Tip #35

Angie’s List Pays for Itself in a Single Use

Written on October 4, 2013 by , updated on June 7, 2014

angies-list-2My wife likes to brag that I can fix almost anything.  I’m glad she thinks so highly of me but sometimes I only know enough to be dangerous :)

Sometimes it takes me longer, and costs me more money, than if I just hired a pro.  But that’s the cost of learning, right?!

I’m a handyman, but not a Pro

During my first 2 years of managing rentals, I was convinced that I didn’t need to research the contractors that I was hiring.  After all, I thought I knew enough about everything to supervise the quality of their work. Yes, I was over confident.

I also had built up a small list of trusted contractors, that I felt comfortable with, and used them frequently.  This was all well and good until my favorite contractors started getting more expensive jobs, and were too busy to take my service calls.

Who you gonna call?

Then one day, I needed help and didn’t know who to call.  Specifically, I needed a locksmith, and I needed it quickly.

So, I signed up for Angie’s List.

That was 6 months ago, and I’ve been using Angie’s List ever since.  Honestly, I don’t know how I lived without it.   I had known about the review site for a long time, and knew that it could help me find a reputable contractor in almost any industry, but… I was being cheap, and I didn’t want to pay $22/year for the service.

If I could go back in time, I would have signed up sooner. When I looked up “locksmiths” in my area, I found multiple options with an A+ rating, and glowing reviews.  The top vendor even had a 20% off coupon exclusively for Angie’s List members. Perfect. So I called and made an appointment.

Conclusion: It pays for itself!

After the locksmith performed his magic, the bill was $190, minus 20% ($38).  So, you see, by using Angie’s List, I not only hired a reputable contractor, but the savings from the exclusive coupon covered the cost of my membership!   It paid for itself in one use!

I highly recommend Angie’s List for every Landlord and Property Manager.

A Great Mobile App

They even have a fantastic mobile app (itunes, android), so you can find contractors on the go!

Get our free newsletter

Join 200,000+ landlords

  • ​Tips to increase income
  • Time-saving techniques
  • ​Powerful tools & resources

6 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Jessa Berkey

    I feel like this recommendation should come with a disclaimer.

    While Angie’s list can be a helpful resource, top-rated companies are sometimes only as good as the ad fees they are willing to purchase, as a majority of the Angie List’s profit comes from ad sales and rank-change fees versus their consumer membership fees.

    As discussed in the “TIME” article by Brad Tuttle on 9.21.13 (http://business.time.com/2013/09/21/guess-whos-getting-some-pretty-awful-reviews-user-review-sites), along with several other earlier resources (Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/09/online-ratings-services/index.htm; Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/09/10/aint-it-time-to-say-goodbye-to-angies-list/), these ratings are not driven by local consumer reviews alone, but also by willingness of a company to purchase their ranking status. Angie’s List is not alone in this practice.

    One should never blindly trust an individual online review or review site. It’s important to remember that although review sites like this can be very helpful in vetting vendors – what could be better than a recommendation from a trusted, respected source – there is a major incentive for companies to purchase these accolades and an established precedence of them doing so.

    A referral from local real estate agents and rental housing associations that deal with a high volume of area vendor requests is a great place to start or to use as a resource to cross reference with the information found in online review sites.

    There are never any guarantees. It is always possible to have a negative or difficult experience with any company, well-reviewed or not. As a consumer and landlord, one would be remiss in not fully understanding where the information being provided is coming from and what service membership fees will actually get you.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jessa

      Thanks for bringing this up. You are so right! It’s critical to understand where Angie’s list gets its revenue – much of which is from the vendors themselves – to buy ranking in the search results. Thus is similar to how google features paid listings at the top of their search.

      Nonetheless, a bad review by a disgruntled client will turn off new customers no matter how much money a vendor throws at Angie’s list (AL)

      I agree that the best way to find a contractor is through referrals of close friends, family, or other real estate pros in your neighborhood. But that doesn’t make the vendors AL any less quality.

      The bottom line is that every landlord need to do their research – even for those companies on AL.

      When I don’t have a strong reference from a friend, I then either have to do a google search, search the yellow pages, or use a review site when I need a contractor.

      At least with Angie’s list, I know the reviews are legit (because I’ve seen my own reviews posted) and I have some recourse to hurt their reputation if they perform poorly. Angie’s list actually calls each of the members to proactively get reviews after a search is performed. The audible recordings will soon be available for anyone to listen too – which is pretty cool. Maybe I’ll hear my voice on the site one day.

      In my opinion, any legitimate reviews are better than none, and if I can offset he cost of the AL membership with exclusive coupons with quality vendors – then that’s just the icing on the cake.

      I really appreciate your comment. It’s comments like this that help us all learn from each other. Cheers!

  • Al Williamson

    Thanks for doing my homework for me. I think I’ll follow your lead and sign up myself. I got a hot water heater and some other items to replace to ready my home for sell.

    Thank Bro!

    • Lucas Hall

      Hey Al

      Cool! I was pleasantly impressed when I signed up. But just in case you aren’t, they have 110% guarantee if you cancel within the first year. They even pay you a little extra for your trouble. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

  • Jason Ray

    I’d like to find rent as low as $300 a month and I’d be willing to settle for just one private room with one private bathroom no matter how ugly the place looks as long as it is stable.

  • Matt

    It’s amazing people by doing nothing make so much money in Canada and US.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Be short, sweet and to the point.