Service.com, a Farmington Hills-based home service platform, recently launched in southeast Michigan. Nearly 400 local “pros,” professionals who specialize in plumbing, roofing, electricity, and more, are listed on the site, which plans to expand nationwide next year.
Available online and on iOS and Android devices, people who need home repairs/service can log on to the platform, find a pro, arrange for service using a chat feature, and pay securely through the site. The company provides project managers to assist throughout the process. The service is offered free of charge, and Service.com receives a 2 to 7 percent fee once a transaction is completed.
“There’s no ability for a consumer to choose which pro that they get when you go with a Home Depot or Lowes, and it’s very inconvenient because you have to sign all these forms and go into the store a couple of times,” says Sandy Kronenberg, CEO and cofounder of Service.com. “Essentially we’re replacing the need to go to the big box store, and it’s just the convenience of your smart phone.”
Much like ride-sharing service Uber, customers secure their payment method by registering a credit card with their account before speaking with a pro about a potential project, and they’re charged for the service after its been completed.
Users can then share their Service.com experience through social media.
“A pro…gets the social amplification, if you will, by having people share on Facebook their great experience with the pro and Service.com, and (if the pro) were just taking that payment with cash or check, obviously that doesn’t translate to letting all of their friends know about it like the way Service.com does,” Kronenberg says.
Company officials say popular services right now include fall cleanups, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, furnace inspections, thermostat upgrades/installation, gutter cleaning, and water heater installations.
The platform had been in beta for nearly a year before it’s launch in the metro Detroit area about eight weeks ago. Kronenberg says the company expects to have about 500 pros, which is enough to service customers in a variety of categories, in every new market it enters.
The company, which was started with $3.4 million in seed money from Ludlow Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Moneris, and angel investors, employees 20 staff members.
For more information, visit service.com.