With the persistent falling of leaves cluttering up lawns and the looming threat of snowfall coming soon – flurries even started earlier than expected on Wednesday morning – finding someone reliable to tend to your property to maintain its safety, especially if you’re unable to, is of supreme importance especially when the weather turns for the worse.
However, if you’re new to the area or don’t have a lot of references to go through, how do you go about finding someone reliable who will do a good job? The internet only goes so far with lawn care professionals and snow removal specialists, as many are small businesses without much online presence. Yellow pages provide little more than a name and phone number.
A San Diego startup believes they have the answer – and have created what they deem to be the “Uber of snow removal” and lawn care, and it’s now available in Warwick and the surrounding area.
“What we figured out is we can come in and pair lawn and snow removal professionals with the consumers,” said Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO and Founder of Lawn Love. “We make it way easier to find, book and manage your home lawn care and snow removal services.”
Utilizing an easy-to-use phone app, those in need of lawn care services or snow removal can simply open the app, plug in their location and instantly be given a list of certified professionals in the area who have signed up through Lawn Care. The app includes a rating system and the ability to review the jobs done by contractors.
Customers can also prompt service to come to them – which is what draws the Uber comparison – by posting the job they want done on the app, which contractors can then respond to. Utilizing satellite imagery and computer algorithms, Lawn Love can generate a detailed blueprint of the property and estimate the approximate price for the job so customers have some idea of what a particular job will cost and contractors have a good idea of what they’ll be working with before taking a job.
“We partner with independent companies in the market and give away our software to help them better operate their businesses,” Yamaguchi said. “We find they're great at the actual work…but they're not often amazing marketers or great at implementing software to help their businesses run better.”
Yamaguchi said that the technology offered by Lawn Love can potentially help small businesses find more jobs, more efficiently organize those jobs and then show potential clients the quality of their work by enabling them to post before and after pictures of jobs on the app.
Lawn Love, which Yamaguchi started about four years ago in San Diego, is now operating in 120 cities in 38 states, from the sun washed coasts of California to the arid climates of Nevada and the snow-coated plains of the Midwest. More than 23,000 independent contractors have signed up for the platform. Yamaguchi shared a few contractors that service the Warwick area that have already signed up.
One of them, Joshua Lambert, who has been heading J.S.L. and Son Lawn Care for the past six years, said signing up for the app was easy and he has already gotten some work for it. He did say that the price estimate tool could be improved though, as one estimate was unable to account for the fact that a customer’s lawn was completely covered in leaves, which increased the cost of the required work. Considering satellite imagery wouldn’t necessary account for that depending on when the image is taken, this is a point to consider.
Still, Yamaguchi feels that he and his company is the first to be exploring the possibilities of modernizing lawn care and snow removal services.
“Eighty percent of American homes have a lawn but it's still stuck in the 20th century and contractors are still using pens and paper to run their businesses,” he said. “It was one of these industries that is large and offline and had a lot of potential to see real benefit for the contractor and the customer through smart application of technology.”
It is something he has done successfully in the past, when he first developed a similar type application for work done inside the home. He recently sold that project to a private firm.
“It's a much more modern and delightful experience for you as a customer,” he said.