FixApp is a new, free mobile app for service providers (e.g. contractors) and customers (e.g. homeowners) to connect with one another. Our interview and experience with the FixApp team revealed that their revolutionary approach avoids the systemic problems that contractors and homeowners face when dealing with online directories and big-name “lists”. FixApp may very well revolutionize the way consumers and service providers connect and do business.
The revolutionary FixApp provides a free platform for customers and service providers to engage with each other directly and in real-time, without the involvement of a middleman. It gives users complete control of the entire remodeling/home improvement/renovation process from project conception to completion. Let’s learn more about FixApp’s story and how this free app helps solve the problems with contractor directories and listings. Check out our interview with the FixApp team…
Our Interview with the FixApp Team
? What inspired you to start FixApp?
“With other services, there is no transparency about how many other service providers you are competing against and whether it is worth you buying the lead or not…”
Having hired service providers for odd jobs around the house, I would always make chit-chat like ‘How’s business?’. It was always responded with a long sigh, a moment of deep thought and then a list of overheads just to find work.
! Paying to be on review sites
! Buying/bidding for customer details
One provider told me that they would be presented with a snippet of a potential lead and they would pay a website an undisclosed amount to buy the ‘leads details’ – not the job description, but just their contact details! So after they purchase the details, several things could happen. they could very well have a decent lead OR“With most lead generation services you are never aware of the lead to conversion rate, meaning that there is no transparency about how many other service providers you are competing against and whether it is worth you buying the lead or not. Why would you want to buy a lead which has already been sold to 20 others? Your chances of conversion become very slim.”
! They were bogus details with a ‘no refund’ policy from the seller.
! You spend time & money on providing a free quote.
! You pay for the same lead twice because you were / are signed up with different services.
! The job description wasn’t shared before the purchase and there is a no refund policy.
! The same lead was sold to a large number of other providers but only the first 3 to respond are sent to the customer. So you just paid for nothing.
! As a service provider, you are never aware of the lead to conversion rate, meaning that there is no transparency about how many other service providers you are competing against and whether it is worth you buying the lead or not. Why would you want to buy a lead which has already been sold to 20 others? Your chances of conversion become very slim.
It was clear how easy it was to lose time and money and for others to capitalize on this.
With other services, there is no transparency about how many other service providers you are competing against and whether it is worth you buying the lead or not, how are you supposed to run a business ? Why would you want to buy a lead which has already been sold to 20 others?
If you advertise, they sell you ‘impressions’. But that doesn’t mean anything really. Reading this article, how many times did you glance over to your left/right columns? I don’t know about you, but I avoid online advertisements like a plague. There is something unnerving about them, like they are out to scam me.
So what inspired me to create FixApp was that I felt it wasn’t fair on those who can’t afford to pay, to take the backseat, especially if they are better and more affordable for a particular service than the next guy? Not to mention, as a customer, I didn’t want my personal details being sold to others!
? What makes it so different from other, big-name contractor directories?
- Pretty much everything! But… I want to make sure people understand one thing about FixApp. It’s not a ‘search tool’. It’s a whole system. We have well over 300 flows built within the app to cater for as many daily scenarios as the average customer/provider goes through. From withdrawing quotes to rescheduling appointments. The app carries your projects and leads from conception to completion.
“You can instant message potential clients and get a feel of the work, send pictures, audio clips and video clips. Service professionals can basically ‘vet’ customers via the app too. It’s no longer a one way street … we gain nothing from the service providers hired by customers. Thus there is no ‘favoritism’ based on how much money service professionals are willing to spend! Everyone is on the same playing field, so you have the power to make your own decision. We don’t give you a ‘selection’ of who we think is best for you – we provide you with all the service providers who are willing to do the job, and then you decide who it should be.”
It’s Free – There is no ‘risk’ . Other services charge you commission or sell you possible bogus details.
Features wise, there are a ton of things it offers:
FixApp works in real time – With built-in instant messaging, no need to wait for email responses. It’s instant. Request pictures, audio clips and video clips. It’s no longer a one way street, Service professionals can basically ‘vet’ customers via the app too.
