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TotalHousehold Celebrates Web Launch With $1000 Social Media Sweepstakes
Want to build a better mousetrap, an energy-efficient sunroom, a state-of-the-art family space? Maybe you just need a plumber for a pesky leak that sprang out of nowhere. TotalHousehold.com is the first stop on your home improvement quest.
TotalHousehold.com empowers homeowners with free information and access to local contractors. It's the brainchild of hedge fund industry executive Jeff LaCava who was inspired to switched career gears and build the site after his own experiences with home renovation.
LaCava bought his first home in his twenties and went on to remodel and flip four houses. He became familiar with the ins and outs of renovation and developed a passion for home improvement, but is the first to admit he isn't a DIYer. He always hired professionals—finding the right ones was the challenge.
“But I was frustrated that there wasn’t a reliable online resource to research both contractor credentials and customer ratings and reviews,” said LaCava. “The ones that do exist either do a disservice to the homeowner, the contractor or both. At TotalHousehold, we recognize that these are two distinct groups with different needs, but that they also depend on each other. Our mission is to make home improvement more efficient through expert interviews, FAQs on home repair and renovation and national and state consumer protection guidelines.” A special series called "Open House" takes readers into designers' own homes as well as serving up their advice.
A study from the National Association of Home Builders found that most homeowners rely on word of mouth and/or consumer review websites to find and hire contractors. TotalHousehold combines these two information streams by providing consumers with real-neighbor reviews and referrals that enhance its database of 1.3 million contractors in over 30 categories. Unlike other sites, there's no subscription fee for consumers and they won't get any calls from telemarketers because TotalHousehold doesn't sell visitors' names. Homeowners decide for themselves which contractors they want to call and when.
The contractors' "profile pages" serve as a marketing tool for the professionals themselves—they can add their logo, photos and videos of projects, testimonials, coupons and promotions, and respond to reviews, all without a charge.
“At its core, Total Household is a consumer resource,” said LaCava, “but we see developing more and more business-to-business relationships with contractors. Many are one or two employee shops with little time to devote to growing their client base and publicizing their services. They can create that awareness through TotalHousehold.”
To celebrate their grand online opening, TotalHousehold has teamed up with industry group Window Coverings Assocation of America for the $1,000 "New View Window Treatment Makeover" Facebook photo contest. One lucky winner will receive $500 in cash and a new window covering concept from a WCAA designer.