Denver Based Engineers Aim to Disrupt Home Renovation Industry with Internet Startup, matchNEST

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A group of Denver based engineers have launched an online marketplace that changes the way homeowners search for contractors. Like nothing that’s ever been done before, matchNEST allows homeowners to place their home renovation estimates into an internet based auction, where contractors bid for the work online.

matchNEST, a Denver-based internet startup, announced the opening of an online marketplace for homeowners and contractors. The first of its kind marketplace allows one professional to build a homeowner’s estimate and place it in an eBay-like auction, where other contractors can view the details and place their own bid.

“Nothing like this has ever been done before,” said co-founder, Aaron Williams. “Companies like Angie’s List put contractor reviews online, but matchNEST puts the entire bidding process online.”

Besides being local to the area, Williams decided to launch matchNEST in Denver based on the booming housing market and the strong demand for home renovation services. According to Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index, in May 2013, Denver was one of the first two markets to recover to pre-recession level housing values and has continued to see strong growth in 2014.1 As a result, home improvement professionals are in short supply. matchNEST hopes to bridge the supply gap by improving the efficiency of the service providers.

“matchNEST is a solution to the inefficient process of finding a contractor that benefits both the homeowner and the contractor,” said co-founder Bradley Bryant. “The home renovation industry is extremely fragmented and long overdue for some disruptive innovation.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, home renovation spending tops $240 billion per year,2 yet the majority of contractors operate relatively small operations with limited geographic reach. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reports that self-employed remodelers outnumber businesses with payrolls by 65 percent.3 A significant portion of overhead for these contactors comes from delivering free estimates that may or may not turn into paid services. Furthermore, the cyclical nature of the industry make these small businesses susceptible to failure. Because home remodeling activity is primarily tied to discretionary spending, the industry is more volatile than most. Small independent contractors are not well suited to withstand the boom-then-bust nature of their own industry.

A graduate of Columbia University engineering school, matchNEST co-founder Aaron Williams, grew up working for his family’s home renovation company. He understands firsthand the challenges that these small businesses face. “We are using the internet to link independent contractors together in a fashion that makes them cooperatively work like a larger organization. Multiple contractors can bid for a job based on one professional estimate”, Williams explained. “We’ve seen how companies like Uber, AirBnB and TaskRabbit have enabled micro-entrepreneurialism in other markets. The home renovation industry is ripe for the same type of change.”

matchNEST spent more than a year compiling an extensive database of home renovation prices. Estimates for the online marketplace are built from this database to ensure accuracy and consistency. These standardized estimates, along with the online marketplace, generate prices for homeowners that are driven by market forces rather than one contractor’s opinion of a fair price.

matchNEST has teamed up with prominent home renovation companies in the Denver area in preparation for the launch of the marketplace. Participating contractor Adam Aussem of A to Z Renovations said “If I could wave a magic wand and create something to make my life easier, matchNEST would be it.”

For more information, to get an estimate for your project, or to use the online auction, visit http://www.matchnest.com.

[1] Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index
[2] US Census Bureau News, CB12-02, 2012.
[3] Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University. The Performance of Remodeling Contractors in an Era of Industry Growth and Specialization. December 2007.

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Aaron Williams
matchNEST
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