Should You Go With Nationally Known Service Providers or Stick With Local?

Do the Big Names Guarantee Better Service?

The home service industry in the United States is large and growing larger. Well over 2 million businesses in the US provide various services to homeowners, generating revenue well over half a trillion dollars annually. Many more do so for commercial properties or both residential and commercial. Likely all of us are familiar with some big names that advertise heavily as home service providers. A common way to generate a very high volume of participants is by being a matchmaker of sorts. In other words, find a vast number of local companies that are available to provide services to customers in a specified area, be the go-between, and ideally make a profit on volume while trusting that the customer and provider are both happy in the end. Clearly, there is a high level of marketing and logistics to make this work and be sustainable. There is no denying that some have figured it out.

I’m approaching this from the standpoint of what benefits or advantages there may be to seeking the numerous choices presented by some of the big names as opposed to looking for local businesses that are already known in the community. Granted, when you as a homeowner agree to have a company render services, you’ll almost surely be getting a local company anyway. Is there a difference?

Pros and Cons of National Companies Which Provide or Locate Home Services

Offhand, I can see some pros to trusting the well-known names. They are well-known because of their vast marketing success and enormous number of service companies that are willing to pay for leads or in some other way share some of the revenue. I have no criticism of that in itself. They consequently may have a long list of hopefully qualified and solid local companies waiting to help you out. There may be many helpful, well-researched articles that pertain to your interests that they publish as well. They may have a satisfaction guarantee and background check that, if genuine, will put one at ease. And some may influence participating contractors to give deep discounts for a certain volume of jobs. This could be very good for price shoppers.
There are potential cons as well. One that may be manifest after some time is based on the cost of acquisition for contractors. When the arrangement to team up with large go-betweens costs something, contractors may eventually feel the need to increase prices to recoup the expense. Or perhaps contractors may compare other avenues of marketing and feel they will provide more bang for the buck in the long run. This potentially creates a bit of a revolving-door situation for the national companies who endeavor to increase their stable of participants, only to lose some of the best ones. There are only so many local companies available to provide home services before distance becomes an issue. Something that doesn’t excite me too much after decades of doing business with NSPs, is that they tend to offer you far less pay for jobs they want to sub out to you than you would normally charge directly to the customer. That is not always the case, but usually it is. Most delay payment longer than is ideal for a contractor. They are up front about it, so you aren’t going in blind, but several delay actual payment beyond what they promise. These and other things are factors that established contractors may deem to be not worth even teaming up with NSPs. For the property owner, the full scope of reviews for service companies may not be evident on the national provider’s platform. One may see a few reviews on these platforms for let’s say, a window cleaner, while a straight-up Google search might reveal 20, 50, even 100 or more from not just price-shoppers, but new and long-time customers alike. In a low-population area, the ‘top 10’ for many service categories may include only a few truly local companies, while Google may return more truly localized results. Certainly no guarantee, though.

You Choose By What Means You Get Similar Results

Ultimately, whether you decide to search for a company to provide a service for your home or business through a large online site that acts as a go-between or by going straight to Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or similar, you’ll probably end up having a local company do the work. And in the long haul, you’ll either pay the agreed price for a service you come to trust or keep looking for new options and possibly find special deals each time. It is my opinion that you’ll find more viable options by using the more currently traditional method that Google and their competitors use.
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