Debra Cohen

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Refer Madness

Could it be any easier for homeowners to find home improvement contractors? Only if the online referral industry maintains its current torrid growth rate. Having emerged in the 1990s and then largely imploded in the dot-com bust, this industry is back and bigger than ever. Hundreds of services exist today, from national behemoths that “match” contractors and consumers automatically to one-person companies that know every client by name. More

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Referral services generate local leads

Marla Selko does her due diligence on remodelers: their licensing and insurance, their workmanship and expertise, their responsiveness to clients. She does her due diligence on homeowners: their project scope and budget, their expectations, location, and timeline. Then she plays matchmaker between the two groups, in a fast-growing and decidedly personal twist on the remodeling-referral business. More

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