Here’s looking at you, kid.
“Welcome to our home.”
“Think of this as your home.”
“Home is where the heart is.”
“A home away from home.”
“Home sweet home.”
“A man’s home is his castle.”
“Nothing says home like your HOMYZE.”
Ok, the last one is not a common saying. Not yet. But we sure hope it will be.
One thing is clear — the home has a special place in everyone’s life, and if you don’t believe me, let’s get all matter of fact up in here.
The home is the largest investment that any of us will likely make (and until we can leverage (i.e. borrow against) our productive capacity in any other way, it is likely to remain that way … it turns out most banks don’t lend against startup ideas!). In London, the average home price is 10.4x the average salary (even across the UK, it is 6.8x) … and without any favourable tax treatment that means that almost a third of people’s salaries (assuming two workers earning the average salary per household) is taken up with interest payments alone (what you want to amortise as well?).
So, the “biggest” is special.
Then, your home provides ‘protection from the elements’ … for you and those around you. And, well that’s pretty special. Let’s check with Maslow and see what he has to say.
Agreed. Base need … one that must first be met before (but that then provides the platform for) other needs such as feelings of safety or belonging.
This highlights something important … homes, at their core, are just a means of providing protection from the elements. But what has been added to this primary function by (most of) us highlights that this is not what we think our home merely is — we choose furniture, we choose wall colours … we probably spend less time on choosing insulation products.
But numbers and psychology are only part of the story — the numbers will change and the psychology looks at your home in purely functional terms.
It’s the way you feel about your home that is most special.
It’s special because for most people it is ‘their space’ … where sweatpants and a t-shirt (or ugg boots at the moment — um, remember how mild Winter felt in December?) are the attire of choice. Where you can be you. Where your books, your photos, your art, your letters, your kids, your kids’ art, your kids’ photos etc. are active contributors to your domestic bliss. It’s a curated collection of what it means to be you, manifest in house form. It’s the stage upon which dramas have unfolded, where dinner triumphs and disasters have occurred, where inspiration has struck.
I have to moderate my perspective slightly to get closer to the average with regard to how people feel about homes because I am a property nut. Spend hours on property portals creating my own price spectrum of property? Check. And across three cities no less … Sydney, London and New York. Subscribed to house and design magazines, even though I don’t really have time to read them? Check. One day … Stopped to look in an estate agent’s window when I’m on holiday? Check. I mean, this is how I relax.
But, again these are only two aspects of property … investment value and design. These are not what make a home. So, I’ve gone numerical, now I’m going to get religious on you. Some religions and cultures (such as Hindu and Chinese) have far more philosophical frameworks about the home than I will ever have —think Feng Shui or Vaastu Shastra. I mean move over terms such as hallway and door … enter ‘energy flows’ and ‘portals’. But this might just be a more formalised structure for our thinking. And, I take solace from the fact that some viewpoints may be more extreme than mine. For some cultures, the home and its inhabitants are not even separate entities. They are mutually informing — part of a collective entity or ecosystem.
Many environmental psychologists believe that the home does a lot for people’s self-definition.
For some people it’s cars … red drop-top sports car anyone? I also love cars, but for me, they don’t resonate to the same degree. But it does do a lot to explain road rage since drivers often see the car as an extension of themselves — a crash (or bump) equivalent to a personal assault.
It is this sort of pseudo-personal confrontation that we are trying to avoid with HOMYZE. ‘Home hostility’ instead of ‘road rage’.
As you can see from the above … whether the home is something that needs to make financial sense, function as well as look good, just keep you warm in winter, or provide the stage for your daughter’s first birthday party … we want to provide a commensurate level of service and satisfaction. Because, we at HOMYZE think the home is special and should be treated this way. Being allowed to participate in this drama or act upon this stage is a privilege.
If you buy something enough times you become an ‘educated consumer’. But in all honesty, even the most rigorous “turner-on of taps”, is unlikely to be a repeat purchaser of plumbing services. An uneducated consumer is likely to suffer from an asymmetry of information. They usually don’t know something that translates into value … it is a knowledge gap that is often exploited, and HOMYZE wants to help.
There is no reason why customer service is largely absent from the construction and trade industry. Not entirely absent — and it is not necessarily the fault of the tradespeople — it just that most consumers see the relationship as transactional, and the outcome as binary. It subsequently works (1) or it subsequently doesn’t (0). Having worked as a property developer for a number of years, service provision is on a spectrum just like other industries, and there is no reason why the journey to an outcome can’t just be made that much more pleasant.
There is also no reason why service standards do not really exist in this marketplace. But they will, and HOMYZE is hoping to partially effect this change.
But this is not one side winning at the expense of the other. For tradespeople, there should be a more transparent clearing house for the provision of their services. The fragmentation of media has made their marketing job that much more difficult.
We are not looking at lead aggregation, where intermediaries arbitrage the difference between the cost of acquiring customers and the value of a new customer (and which we think leads to price inflation). We believe we can build a more efficient marketplace — one that serves both sides and rebalances the relationship.
Here at HOMYZE we have big plans. Create a centralised marketplace for quality service professionals. Internationally. Make the experience of buying these services a more pleasant one. Increase the efficiency for tradespeople in finding new customers. Give consumers something they have never had before when it comes to undertaking bigger jobs (more on that in another blog post, but it’s big!). Centralise information for all things home-related (and provide a new form of contextual search) — yeah we’ll go there too …
Because we know just how special someone’s home is …