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Phyxter vs HomeAdvisor vs Thumbtack vs Porch vs Houzz vs Angi vs Yelp vs Bark vs Homestars

March 3, 2023

You've worked hard to build your business. 

You've developed your brand.

And now it's time for more paying customers.

But where do home improvement contractors find quality leads?

Third-party platforms promise results.

Leads on speed dial.

But which one is the best?

And what do homeowners think of these options?

We've done the research.

Dug up the dirt on the top platforms.

Created a comparison including the pros and cons.

And the fine print associated with Phyxter vs. HomeAdvisor vs. Thumbtack vs. Porch vs. Houzz vs. Angi vs. Yelp vs. Bark vs. Homestars.

But before we dig in, let me give you the 411 on my story.


Hey, I'm Ippei!

Until 2014, like many of the people I review, I was working in a corporate job from 9 to 5.

Not only was it soul-crushing, but it didn't give me any time to pursue my bigger goals.

That was until I discovered a method to rank sites organically, generating free leads for my clients.

That website you see above, for the tree care company, I created it in 2015, and since then I haven't had to touch or update it:

It has gained me a passive income of $2000 a month.

That's more than $100,000 for one site, in 5 years.

That's the magic of the Lead Generation business, it's by far the best model to generate passive income. If you want to know more, just hop over here!

1. Phyxter

It's all about customer acquisition for this mobile app.

A home improvement service. 

Connecting homeowners with local contractors.

Founded in 2019 in Vernon, British Columbia.

They now have offices across Canada and the United States.

Who Is Phyxter?

Phyxter is one of the new kids on the block.

But they're making their presence known.

With a focus on customer service.

picture of the phyxter logo

Phyxter connects local tradespeople with homeowners.

Potential customers looking for services.

Everything from emergency repair to service and support.

But there are a couple of pros and cons for contractors like:

  • Modern quoting technology

  • User simplicity

  • You choose your projects

  • Free quoting and invoicing system 

  • Risk-free (only pay for leads=paying jobs)

  • Not as popular as competitor platforms

  • Background checks aren't mandatory-but customers know

  • Limited to Canada and the USA 

Why Do Homeowners Like Phyxter?

  • Multiple contractors and quotes
  • Hassle-free payments
  • Group chat function (allows you to chat and share photos-details of the job) 
  • Easy to use
  • A referral program that also donates to charity
  • 24/7 service and support
image of phyxter service page

Phyxter isn't done yet.

They keep adding more trades. 

And now offer contractors discounts on Klein Tools.

If you're a business owner looking for quality leads.

Ready to grow.

And don't want to be out of pocket for jobs you don't get.

You're going to want to take a closer look at this app.

And for homeowners you’ll have plenty of choices.

2. HomeAdvisor

The grandfather of lead generation platforms.

HomeAdvisor is a household name.

More popular and well known than Phyxter.

Homeowners seem to love them.

Contractors not so much.

Like Phyxter, HomeAdvisor offers services to Americans and Canadians.

But in Canada they are known as HomeStars.

Who is HomeAdvisor?

HomeAdvisor was founded in 1998 under the pseudonym ServiceMagic.

And acquired Angie's List-now referred to as Angi-in 2017.

Headquarters are in Denver, Colorado.

But they have offices across the United States.

And specialize in over 500 home improvement categories.

HomeAdvisor Pros & Cons For Contractors:

  • An excellent way to establish your business presence online

  • Get your company in front of a wide target market

  • Option to pause listings

  • Receive credits for cancellations or duplicate leads

  • Leads are sold to multiple contractors (100k currently active on their site)

  • Cutthroat competition unless you are a sole service provider

  • Pay for leads that don't earn you money (up to $50/lead)

image of homeadvisor logo

Why Do Homeowners Like HomeAdvisor?

  • Free to use
  • Multiple contractors to choose from (all with background checks)

  • Online booking

But homeowners should be aware of a few less than stellar traits.

And points about this lead generation platform.

Things like:

  • Your contact information is sold to multiple business owners (read-you'll get a lot of calls).
  • Accusations of shady business practices including fake reviews, contractors that aren't local to your area.
  • And questions around qualified vetting of business owners that you can read more about here.

Is HomeAdvisor Worth It?

Most contractors give this platform a hard pass.

Touting bad leads.

And a waste of money.

An annual cost of $350 to maintain your listing

Unlike Phyxter-with HomeAdvisor contractors have to pay to be active on the platform.

But if you're a new company.

Keep a close eye on your budget. 

And are quick on the dial.

