Fixed-Fee Home Repairs Are Here
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Fixed-Fee Home Repairs Are Here

A new feature from Angi to bring price transparency and standardisation to booking household services.

By Ann-Marie Alcántara
Wed, Jul 7, 2021 10:19amGrey Clock 3 min

Angi Inc., the home services company formerly known as Angie’s List, is rolling out a feature that allows consumers to browse and buy common household services at set prices. Its goal is to offer tasks such as mounting a television, painting a room or repairing a roof in a format that mimics models in industries already transformed by tech, like ordering a taxi via a ride-share app.

The new option, which is available first for certain Angi subscribers, supplements the current system for booking services on Angi in which consumers browse vetted professionals or submit a project request, then take up details such as cost estimates directly with contractors.

Angi executives said they are trying to bring the price transparency and standardization of other businesses to home improvement.

“There’s all these barriers in buying service that we’ve been breaking down piece by piece over the last nine years, pretty much to get to a place where we’re now able to offer a productized service experience across hundreds of different service categories across the country,” said Oisin Hanrahan, chief executive of Angi. “And that’s the big shift that we’re making, so that you can essentially go and buy home services the same way you can buy products for your home.”

The feature comes amid a housing boom as well as a surge of growth in home improvement. Sales of home improvement materials, such as tools, lumber, paint and lawn and garden supplies, totaled $86.4 billion in the 12 months ending this May, an increase of $8 billion from the year before, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.

The Covid-19 pandemic opened consumers’ minds to digital services in areas that had still been largely analog, from car sales to home improvement, said user experience designers, who focus on product usability.

“More people across the board, not just millennials and Gen Z, are going to be more comfortable just going online and using an app to find a service,” said Janvi Jhaveri, founder and chief executive of Jack Strategy LLC, a product design and strategy studio.

Angi added language to the booking process to ensure people understood they weren’t scheduling an estimate with a contractor, but actually employing their services, said Mr. Hanrahan. The layout, designed to resemble an e-commerce store for more traditional goods, also helped, he said.

“The more we can merchandise and display to the user in a visual way, like the same way you’d scroll an Amazon or a Target catalog online, the more we can make it easy for people to digest,” said Mr. Hanrahan.

Other companies have taken different approaches to modernizing home contracting.

Home service platform Thumbtack Inc. in February introduced a feature that lets consumers book professionals for small service jobs like a television installation or to receive estimates on larger projects. The company previously offered information on professionals and their services but left it up to customers to schedule a day and time for the project.

It has stayed away from a model like Angi’s for larger, custom projects because the company believes it is impossible to reliably price many home jobs remotely, said Marco Zappacosta, co-founder and chief executive of Thumbtack.

If a professional arrives at a home and a customer asks for additional services, such as mounting two televisions instead of one, Angi will update the price, the company said.

Not all services lend themselves to pricing ahead of time because every home and homeowner is different, said Liz Young, founder and chief executive of Realm Living Inc., a home property analysis company.

But for tasks that don’t require extensive financing or massive renovations, some homeowners will forgo a human touch, or vetting process, she said.

“For the smaller projects, like a paint job or an installation of a ceiling fan, all consumers care about is this relatively accurate price instantly,” Ms. Young said.


Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: July 6, 2021


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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Philip Lowe’s comments come amid property industry concerns about pressures on mortgage holders and rising rents

Wed, Jun 7, 2023 2 min

Leaders in Australia’s property industry are calling on the RBA to hit the pause button on further interest rate rises following yesterday’s announcement to raise the cash rate to 4.1 percent.

CEO of the REINSW, Tim McKibbin, said it was time to let the 12 interest rate rises since May last year take effect.

“The REINSW would like to see the RBA hit pause and allow the 12 rate rises to date work their way through the economy. Property prices have rebounded because of supply and demand. I think that will continue with the rate rise,” said Mr McKibbin.  

The Real Estate Institute of Australia  today released its Housing Affordability Report for the March 2023 quarter which showed that in NSW, the proportion of family income required to meet the average loan repayments has risen to 55 percent, up from 44.5 percent a year ago.

Chief economist at Ray White, Nerida Conisbee, said while this latest increase would probably not push Australia into a recession, it had major implications for the housing market and the needs of ordinary Australians.

“As more countries head into recession, at this point, it does look like the RBA’s “narrow path” will get us through while taming inflation,” she said. 

“In the meantime however, it is creating a headache for renters, buyers and new housing supply that is going to take many years to resolve. 

“And every interest rate rise is extending that pain.”

In a speech to guests at Morgan Stanley’s Australia Summit released today, Governor Philip Lowe addressed the RBA board’s ‘narrow path’ approach, navigating continued economic growth while pushing inflation from its current level of 6.8 percent down to a more acceptable level of 2 to 3 percent.

“It is still possible to navigate this path and our ambition is to do so,” Mr Lowe said. “But it is a narrow path and likely to be a bumpy one, with risks on both sides.”

However, he said the alternative is persistent high inflation, which would do the national economy more damage in the longer term.

“If inflation stays high for too long, it will become ingrained in people’s expectations and high inflation will then be self-perpetuating,” he said. “As the historical experiences shows, the inevitable result of this would be even higher interest rates and, at some point, a larger increase in unemployment to get rid of the ingrained inflation. 

“The Board’s priority is to do what it can to avoid this.”

While acknowledging that another rate rise would adversely affect many households, Mr Lowe said it was unavoidable if inflation was to be tamed.

“It is certainly true that if the Board had not lifted interest rates as it has done, some households would have avoided, for a short period, the financial pressures that come with higher mortgage rates,” he said. 

“But this short-term gain would have been at a much higher medium-term cost. If we had not tightened monetary policy, the cost of living would be higher for longer. This would hurt all Australians and the functioning of our economy and would ultimately require even higher interest rates to bring inflation back down. 

“So, as difficult as it is, the rise in interest rates is necessary to bring inflation back to target in a reasonable timeframe.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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