads and brought in about $25,000.00 This year has been all bad for me. Seems like every lead is bad. Either they don't answer or they state is was an accident or it's something there thinking about a year from know! I'm gonna stick with it for a while longer though. I was thinking about complaining.
    I was wondering if they had changed there ad campaign or something.
    One year and you got enough leads that you paid out 1200 and then you say you did 25,000.00 in work. Sounds like you might work for them and advertising. If not then I have to ask you.......Why would you consider leaving them????????????????? 1200 for 25000 in work???????????? Seriously. Whats up. Spit it out. That is a third of an add in the phone book and a multitude of return. That is a couple thousand good fliers and cards and very little return on them. 3600 for a banner add on ATT yellow pages and zip for return on that. The more I write the more questions and thought of HUH. That is collecting a minimum of 250.00 for everyone of your hundred leads. If you only got 2/3rds of those leads booked or half....even half the leads booked......500 per inspection. I usually never just spill the thought out like "Yeah right" "did not happen" "would never happen" Like I said even half the leads you were pretty cheap to get them and with the calls I received and what everyone else said you were on the lower end of the price spectrum and then still would have had to make hundreds...300...400...per lead for a partial percentage.

    Sorry, All I will say is that you got your math wrong. Even in your area they would have shot those leads to 2 others. I live in DFW and my best year I never got 300 leads in a year. In the beginning I was one of a few in the area that used them and I used to get decent calls not just price shopping. I use to book 2 out of three and slowly eroded from there over a few years.

    I did not get that many leads for the last year with them and even with a pretty good booking rate did not bring in near as much. For me to get a hundred leads that means service magic would have to have received over 800 leads to rotate to the 24 inspectors at three at a time. There position is not that good. Type in countless different keyword searches and you will see what I mean. I show up better than then on every single search, with out fail.

    Are we talking about the same company. Are you the only Inspector in your area and getting every call.

    In my area they had 24 inspectors in the end for the area I took leads from. They only gave the leads to three inspectors and rotated the inspectors. I maybe got a few leads a month the last year I was with them and was lucky to get one out of three. Strictly price shopping is all I got the past year with that exception of the one out of three. Or I had already talked to them earlier in the day or even the day before. They did not like my price the first time and it did not work out any better the second time. Strictly asking for a price quote. Not even the usual question of How much do you charge for a home inspection. Just "I am calling for a quote"

    Well, enough of the morning rant. You might be and probably are an outstanding man but I just am not buying your math.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: service magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Russell View Post
    I signed up last year and it initially cost $100. After that, it was $12 or so per lead that I had to pay each week...they auto draft your account...I never was able to actually make contact with any of the leads, but still got charged for them. I canceled within 3 months. Never had the first job from them and it cost me eve3ry week. , snip
    Same here, I had a number of leads that never answered a phone call or email I wondered is they really existed. Those that I did talk to were price shopping and you could tell they were thinking in an order of magnitude different price range. Canceled out within a year.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  17. #17
    Mickey Elias's Avatar
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    Default Re: service magic

    I don't work for Service magic. I am not an inspector. I am a General contractor. Service Magic brought my "business" in 25K last year. I just went through my records before I posted. However that was not my profit I personally made around 9k which puts profit just under 8K after fees to service magic. Then take out business expenses. This year alone in the last 2 months I have spent $600 with no return. Therefore I still say last year worked for me but this year I have spent twice what I did last year already with no return. This has been my personal experience with service magic.


  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: service magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey Elias View Post
    I don't work for Service magic. I am not an inspector. I am a General contractor. Service Magic brought my "business" in 25K last year. I just went through my records before I posted. However that was not my profit I personally made around 9k which puts profit just under 8K after fees to service magic. Then take out business expenses. This year alone in the last 2 months I have spent $600 with no return. Therefore I still say last year worked for me but this year I have spent twice what I did last year already with no return. This has been my personal experience with service magic.

    Ahh

    That explains it. I knew it had to be something like that. The trade folks make much more per job for a gross. Those figures for a home inspector thru them would have never worked out. I often wondered how the contractors and such made out with them.

    Like I said I used to make out all right years ago when I first signed on and then it became a joke. It was one of those expenses you never saw because it drew on a card. The last year was horrible for me with them. When I called to cancel, that is when I found out that they went from only referring only a few inspectors in an area like when I started, to still only referring a few but had signed up another 20 or so and rotated the leads around to all those inspectors. That was never the deal. The way they justified it in their wording was "Well, we still only refer three inspectors per lead. They just never sent notice that it was no longer going to be just three total and they were going to sign on every inspector in the area.

    My apologies


  19. #19
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    Default Re: service magic

    I have a general contractor friend who has also had decent success with SM.


  20. #20
    Timothy M. Barr's Avatar
    Timothy M. Barr Guest

    Default Re: service magic

    Nerver again Lasted three weeks with them. I had to turn in a complaint to the BBB before I got my money back. I am HI not an electrical engineer. I had three calls for that.


  21. #21
    Jeff Fuller's Avatar
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    Default Re: service magic

    I have had pretty good luck with them. I admit I have only used them for about 9 months now, and at first there were a couple of false alarms because of how they had me listed. Once I got those straightened out it has been pretty smooth sailing. I get a couple leads a month from them and average about 75% closing rate on them. I told them I couldn't afford the $100 start up so they cut me a deal on the start up.

    All in all I would say I'm happy with them.

    Last edited by Jeff Fuller; 02-12-2010 at 05:32 PM. Reason: finish thought

  22. #22
    Terry Jones's Avatar
    Terry Jones Guest

    Default Re: service magic

    I have used Service Magic for 2 months in small local area near my office. So far I have received one lead that cost me $12 and resulted in an inspection. I was competing against 2 other inspectors and so I agreed to reduce my standard fee to get the work. My truck was happy to leave the driveway. You can use Service Magic to get better search engine exposure if you have an exact match budget of at least $100 per month. It has helped me show up on the map on the 1st page. I had been using them for other remodeling and home services but the leads cost too much and we only sold 1 job in six months from their leads. Home Inspection for buyers is time sensitive so customers are ready to commit. I would recommend negotiating the start up fee and giving it a try if you ready to deal with the price shoppers that tend to use the service.


  23. #23
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    Feb 2008
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    Sioux City, Iowa
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    Default Re: service magic

    I just got a phone call from them wanting me to pay for referrals. I passed on the deal based on what I have been reading. I was just wondering if the rest of you have had e-mails invites or phone calls.


  24. #24
    Dave Taurinskas's Avatar
    Dave Taurinskas Guest

    Default Re: service magic

    I have talked to many inspectors here in Minnesota who have tried them and not one has anything good to say about them. They just started to advertise here on TV. Most of the comments are they really don't provide many good leads.

    I opinion is that if your are going ot give up money this is not a good bang for the buck. I spent the first three of the last four years promoting my business on the internet and now I am consistently on the first page of Google and very busy. It is definitely worth the $100 per month. Service Magic never delivered this many leads. I just gave a talk about business developement to our Assoc members telling them it's all about leads...Where do you get the biggest bang for your buck?

    Last edited by Dave Taurinskas; 02-25-2010 at 06:13 AM.

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