HomeAdvisor can drum up leads for your business as per this post.

picture of homeadvisor services page

And for homeowners?

Perform your due diligence.

But you have access to every trade imaginable.

And an efficient process.

View quotes for your specific project before you commit.

Saving you time and potentially money.

3. Thumbtack

Popular and prominent.

Thumbtack is one of the more substantial lead-generating platforms.

And have over 500 trades categories for homeowners.

But are they worth their salt?

Reviews say otherwise.

Who is Thumbtack?

Founded in 2008. 

Their headquarters are in San Francisco.

And have locations riddled across the United States.

But do not currently offer services to Canadian homeowners.

A 'home management system' connecting customers with local contractors.

Thumbtack Pros & Cons For Contractors:


  • Free to join and no monthly subscription

  • Report obtaining 30,000+ leads/day

  • Favored by homeowners

  • Only pay for leads when customers contact you

  • Option to upgrade to a paid subscription (buy leads automatically at a 20% discount) 


  • Competitive-(leads are sent to 5 contractors)

  • Records of poor customer service

  • You don't know what a lead will cost you until after you're charged

  • You pay for communicating with potential customers-not leads

  • Unexplained fees and rise in rates

image of thumbtack logo

Why Do Homeowners Like Thumbtack?

  • Free to use
  • Variety of service providers

But buyers beware.

Thumbtack does not request mandatory background checks.

And apparently, you might be connected with the wrong business.

One that doesn't even offer the service you're after.

But they do offer a wider variety  of trades than their HomeAdvisor counterparts.

Is Thumbtack Worth It For Contractors?

Like Phyxter-homeowners post what they need to do.

Contractors choose what projects they're interested in.

But there's no control over how much a lead will cost.

You're paying to talk-$1.50+ a conversation.

And competing against numerous companies. 

It's always up to you as the business owner.

But we might suggest that your money is better spent elsewhere.

picture of thumbtack services page

And for homeowners?

They offer 'The Thumbtack Guarantee.' 

Not unlike HomeAdvisor.

Who offers what they call the 'Happiness Guarantee.'

It's a quick way to compare different contractors.

And check out pricing and quotes as per this review.

4. Porch 

Porch takes a different approach to home improvement leads.

Unlike HomeAdvisor, where leads are shared with a plethora of business owners.

Porch limits contractors getting each lead to four.

Homeowners post their projects-including images.

And contractors bid on jobs that are of interest to them.

Who is Porch?

Porch was founded in 2012 and is located in Seattle, Washington.

A Pinterest-style lead generation platform.

That hosts over 300,000 tradespeople in over 160 niches.

And is partnered with retailers like Lowes, Wayfair, and Pottery Barn.

Offering fulfillment services in addition to professional contractors.

Adding to their credibility is their partnership with BBB.

Porch Pros & Cons For Contractors

  • Only Pay For Leads You Contact

  • Decide Which Projects To bid On

  • Small Jobs Are Great For New Business Owners

  • 'Porch Guarantee' A Contractor Background Check (but you need a prominent online presence to qualify which can be challenging for startups)
  • Customer Service Isn’t The Best

Why Do Homeowners Like Porch?

  • It's free to use.

  • Assistance in choosing your desired design through photos.

  • An excellent place to find local contractors for small-scale home improvement jobs.

image of porch logo

Is Porch Worth It For Contractors?

The short answer is yes.

Or at least be open to trying it out for yourself.

For business owners looking to add to their repertoire.

Build a client base.

And have a say in what leads they bid on. 

Porch is an excellent option for building your brand and your business.

But be cognizant of what you're paying.

And read the fine print regarding subscription cancellation.

You have the option to join their vetted network for $360/year.

And increase the credibility of your business.

picture of porch services page

And for homeowners?

If you need help putting the idea in your head to fruition.

And communicate your design to a contractor Porch is a good option.

Background checks in certain areas offer a trust value.

A free platform.

It's a great way to connect with numerous business owners.

And find the ideal match.

5. Houzz

The website and app that has that Facebook feel.

Houzz is a marketing solution for tradespeople in the home improvement industry.

And an option for business owners from remodel and renovation

To landscaping and construction industries.

Focused on targeted local advertising. 

And the option to up the ante with their premium listing option.

Who Is Houzz?

Founded in 2009 out of Palo Alto, California.

With a reach including Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Houzz is a directory of professionals.

Connecting with homeowners through shared photos and queries.

Targeted advertising and lead generation.

Add in brand awareness are you get the foundations of their platform.

With over 40 million users.

