Sask. tech entrepreneurs seeing early success with app that lets homeowners post jobs for contractors to bid on
After their air conditioning unit died on one of the hottest days of last summer, two friends started tossing around the idea of developing an app for home repairs and renovations.
Within a year, Saskatoon co-founders Dave Belgrave and Steve Dillabough launched Fixter.
The app connects homeowners with contractors. Homeowners can post pictures and a description of their job and contractors can bid on it, something that Belgrave said works for both sides.
“Basically it’s kind of like public tenders, but we’re doing it for residential homeowners. It’s free for homeowners to use, and free for contractors to register, sign up, and bid on projects, and they pay a small fee if they get awarded the job,” Belgrave told CTV News.
“We just wanted to make it as simple and easy to use as possible for homeowners and contractors alike.”
The app went live in March and so far Belgrave said more than 100 jobs have been posted, 300 contractors have signed up and more than 1,000 homeowners have registered.
“We’re only a couple months in and were already seeing just a ton of traction, so there’s obviously a huge appetite for something like this,” Belgrave said.
Belgrave said Fixter is expanding to Regina and other parts of the province, with a goal to be nationwide one day.
One of the things that Belgrave said separates them from the competition is the lack of subscription fees for contractors, just one of the reasons Paul Langlois, owner and operator of Langlois Journeyman Electricians, uses the app.
“I’ve gone through three different advertising apps where they did do just that, asked for $300 a month fee and then you have to pay also every time that you want to bid. It was all take and no give,” Langlois said.
“I don’t pay a monthly fee, I wind up only paying when I get the job. So I can bid on as many projects I like, it’s been really awesome.”
Langlois said one of the other things that keeps him coming back to Fixter is their willingness to listen and make changes.
“This is different. The fact that they’re actually listening and taking the feedback and changing,” Langlois said.
“I sent a message at one point about a feedback I had and it was changed that night. That’s huge. The next morning I woke up and I was using what I had suggested.”
Langlois said with all sorts of apps and programs impacting other industries, such as curbside grocery pickup, it was only a matter of time before something like Fixter came along for home renovations.
Fixter can be found on the App store and on the Google Play store.