Housecall Pro: The Good and The Bad
Maybe you're thinking about Housecall Pro as a way to streamline your business, grow revenue, and reach more customers. After all, the software is meant to be an all-in-one solution that can achieve all those goals and more for your business, no matter if you're a plumber, electrician, landscaper or any one of the ever growing number of home service providers. Here's some good and not so good elements to consider as you think about if it makes sense for your business.
Housecall Pro users can take advantage of a website builder that is part of the service as a monthly add on starting at $25/month.
So, what exactly does this give you?
The builder gives you a set of templates based on your industry that you then choose to make your own website. The advantage is that this is mostly a drag and drop feature and you don't need to be a web expert to produce a functional website. Additionally, Housecall pro will host your website on their server so you can focus on your business. There are also extra features such as online booking and chat functions as well. The websites are also said to be pre-designed as mobile and SEO friendly right away.
Not sure where to start with your SEO? This cheat sheet we use for our clients can help get you kickstarted.
Something to think about here though is that your website will have very little personalization, think "cookie cutter", and if your goal is just to have a website, it might be a good option. If you're looking for some personalization, those choices are very slim. Add on's like online booking and chat functions come at an extra cost and can get expensive quickly. You also have the ability to take your website with you should you choose to leave the service, but you will need to find someone to host it.
Follow up Marketing
Using the Housecall Pro software also allows you the ability to have automation for your marketing emails and postcards. This is an advantage if you need to schedule followups, thank customers, or send appointment reminders without having to think about it. Email marketing programs can be very expensive and tricky to use, the Housecall Pro system however, is supposed to be easy to use.
Never made a marketing email? Here's a resource that we're using for our clients that is very effective.
The Not So Good:
You'll have limited options on templates that you can use which means your email messages and followups will need to be updated constantly to send out. Once you send out your follow ups, there isn't a reliable way to track who opens them or even if they've received them.
Housecall Pro also gives you the ability to advertise locally on Google based on the services you provide. You can also control how much you spend, and the availability schedule that works best for you. For many small businesses that would not normally have the ability to rank in search results, pay-per-click advertising makes it possible. The software also allows the ability to choose what you want to be known for when a customer searches for it.
Examples: "Best Landscapers in Dallas" or "Weekend Home Inspectors in Kansas City"
Not sure what your ads need to look like or where to start? Here are some best practices that we're using for our Google Ad clients right now.
You'll have a very limited ability to change your ads based on what your customers are searching for like you would with a dedicated advertising program meaning your ads can be unseen. Also, your messaging will need to conform to the templates they provide you and will not allow for video or other elements available.
If you're still left wondering if Housecall Pro is a good fit for your business, ask yourself a few questions like these.
Do I have the time to build a website and still run my business?
Am I ok with having my website look just like others in my industry using Housecall Pro?
Do I need to use email marketing right now?
Am I ready to be advertising locally with Google right now? Can I afford the costs now?
Maybe Housecall pro is a good fit for you, but to get the most out of your marketing you need an expert like On-Target. Before you sign up, take a look at our Definitive Guide to Marketing For Home Services for help with you marketing that you can use right away.
Still have questions, or want to learn more how we help small businesses that serve homeowners? Contact us.