Customers remain anonymous – They decide who they share their personal details with. We allow customers to directly contact service providers, but not vice versa. No more random calls or people at your doorstep uninvited.
There is no middleman – ‘We’ don’t send you leads, customers send them to you directly. We stand to gain nothing from whom customers hire. Thus there is no ‘favouritism’ based on how much money service professionals are willing to spend!“We interviewed a large number of professionals from different backgrounds to get a feel of what they are looking for when they want to pursue a lead. What they felt was the best ‘flow’ for the perfect job. That is why we incorporated a Quoting and Scheduling System, a Chat area, a Nearby Map view, a Feedback system and FixApp History and Account Switching all in one place.“
Residential, Commercial & Industrial sectors – From party planners and dog walkers to an industrial remodeler to a home improvement contractor or house painter. Our list of growing service categories gets updated based on your requests.
Verified review system – Only those who have actually hired through the app can leave feedback. We also allow service professionals to defend their reviews, good or bad. We believe there are always 2 sides to a story and Service professionals are tired of customers having the ‘power’ to break their business via bad reviews.
Free Promotion – We port over your previous reviews after verifying them. They stay separate from FixApp reviews and only enhance your profile ratings. We also promote you free of charge on our social media pages.
Familiarity – Ever turned up to an area you haven’t been before and need to find a local supplier for a specialist part? Use the app, you can source local suppliers in seconds.
These are just some of the features and we plan to add a whole lot more as the app gets popular.
? What, if any, experience do you have with the home improvement / maintenance / remodeling industry?
- When finding a service provider. I was faced with the following issues:
! Calling around and repeating myself again and again.
! Search engines and other services either give you too many or too little responses.
! Once I found a contractor, I had to pay separately to read their reviews.
! Wrong type of service providers also got in touch with me via online services I used.
! Kept getting calls after hiring. Some even turned up at my house!
FixApp solves all of the above!
I’m not a DIY kind of guy, that is why my experience as a consumer was vital. One of the co-founder runs a very successful business based in OH and GA and has 2 factories and 100s of employees under his belt. This gave us invaluable insight on the industrial sector. Before development, we interviewed a large number of professionals from different backgrounds to get a feel of what they look out for before investing in a lead. That is why we incorporated a Quoting, scheduling system, a chat area, a nearby map view, feedback system , FixApp history and account switching all in one place.
? So how did FixApp get started?
- FixApp started as an idea and then developed as into a plan. We were just two guys who hatched up the idea. Both in full time jobs and family men, so it was a real balancing act. Sleepless nights and groggy mornings entailed but we finally made it.
“Our mission is to offer the most convenient, stress free way for customers to hire the right person and for service providers to get unlimited and relevant leads without breaking the bank. We want to create the perfect marketplace for everyone to get any job done, the right way. We want to revolutionize local service based on hard work, not hard cash.”
FixApp hired a 3rd party to develop the app. The development took almost 2 years. The first nine months were wasted because we hired the wrong team. They were great developers, but the forefront of their work was based on money. We had to drop them, and find someone who wanted to build the app because they believed it was a fantastic idea.
Now we have a full-time team to maintain it. We want to send out regular updates to our users with improvements and new features. We want all our users to have the best experience they can get. That is why we have included a feedback area built into the apps menu.
? Can you describe FixApp’s mission? It’s philosophy?
- Our philosophy is simple. To help each other. We believe in equality, that those who can afford fancy marketing strategies shouldn’t be better off than those who have worked hard to build a reputation. Your experience, reputation and testimony of hard work should not have a direct relationship with your marketing budget.
In our app, everyone is on the same playing field, we do not promote one service provider more than the other because they pay us more. The app is designed to allow everyone who has some service to offer, to sign up and make a buck from their skills. Everyone who gets a job lead has equal chance of converting the lead into a job. And I think that also promotes good business ethics because once you realise you are no longer just your friendly neighbourhood provider and are competing against the big names, things might change. That is why we encourage all our users to build a full profile, add a profile image, your website address, contact details, the works!
