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Launched in the Alley – BuilderBuzz: Who Said Good Help is Hard to Find?

Launched in the Alley – BuilderBuzz: Who Said Good Help is Hard to Find?

BuilderBuzz is easy to use and free to post your home repair project. Simply post your project and wait for an interested contractor to respond. The site allows you to compare contractors by looking at their profiles, work history, and reviews from previous customers. You decide whom you want to bring in to do the work. Co-founders Michael Lisovetsky and David Khandrius is here to talk about building a business for builders/contractors and the homeowners who can never seem to find good, reliable help when they need it.

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Tell us about the service.

BuilderBuzz is an online contractor marketplace where homeowners can post their renovation projects for contractors to bid on. Our bidding system, project aggregation capability, and feedback platform simplifies the process of hiring a contractor, with the added benefit of transparency and quality assurance. Contractors are chosen using a unique vetting algorithm that screens for a multitude of factors, like work experience and customer satisfaction. Also, they are able to scale their business by serving areas they do not traditionally receive referrals in. BuilderBuzz provides contractors and homeowners a unique opportunity to engage each other by streamlining home improvement.

How is it different?

BuilderBuzz is unique because it is the first site where homeowners can post detailed descriptions of projects and receive bids from pre-screened and vetted contractors, straight to their inbox. Bids are sorted by price range and time frame and homeowners have access to the BuilderBuzz project management tool that ensures a smooth experience from contractor selection to project completion.

What is the problem you are solving?

BuilderBuzz introduces market competitiveness to an industry long beleaguered by inefficiency and inconsistent pricing. Until BuilderBuzz, homeowners had few options when it came to finding reliable contractors with proven track records and affordable pricing.  Homeowners overpay because they are limited to word-of-mouth referrals that help them place trust in contractors. However, by pre-screening and vetting service professionals that competitively bid on projects, BuilderBuzz caters to homeowners needs, timelines, budgets, and alleviates concerns. BuilderBuzz builds trust with homeowners by tracking contractors’ reviews and incentivizes contractors to do great work by providing a pipeline of home improvement projects.

What makes your team the one to solve this problem?

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Michael Lisovetsky
Co-Founder
BuilderBuzz

Our management team consists of two co-founders, Michael Lisovetsky and David Khandrius, with experience in home improvement retail. After creating an ecommerce solution for a chain of brick-and-mortar bathroom stores and hearing complaints from both homeowners and contractors, we knew there had to be a better way to bring the two parties together. The founding team also includes a student attending Columbia, Elizabeth Volk, with investment banking experience from JP Morgan, and an MBA who founded and ran a business, Philip Santini. All members are entrepreneurs who know that BuilderBuzz is modernizing the home improvement industry by changing the dynamics and improving the client service experience. We are actively generating a buzz about our platform to increase our reach.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

BuilderBuzz is targeting the $300 billion home improvement industry. According to the BLS, there are over 3.6 million active contractors in the United States.

What is the business model?

Our business model is based on charging contractors a monthly membership fee and fixed fee per project won. Use of the marketplace is free for homeowners. While the current industry standard is a commission percentage of the project fee, we’ve learned from experience that percentages are often unreliable, whereas a monthly membership and fixed project fee are more feasible. If contractors circumvent the

platform, they cannot be reviewed or bid on new proposals.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?

Over the next six months, we plan to validate our sales strategy and launch a beta site serving the tri-state area.

Why did you launch in New York? 

The New York area offers a spectrum of homeowners who BuilderBuzz can access at once. New York is a densely populated metropolitan area with a mix of users who range from owners of single-family homes to leasers, leases, renters, and tenants. New York is also a hub to many start-ups and offers many resources and opportunities to entrepreneurs like us to learn from more mature start-ups. Hurricane Sandy offered the founding team insight into how cruel the home improvement process can really be.

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About the author: AlleyWatch

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