Frontdoor Is Moving Home Services Forward with Streem
It’s well known that the home services segment has been slow to benefit from any kind of technological transformation. We’ve been watching the opportunity for the past decade and found two sticking points:
- Most home repair services are performed by small contracting businesses that have the desire but not the time to reengineer their workflows.
- Most of the mobile tools available today provided incremental improvements to customer communications but fall short on actually saving contractors time.
A Potent AR Use Case
Despite slow adoption, we’ve remained optimistic that tech will advance home services. Specifically, we view augmented reality as a core enabling technology to reengineer home services workflows. We invested in Streem as a play on AR transforming human interaction with businesses.
Using Streem on a phone, a painter can remotely visit a potential customer (through the customer’s phone) to measure, assess, and document a room to paint, allowing the pro to quickly bid the project and capture relevant information. The pro wins by not having to visit the home in person, while still receiving all of the necessary information to provide a quote. The consumer wins because they can easily and promptly get multiple bids, saving time and money. The interaction also produces a “before and after” record that becomes an ongoing service history of the home.
The vision of reducing the cost and improving the experience of getting things fixed around the home took a big step forward this month when Frontdoor (NASDAQ: FTDR) announced its acquisition of Streem for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Frontdoor will bring the Streem experience to its two million home warranty customers that it services through its network of 16,000 pre-qualified contractor firms, as well as homeowners served through its new on-demand offering.
Frontdoor + Streem
The Frontdoor + Streem combination makes sense. Most importantly, the two companies are a culture fit with a shared mission and values. Frontdoor is “obsessed with taking the hassle out of owning a home;” Streem’s mission is to “make the world’s expertise more accessible.” Additionally, Frontdoor gives Streem the capital to scale its platform within its captive audience of 45,000 technicians that will, over time, be encouraged (if not mandated) to use Streem.
For the company’s 16,000 contractors, Streem addresses the two challenges facing home services providers. First, Streem is easy for contractors to use. Streem integrates with Frontdoor’s existing workflow, reducing the time it takes for a contractor to get up and running. Second, Streem has proven that it can save contractors time, improving the speed of service, communication, and documentation for the homeowner.
Contributing to Tim Cook’s Promise
In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “I think AR is big and profound. This is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel at the start of it. I think customers are going to see it in a variety of ways.”
With Streem, we look forward to Frontdoor delivering on the promise of AR.