The Joyful House Firm Goals To Take The Headache Out Of House Upkeep

The Happy Home Company Aims To Take The Headache Out Of Home Maintenance

I’ve by no means owned a house. That’s principally as a result of I make a journalist’s wage whereas dwelling in a few of the least reasonably priced cities on the earth, but in addition, I actually like the truth that I can name my landlord or superintendent each time one thing breaks, as a result of it’s their duty.

Apparently, I’m not the one one who feels this manner. Doug Ludlow, previously CEO of the startup Hipster (acquired by AOL, which owns TechCrunch), informed me that he’s a primary-time house proprietor, and he turned “a bit of terrified” as he thought concerning the obligations concerned in house upkeep. So he began The Comfortable Residence Firm to take issues which might be “mystifying and terrifying to the typical home-owner and make them somewhat extra accessible.”

In reality, when Ludlow briefed me on his new startup final week, he stated he was benefiting from The Completely happy House Firm’s providers at that very second — particularly, ready for somebody to reach and repair a leaky roof.

Now when you’re in search of a handyman, there are different on-line providers which may do the job, like Angie’s Record or Useful. (Although Useful says that the overwhelming majority of its income now comes from house cleanings.) The problem, Ludlow stated, is that “you truly should know what the issue is within the first place,” which isn’t all the time straightforward, given “the infinite variety of issues that may go improper.”

The Completely satisfied Residence Firm is concentrated much less on constructing a market for handyfolk and extra on offering “residence managers”. So when one thing breaks, as an alternative of guessing what’s flawed and who you could speak to, you possibly can simply take a photograph or video, then your own home supervisor will discover the proper service supplier for you. (Ludlow stated the corporate does in depth screening to seek out top quality service suppliers in every space, and can negotiate with them to get one of the best costs.)

The managers additionally work with you to create a common, prioritized house upkeep plan. And the service handles cost, too — it costs a small payment on these transactions, however Ludlow stated that’s principally to cowl the processing charges. The startup’s actual income would be the $9.ninety nine per 30 days that it costs for house managers.

The strategy jogged my memory of Alfred, which gives a private assistant to deal with issues like laundry and groceries, partially by leveraging providers like Useful and Instacart. (Alfred took the highest prize at TechCrunch’s most up-to-date Disrupt San Francisco convention.) Ludlow agreed that Alfred appears to have “accomplished a superb job packaging issues,” however he argued that The Completely happy House Firm is aimed toward a wider group of consumers — it’s definitely rather a lot cheaper than Alfred’s $ninety nine a month.

Ludlow additionally put me in contact together with his good friend Ryan Gerard, who was one of many early testers of the service after turning into a primary-time home-owner a yr in the past. In an e mail, Gerard informed me:

For me, the HHC is a lifeline. They’re the individuals I name for assist when issues break…and issues undoubtedly break. I’ve referred to as them to assist repair a very loud storage door, a damaged door deal with, and quite a lot of small emergencies.

As well as, for me the HHC is a proxy for locating trusted service individuals. I belief HHC, so I belief the individuals they ship. For instance, I referred to as them once I wanted to seek out somebody to examine a retaining wall. I needed an unbiased advisor who might present an unbiased opinion on whether or not it wanted alternative. I do not know tips on how to discover somebody who would do that, or tips on how to consider whether or not they’re good. The HHC discovered and beneficial a Soil Engineer who got here out and offered a radical examination of the retaining wall for me.

The startup was co-based by Ludlow and former eBay government Matthew Mengerink, and it gives each an internet interface and an iPhone app. You possibly can study extra at The Pleased House Firm website — in case you use the invite code “Techcrunch”, you’ll get a six-month subscription at no cost.

Oh, and in case you have been nervous, Ludlow simply advised me that his roof isn’t leaking anymore.