Homejoy Breaks Out Of The Home Cleaning Market With New Services

Siblings Adora and Aaron Cheung launched Homejoy in 2012 as a platform that connects consumers — whether owners or renters — with cleaners. Now Homejoy is rolling out two new services — carpet cleaning and what they call general handymen services — and joining the fray of companies like Handy (formerly Handybook) that aim to provide a suite of services that one might need to maintain their homes.

While Handy wants to be the “Amazon for home services,” Homejoy COO Xiao Wei Chen told BuzzFeed News, the company wants to be the “get help” button. The services the company is rolling out today are among several that Homejoy had been beta testing in the San Francisco market since July, including window cleaning, plumbing, landscaping, and pest control.

“We’re seeing pretty huge demand in almost all the services that we’re beta testing,” Chen said. “The decision for what to roll out in a slightly larger scale was based on our confidence that we can deliver that great customer service and great customer experience for those services. It’s kind of in line with how we developed home cleaning.”

Only when the demand for Homejoy’s home cleaners service increased and the quality of the product itself improved did the company begin expanding to markets outside of San Francisco. It plans to do the same for carpet cleaning and handyman services, Chen said. The company is first offering these additional home services to the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose.

General cleaning, however, is arguably a less technical skill than either carpet cleaning or tasks that would fall under the category of handymen services (which Chen says is a broad category that can include anything from mounting a TV to furniture assembly to air conditioner repair.) So the process of on boarding these service providers is much more involved than that of cleaners.

Like cleaners, all Homejoy service providers have to undergo the same government-required background checks. Homejoy cleaners are either professional cleaners or have had some type of cleaning experience and are either paired up with a more senior cleaner on the platform or a Homejoy employee to complete a cleaning assessment.

Those providing these new services (carpet cleaning and handymen), on the other hand, have to have professional experience and are evaluated in Homejoy’s testing facilities, which Chen wouldn’t go into too much detail about.

“To some extent this is our secret sauce,” he told BuzzFeed News.

“We’ve had to reinvent how we recruit, screen, and train our handymen and carpet cleaners,” Chen said. “One of the things that we did in home cleaning was we did an actual hands on assessment of the person’s cleaning ability. Putting a handyman in our cleaning evaluation doesn’t really make sense so we’ve actually built our own testing center. It’s pretty extensive and find it’s a really good way of screening out for our customers.”

In terms of payments, the system is largely similar to that of home cleaning services, except that some services cost more than others.

“It’s based on how difficult the service is and what it would cost for us to attract service providers,” Chen said. “Because we’re a two-sided marketplace, we want to make sure we’re very competitive for customer price and service providers’ pay. They often have many alternatives so we want to pick the right rates.”

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