Its popularity with homeowners rivals that of HomeAdvisor.

Porch Pros & Cons For Contractors:

  • Profiles are free to set up
  • Share your work and build your credibility

  • Online exposure & access to an extensive audience

  • Option to pay to rank higher on the site 

  • It costs $$$ to be listed at the top

  • No advertising=may not be seen by homeowners

  • Images need to be high quality (read professional)
  • Houzz owns your profile

image of houzz logo

Why Do Homeowners Like Houzz?

  • It's free to use

  • Access to a ton of images and information

  •   A place to ask professionals questions
  •  View inspiration boards to get more ideas for your next home   improvement project

But the reviews are reported to be biased.

And customer service subpar at best.

There's also been discontent around the excessively high prices on products they showcase.

Is Houzz Worth It For Contractors?

They've been around longer than platforms like Phyxter and Porch.

And they're where the people are.

You don't pay per lead like you do with HomeAdvisor.

picture of houzz services page

And if you spend time on your profile and leverage the platform.

You should get a steady stream of online traffic.

But remember to read the fine print.

Houzz For Homeowners?

Houzz may not be the most cost-effective solution to purchasing products.

But they do have a network of over 2.5 million professionals to choose from. 

And in almost every home improvement niche imaginable.

Free to join. 

It's worth checking out for your next project.

6. Angi

Older does not always mean wiser.

And as one of the oldest third-party platforms around.

Angi has a history.

It started as an online directory listing reviews of local contractors.

And has become an internet services company as per this post.

Who is Angi?

Check out their timeline:

  • Founded in 1995 as an online directory called Angie's List.
  • July 2016 altered their brand to become a freemium service.
  • October 2017 was acquired by IAC and merged with HomeAdvisor renaming themselves ANGI Homeservices.
  • October 2018 ANGI Homeservices bought Handy.
  • March 2021 changed their name again and are currently called Angi.
image of angi logo

Located in Denver, Colorado, they offer home services around the world-reaching over 6 million people.

And offer over 500 categories and access to thousands of business owners.

But are they the best solution for contractors looking to grow their business?

A few contractor pros and cons to consider:

  • They have a massive online following

  • Option to pay for additional visibility 

  • Pay to advertise not for leads
  • Uber competitive (leads are sent to multiple contractors)

  • Same lead pool as HomeAdvisor (so if you utilize both platforms you could pay for the same lead twice)

Why Do Homeowners Like Angi?

  • Free to sign up
  • Background checks are performed on business owners
picture of angi service page

Is Angi Worth It For Contractors?

Unfortunately, the platform has accumulated numerous negative reviews.

And contractors spend money that may not result in actual leads.

And for homeowners?

Apparently they're less than impressed.

Citing poor customer service and the 'pay to play' style of the platform.

And the countless calls from business owners.

But it does offer a chance to read reviews.

And get a ballpark on pricing for upcoming projects.

7. Yelp

Yelp is an online service shopping platform.

And brings in over 1.45 million visitors every month.

But as far as lead generation sites go, the verdict is not entirely favorable.

Attracting a lot of tire kickers and price shoppers.

Yelp doesn't offer the same level of returns as sites like HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack.

Who Is Yelp?

Founded in 2004 with headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Yelp offers services around the world.

And is a platform where homeowners can view multiple businesses, reviews, and images.

Contractors can list their company on the site free of charge.

But does it add value to your business?

Pros and cons for contractors:

  • Free to create a profile

  • Excellent opportunity to get online exposure

  • Pay to advertise=your company at the top of the list of service providers

  • Price shoppers & tire kickers 

  • You pay per view-not per click=out of pocket for no leads

  • Their self-service advertising means minimal control over spending/no way to track metrics

Also worth mentioning is the relentless-verging on obnoxious- sales associates.

Who are reported to be in constant pursuit of you to spend money on paid advertising.

image of yelp logo

Why Do Homeowners Like Yelp?

  • A free-to-use platform homeowners can contact contractors directly.

  • Avoid confusion and miscommunication.

  • Tons of reviews, images, and options to choose from.

Is Yelp Worth It For Contractors?

Their 'pay-per-click' is misleading.

You're paying people to view your information.

But that doesn't mean they'll become a lead.

Paid advertising can get pricey really fast.

So it's advisable to keep a close eye on your profile.

But if you're looking for more online exposure. 

And less about lead generation. 

Yelp is an option worth considering.

picture of yelp for business

And for homeowners?

Unlike HomeAdvisor and Angi.

Background checks are not conducted on businesses that list on Yelp.

And Yelp doesn't offer any customer support.

