ProjectTurtle.com is a new website designed exclusively for Maryland to help homeowners connect with contractors. It's hook is that it turns the pricing game around and lets you, the homeowner, name your own price for your home improvement project. Not to worry if you don't have a price in mind, you can also post a straightforward request for bid listing.
It's uses a very "web 2.0" model --in that everything is free and signing up is effortless. The key component here is "free". Not because it's free for you to post a project (all the servicemagics of the world do that), but because it's also free for contractors to view your listing. This is where Project Turtle shines. To understand why this is important, let's examine the home remodeling lead world for a minute:
A homeowner gets to post his project for "free" and in exchange, the website receives free inventory which they in turn sell to contractors. Three, four or even five contractors buy your lead. Since only one can win the bid (if that), the losers move on and buy new leads. And here's the best part; all of them have to wrap their lead costs back into the price of the contract. Yep, even the guy you hired; afterall, he doesn't win them all, right? So in the end you pay for the "free" service.
By allowing contractors to view the leads for free, Project Turtle not only offers homeowners a truly free service, but it allows homeowners to hear from all qualified contractors --not just the ones next in the rotation, or whose monthly spend limit has not yet been reached. The best part is, the homeowner maintains complete control and anonymity of their project listing. It's just like craigslist: the listing can be deleted at anytime and your email address is hidden and Project Turtle relays responses to your actual email address.
Because the site is relatively new (it still boasts "beta" in the logo), leads are still scarce and only a few dozen contractors have registered, but in time ProjectTurtle.com will likely be a great resource for Maryland homeowners. Rome, as they say, was not built in a day.