So you’ve been hearing about Google Home Services for some time now. They’ve been testing – for almost three years — in the San Francisco area. That’s an eternity for Google, where ideas come quickly, and vanish even faster. But now, Google is taking the next step.
For the past three years, the Home Services program has been operating in selected locations, but most specifically in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas. Now, they’re moving to new parts of the country. Specifically:
A few key points about Google Home Services:
- Google Home Services is being structured as a lead generation service. This is important. Google has seen the success that HomeAdvisor has had in the lead game, and is trying to jump into that market. Current prices are $6 for an auto glass lead to $28 for a plumbing lead.
- Google Home Services is heavy on “Services”. So far, they’ve been testing their program for electricians, locksmiths, painters, handymen, appliance repair etc.
- Google has yet to enter the market for product-oriented home improvement. There have been no visible measures taken for replacement windows, roofing, siding, kitchens or bathrooms.
- Your home improvement company needs to be invited into the program. Having a strong Google partner as your agency or lead-gen partner is one way to get into the program.
- “Google Guaranteed” is the term that Google is going to use so that homeowners can report on their satisfaction up to 30 days after a job is completed. If un-satisfied, Google will cover up to $2000 of the job as a lifetime cap.
- Because of this liability, Google is mandating an elaborate background check for all providers who are invited into the program. The background check has been a particularly frustrating hurdle for Google to overcome, however they are covering the costs of the initial background checks for your business.
- Finally, reviews and reputation are going to matter. Because they are guaranteeing satisfaction, Google is going to feature only those providers who continually get great feedback from homeowners – and who don’t incur refund requests from the leads that Google provides.
There is a lot more to do and talk about with Google Home Services. Here are some obvious questions:
- Are they going to get into major renovations/home improvements?
- How strenuous is the background check process?
- Will the leads be exclusive? (Yes, but with a catch)
- Will the leads always be this cheap?
- How will this affect Adwords?
I will follow up on these in a new eBook that I am currently writing on this topic, because Google Home Services is going to fundamentally change so many things about online lead generation. There are definitely going to be winners and losers in Home Services, and being on the right side is important for your business.
Stay tuned, more to come.