It’s official —- people are living in the future. With a tap or swipe on a wallet-sized device, you can order lunch or groceries, get a pair of new shoes, or schedule your next haircut. It’s next-level convenience in a busy world.
Now, on-demand home services are changing how people find and book landscapers, painters, house cleaners, and more. The trend of on-demand home services has caught on so quickly that the global market size is expected to expand at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 16.7% from 2022 to 2030.
Source: Grand View Research
The question any home service business should be asking themselves is: How can I leverage on-demand services apps and technology for my business?
This guide will explain on-demand home services, what apps will help get you started with on-demand, and the top app features you should look for.
What Are On-Demand Home Services?
On-demand home services give consumers the ability to search, find, and book various home services through digital platforms or apps. Think of it like this: No phone calls, no emails — simply using your mobile device to book a service you need.
Services range from plumbers and electricians to handymen and gardeners. In addition, while customers search, they are able to look at reviews, pricing models, and what types of payments are accepted. In other words, all the information you might ask for on a phone call.
Source: Grand View Research
Uber is perhaps the most famous ODJ (on-demand-job) app. Drivers open the app when they want to work, and riders issue a request to match with the nearest driver. ODJ apps for home services are similar, offering customers the opportunity to select the contractor/trades worker to respond first or offer the best value.
What Are On-Demand Home Services Apps?
On-demand home service apps let customers instantly hire professional home services digitally — in other words, through an app. These apps are either:
- An existing on-demand home service app/platform (for example, Thumbtack)
- Built out for your specific business (which requires more of an investment)
Top 20 Most Popular On-Demand Home Services Apps
5. Family Handyman
7. Mr. Right
12. Urban Company
20. Good Guys Home Service
How Do On-Demand Home Service Apps Work?
An on-demand home services app works a lot like a restaurant app. You can look at a menu (your service options), order (schedule services), and pay. These apps often let you communicate, check reviews, and offer multiple payment options as well.
If you use an existing app, a consumer can compare numerous home service providers, filter by specialty, and ensure they are within the service area. They can track their order history and communicate with providers through the app.
What Features Should On-Demand Home Service Apps Have?
Home service apps should have features that both support service providers and customers. When they do a great job of supporting customers, you’re guaranteed a rich customer base. Conversely, the app needs to work well for your business, making it easy for you to use and increase your sales.
Top Features for Service Providers
Home service providers benefit from a centralized dashboard and the ability to perform multiple business functions. Some of the top features for a home services app should be:
A User-Friendly Dashboard
Your app's dashboard should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Are you able to see your schedule? Can you easily communicate or respond to job requests? Can you find and utilize each app feature easily?
The app should enhance and streamline your business, not hinder it.
Profile and Service List Creation
If you are using an existing home service app or platform, it should be easy to create a profile that answers potential customer questions. For example, if you’re a house cleaner, it will let you list your specialties, service area, and other important information.
The app should make it easy to build and manage a service list. You need to be able to add and remove services, change prices, and add or remove details easily.
Businesses often use deals or discounts to attract customers. If you’re a carpet cleaner, maybe you have a 6-room special, or as a painter, you offer a discount during the slower winter months.
The home service app you use must let you manage promotions and track how effective they are.
Reviews are necessary for growing your business. Customers look to what others say about you to help them make their decision.
Source: Spectrum & Angie's List
A powerful app allows you to send review requests and respond to reviews. It also makes it easy for customers to change their reviews if you can respond to any customer concerns and complaints.
To fully take advantage of the growing on-demand home service industry, it’s crucial to gain insights. Analytics are a way to gather important insights and make better decisions.
For example, when you first start using an on-demand home service app, you try a few different price points and use the analytics to determine which service price attracts the most customers while still letting you grow and profit.
Your on-demand home service app should have the ability to add and offer multiple types of payments. This provides more convenience for your customers.
The whole thought behind on-demand is to make booking services quicker and more convenient. Customers also want services that can be done sooner rather than having to wait months. They also want you to communicate if that’s possible right away.
This makes real-time notifications crucial for response time. The moment a potential customer interacts with the app, you need to be alerted.
According to Statista, 55% of customers expect an instant response when using an app, while 37% expect one within 24 hours. Your ability to communicate quickly and efficiently is an important part of customer satisfaction.
The most important factor you’ll want to consider is how much each paying customer costs you.
The whole point of becoming a service provider on an ODJ app for home services is to acquire and keep new customers. And not every app price leads the same. Find out:
- Does the app charge you for responding to a lead? Or do they only charge you when a customer books a service?
- Does the app take any fees out of sales made through the app? If so, what is that percentage?
Also take into account if there are monthly costs to becoming a member, if they allow you to promote your business with ads (and how effective those ads are), and if new customers you get through the app tend to stick around for repeat business.
Top Features for Customers
Important customer features often depend on what type of on-demand home service app you’re using. If it’s an existing platform, they want the ability to compare service providers in their area. However, all apps should have features like:
The appeal of on-demand is not having to call, wait on the phone, or wait for an email response. Instead, customers can look to see how soon you're available and book it. It helps them make their decisions faster and saves them a lot of time and energy.
