Technology helping consumer choice

Great technology is at last hitting one of its long-awaited frontiers, the $500 billion home improvement sector.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, when confronted with a choice, many property owners decide to improve their properties as opposed to move. Yet, the most difficult choice isn’t whether to spend $2,500 on a bathroom remodel or $5,000 on a kitchen update. No, the most challenging decision is choosing which contractors to work with. After all, the wrong contractor can cost much more in the long run.
Over the past decade, the Internet has made things easier for homeowners to research prospective hires. The truth is, however, it’s hard to trust that any feedback posted on the World wide web actually originated from a past client. That is why technology is the logical next step.
For example, a new website, Porch.com, is establishing a network of word-of-mouth recommendations from nearby residents and friends and colleagues.
Unlike sites that rely on anonymous reviews, Porch gives property owners the capability to access info never before available to review the work history of pros, research who has worked on homes like theirs, see who their Facebook friends love and learn what any project costs. Homeowners are able to view professionals and projects on a map of their neighborhood and zoom in for details on costs, photos and professionals. It’s like a 24-7 open house without leaving your computer.
Porch’s founding team has been developing what it considers to be the most thorough database on home improvement.
” Until now, a roof repair job, kitchen improvement or yard landscaping project has been exasperating and troublesome because there is no singular source to analyze projects, understand costs and find professionals based on trusted word-of-mouth endorsements,” says Matt Ehrlichman, Porch’s Chairman and CEO. “Porch is changing this by organizing home project information and providing transparency to every one across the USA. The purpose? To help inspire project ideas, show what any project costs, and make hiring the right home improvement professional easy.”
Currently the website boasts more than 1.5 million professionals to chose from, and insight into 90 million home improvement projects across the country. Porch has specific data on over $2 trillion worth of home improvement projects from the last 15 years, a figure higher the entire economy of the United Kingdom.
To learn more, visit Porch.com.