RENOMii: Improving communications between homeowners, purchasers, and contractors, one renovation at a time
When it comes to starting companies, we have two options:
1. To jump head first into our passion and hope it will lead somewhere, or
2. To identify a need, and create solutions, products and/or services.
Scott Barker is fortunate to benefit from both.
As a home renovator, he identified a problem: Effective communication between homeowners and contractors was a challenge. Scott found himself increasingly helping homeowners find quality contractors, and facilitating effective communication and fair practices between contractors and homeowners.
Some additional challenges quickly emerged:
• Homeowners wanted to track their changes and have a sense of how they were spending their money.
• Contractors, typically, were not very good at either communicating the full extent of changes (i.e. cumulative price changes) nor did they excel at keeping track of their paperwork.
• Building developers were also looking for a way for their clients to custom build their homes, understanding and considering all of the available options.
He partnered with Kara Smith to co-found RENOMii and joined the Accelerator Program in Waterloo, Ontario. Soon after joining, they found themselves as part of Communitech‘s three-month Hyperdrive sprint program.
Together, RENOMii offers two software programs, to help increase communications between customers and contractors/home developers:
1. For homeowners and contractors: RENOMii
• Change order manager and customer communications application
• Cloud-based software
• Accessible by tablets, computers, and smartphones, regardless of operating system
• Contractors can create, capture, and obtain approvals on changes quickly, while updating the costs of the renovation
• Homeowners receive instant knowledge regarding any proposed or discussed changes on their home. They can also keep track of their expenditures.
• All of renovation details reside in the cloud, accessible to those with a password, and organized.
• Available from renovators such as Eagleview Construction, RENOMii, and Home Hardware (English Canada, Quebec will have access in the second half of 2015)
o Changes are transparent, homeowners know what to expect, how much they are paying, and contractors are able to gain approval and track paperwork quickly and conveniently.
o Pay-as-you-Go: 1000MB of storage, free support and unlimited company users: $99 per project
o Annual plan: 500 MB of storages, free support, unlimited projects: $1,299 per year ($125 per month)
o Free to homeowners.
2. For home purchasers and developers: Mii Casa
• Interactive Selections software
• Released in November 2014
• Cloud-based application
• Currently available in Kitchener, from Condo developers Momentum Developments
o Enables new home purchasers to select features and finishes, and share the selections immediately with the building developers.
o Saves time and money, and minimizes errors.
o MSRP: $100 per door, or $25,000 per project to the developers.
o Free to home buyers.
RENOMii’s story has many “good news” aspects to it:
• Homeowners are able to make informed decisions about their renovation projects
• Contractors are able to keep track of changes, costs, and communicate quickly and efficiently
• Home buyers are able to select changes while their units are being built
• Home builders are able to make changes and communicate details and costs quickly and efficiently
• An entrepreneur is taking full advantage of the Accelerator program in Waterloo
• Communication improves
• An adult successfully changed careers, while identifying a need, creating products, and following his passion.