By now many of you are aware of the coming changes to the lead-gen business. In June, the FCC’s new one-to-one consent rule will take effect. Many lead-aggregation companies are preparing for this change.

Until now, lead aggregators could send consumer inquiries to multiple contractors. And it was permissible for all these contractors to contact those consumers separately. Very soon, only one contractor will be able to contact that consumer. And there will need to be documentation of that inquiry.

The practical effect will be higher lead prices going forward. Smart remodelers and home improvement pros will be focused on how to boost leads they generate from other sources. They will want to supercharge their websites to generate more form fills.

They will want to put a greater emphasis on signage and radius marketing around jobsites. Home shows and events are another good option. All three of these sources give contractors greater control of their lead flows.

But further changes are afoot beyond the new FCC one-to-one consent rule. Here’s one example: Powerful generative AI chatbots like Chat GPT will increasingly take on the role of everyday search engines.

There will be an increase in the number of referrals to your websites and others from Chat GPT. Experts say at some point there will be a way to purchase search results on those generative AI chat bots. But what about organic chatbot search? Is your web developer ready to jump in and help you get more easily seen by chatbots?

Until now, so much of the energy and effort put forth by web developers have been focused on SEO (search-engine optimization). That work helps with organic traffic from Google, Bing and Yahoo. Some of that effort will need to go to chatbot optimization someday soon.

Patrick Fingles, CEO of Leap and founder of Nu Look Home Design, a Maryland roofing contractor, sees bigger changes afoot. He will be the first one to tell you he is not a futurist, but he is a firm believer that tech is heading toward a day when consumers will be able to price out jobs for windows, roofing and siding and deliver ready-made jobs—not just leads for jobs—to contractors. At today’s pace of tech advancement, this seems plausible.

So, I then asked Tony Hoty, a home-improvement industry consultant with a focus on lead-gen, whether he saw ready-made jobs supplanting leads at some point. Hoty is a tech-forward guy, but he’s got a strong belief there will always need to be a facilitator or concierge required to close deals, even those that are 90 percent done.

There’s no substitute for trust. Type of job is important too. Ready-made jobs for gutters and garage floors are a lot more do-able than windows or baths, Hoty says.

The bottom line is that lead generation, the lifeblood of any home improvement or remodeling firm, is in a state of flux. It is an area that deserves continued focus and vigilance, particularly in 2024 and 2025. QR

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