Our mission is to offer the most convenient, stress free way for customers to hire the right person and for service providers to get unlimited and relevant leads without breaking the bank.
We want to create the perfect marketplace for everyone to get any job done, the right way. We want to revolutionize local service based on hard work, not hard cash.
? Should we expect any significant changes to FixApp in the future?
- Absolutely! We have a lot coming out in the future from which customers and service providers can benefit directly. We are planning on giving users more freedom and adding to the existing functionality . It’s going to help build an active community where people can really help each other out. I cannot reveal a lot, but it’s going to save everyone a heck of a lot of money and time!
We can’t wait for user feedback so we can build upon that and give the people that little bit extra.
? Do you plan on FixApp always being free for both consumers and service providers or is that a bridge you will cross when you get to it? If the latter is the case, then what sort of things will factor into your decisions on that particular issue?
“We believe in equality, that those who can afford fancy marketing strategies shouldn’t be better off than those who have worked hard to build a reputation. Your experience, reputation and testimony of hard work should not have a direct relationship with your marketing budget.”
Yes and No! FixApp will always be free for customers. They will never have to pay a penny. Currently for service providers, it is also free and they would be saving and making a lot of money using our service.
Imagine not having to give your hard earned cash to advertisers anymore because any job posted by a customer would just come to your device?
Imagine never having to pay extra just to get to the first page of a search engine so people can see you?
Imagine not paying a lot of money to be on the front page of a review site or to pay to see a review!
With our app, none of those are needed, you advertise yourself because it’s a free market place where customers and service provider meet. With FixApp, you would just get job leads if you provide a particular service in a particular area. It’s as simple as that. We have not thought much about the monetary part because we really want to focus on getting our app to the masses but the obvious factors which affect such decisions are basic economics. Supply and demand.
? We understand you have a thorough vetting process when it comes to the service providers that register with you. We love that. Can you explain why this is so important to your app?
- Customer safety is critically important to us. Safety is one of our core values and we make sure it’s integral to the way we do business.
For that reason, it is paramount that a thorough vetting process is in place. We allow our users to mark themselves as licensed and/or insured. We then not only check the details ourselves, but display this information to customers too. This allows customers to also check themselves for the license’s validity which in turn creates two levels of vetting. The approved licensed users are awarded with a marker on their profile to allow customers to make an informed decision. As FixApp caters for businesses as well as sole proprietors and everyone is invited, we always caution users to be at guard.
We also take initiative to record the expiration of certifications and licenses to we can update the profile and send reminders to our users
? As you see it, what are the biggest problems facing the home improvement contractor reputation monitoring industry and how does your app address these problems?
- We find that most services out there promote only those who pay them the big bucks. Again, this is unfair to those who want to earn an honest living but cannot afford to have a marketing budget. Review sites only showcase paying advertisers. I never understood why people should pay to see a review? Why should you only be showcased if you have the money to inject towards it? Why should any service provider be buried in the back-pages? Who is to say that the reviews on these review sites are genuine? There is no check in the background for most of them. Why can’t everyone have an equal shot at being hired and be judged based on their merit alone and not by how big their marketing budget is?
FixApp is the solution to that problem. We only allow those users to leave a review who have employed a service provider via the app. There is no wiggle room in that and because the app automatically sends job leads to anyone registered for a particular service, their profile and reviews do all the talking, not their marketing budget. We also do regular checks to ensure that there are no ‘bogus’ jobs created and self-awarded just so a review could be written. Special algorithms and patterns allow us to monitor unusual behavior and initiate internal investigations.
? So then what are the best features of FixApp, do you have plans for changing or improving them, and how do they solve the systemic problems of the service provider directory industry?
- That’s a very good question! With every part of the app, we will strive to improve it. We don’t think the app is perfect and we will rely on user feedback to enhance every feature.
