Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

Is it possible to name your price for home improvement?

The launch of DFWforhire.com gives home owners in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas the ability to name a maximum price for jobs like exterior painting, cleaning, and home repair work.

Last week we had the opportunity to attend the Dallas NARPM chapter meeting and participate in a Q&A with association members of the benefits of crowdsouring jobs using DFWforhire.com

Most of the members questions were about crowdsourcing and how to ensure quality work is performed. The concept of reduced cost due to active open membership and competition was the main takeaway… We will update with a few notes on that meeting asap.


Contractors And Homeowners – A Change Is Coming

Contractors, Picture of Contractor at work

The following draft article on crowdsourcing technology explains what you can do as a contractor to make the most of your time online!

Contractors get ready... There is a drastic change coming to the way your customers are finding and buying your services.

That change is called crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing happens when a homeowner posts a project or job description once and allows everyone interested in bidding the job access to do so.

To day there are a few websites that are created just for crowdsourcing labor. Some of them allow access to contractors that have been prescreened, others charge a fee for contractors to view customer details like phone numbers and email addresses.

Other sites like those created by Open Source Markets allow everyone equal access to the job information and even act on your behalf to ensure that the jobs performed are beneficial to your community.

Traditionally your customers found you by using the Yellow Pages. That was a great tool, and for its time it brought your services to the market place like none other.

After the yellow pages came the web search… and this is still the dominant method for sourcing professionals like plumbers, electricians, painters, remodelers, and handyman services.

Now there are a few people using Craigslist to crowdsource jobs, but the value of Craigslist only goes so far… One of the benefits of the site is that it allows you to post a description of your services on the small business ads or in the skilled trades services categories… but often these listing are very limited and including pictures and links to your website takes somewhat advances skills.

Once you have posted a description of your contracting company it is almost instantly buried by the listing of hundreds of your competions advertisements

Now there are other ways of promoting your business online today that are more effective than Craigslist but Craigslist seems to be the go to place for handyman and landscapers looking for work and an easy promotion.

This article is not about promoting your business through the available channels… It is about preparing you for the game changing effect that crowdsourcing is having on almost every industry..

Wether or not I convince you of the coming change is not the point… the point here is for those that see the future of buying and selling services is online… I want to help you get prepared.

First off you should be cataloging every job you perform, yes that sounds like a lot of work, but it will give you a substaintial advantage when porting your job history and customer reviews into a crowdsourcing system.

Get a letter of recomendation from every customer even if it is a simple one liner like “Mike and his team did great work, I highly recommend them to anyone seeking a contractor in Dallas”

Get pictures and even video of your construction work. Having abundant images in your portfolio will always set you apart from your competition. In most cases customers want to see that you have completed similar work even if that should be understood, an image will always help you to close the deal and get the job.

Postitioning your business to compete on both price and VALUE…

Value is someting that can be seen as very different from price… for instance your company provides added value by using green building methods, recycling building materials, offering your services to your community, or even shaping your community with the progressive nature of your companies mission or values.

For instance company A provides landscaping services at a rate that is well below industry standards, but uses a labor force that is not US citizens, and pays their employees a wage that is far below the established standard for quality living… They will always win the customer that is shopping for price alone, and how can you compete!

More to come for Contractors and Homeowners.

The Public Launch of DFWforhire.com is Changing The Way Dallas Buys and Sells Services

Web startup is crowdsourcing transactions for Dallas, TX contractors and property owners.

Dallas, Texas – Oct 26 2009 – Today Open Source Markets, Inc. announces the broad availability of DFWforhire.com, the first of 50 websites designed to stimulate community commerce in US cities nationwide. Dallas natives Matthew Rogers and Brian Radford, founders of Open Source Markets, Inc. wanted the Dallas community, their back yard, to lead the charge.

DFWforhire.com allows the Dallas community to post service jobs, such as home improvement or repair, and receive unlimited bids from contractors in an open source environment. The community-driven portal fosters broad-based competition through equal access and ultimately drives lower prices as new members join.

Commonly referred to as crowdsourcing, the website provides Dallas residents access to a larger crowd of contractors to solve their problems in the most cost-effective manner.

“Crowdsourcing is the new way people evaluate, buy and sell products and services on the web today,” stated Matthew Rogers. “Gone are the days where you choose one of the few contractors that advertise in the yellow pages. Instead, we allow input from multiple parties (the crowd) to help determine the cost, procedures, and best practices for completing a job in a sustainable way. People drive better commerce and competition in an open source environment.

There are no barriers to participating in the marketplace. Dallas contractors pay nothing to access job information, and homeowners pay nothing to use the system. The website launch means that now both parties in the transaction are on equal footing in the labor procurement process from both an awareness and opportunity standpoint. The content on the website is essentially driven by the community similar to Craigslist.org, but is perhaps best described as an Ebay for services created just for Dallas contractors and residents.

A quick look at the site shows projects that are open for bid by Dallas contractors. Some of these projects have received over a dozen bids and represent potential savings of thousands of dollars to consumers.

For more information on how Open Source Markets Inc. is changing the way Dallas buys and sells services, visit http://www.opensourcemarkets.com or contact Matthew Rogers at Matt@OpenSourceMarkets.com.

Media Contact:

Matthew Rogers