Jan 9 2018
As the number of building constructions is getting higher in recent years supported by more advanced construction technologies itself, the work of contractors has been essential. They build buildings that can be a place for people to live in, to work in, to hang out, to have fun, and many more useful uses. However, some building owners might experience great disappointment due to several problems with their hired contractors, particularly in home repairs. Customers get their money wasted, and their trust is blown away which can affect the trade industry overall. In so, the solution should be made to resolve the problem between customers and contractors. Then, the idea of decentralizing the marketplace has come up by utilizing the technology of block-chain. In order to connect the contractors and customers directly, Bob’s Repair has prepared the solution with Bob Application. Check out more about the details below.
The Current Industry Problems
Even in the skilled trade industry, they face several problems that cause adverse effects, particularly for both to customers and contractors in the end. Here are several issues that currently become the primary concern in trade industry:
- Review Fraud
Before hiring the contractor, customers most probably will find their records by reading several reviews.However, particularly online reviews such as from Google, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor have the high risk of getting fraud problems in various ways. For example, construction companies might artificially ask people to write good reviews about their companies to increase their ratings. Or, conversely, the companies ask people to write negative reviews for their competitors. Instead, they will try to remove the negative reviews about themselves by paying some money.
This kind of problem can lead the customers to hire the contractor who does fraud practices and hide their company’s blackness. As a result, those types of contractors only give them bad service and waste their money. It deflates customers’ trust to search online reviews because they don’t know anymore which one is giving legitimate answers. Whereas, the customers highly depend on such reviews to make their choices on hiring the trusted contractors.
- Hidden Costs of Advertising Fees
Contractors often put a lot of money on advertising to make their companies’ name more popular to gain more customers. Since there are lots of advertising methods which require high cost, the contractors need to bear more costs for running their companies.In the end, they pass the costs on to the customers by offering higher prices for their trade services. It is the reason why the hidden costs of advertising fees have become another problem for the customers. They want to get the best service from the contractors to repair their home, but they need to prepare a big sum in return.
- Lack of Price Transparency
Some customers might never bother to find why they need to pay a certain amount of money for receiving the services on repairing their home. But, some others might curious and want to know more about the details of service costs. However, most of the contractor’s companies still lack in pricing transparency. They only display the total of service costs without giving more details. For example, only for replacing a toilet, the companies charge USD 375. The customers can’t get more details instead that number of money on the website or promotion brochures. They don’t know how much is the actual price of installing a new toilet and the labor services. Maybe, it only requires them for about USD 150 for installing a new bathroom. Instead, they need to pay more for the labor services than the toilet. This lack of transparency can result in unknowingly unfair pricing for the customers which they are supposed to get the more affordable price.
The Solution from Bob’s Repair
Do you recognize the Skilled Trade Worker Platform (STWP)? Yes, this platform has built by Prandecki brothers of Bob’s Repair since three years ago (website: http://www.bobsrepair.com/). The STWP is an SMS system that was automatically connecting the consumers and contractors directly via API in order to provide the more reliable platform with lower costs. This platform works by relying on a simple business model which simply recruiting contractors and customers through online advertising platform. At first, the contractors have to pay USD 75 per week for a flat fee. However, they will able to receive as many potential customers as were available for an average of two leads per day. When other platforms offer about USD 50 for per-lead average fees, STWP only takes USD 5.
Moreover, STWP will also be supported by automated technology, especially online process. After getting the information from local online advertising platform, the customers will call or send a message to the number from local advertisement. Prandecki brothers will receive the calls and texts then identify the number to associate with the qualified local contractors and also sync the jobs. Those automated processes rely upon an SMS API by utilizing the keyword technology that detects specific phrase to sync with the requested job, for example, toilet repair or AC connection.
Then, the outsourcing of online advertising process will be managed by the Freshbooks and Capsule CRM. Freshbooks will store all the customers’ numbers, invoices, and job information. Meanwhile, the Capsule CRM stores all information regarding customers and independent contractors. By connecting this process, STWP communicates through Bob’s Repair API. In the end, the independent contractors will see all the information, including the requested jobs. The whole process is managed to support operational efficiency by improving the scalability and profitability.
In the market, STWP was a big hit for being able facilitating more than 50,000 service calls. However, this platform itself wasn’t able to resolve those three major problems in the skilled trade industry. The founders think there should be a technology breakthrough to solve the problems. This concern brings Bob’s Repair to prepare a solution called Bob Application. Like has been mentioned in the white paper file in https://www.bobsrepair.com/docs/White-Paper.pdf.The app is supported by STEEM blockchain that takes advantages of various social media platforms including for those in Android, iOS, and web-based application. Since Bob’s Repair has a long history with experts in software engineers including those in blockchain technology, this process is expected to gain USD 340 billion in the skilled trade service market.
How does Bob Application work?