Or guarantee should you get ghosted by a contractor on their site.

But it is a great place to view local service providers.

And compare notes on listed companies.

8. Homestars

A lead-generating platform earmarked for Canadian contractors.

HomeStars was founded in 2006.

And calls Toronto Ontario home base.

An online community-style forum.

A place where homeowners can share and post reviews about contractors.

Where contractors can connect with potential clients.

And bid on jobs.

Who Is Homestars?

A bit like TripAdvisor.

They're Canada's 'largest network of verified, and community reviewed home service professionals.'

As per their about us page.

HomeStars is a way to read about local businesses.

Check out reviews and connect with the ideal contractor.

Acquired by IAC-HomeAdvisor's parent company in 2017.

HomeStars is the Canadian equivalent of Angi.

But with '8 million homeowners' checking out this site every year.

HomeStars is worth a closer look.

Including the pros and cons for contractors.

  • Free basic listing=more online exposure

  • User-friendly mobile app

  • Can earn the 'Best of Awards' label (a reward for exceptional service)

  • Can upgrade to paid listing & advertising

  • Earn 'Star Scores' (based on review rating-reputation-and responsiveness)

  • Can respond to quotes using any device

  • Basic listing 20imits you to one service area/one category

  • HomeStars can downgrade/terminate memberships at their discretion

  • Upgrading your profile is going to set you back $200-$250/month
  • Initial term=12 consecutive months minimum
  • No refund for membership fees paid in advance or in full should you decide to cancel

There's a lot to weigh in on.

And this article offers a comprehensive review of HomeStars.

From a contractor point of view you might find helpful.

picture of homestars logo

Why Do Homeowners Like HomeStars?

  • Free to join & to set up an account is easy

  • Connect with numerous service providers

  • Internal message system 

  • View images of contactors work 

  • Connect with numerous service providers

  • Read & add reviews

  • Bookmark company favorites

  • Criminal & credit checks performed on business owners

image on homestars website

Is HomeStars Worth It For Contractors?

As far as generating online exposure.

HomeStars will get eyes on your business.

If you're prepared to put effort into your profile.

Take the odd low-quality lead and offer premium service.

And get a ton of reviews.

You might benefit from this platform.

Especially if you're looking to grow one aspect of your business.

And in a specific target area.

But compared to sites like Phyxter. 

Who has both the contractor and the homeowner in mind.

HomeStars might be on the high end of the price point.

And not much in the way of returns.

And for homeowners?

Homeowners have reported that negative reviews they left aren't published.

And it would appear that these may be 'overlooked' for paying contractors.

You need to do your research before you rely solely on platform reviews.

There is also the question around unsatisfactory customer service.

But you do have access to thousands of local business owners.

In nearly every home improvement niche imaginable.

So if you're looking. 

It's worth taking a peek at HomeStars.

What If There Was A Better Way To Generate Leads For Your Business?

Why Not Invest In A Superior Lead Generation System?

Third-party platforms can generate leads.

But they all come with pros and cons.

Many charge for leads that amount to nothing.

Others have fine print that all gets a bit suss.

But what if there was a way to generate your own leads?

Get to the top of the Google search engines.

And create a steady stream of leads?

That's what you get with this business model.

A comprehensive training program that walks you through step by step.

And teaches you how to build and rank websites that generate leads in real-time.

Connect with purchase-ready consumers.

Without depending on platforms like HomeAdvisor or Phyxter.

How Leveraging Google Can Get You Better Leads

You need customers.

People willing to pay for the service or product you offer.

Third-party platforms can land eyes on your business.

But you're competing with multiple contractors for the same jobs.

That means you're either really fast with that dial.

Or be willing to offer discounted prices to land the gig.

For homeowners platforms like Angi and HomeStars.

They're the ideal place to price shop.

Read tire kickers and cheapskates.

Sure some people are ready to buy and will pay full pop.

But how many leads do you have to purchase before you see returns?

When you're at the top of Google.

People checking out your site are interested in connecting with your business.

They've done their 'shopping' and are ready to buy.

How The Right System Can Generate Leads & Increase Your ROIs

Let's start at ground zero.

Build and rank websites just like it's taught in this training.

Get those sites to the top of the SERPs.

And you own digital real estate.

Prime location=tons of purchase-ready consumers.

And the best part?

Those leads are yours.

You're not competing with other business owners.

You don't need to lowball just to land a job.

You're generating organic leads.

That not only costs you nothing.

But statistically they are worth far more.

When you compare them to leads you'll pay for on third-party platforms.

