Eugene Goh & Deepika Singh from Alore spoke to Andreas Jebsen, CEO & Co-founder Boligfiks
Alore: Can you tell us about Boligfiks?
Andreas Jebsen: Boligfiks connects homeowners and real estate developers with the right architects and general contractors for renovations and building projects. Based on extensive data analysis and matching technology, we identify the best companies for your next building / renovation project. Boligfiks is a free service for homeowners – we charge contractors based on their project value through the platform.
Alore: How did you envision Boligfiks?
Andreas Jebsen: We were 3 co-founders who had all experienced the difficulties of finding trusted contractors for home maintenance and refurbishments. We wanted to create a platform where homeowners could meet serious and vetted contractors with great references and competitive prices.
The existing “open marketplaces”, where all contractors can sign up without any quality control, did not work very well for us, as it was very difficult to get assurance on the quality of the contractors. We had a series of brainstorming sessions on possible solutions and eventually this led to the birth of Boligfiks.
Alore: As a B2C business, what is unique about Boligfiks?
Andreas Jebsen: In Boligfiks we provide a unique user experience with a personal expert following you through every step of the process of finding the right contractor. Other “open marketplaces” for refurbishment / building mainly focus on smaller projects (business models based on high volumes), rather than the high quality and personalised advice that we believe is crucial when entering a project which costs more than 100 K USD.
Alore: How does Boligfiks ensure partner firms keep up with quality standards? Is there a feedback mechanism and periodic assessment in place?
Andreas Jebsen: We get reviews from homeowners after every completed project, and we only let the ones with the best reviews stay on the platform. We also get copies of all offers sent to homeowners. These are tracked in our pricing database, so we know which contractors remain price-competitive.
Alore: Boligfiks is using advanced technology. Is one of the co-founders from a tech background or did you have to build this competency anew?
Andreas Jebsen: Håkon Hortemo is responsible for the tech side, supported by freelance programmers on a project basis. Håkon is self-taught in programming, but has built this competence through several years of tech / programming interest.
Alore: What has been the biggest challenge in your journey with Boligfiks so far?
Andreas Jebsen: The biggest challenge has been to get a high volume of high-quality leads for new projects. But we have gradually understood our marketing channels better, and starting to see strong user growth.
Alore: What has been your biggest learning since you started Boligfiks?
Andreas Jebsen: The importance of quality assurance of projects. In order to offer an attractive service to the contractors (our paying customers), we have to be very strict in terms of which projects we engage them in. We therefore focus a lot on vetting of projects before we engage contractors in the bidding process.
Alore: As a technology-based service provider, what are your three key focus areas to achieve a good product market fit?
Andreas Jebsen: When thinking of the product market fit, the following was what we had in mind:
1. Matching – the right contractor for the right assignment, every time
2. Price – contractors offering competitive prices
3. Convenience – simple user interface and professional process
Alore: How did you go about promoting Boligfiks in the nascent stages?
Andreas Jebsen: We wanted to do a thorough testing of different channels towards homeowners, to understand where we could find an attractive cost per acquisition (CAC) versus life-time value (LTV), as well as sufficient volume. We have tested several online channels (Adwords, Facebook, SEO, etc) as well as direct sales (phone, door-2-door, renovation fairs). Testing the direct sales channels gave us great insight into homeowners’ needs and their questions regarding our concept.
Alore: What is your productivity mantra? (How do you maximise your day? – Any apps, tools, planning tips you use and would share?)
Andreas Jebsen: We use Slack for all internal communication – very happy with that! No emails! For homeowners / contractor communication we use a combination of Zendesk and our internally developed partner communication tool. We try to have a 1-hour team meeting per week to discuss next steps, but we have experienced that even this can be hard to make time for, as we are already running at full speed
About Andreas Jebsen:
Andreas is the co-founder of Boligfiks and sister company Flexify. He is a University of Oslo and Norwegian Business School (NHH) alumnus with interests in finance, leadership and management. Prior to co-founding Boligfiks and Flexify, Andreas was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, Oslo.
Since the websites are in Norwegian, you may want to use Google translate to explore more.
You can reach out to Andreas here