Some people are home renovation people, and others are proud not to be. Either way, it’s likely that, at some point in the course of owning a home, renovations, repairs or rehab projects will be necessary. Fortunately, there are now digital solutions that can make the process for homeowners easier — from the initial concept to the last throw pillow.
Brands entering the digital age of home renovations and accessing consumers comfortable with tech-enabled solutions are doing so with strong social media engagement, frictionless transactions, machine learning and by working with well-known influencers.
Block Renovation Is A Tech-Enabled DTC Home Renovation Solution
Founded by former executives from Rent the Runway and Casper, Block Renovation set out to offer tech-enabled solutions for all the moving parts necessary when renovating bathrooms and kitchens. Block co-founder Koda Wang said, “It’s a $400 billion dollar market for home renovations, yet most people are turning to two guys with a van they found on Angie’s List or to a neighbor who gave them the number of a guy they know. People deserve a modern way of going about a home renovation.”
Creating what Curbed called a “one-stop renovation shop,” Block works directly with consumers online. Consumers pick design packages and send photos of their spaces, then Block puts together an estimate that includes materials, installation and labor. Block even secures the building permits. By removing most of the friction from what can be an onerous and time-consuming process, Block appeals to younger consumers who trust innovators and want seamless transactions. Like many direct-to-consumer (DTC) industry disruptors, Block Renovation advertises primarily on social media, targeting those consumers already immersed in the design world of Instagram and who prefer tech solutions.
Remodelmate And Sweeten Use Machine Learning To Match Homeowners With Contractors
Often the trickiest part of renovations is finding reliable contractors. Remodelmate and Sweeten both use online platforms and machine learning to match customers’ renovation projects with the right general contractors (GC). Each company offers regular monitoring, but Remodelmate goes a step further with a homeowner dashboard that tracks the progress of the renovation and offers “milestones” for different stages of the renovation. Once a milestone is reached, homeowners make payments through the dashboard, allowing all aspects of project management to stay in one place.
In addition to its payment dashboard, in 2019 Remodelmate entered into a strategic partnership with SoFi, a financial technology company, that allows Remodelmate consumers to apply for renovation loans through the SoFi platform. “Remodeling a home, no matter how big or small the project, has never been this easy,” said Chad Hall, Remodelmate Founder and CEO. Adding, “One click to book a renovation, and another to finance it. Our installers’ rates are typically 30 percent below the national average, making us one of the most affordable options for new homeowners who can only afford fixer-uppers. With SoFi, we’re making home renovations and homeownership even more accessible.” With the SoFi partnership, Remodelmate can appeal to those younger consumers who increasingly prefer turn-key financial solutions that are as frictionless as possible.
Havenly Is An Online Interior Design Service And Designer BFF
Vogue described services like Havenly this way: “Imagine if you could hire someone to scour your Pinterest boards and translate your pins into a perfectly decorated room in your home.” By coordinating with the interior designers, or “design BFFs” at Havenly, users can make their Pinterest dreams a reality. Designers at Havenly talk their customers through the process of discovering their design styles, making budgets and selecting products. The entire process is done online.
Havenly has partnerships with hundreds of brands, some of which offer discounts to Havenly customers. Tiered services allow shoppers to choose from a mini design consult or a complete makeover. It’s an Instagram world, but getting an Instagram-worthy space isn’t always easy. Tech-enabled solutions like Havenly take the guesswork out of getting a great space and appeal to consumers who are likely spending time poring over designer feeds on social media already. Havenly has also enlisted the help of interior designer Bobby Berk from Queer Eye as Havenly’s first brand ambassador. Havenly and Berk, who has more than 2.5 million followers on Instagram, launched a new advertising campaign called “Design & Chill” that explains the service Havenly provides in a series of funny commercial spots.
Digital solutions and innovations are new frontiers when it comes to renovations and design, but younger consumers may be the ideal target market. For brands that want to capitalize on this new digital renovation and design trend, effective marketing strategies like social media advertising, partnerships with other innovators and trusted influencer marketing can be the best multi-platform approach to reach Millennials and Gen Z.
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