(As seen on WZZM TV 13) A new online platform aims to make requesting home services easier.
Kendall Hines is the founder of Grand Rapids-based Lawnbot, a tech software company that offers a web and mobile sales and payment platform for a variety of lawn care companies, some of which deal with mosquitoes, pest control, carpet cleaning and home cleaning.
Hines started Lawnbot in 2018. He also is the founder of Lawn Doctor, a company that provides lawn care.
“I initially built it for my own company, and based on an overwhelming response and feedback from my friends who also owned companies, I realized that the marketplace needed a solution like this,” he said. “Our larger vision is to dominate the lawn care space and then move into other symbiotic verticals such as pest control and home cleaning.”
Hines recently was the winner of Start Garden’s 100 ideas, in which he received $20,000. He already has put the money to use by hiring the company’s first chief technical officer, Erik Alburg. He will lead the technical operations, product development, product innovation and direct the company’s technical and product road maps.
Along with hiring Alburg, Hines said he also has utilized the cash to attend trade shows throughout the country, where he is able to exhibit his new technology to market it to companies in the home service industry.
Hines said 32 companies across the country currently are using his platform, one of which is Rochester Hills-based Lush Lawn. He said it services about 15,000 consumers in that market.
According to Hines, the platform allows consumers to purchase home services where and whenever they want.
“They don’t have to call in somewhere and deal with a customer service agent with a bad attitude,” he said, “if you want something done to your house. It also helps them close services instantly. They don’t have to pay a sales commission to a salesperson. They can probably get rid of some salespeople. Amazon sells everything online, but they don’t sell home services. You cannot buy home services online.
“If you own a house and you want to sign up for lawn care, well, typically, the process is you have to go to the (company’s) website and fill out a contact form and then wait for them to call you, but if you go to the website of a company that uses my platform when you submit that contact form, you land right on the Lawnbot chat box and you answer some questions, (describing the condition of your lawn and the service you’d like.) Based on what you tell the bot, it recommends a lawn care program.”
Hines said the price for companies using the platform is based on public real estate data and the price table of the company.