While many remodelers have legiti­mate concerns about some online lead generators’ price structure, how they use a remodeler’s information, and whether they offer consumers a chance to click directly to a remodeler’s website, it’s possible that some issues exist because there’s a disconnect regarding the definition of “lead.”

“[On the Internet] ... you’re getting contact information for a consumer asking for help,” says industry con­sultant and author Dave Lupberger. George Faerber, owner of Bee Window, in Indianapolis, says “[Internet consumers] are ‘searchers.’ Many people in our industry discount the searchers, missing the opportunity to market to them.”

To that end, Faerber has a follow-up program. Contact information goes into a database; those contacts receive direct-mail pieces and a monthly newsletter. Over several months, Faerber gets face-to-face appointments with 10% to 15% of those original “bad” leads.

Before ServiceMagic rebranded itself as HomeAdvisor last year, it surveyed its members and found that 80% of them stopped calling leads after four weeks. Not so at Bee Window, Faerber says. “Unless we get a death notice, we keep them in our database.”

The Rest of April's Cover Story:

Online Review Sites topic page

Necessary?Evil?: Online review sites are here to stay

Sites for Sore Eyes: Consumer-driven sites leave contractors no choice but to play the game

Site Guide: A quick guide to the dominant online review services

Optimized Engagement: SEO experts explain how reviews can boost your online visibility

I heart Angie (Not): Contractors' love-hate relationship with the online world's biggest player

Friend or Faux?: Despite fake reviews, consumers are stll believers—for now

Friendly Recommendation: Word still spread quickly via the new wave of review sites that use media

Good Word: Why you should (or shouldn't) pay for positive reviews