(Download Ehrlichman's presentation)
The future is in the data, Matt Ehrlichman, CEO and chairman of Porch.com, told attendees May 6 at the 2015 Remodeling Leadership Conference. Porch.com is a database of professionals built to help customers get fast access to the people and the skills that they need, and one of the companies focusing on contractor data.
Ehrlichman is a strong believer in the power of data, and he thinks that harnessing that power is simply a matter of organization.
“Track everything,” Ehrlichman said. “So much is done on spreadsheets, so much is done on paper. Tracking everything you possibly can is important.”
The key thing he wants remodelers to track, however, is project information. By knowing what kinds of projects you’ve done, how big, and how much it cost, Ehrlichman believes he can connect you with more customers. Uploading photos of a project and listing how long the project takes: These are all pieces of information that, once uploaded to a database, can connect you with potential customers looking for a project within the same range.
“The future is going to be one where we can provide verified reviews,” said Ehrlichman. By linking a successful project with the actual homeowner, he hopes to link all of the data together to create an accurate review system one that isn’t “completely gamed.”
During the Q&A session, one remodeler asked about the recent lawsuit Porch.com became embroiled in, specifically the question of what defines a “professional.”
“What we’re trying to do is to build this open network of professionals," Ehrlichman replied. "We do not guarantee all the professionals. We have professionals that are F rated.”
He went on to explain challenges of getting “verified license streams,” from each state so Porch can accurately list which professionals are licensed and which aren’t.
“A professional for us is a generic term of a business that does work in a home," said Ehrlichman. "That could be maintenance work, that could be mowing the lawn, that could be gardening. Any service provider for a home is generically what we put as professional.”