Home maintenance 2.0
Article

Home maintenance 2.0

Caroline Beck
  • Caroline Beck
  • Senior Service Designer

Homeowners are becoming more receptive to the idea of consigning home maintenance to professionals. These service providers can leverage their expertise and new technology for smart and cost-effective home maintenance. They can also make homes more energy efficient and compliant to government regulations. But after all, customer trust is the most important factor for this sector to flourish.

The way assets are maintained and cared for is changing. Jet engines are now monitored from afar, cars report their problems to mechanics by email, and office buildings are increasingly automated by smart technology. So, why are our homes – probably our biggest assets – still run by us, the amateur homeowners?

Trends in other sectors suggest that home maintenance is going to be changed too. Homeowners are ready to seek services from professional organisations that can take on their home maintenance problems. There is a market opportunity for technology-enabled services that monitor, maintain and prevent issues related to homes.

Time for new services

In the past, taking care of home was probably a full-time job for a member of a household or permanent staff such as butlers. Nowadays, everyone works long hours and has much less time and energy to maintain their home. Simple tasks such as paying utility bills are often badly managed, and people call for help when they are in crisis.

The future of home maintenance

In large commercial buildings, key aspects such as lighting and heating are monitored and maintained by specialists. The trends are towards service contracts, preventive and active energy management. The way these buildings are managed offers a glimpse of the future of home maintenance.

Help customers be energy efficient

As energy prices rise and governments push for more carbon reduction, homes will need to be more energy efficient. The UK Green Deal is an example, although its lukewarm reception shows that households need a lot more help. Therefore, organisations that offer simpler and greener solutions to households are well positioned to seize this entirely new and profitable market.

Homes make up around 25% of national energy use in the UK

Customers must trust the providers

While there are many business possibilities, there are also a few hurdles to be overcome. Firstly, making arrangements to be home for plumbers or electricians is always a source of irritation. Secondly, it is always harder to trust others with your home, than with office buildings. Therefore, a high level of trust is essential for this service to flourish.

New opportunities abound

There are certainly opportunities in professional management of homes. Successful services must be simple, cost-effective and most of all – trustworthy. While trends suggest that homeowners are becoming more receptive to such services, they will need to be properly informed and educated before making any commitment.