In the last several years, the extremely popular HGTV cable television network has brought renewed attention to home buying, selling and renewal, not to mention incredible worldwide ratings and profits for its owner, Scripps Networks Interactive. In certain time periods, HGTV often out-draws major networks programming.
Alongside that television phenomenon, online services to find reputable local home repair, construction, plumbing and electrical professionals also have grown tremendously. They also are getting more creative about ways to connect professionals and customers.
Lakewood, Colo.-based HomeAdvisor, a pioneering online home-service finder, has expanded its Instant Booking marketplace to enable calendar integration with Apple iCloud, Microsoft Outlook, mHelpDesk, ServiceTitan and MarketSharp.
The new integration enables HomeAdvisor home-services professionals to sync their calendars with the cloud service's Instant Booking marketplace, which allows homeowners to book appointments directly on that business's calendar. HomeAdvisor's Instant Booking marketplace integrated with Google Calendar last year.
HomeAdvisor's marketplace enables homeowners to view average project costs coast to coast using True Cost Guide, find local prescreened home professionals and instantly book appointments online or through HomeAdvisor's iOS and Android mobile apps, Apple Watch or Amazon Echo.
Access to all of HomeAdvisor's resources is free for homeowners, with no membership or fees required.
The Instant Booking Marketplace is expected to record 1 million transactions since the launch last year, said Brandon Ridenour, CTO of HomeAdvisor.
With HomeAdvisor Instant Booking, users simply click on a "Book Now" button to schedule appointments on-demand for more than 500 types of home projects, from plumbing to remodeling to landscaping.
HomeAdvisor also is the only digital home services marketplace to provide an API to integrate with existing digital calendar ecosystems, Ridenour said.
"One approach we see competitors taking is to build their own platform and force participation in their ecosystem," Ridenour said. "We believe the smarter approach is to let businesses keep their current digital calendaring functions and allow for seamless integration into our marketplace."
Professionals in HomeAdvisor's prescreened network must pass a rigorous criminal and financial background screening prior to being accepted into the exclusive network. In addition to the Instant Booking marketplace, homeowners can also find pros using HomeAdvisor's ProFinder, Pro Reviews and Instant Connect.
In the past 12 months, HomeAdvisor has received more than 11 million project requests from homeowners to find a prescreened service professional and will drive an estimated $40 billion of gross marketplace transactions through its marketplace this year, Ridenour said.
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