This insight is derived from my personal experience in the industry, teammates’ past history with certain services, as well as feedback from our clients that have worked with these companies, or similarly structured organizations. The following are points of caution that could cause potential issues down the road for you.
This is a general list, so some might apply to you more than others:
Elite Matchmakers where only the men pay
I would just be cautious with any company that only charges men and women can sign up for free. Most high-end services that don’t simply match paying members with paying members will allow someone to be in their database for free, however, not all companies will thoroughly vet these candidates as they do their paying members.
There’s an industry term called a “database girl” which is essentially a woman who signs up for all the different matchmaking services to be in their free database. No investment or any real commitment and usually looking for money, success, whathaveyou. The financial success of their male clients is usually how the service is marketed to women to try to garner more attractive (albeit materialistic or opportunistic) ladies. It’s essentially like joining all the apps. There’s no real vetting from the beginning so it can seem like a larger pool, but the candidates are not necessarily pre-qualified. This is for men that just want a trophy wife, and for women that are only looking to be a trophy wife.
Strictly Local/Area-Specific or Demographic-Specific Companies
Local/Demographic-specific companies are typically small businesses that don’t have the means to compete with larger companies such as our own. They don’t have the finances to cover advanced recruitment efforts or advertising to draw in the quantity or specific quality of potential matches that our clientele looks for.
Local/demographic-specific companies tend to draw an older crowd (50’s, 60’s, 70’s), the reason being this age group tends to shy away from the technological advances that are evolving within the industry (virtual meetings, online recruiting, etc.) and enjoy the brick and mortar feeling of knowing who they’re working with. This preference tends to skew the client/candidate pool towards an older age demographic.
Small pool = less options. Mixing and matching the same group of people instead of an extremely personalized set of matches based on each individual client’s criteria.
With local companies, teams are usually small, so the number of clients per matchmaker is typically high. That one is pretty self-explanatory.
Local companies only match locally. Larger companies have an already established local database as well as the means to recruit locally, but they can also broaden the search to other markets if necessary for a really spectacular match. This is beneficial with cases in which a match is willing to move to a client’s location, vice versa, or both are flexible.
Smaller team = less manpower to devote to out-of-network recruitment, again, attributing to a smaller pool of potential matches.
They usually won’t show pictures of matches ahead of time because they just don’t have a large enough network to satisfy the search criteria of what their clients are looking for. If they were to show pictures ahead of time and the client wasn’t attracted or didn’t approve, they would have a hard time fulfilling their contractual obligations to the client, so they usually avoid that piece altogether.
Some high-end “matchmaking” companies operate as more of a business/social networking club with lots of events. If they really highlight the event aspect of membership, be sure to ask detailed questions about their actual matchmaking process. “Are you introducing me to specific people based on what I’m looking for, or is this more of a cattle call for affluent men and beautiful women situation?”
Be wary of any claims of “guaranteed” love or relationships. We cannot guarantee chemistry, much less love.
While comparing price and being fiscally responsible is important, cost is a strong indicator of value in our industry. I’ve heard countless complaints about services with midrange cost being not only a waste of money, but a waste of time and energy. 99 times out of 100, you get what you pay for.
To make an informed decision, I would suggest asking these questions when you are talking to a company (just be on the lookout for evasive responses or roundabout answers).
Questions to ask:
- How long has your company been in business?
- What is your BBB rating?
- How many actual Matchmakers* (not just employees) are on your team?
- How many clients does each matchmaker work with?
- What is the average tenure in the industry for your matchmakers? (some companies will consistently hire and fire “matchmakers” with little to no experience so they are able to keep their client to matchmaker ratio low)
- Will I get to see pictures of the matches?
- Do I get to hear specific date feedback?
- Is there a maximum number of dates/introductions? What is the pace at which I will receive introductions?
- What if I don’t approve of the match before the date? Then what?
- What is included in addition to the introductions? (i.e. date coaching, courses, etc.)
- Do you only match paying client with paying client? (this limits you to a specific pool of candidates)
- How do you find the people in your database? Do you meet them in person? How are they qualified/vetted? (ask for specifics)
- Do you do an active search for each client in addition to utilizing your database? If yes, what are your methods of recruitment and garnering quality candidates?
- How many potential matches based on my basic search criteria do you currently have in your database?
While this is not an exhaustive list, it gives you some good insight to get started. Hopefully by sharing this information you’ll be able to make an informed decision. You need to choose what is best for you, whether that is to work with LUMA or another company.
Have any questions? Feel free to Contact LUMA’s Matchmakers at 1-844-822-5862 or email LUMA@LUMASearch.com.