Organic leads are far superior full stop.

This course is six simple steps.

That is so easy to follow.

Honestly, we have seniors in our program.

Retirees who are crushing it.

Because they followed the training. 

And were willing to trust the process.

You don't need to be tech-savvy.

This course shows you how to do everything.

And with over 7000 students currently enrolled in our program.

We must be doing something right.

Frequent Complaints About Third-Party Lead Generating Platforms

Most business owners just want to work.

They sign up on sites like Yelp and Porch to get more jobs.

And they pay the fees because they don't think there's an alternative.

But what happens is they end up lowballing on prices.

Competing with multiple contractors.

They get saddled into a contract that is impossible to terminate.

And pay for contacts that don't result in paying jobs.

When you depend on third party platforms for leads you're potentially setting yourself up for things like:

  • Substantial monthly costs for an unknown amount of leads.
  • Platforms that own your profile-pictures and details of your business.
  • The threat of termination or bad reviews.
  • Upsells for advertising to gain better visibility.
  • Homeowners shopping around for the best deal.

It's your business.

You shouldn't have to offer outrageous discounts.

Or be glued to your phone to get leads.

Wouldn't you rather be in the driver's seat?

And in complete control over your leads and your pricing?

What If I Don't Own A Business?

You don't need to be a business owner to join this program.

Lead generation is for people looking for a way to make a semi-passive income. 

As well as generate leads for local businesses.

Follow the detailed training.

Build and rank websites that produce leads.

Sell those leads to companies hungry to grow their business.

Like I did back in 2015 when I built this tree site.

One of my first lead gen sites.

This site alone has been making me $2000/month for the last six years.

And that's only one of over 80 sites I own.

Lansing Tree Service Lead Gen Property

Those sites belong to you.

And so do the leads.

Leads that you can sell any way you like.

Flat-fee, commission, pay-per-lead.

Whatever you want.

But if you set your sites up like it's taught in the training.

And get them to the top of Google.

You can basically let them do their thing.

Get money coming in every month on autopay.

This is the secret sauce to the elusive semi-passive income.

Why Lead Generation Is A Fool-Proof Business Model

You have over 400 niches to choose from.

Anywhere in the world.

There's no limit to the number of sites you build.

And no restrictions or fine print on selling your leads.

This isn't something we just threw together.

This program has been put through the paces.

It's far from a get-rich-quick scheme.

So if you're looking for a free ride to wealth.

You're in the wrong place.

image of people standing under a funnel putting out leads and money

But if you're willing to hustle.

Follow the training just like it's laid out.

Commit to the process.

And take massive action.

Whether you're a business owner looking for a way out of your third-party platform contract.

Or an individual ready to call the shots on your financial future.

Then you need to consider lead generation.

Why Is This Program The Best Choice For Lead Generation?

It's about value.

Value for business owners.

Value for homeowners.

And value for our students.

Join our program and you get ongoing value.

Dan is the creator of this business model.

He's been doing lead generation for over a decade.

And still believes in delivering high-quality content.

Ongoing support, and continued value.

That's why he hosts live streams twice a week.

Spends hours revamping the training.

Introduces new hacks and tools.

Doing everything in his power to help students achieve optimal success with this course.

He and his wife Tori treat members of our program like family.

This course isn't just a way to generate leads.

Or secure a semi-passive income stream.

It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals.

A community of people from around the world.

All willing to put in the work.

Trust the process.

And win with lead generation.

Members who had all kinds of online experience.

And those that had absolutely none.

Coming together to support one another.

And connect on our exclusive members-only Facebook page.

A place where over 7000 students come together.

Share wins.

Ask questions and discuss strategy.

A place where there are no bad questions.

Only people willing to help and support you on your lead gen journey.

Full disclosure.

Lead generation takes work.

Hustle, commitment, and an ability to take action.

Not everyone is cut out for this business model.

And that's okay.

But if you think you have what it takes.

Want a better option than third-party platforms.

Are willing to trust the process.

And do the work.

If you have questions about lead generation.

Or would like more information.

Click the link below and book a call today.

You have choices when it comes to generating leads.

Some are better than others.

But this Phyxter vs. HomeAdvisor vs. Thumbtack vs. Porch vs. Houzz vs. Angi vs. Yelp vs. Bark vs. Homestars comparison gives you a snapshot of your options.

Compares apples to apples.

And has hopefully helped you make a more educated decision on choosing a lead generation model.

If you have a technique we didn't list.

Or something to add that will benefit our readers.

Please feel free to leave it in the comment section below.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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