Notifications are a big part of the on-demand industry. It’s an effective method for communicating important information to customers. You can send notifications for:
- Approval of service (the time, day, and service they selected is officially booked)
- Upcoming service reminders
- Post-service surveys and the ability to review
- Reminders to book again (this is especially helpful for ongoing or regular services, like house cleaning or landscaping)
Customers use in-app messaging to ask questions or provide information. It is more convenient than a call and keeps communications on record so you can look back to ensure you have all the details you need to provide an exceptional experience.
If you’re using a business management tool like GoSite, you can integrate your business instant messaging with the app. These integrations ensure that you never miss a customer request/message and also give the customer the best possible experience.
Customers like to track what they’ve done. This either helps them select the same services in the future or lets them remember which service providers they liked best. It also provides information about the service provider.
Multiple Payment Options
Customers have different payment preferences, and it’s important to give them the option. Your app should feature digital payments or wallets, debit, credit, and cash. Customers feel more secure using payments they are familiar and comfortable with.
Consumers like to share their experiences with others which is beneficial for your business. You want others to know that you’ve done a good job. Think of your customers’ ability to rate and review your business as another marketing tool.
What Does the Future Look Like for On-Demand Home Services?
In today's digital world, the outlook for on-demand home services is strong. The pandemic had a large impact on the industry growth, but consumers have now come to expect on-demand home services.
The US on-demand home service market hit $1.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.3%. The ease and accessibility it gives customers along with an increase in industry marketing is part of the force supporting the growth.
Home service providers who don’t adopt on-demand services will fall behind competitors. This is why it’s a great time to look at how you can become a part of the trend.
How Do I Transition to On-Demand Home Services?
The first step to adding on-demand services to your business is choosing the right app. Start by:
1. Researching the apps: Find an app with features that will support your business. It should also be easy to use.
2. Build a profile: Take the time to create a profile that draws attention. It should be more than your business name and contact info. Add all the services you offer and where you work. If the app allows it, showcase your unique skills and add photos.
3. Set your schedule: Choose days and times you can be “on-demand.” If you are transitioning from scheduling jobs the traditional way, start slowly, with one or two days a week set aside for on-demand work. You can always expand that as more customers use your on-demand services.
4. Build clientele: Ask for reviews, send notifications that a service might be due — in other words, take any action that lets you build a solid clientele. It can be helpful to choose an app that has features that support business growth.
You’re not limited to one app, but be very careful about tracking your schedule. Take precautions that prevent over- or double-booking.
What Do I Need to Do to Be Successful Using an On-Demand Home Service App?
Your success with on-demand home services is dependent on a few things:
- Being highly responsive to customer inquiries. During a 2022 survey, Statista found that 86 percent of responding consumers stated that it was important or very important to them that they could contact a real person when communicating with a business. Your personal response to each inquiry is crucial, especially since you’re competing against other businesses on an on-demand app. The quicker you respond, the better.
- Paying attention to your cost per lead. Your cost per lead (CPL) should make sense for your industry. There is no set CPL goal other than it should be an amount you’re willing to spend, and it’s profitable. If you’re new to CPL, learn the basics and use a CPL calculator to help.
- Keep your profile fresh and current. Anytime you add a new service, expand or reduce your service area, change phone numbers, or have any new information that highlights your business, make sure to update your profile. It lets customers know you care about your image, and it can improve your exposure and help you attract new leads.
- Ensuring that you’re up-to-date on bookings: If you’re going to use an on-demand app to book services, make sure your calendar is synced and up-to-date.
- Knowing your target audience: Understanding your audience is critical to making your business successful. You should know why your target customer wants on-demand home services and what features are most important for them. That way you can meet their needs and provide a superior experience.
- Researching your competitors: Your competitors are a great tool for researching what your on-demand home services should look like. Check out who has used an app successfully and why, and who hasn’t and why. Research also helps you identify ways you can stand out.
- Use the app. Like any new tool, there’s no benefit if you don’t log in and use it. Even if the app feels awkward at first, with some practice and experience, you’ll quickly get the hang of how it works.
- Try different apps. Not every app will serve you well. Some will have an unreasonably high cost-per-lead. Others are full of price-gouging homeowners looking for savings over quality. And many will take your business to the next level. So don’t be afraid to try a few different solutions and focus on the ones you like best.
The Benefits of Offering On-Demand Home Services
On-demand doesn’t just have benefits for customers but businesses as well. Some of the most notable are:
- Using the app to market
- The ability to generate more leads
- Offering a better customer experience
- Better business tracking, including customer information and important business analytics
Staying on top of trends is essential for business growth. Companies that lag behind aren’t always where the customers are. On-demand services are becoming more popular — it gives consumers the convenience and ease they need in today’s world, which is why it’s important to consider using an on-demand service app now.
Look at the different apps to find the best for your home service and become a part of a growing industry today.