Starting a small business is hard. Starting a home services business is even harder. Success in this space is dependent on a strong reputation built on a foundation of trust, technicians who are both great at what they do and good with customers, and a series of sound financial decisions.
But cultivating a great reputation and a solid customer base doesn’t happen overnight. Home services companies have to prove themselves in their markets before they can really gain traction and become a true player in their area.
This is a frustrating reality for tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians, and landscapers. They want to do what they’re good at. And they don’t want to spend a lot of time chasing leads and finding new business. Thankfully, there are mobile apps for that.
Handyman apps like TaskRabbit have been around for a few years. Even though many of the apps were started for independent freelancers and handy people looking for extra money in the gig economy, they now serve a purpose with established small business owners.
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Home services companies have begun to use TaskRabbit and other local handyman apps to bid on jobs in their areas. The opportunity is twofold: It’s a great way to get their name out there and to generate new, long-term customers at the same time.
But TaskRabbit isn’t the only handyman services app generating leads for small businesses. There are several TaskRabbit competitors offering similar services. Here are 11 TaskRabbit alternatives in the mobile marketplace that stand out.
This one may come as a surprise. Isn’t Care.com to help people find babysitters, housekeepers, and caregivers for the elderly? Yes, but it also has a mechanism to hire people for errands and odd jobs, like general home repairs and maintenance.
There is one, admittedly small, section for errands and odd jobs on the Care.com platform. There, service providers can search for people in your area seeking assistance with errands and odd jobs falling within a specific area and go from there.
The advantage of using this TaskRabbit competitor is the jobs generally pay very well, but not without an upfront investment. In order to see and apply for local jobs, service providers have to become Premium Members. With a Premium Membership, providers rank higher, get job alerts faster, and are able to more easily communicate with potential clients.
Given the small portion of this app devoted to home services, the value of that investment will probably depend on the geographic area and what mobile apps people tend to use within that area to fulfill home repair and maintenance jobs.
Do more research on Care.com, its pricing, and how potential customers tend to use it before committing to the upgraded membership package.
Handy offers plenty of services. Users can book anything from home cleaning and general home maintenance to full-blown home improvement renovations through this app.
Service providers must be approved by Handy before taking on jobs. They must have paid experience, be authorized to work in the county they’re in, and have great customer service skills. Once a service provider is approved, this TaskRabbit competitor will begin to send leads.
This handyman app boasts a 60-second booking process, so once you’re signed up and approved, leads could come in very quickly.
Handy is available in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Jobble bills itself as the number one on-demand job app in the U.S. It’s hard to verify the accuracy of that statement, but one thing’s for sure: It’s a great place to pick up new clients.
Although Jobble isn’t as focused on home services as TaskRabbit, on this app users can view job listings in their area for free. After creating a profile, users can also apply to jobs without paying anything upfront.
This app doesn’t cater to residential needs and would instead be a good place to do some B2B work, like becoming the preferred plumber for an office complex, depending on the user’s area of expertise and the jobs available in their area.
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Need to takes a far broader approach than handyman services apps such as TaskRabbit. On this platform, users can literally fill in the blank, “I need to…” and people in their area respond accordingly.
As a result, the services requested and offered go beyond the scope of home maintenance and repairs into everything from digital services such as web design to data entry and automotive repairs. Think of Need to like a digital bulletin board for help wanted in your community.
Unlike many other handyman apps, Need to doesn’t facilitate communication. Users and service providers are first matched on Need to and then move their conversations to email, phone or whatever they’re comfortable with. Similar to TaskRabbit, this handyman app facilitates payments for service providers.
This company is also philanthropic. Need to donates 10 percent of proceeds to non-profit job training programs.
An app aimed at connecting communities, Nextdoor is the world’s largest neighborhood social community networking service. As a social networking site, it’s a great way to unify communities and help spread important information. It’s also a wonderful way to connect with potential clients in home improvement, landscaping, lawn care, and other home services.
On Nextdoor, professionals can create a listing for their business and encourage community members to use and review their services. Businesses can also participate in local conversations and connect with residents who need their services.
Again, this is a social website first and a lead generator second, so it shouldn’t be the primary means to find new clients. But it’s not to be ignored, either.
Porch is an industry-leader for handyman apps, with an excellent platform that includes moving assistance, painting, electrical, lawn care, furniture assembly, and other part-time local services.
What’s great about this app is it’s provider-driven. Pros, as they’re called on Porch, can set exact specifications for what type of jobs they want, and how frequently they want to buy and receive leads in the online marketplace.
This app also incentivizes quality for their pros. They offer a “Vetted Pros” program that includes a 5 percent discount on leads when purchased on demand. Vetted Pros also receive automatic lead credits when they meet the outreach requirements, yet don’t connect with homeowners.
Whether users want to find a wedding planner or a welder, chances are they’ll find them on Thumbtack. This app features 1,100 different service categories across a wide range of industries and covers all 50 states.
As a service provider, you’ll like how this app offers geolocation to show users which providers are in their area. Thumbtack seamlessly enables professionals to market themselves as individuals or as local businesses.
This handyman app is free to join and service providers can set preferences for where, when, and how they want to work so you only receive the leads you really want. And there’s no shortage of leads on Thumbtack. The app generates more than 30,000 a day.
Primarily focused on handyman services, Talklocal does include a few types of jobs-for-hire you might not expect, including legal, bus rental, and office furniture rental.
This handyman app offers service provider assistance on a level most others don’t. Talklocal makes initial contact with users and coordinates job logistics, without you having to do a thing. You have the option to accept each job individually, but Talklocal remains the point of contact for the users. Depending on how hands-on you like to be, this could be a great feature.
The app takes its service a step further by only requiring service providers to pay for leads they’ve booked.
While not a dedicated handyman app, Shiftgig is a great way to connect skilled laborers with jobs in their areas. Modernizing hourly labor is at the heart of this app, and when used properly, it’s a helpful way to find new clients.
Users simply download the app, find work in their area, apply and watch as their client lists build and business grows.
Although not specifically geared toward handyman services, WONOLO is still a useful resource to establish new relationships with potential long-term clients. The growing staffing company is available in more than 30 cities in the United States.
WONOLO users have to be 18 years old, and they also must have a social security number. This could be a barrier to those without one or who do not wish to share their information. But a clear benefit is the ease of use, which makes it comparable to TaskRabbit.
Zaarly uses a sophisticated algorithm to match users to their ideal job. What’s more, it’s a dedicated home services app focused on matching clients with the best professionals for their specific job.
As a user, this is an extremely appealing feature because it means they’ll only be paired with jobs they’re well-qualified to do. This saves everyone involved lots of time and money.
This app does have a stringent screening process, and that’s a good thing. Service professionals have to go through a nine-step screening process before being admitted to the service. Zaarly also has a strict no-show policy, compelling service providers to pay clients $100 if they don’t show up for scheduled work.
Unfortunately, Zaarly is only available in a few select cities but shows promising signs of future growth.
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