In January we added another tab called Projects. The purpose is to allow you to manage your contacts and projects all in one area on the site. At this point thousands of projects have been created and added to the site by our users. Have you used this feature on the site yet? If you have, leave a comment below with your feedback. For those of you that have not yet used this feature: read on friend! There is something for any size project and at the very least it can help you save your searches.
Create a new project:
Tabs: When you are on the site you can click the Projects tab. If you are not logged in you will be prompted to log in or register. If you are logged in you can access the same start page through your HomeOwner dashboard. Whatever you choose you are going to end up the in the same place and there will be an option to start a project.
Search: If you are searching the site and you have looked at a few listings, a banner like the one below will appear and ask you if you want to start a project and save your search results. It will also show you the last few listings you have looked at to show you how saving search results can be helpful. Again, you will see the blue ‘start a project’ button like the picture above.
Plus: You might notice the little blue plus signs next to all company names on the site This is the third way you could start a project. Again whether or not you are logged in you will see these plus signs. If you click on the plus sign you will be asked if you would like to start a project. Once a project is started you also use this plus sign to add a company to a project.
Getting Your Project Started:
Regardless of which method above you use, you will be brought to this screen. It’s pretty straight forward and self-explanatory, This is where you fill in the rough ideas about your project and it’s just for your reference. Save that project and you are ready to start searching your heart out, adding companies as you go using the blue plus sign, or visit your dashboard to take a closer look at the features of the tool.
Managing Your Project:
Whether you have started adding companies to your project or not, you can always click the My Projects tab to check in on their progress in your Dashboard. If you have added some companies to the project then you will see them listed there. Take a closer look at the photo here below:
Here you can see the links to all of the companies you have added to your project. I have two companies added to my Alarm project. The star icon to the right of their name shows their rating and will lead you to their listing; the dollar sign icon allows you to add the quote you were given by that company. The next icon is a phone and gives you that companies contact info. The envelope will let you send a secure message to the company about your project through our messaging system. The company will not receive your email address but you will be notified through your email when a response has come in. And the last icon, the pad and pen, lets you make notes about your thoughts or comments for each company.
From here on in the whole process is pretty straight forward in terms of adding, organizing, and contacting companies.
There is another feature, the sidebar to the right, that allows you to print the info from your project if you prefer to keep a paper record. You can post a question to our forum, add helpful links from the web for future reference in your project, and a list of other projects you might have.
You may have already started to receive messages from Homeowners contacting you about projects. You receive email notifications but you can also keep track of, and respond to, any messages through your Company Dash under the Project tab as featured above. You will also receive email notifications through regular email. Please remember to not respond directly to the emails you receive. There is a link in the email and you have to click the link (see the image below) to respond though HomeStars. Alternatively you can just do it though your Company Dash the choice is yours.