Green Acres GO – More Uber than Tinder
Auckland, 19 November 2018
Following a successful six-month pilot Green Acres is launching a new model home cleaning and lawn mowing service, Green Acres GO.
The new business follows the core principles of Uber’s service: an on-demand, phone-controlled, pay on completion, pre-costed, satisfaction guaranteed service that puts customers in control by connecting them directly with security-checked service providers. The pilot was designed to validate the supply and demand model and test and perfect systems and delivery. The result: customers give services an average job rating of 4.5 out of 5. The pilot also allowed Green Acres GO to unlock an as-yet-untapped work force, creating opportunities for people to supplement their incomes by providing home services in their spare time.
The new service was developed following an extensive research programme that identified changing patterns of supply and demand in the New Zealand home services market. Green Acres responded with an Uber-like home services model that allows people to request on-demand home cleaning and lawn mowing services from a mobile app. And it lets people who want to earn more take advantage of that untapped demand.
Customers can order home cleaning and lawn mowing services on demand by downloading the Green Acres GO app from the App Store and Google Play. People interested in providing registering to provide services can apply to join the crew on https://www.greenacresgo.co.nz.
“Green Acres GO is a completely new business initiative,” says Logan Sears, Green Acres CEO. “It’s not about putting Green Acres on mobile. We’re looking at a different set of customers and a different group of service providers, reaching both with an app custom-designed to deliver a mobile-managed solution that seamlessly connects the two.”
“Our model is Uber, not Tinder” says Logan. “We don’t stand in the way with recommendations and referrals. We put customers in charge: what you book, you get.”
Green Acres is now delivering the service across Auckland and will later roll it out into other centres.
“It’s a managed rollout,” says Logan. “Because we’re offering an on-demand service it’s imperative that we have enough operators to deliver that before we launch into other markets. On-demand means when you want it. It doesn’t mean when I can find some free time in my calendar.”
The research identified a substantial requirement for specific home services supplied on-demand, one that is not being currently being met by other service providers, including Green Acres’ traditional franchise model. It also identified the critical elements required to address the gap. The 500 people surveyed nationally defined the key characteristics they are looking for: They want to be able to book one-off services on demand, whenever they need them.
They want to be able to specify exactly what they want done and when they need it done.
They want the service to be carried out by registered, screened professionals.
They want to be able to see other users’ feedback before they agree to use an operator.
The research also identified how customers want the transaction to be completed: They want to pay online by credit card automatically once the service is completed.
They want to be able to post their own feedback afterwards.
They want an iron-clad guarantee from an organisation they know and trust that they will get a full refund if they’re not satisfied. People said they were happy to have these services delivered through a mobile app. The research indicates that over 50,000 households will be willing to use household cleaning and lawn mowing services, with each making an average of 15 service requests a year. The total annual market for on-demand lawn mowing and cleaning services is estimated to be worth over $40 million.
The research indicated that the new service appeals strongly to Aucklanders under 40, professionals working as managers or in sales. They live in young adult households: single people living alone or flatting in groups and young families. They live in apartments and units. Many are renting or boarding. And they include a high proportion of Asians and non-New Zealand Europeans.
Green Acres also found a very large pool of potential operators interested in providing home care services. These are younger adults who are not working full time and have a degree of flexibility around their free hours. They want to choose when and where they work and what jobs they take. They are interested in providing three to four services per week as a regular supplement to their income. Most do not wish or are not able to commit to regular hours of work and are not able to fund the purchase of a franchise. Another group of potential operators includes people already running their own cleaning and lawn mowing businesses who simply want more work. They would rather fit new on-demand work around existing contracts rather than spend time and money on hit and miss marketing efforts.
“Even though potential demand for the services is high, the supply of potential operators is even higher, so we’re confident that we will be able to deliver services as and when people want them,” says Logan. “Today a very large number of people want services purely on-demand. Their reasons include pre- and post-party clean ups, moving into and out of a home, flat inspections, and visitor arrivals. Cleaning rooms for AirBnB hosts after visitors leave represents another new market with high potential.”
“We’re looking to take home services — a field we know better than anyone — into a new era, delivering more services to more New Zealanders than ever.” Adds Logan.
Partnering with Vodafone as its digital platform provider, Green Aces commissioned software developers Sandfield to build the app based on the essential characteristics of the Uber service.
About Green Acres Founded in 1991 Green Acres is New Zealand’s largest and most successful home service franchise brand. And, with over 500 franchisees in cities and towns throughout New Zealand, it’s one of the country’s largest franchise businesses. In 27 years its franchisees have delivered over 20 million home care services including car valet, pool valet, carpet care, pest control, commercial and home cleaning, ironing and lawn and garden care.