FixApp’s Problem-Solving Features
|! Time consuming process to hire and earn
! Always need to be near a computer
! Out of money, out of a job
! He-said, she-said
|Certain services give you ‘response credits’ and you must ration those or pay for more when you run out. FixApp introduces instant messaging in real-time. Just like IM services, you can send audio clips, video and images which go straight to the recipient instantly. You can request for more info if needed and via the app, you can take a picture or record an audio clip and send it! You always have an audit trail to go back to should things go wrong.
Being able to chat with a homeowner/consumer via IM is a great way for both parties to get a feel for each other without having to meet first. Once the service provider has decided the lead is high-quality and the consumer approves of the service provider THEN a meeting can be scheduled. It saves time for both parties, which means less overhead on the project – a benefit for both the consumer and provider.
|! Unfamiliar surroundings
! Posted a job and got no response
! Selling your personal details to the highest bidder
|We have provided internal maps which allow users to source local suppliers near the area they are in. No need to go on a search engine or online maps and type it all up, just select from a predefined list (which we will continue to update). The App also allows suppliers to sign up, so you can get the best deal on materials and parts.
Customers can also see how many service providers are in their area for a service they require before posting a job. So there is no element of surprise or disappointment.
|! Wrong service provider being connected to the customer||FixApp provides tailored leads. Because there is no middleman redirecting customer job posts, the posted jobs go straight to those who have signed up for it automatically. Service providers only select the service they provide and for the area they cover. This reduces the margin of error to almost zero. Even if you do get the wrong job sent to you, which is highly unlikely, you simply remove it from your view.|
|! No Return on Investment||FixApp is a no risk solution. You sign up with us and if there are jobs for you, perfect! That is what we want. Respond to them and get paid. If you don’t, then you have lost nothing.|
|! Playing a balancing act
! Signing up to different services
|FixApp is mobile, everything related to a job can be done via your device. Whether you’re on android, iOS, windows or blackberry, we got your covered.
Creating quotes, making appointments, reviews and analytics are all in one place. You can even save your appointments straight into your calendar, so you always know when and where you need to be. No need to reach your PA to update your appointment diary.
If you are a plumber by profession, why should you need a different service to source an electrician? Just switch accounts and post a job! Both accounts continue to work simultaneously, so you don’t miss a thing.
|! Limited number of services you can offer
! Higher costs to sign up with different services
|FixApp boasts over 500 categories and caters for Residential, Commercial and Industrial sectors. No need to sign up to several different sites and risk clarity on which campaign is the most effective. FixApp also has a ‘history’ area which gives you analytics on different areas such as lead conversions and estimated earnings. This way you know exactly how effective FixApp is for you. We also allow service providers to offer as many services as they are proficient in.|
|! Customers continue getting contacted even after a job is complete
! Service providers continue to get job leads sold even after the job has been awarded
|FixApp has a Status System: it sends all related service providers with status updates of a job post. If you respond to a job, you will be updated. So you are always up to speed and do not waste time and effort. FixApp takes the guess-work out of the process.|
|! Limited number of job leads, quotes or services allowed on a profile.
! Other services select a fixed number of providers for you to choose from.
! Lack of transparency on potential of job lead
|FixApp doesn’t have a middleman. If a job gets posted and you are someone who provides that service, you will see the job post immediately. As a customer, you will get as many quotes as you want and you can compare all the service providers who have responded to you. It’s a levelled playing field, so big businesses and sole proprietors all have the same chance of converting a lead to a paid job. Service Providers have clarity regarding how many others have responded to a job, so they can make informed decisions.|
|! Service providers turning up at your door step uninvited.
! Random people calling you.
|The App has been designed in such a way that customer always remain anonymous until they choose to share their details with the chosen service provider. Customers also have the choice to call service providers but not the other way around. And we never sell your personal details to anyone.|
|! Higher ratings mean license to be unruly.
! Taking customers for granted. And customers do the same.
! Service providers have no power over a good or bad review
|We allow customers and service providers to report each other in the event of a mishap. If a service provider or a customer is reported 5 times independently, they are automatically blocked and an investigation is launched. Reported users do not appear in each other’s lists, so you do not have to worry about being bothered again by the same user.
The app also allows service providers to rate their customer and respond to feedback. We believe there are always two sides to a story.