Are home improvement contractors Internet Savvy?

I'm doing a quick market analysis of the home improvement industry. For the most part, are home improvement service providers (plumbers, electricians, roofers, carpenter, remodelers, handymen, etc.) internet savvy? If a website were able to provide leads, would contractors benefit from such a service? (similar to servicemagic.com, improvenet.com)
If such a website were able to give quality leads, what's the preferred way for most contractors to receive the information? Email? Fax?
Thanks for any input.
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On 29 Dec 2003 19:38:59 -0800, Tony wrote:

From my experience I do not see how an internet referral service would be of interest to me. If one is on time,fair,courteous and does good work one will be awash in word of mouth buisness. I have never advertised and have always had as much work as I cared to do.
Lou
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From several of the postings I come across on the internet news groups, many home improvement contractors are on the internet, but spend most of their time trying to make homeowners look like fools and calling other participating contractors foul names. This newsgroup is not too bad in this regard, but if you check out alt.hvac, you will quickly find a number of immature morons posting there. Des
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This is Turtle.
1) Yes you will find some Immature Morons there at alt.hvac and most of them [ 99%] are not in the business it'self but in the business of selling and getting new customers by way of the alt.hvac newsgroup. now they do catch hell for there is a thing over there where you have to tell the trueth or you get booood out of there. We sometimes refer to them as wantabee tech or trolls and will get somebody killed by the wild stuff or stunts they tell the posters to do.
2) The newsgroup was not invented for homeowners to come get free advice and get to be told how to do their own work but just for hvac / r people to talk among their selves and trade knownledge amoung ourselves. Now in the last 5+ years it has evolved into a answer question for the public and a lot of the member will answer questions if your really wanting information and not wanting to start trouble. When a poster come off with a attitude. He gets a Attitude right back for we don't have to answer anything if we don't want to. Now what is going on now is to get the question askers to go here and ask the questions and leave the alt.hvac clear for more important things like the latest design changes of the industry and not have to be discussing the drain pipe stopping up like has been ask about a thousand time before. I will still answer over at alt.hvac but will watch over here to answer when I can to keep the clutter out of alt.hvac. If anybody can ask over here you will get the same bunch answering over at alt.hvac but just here and not there.
3) When you see a bunch of flaming over at alt.hvac , it is usely a poster looking for a flame war or a fool tring to look smart in a bunch of the best hvac people in the industry. When a Fool, Troll, spammer, or wantabee tech / Hack comes over there and starts talking stupid or lying. He is going to catch hell. We don't want anymore trash over there for we have enough trolls and idiot / wantabee tech / Hack that we need. We don't need anymore.
4) Now to your saying that when a Home improvement contractor comes over to alt.hvac and starts tring to sell their goods or services to the posters and we start calling them names and make the customers that are with them tring to sell something by way of alt.hvac , we are wrong. First you don't sell nothing over at alt.hvac period. If a Home improvement contractor needs to sell his services over at the alt.hvac newsgroup , he is one of two things. first he is not good enough or too lazey to do the jobs that are out there already if he would just take out a $5.00 advertisement in a newspaper and get more calls than he can take care of and tring to pick out the easy job that he can do or screw up and still get paid OR Second he is a Con Artist looking for some easy pickings. Either one of these we have nothing for them but a bad mouthing if they show up.
5) Now there is one thing that your missing here by what you have said. The Member of the alt.hvac newsgroup does not need you, spammers, trolls, homeowners, or anybody but the members. If everybody listed here would go away. We would be happy as a Lark for we could talk about business and not be answering dumb question from Home owners, but we will answer question by the homeowners for it does make us / me feel good by helping someone out about what their problems are and if they have a con artist tring to screw them out of their hard earned money. When you see a con artist or a hack come over to the alt.hvac. You will see the hell start for we will not put up with a thief stealing from the people by way of the alt.hvac. A thief / Hack and alt.hvac will never get along.
6) You will be called what you are over at alt.hvac with no holding back.
TURTLE
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Fair enough Turtle. I cannot understand why a HVAC guy would bother trying to pick up biz from a Newsgroup where most, if not all, of the Posters would be many miles away from where he operates. Seems like a huge waste of time to me. Targeted Marketing methods would yield much better results. Thanks for the info! Des

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As far as I can tell, most contractors are not internet savvy at this point in time.
And exactly what do you find wrong with ServiceMaster anyway?
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I tried a service like these for some electrical work. The only guy that showed up did not leave a card, phone number or any way to contact him again. Never gave me a bid.
I hired a kitchen remodel contractor from service. We were just short of going to court when he disappeared from his home. I mean he packed up and left. Thank god I still owed him $2500.00 on a $6k job.
I doubt that I will ever use such a service again. To me it seems connectivity and trades really do not work as of yet. Others have probably had better luck than I. Lately it has been hard to give money for work done.
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Several websites do, and most of the internet savvy guys, wont touch them. I wont. Service Magic offered me a free listing, and I told them no. I dont need to get leads from a website. Nor do the other contractors I work with. Reputation will service the company better than a website that simply offers something that resembles a lead.

It would be FAX but again..most of the guys I know, would not be interested. I cant imagine some of the jobs we might get off the net....and I surely cant imagine the good jobs being shopped for on the net.

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