Home Improvement Data Startup, Porch, Grows Quickly Thanks to Innovative Features

Man working on the new roofIt’s been less than a year since home improvement data startup Porch launched nationally, and already, the company is sporting a new CTO — Jason Allen, hired from Amazon — as well as tremendous growth, rocketing from a small, 10-employee operation to over 200 people that work out of their expanded headquarters in Seattle.

Currently, Porch is working to bring Houzz-like pages to its platform. These pages will both allow homeowners to evaluate professionals better, as well as encourage professionals to showcase their talent for searching homeowners.

In an interview with Tech Crunch, CEO Matt Ehrlichman explains that the company’s “inspiration feature” has an advantage over that of its competitors: data on upwards of 120 million projects. The company has neighborhood-specific information about what remodels look like, how much they cost, and who did them (the exact addresses of the homes are, of course, always anonymous).

Porch also gathers information about city permits, licenses, and other building information that might be relevant to homeowners. This data can help reveal to homeowners that while, for example, replacing old windows with energy-efficient models might be expensive in the short run, it can add $8,000 in resale value in the long run.

“Nobody else can show you what the real price was for a given project,” explained Ehrlichman regarding their proprietary approach to the process. Much of the company’s rapid growth has been thanks to lucrative partnerships with Realtor.com and Lowe’s home improvement stores.

Porch originally began after Ehrlichman, attempting to coordinate a home remodeling project of his own, became frustrated with the highly-fragmented market information. “It was challenging to find great data to make smart decisions with and it was super challenging finding the best professionals for the projects he and his family were taking on,” explained Joanna Lord, Porch’s VP of marketing.

How does Porch generate revenue? For homeowners, the service is completely free, allowing them to access detailed information about completed projects and experiences people have had with local contractors and designers. Instead, Porch charges industry pros for both promotional exposure and/or marketing insight based on their wealth of data.

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