For EFynch, the process came before the technology.
CEO and cofounder Teris Pantazes, who has a background in property management, said the company grew out of seeing a need for a central place to post a home improvement job, letting contractors know the availability of a job and secure competitive bids. Getting to an initial version involved using an Excel spreadsheet to collect bids.
“We wanted to refine the process and then get the technology that can automate it for us,” said Pantazes, whose company is based at City Garage in Port Covington.
Two years later, it’s developed into a platform that offers digital tools to collect those bids, escrow and integrations with social media to provide recommendations for specific contractors.
Like many marketplace platforms, the benefits flow both ways. Homeowners get access to a place to compare prices and make decisions: “It’s also a way for homeowners to crowdsource solutions,” Pantazes said.
And for the people doing the work, it can offer a time-saver to their own business development process. Contractors spend time on marketing as well as driving around to take a look at jobs. With the value of that time and how it can be factored into cost, the CEO said, the idea is that both sides save money.
Along the way, a focus on process remained. The company refined the questions it asks homeowners, and ensures there’s transparency in a bid. It also worked with Long & Foster to get specific insight from realtors.
Pantazes said it’s seeing growth in reach, as well, with more than 5,000 projects facilitated through the platform. This spring, the company is looking to ramp up efforts in other cities. EFynch is growing beyond a pilot phase in D.C. and expanding to Philadelphia.
“We see a lot of opportunity right now that this is the model that people are looking for, that they really want, and we’re capitalizing on that,” he said.
Pantazes aims to continue that expansion to more cities in the coming months as well.
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