Anna Pfenninger was doing move-out cleanings for a property management company when she realized the opportunity before her. “One day it hit me: I could do this all myself,” she said.
Eight years later, the Navy veteran’s cleaning business Noonday Home Services has been hired more than 50 times on Thumbtack. And thanks to the time she’s saving with Instant Match, Anna is getting more involved in her local networking and veteran’s groups. Here’s what the Top Pro cleaner told us about setting up an account, getting reviews, and growing her business with Thumbtack.
What made you decide to open a small business?
I’m a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and when I got out I started working for a property management company doing turnover management. The bulk of what I did was really deep, thorough cleaning. When I looked to expand my business, house cleaning made the most sense. I hired one other person around a year ago and we’re planning to expand.
What percentage of your work is from Thumbtack today?
Around 50 percent of my business comes from Thumbtack now. My business didn’t take off right away and it took time to figure out what did and didn’t work. I sent out a lot of quotes that I look back on now and think “that wasn’t really something I wanted to go after” or “I could have done that differently and closed the job.” But learning is always part of the process.
What did you think when you first learned about Instant Match?
I did a lot of research before committing to give it a try. What set my mind at ease was talking to Thumbtack’s customer support team. I was only part of the way through the setup process when one of the Thumbtack customer service members called to see if I needed help. I had so many questions and they answered them all.
Did you have success with Instant Match right away?
It definitely took me some time. I had to fine tune my profile, word my quotes correctly, and do a lot of profile editing. I’m getting so many jobs now that I made those changes, and because my quotes are going out faster. Now I never miss a job.
What are you doing with the time Instant Match saves you?
Instant Match has freed me up to do more for my business instead of agonizing over each and every quote. I started attending local networking events and signed us up for a veteran’s group that meets once a month.
How did you target your ideal jobs on Instant Match?
We specialize in move-in and move-out cleanings and any sort of one-time deep clean. Sometimes we come in after construction and clean up after the work that’s been done. We work with a couple real estate agents if they want a home to really sparkle before they show it.
Instant Match makes it possible for us to set our preferences so that we only get customers who are looking for those services.
How do you set your budget?
I increase or decrease my budget depending on how busy things are. A lot of our business comes at the end of the month when customers are closing property deals so that’s when we tend to raise our budget on Instant Match.
How did you set your availability? Do you work weekends?
I leave my calendar extremely open and I find that most customers are really good at negotiating a time or day with me once they’ve sent me a booking request.
What are the key things you look for in your pro Insights report?
I use my pro Insights report all the time! I want to know how I’m priced compared to other pros. I don’t want to be the lowest but I want to be on the lowest edge. I’m in the phase right now where I’m still building up my reviews, and that means keeping my prices a little lower than they could otherwise be.
How do you follow up?
If the customer reaches out and I respond and don’t hear back, I wait 24 hours and then send a second follow-up message checking to see where they are in their decision process. Sometimes people’s minds are already made up, but not always.
What do you think it takes to be a Top Pro?
Give the best service you can to your customers and they’ll reward you with good reviews and repeat business.
What are the top 3 things you would advise other pros in your category to do to win more business?
- Go over your profile thoroughly.
- Answer all of the questions in Thumbtack’s Q&A.
- Provide as much info as you can in your bio to tell people who you are and what sets you apart.
Any tips for asking for reviews?
Get your customers’ email addresses! I follow up a few days after the service and ask for a review over email. Only half will leave a review, but it’s worth it.