Connectivity is a must in the modern age. Instant gratification is a common expectation, made even more so by the proliferation of mobile-friendly shopping and services.
People now expect to be able to do almost anything through their smart phones, including hiring for help with household chores. A new mobile app is now connecting homeowners with landscaping contractors and other professionals, allowing them to arrange for lawn mowing, leaf removal and snow plowing services with a few pushes of a button.
Plowz & Mowz is now active in 30 U.S. markets, including Minneapolis, Boston, Syracuse, N.Y., and Raleigh, N.C., according to co-founder Wills Mahoney.
After signing up with the app, users of Plowz & Mowz are given a price quote for each of the three services based on going rates in their area and other metrics. If they accept the price, their job request is forwarded to a vetted landscaping crew that has partnered with Plowz & Mowz.
“[The landscapers] only see jobs on their route, so we’re sort of filling up their existing routes and giving them jobs they wouldn’t have seen before,” Mahoney says. “We have over 3,000 landscape companies that are signed up with us in our markets, so anything from a one-truck operation to 20-truck operations that even dedicate trucks just to our work.”
With a background in managing information technology for small businesses, Mahoney says he got the idea for Plowz & Mowz when he realized that snow plowing and lawn mowing crews could better round out their work routes if people were more easily able to contact and hire them.
“It started out with snow plowing, when my mom couldn’t get out of her driveway,” Mahoney says. “She called me up, and I did IT work for about 15 landscaping companies [at the time]. I tried calling them up, but no one picked up their phone. So, I ended up having to go out there shoveling and meanwhile, trucks were driving by and missing, in my opinion, an opportunity to easily make a nice chunk of change for five minutes of work.”
Users are matched up with work crews in their market through an algorithm that considers contractor rating, location and other factors. Mahoney says he thinks the convenience is major appeal for customers.
“You don’t have to have a landscaper come on site, quote you out … or you have some you call but never show up or return your calls,” Mahoney says. “A lot of people like how easy the whole process is and on top of it, you get a picture of the completed job. We have a lot of property management companies that use us, that might not even be in the [same] state, but it’s verified that the job is completed and they have full records of everything as well, so they really enjoy that.”
There are incentives for the landscapers and work crews as well. Companies that consistently receive high satisfaction ratings from customers are given higher priority on new jobs that come in, Mahoney says. Partner companies are also paid within a day after completing jobs, eliminating a long payment turnaround time that many landscapers experience.
Mahoney says there are several improvements planned for Plowz & Mowz in the future, including new tools for contractors and possible expansions into new services. There’s also potential for partnerships with garden center retailers for services such as mulch delivery and planting services, he adds.
“I know a lot of the garden centers do deliveries,” Mahoney says. “Integrating that into our app is something a lot of customers have really asked for, so that’s something that we’re looking into right now. If there’s an opportunity for both our company and the garden centers to benefit, it’s something we’ll definitely consider.”