CSMP Exchange lets contractors bid on potential clients

July 1, 2011 4:49:55 AM PDT
Contractor Joe Shoback and his workers used CSMP Exchange to find the right renovation project.

"Based on price and reputation, the customer chose us," Shoback said.

And Paul McConnell is using CSMP Exchange to find the right contractor to renovate new offices for CKSK, a digital advertising company.

"Being able to line up prices among contractors is extremely helpful," McConnell said.

CSMPExchange.com is a market place for contractor services.

"It normally starts by the homeowner submitting a project description to the website. The contractors can then send out a bid estimate," said founder Seb Donovan.

On average three to five contractors will bid on a new job. 200 contractors are prescreened for the service.

"It definitely gives us a bump in terms of reputation for sure," said Shoback.

Two years into the service and a number of projects added to its resume CSMP Exchange is moving into larger jobs.

"Our sweet spot these days is somewhere between $50,000 and $500,000 for the typical project size," added Donovan.

"It's a competitive environment so you have to be rather precise on your costs. And you have to manage costs well," said Shoback.

So by now you're asking how much this is going to cost in addition to the project itself. The cost of this referral service is paid in part by the contractor.

"It involves no up-front fees. They only pay once they win a job and it makes their economics quite efficient," Donovan said.

"It's worth it. Yeah, it's worth it. Again, because it's a pre-screened customer and the good will factor," Shoback said.

And anyone having gone through a renovation knows the price of goodwill between customer and contractor: Priceless.