There are three main steps to describe the works of Bob Application, including:
First, customers create the jobs and deposit their money. In the Bob Application, customers will write the job description they want to request. Then, it will be published on the escrow website, and the customers will get the list of contractors that suit the requested job. They can see the contractors’ ratings, price rates, and previous reviews. They can choose up to 3 contractors which later will get notified of the job. If after reviewing the job the contractors think they can work on the job, they will propose the price, deadline and other terms. If the customers are okay with the proposal, both parties can deal with the agreement published on the escrow website with URL and SHA3 hash. The published transaction on Ethereum Blockchain will include contractor’s Ethereum address, full job payment and service fee, the array of a deadline for each milestone, array of payments for each milestone, and agreement URL and hash. After that, the job contract is created, and the customer can deposit their fee. All transaction will be stored and monitored through Blockchain technology.
Second, there are three conditions might happen during the job process that includes the milestone, payment, and refund. When the milestone has been completed, and the customer has no claims, the customer has to publish a transaction on Blockchain to job-contract to confirm the milestone completion. Contractor publishes the transaction to claim their payment deposit from job-contract. Meanwhile, if the contractor thinks the milestone has been done, but the customer disagrees then the contractor can request to escrow team to get the job done after publishing transaction to the job contract. The team will contract both parties to discuss the milestone whether it has been completed or not. The last is the condition when the customer thinks the milestone hasn’t been completed and the contractor hasn’t published the request before the deadline. The customer can claim a refund if even after the deadline the request still isn’t processed.
Third, whether the job has been completed or failed, the customer can write a review about the contractor. The review will be published to the STEEM community for moderation, vice versa. All the reviews including the address and references will be stored on the escrow website so the other customers can check on their review.
Since STWP has already had 50,000 customers, so the platform can help the success of Bob Application. There are also cryptocurrency communities who understand more about blockchain technology to support the works. Moreover, Bob’s Repair will also use social media base including Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube to spread more word about this application. When more people being familiar with Bob Application, they will be aware the benefits they will gain from this platform. For contractors, they will get more control to their schedule, legitimate reviews, higher take-home pay, and some more. For customers, they can enjoy better service, lower price, and legitimate reviews for looking a certain thrust-worthy home repair service.
Supporting by blockchain technology, Bob’s Repair will use cryptocurrency to raise funds for perfecting the works of BOB Application. It will use ERC20 tokens called Bob tokens that will be purchased in every quarter on an open market to provide 50% of profits for token holders. The purchase BOB tokens will experience the process of burning to provide quarterly buyback and reinvestment dividends. The whole process will be secured by ensuring the compliance with SEC regulations and international finance. Moreover, Bob’s Repair will conduct two rounds of BOB Crowdsale include pre-ICO and ICO like Prandecki’s brothers mentioned in this video.
Why Using Bob Application?
There are several benefits when a more decentralized market for customers and contractors can be created by using Bob Application, including:
- Trustworthy Reviews
Since building trust is always number one in the business transactions, the STEEM blockchain will help to support Bob Application to fight against review fraud. The use of blockchain technology has benefits for providing quicker transaction time by only 3 seconds with no transaction costs. In order to avoid the practice of review fraud, the application will help to link transaction reviews with actual financial transactions. All the financial transactions on the blockchain will be stored in the application. When they leave a review, it will be linked to the financial transactions that have been done between the customers and the contractors. In this way, the others customers will know that the reviews are legitimate because those were from the real consumers who have experience in getting the services from the contractors. If they have better information from legitimate reviews, they can make better decisions.
- Transparent Pricing
Since the reviews will be linked to the actual financial transactions, the customers will know how much the cost of service. Not only the total costs but also including more details such as material and labor costs. So, when the customers want to get certain home repairing service, they can compare the charge for several contractors. They can also check the reviews to help them determine the actual costs for their service. By creating more pricing transparency, it can discard inflated costs from those fraud reviewers and build more trust with the future customers.
- No More Advertising Fees
Aiming to prevent hidden costs due to advertising fees, Bob Application will eliminate intermediaries for advertisements such as HomeAdvisor, Google Ads, and others. The app works differently. In the app, there will be some functions including flagging posts, upvoting, and user reputation towards the contractors’ companies. If they can get more verified positive reviews, they will be more recognized and invest significant presence. In so, merit is playing a big part in gaining the reputation of the companies. Unlike the common advertising which requires high cost, this new structure will help to eliminate those hidden costs that often charged to the customers. Moreover, the application won’t charge for the sign-up, membership, and transaction fees. By reducing the entry barriers for contractors, they won’t be burdened by entry costs and offer lower prices for the customers. As a result, this feature will be expected to promote more growth for more decentralized markets for both of them.
So, everyone who wants to get home repairing or other services from the contractors will be more at ease in their mind since they have got the more trustworthy platform to get the services quicker. Moreover, this technology of block-chain also allows the contractors to increase their revenue since there will be more job requests for them. Follow their social media for the latest news.
Posted by : kurniawan05