09 Mar 2020 | 09.00 am
Innovation Spotlight: Local Heroes From Bord Gáis Energy
Local Heroes is Bord Gáis Energy's on-demand home repair and improvement service
09 Mar 2020 | 09.00 am
Local Heroes, an innovation backed by Bord Gáis Energy, is an on-demand home repair and improvement service that quickly and easily connects customers with trusted local tradespeople. It launched in Ireland last March and offers home keepers straightforward access to local plumbers, electricians, gas boiler installers and more. As the company celebrates one year of hassle-free home repair in Ireland, we speak to Commercial Manager, Jake Brennan (pictured).
Why was Local Heroes created?
We felt there was an opportunity to set a benchmark for how skilled home repair should be done. Finding a reliable tradesperson for simple home repair work was becoming increasingly time-consuming and complex, especially in urban areas like Dublin. It also left many people feeling vulnerable, particularly if they weren’t familiar with the technicalities of home repair or DIY.
At localheroes.ie, we match you with trusted, certified tradespeople in your area. It’s a simple, straightforward experience that protects both the customer and the tradesperson. All tradespeople are vetted by the Local Heroes team before they’re allowed on the platform and must provide records of their accreditation, insurance and positive customer testimonials. All work is documented online, payment is made online and all work completed is guaranteed by Bord Gáis Energy for 12 months.
What do you think is driving your success?
There was a demand in the market that wasn’t being met. We’ve put in the graft to get the brand name out there and communicate the key benefits of Local Heroes. It’s the simple user experience and quality of work that our customers have fed back to us time and time again. For tradespeople, we also operate a fair share policy. Our algorithm ensures all users on the platform, regardless of their size, will have equal chances of booking a job
How has the first year of business been?
It’s been a year of constant learning and adapting. Although the on-demand business model isn’t a new concept for Irish consumers, its place in the home repair space is. We’ve been working hard to drive awareness of Local Heroes whilst also engaging both consumers and tradespeople with the key features of the platform.
We were cautious with our numbers in the initial six months, particularly in striking the right balance between the volume of Heroes to customers and vice versa. If it wasn’t simple, straightforward and a reliable service for both our tradespeople and consumers, then we weren’t going anywhere.
We expanded our reach into Kildare, Meath, Wicklow and areas of Louth, and we added a new service offering of boiler installations to the platform in November. We’re currently experiencing a period of rapid growth, where closed sales in the first six weeks of 2020 equate to 75% of total sales in 2019.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Growing the business in the right way is at the top of the list. When you consider the Climate Action Plan and the part that home repair and upgrades will play in delivering on the principles, the possibilities for Local Heroes is endless but we need to ensure our growth is sustainable.
So, what does that mean for the future of Local Heroes?
For 2020 we’ll be focused on scaling up rather than out. As much as we’d like to expand into other areas nationwide, our priority for the next 12 to 20 months will be on expanding the variety of services we offer. We want to focus on services that help contribute towards more sustainable, simple home living for our customers. Whatever our customers need, we want to make sure there’s a Local Hero for it.
For hassle-free home repair or to become a Local Hero, visit localheroes.ie.