Lula is a popular new app that helps people in need of a handyman (or woman) connect with one, and it’s now expanding to Northwest Arkansas.
Bo Lais is CEO and founder of Lula. He says the company connects people who needs projects done with home service professionals that can get the job done. Right now, contractors in the app can help with home cleaning, junk removal, lawn mowing, HVAC, handyman and it’s rolling out electrical and plumbing in mid-May.
The app uses actual property information such as square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc. along with fair market pricing in their city to accurately price many of the offered services upfront in the Lula app, according to Lais.
“We are rolling out hourly pricing and instant quoting in mid-May as well so we can cover a wider scope of services that can’t be priced upfront,” Lais says.
To make sure homeowners are getting the best contractor, Lula has an eight-point vetting process, Lais says. The company does the following for every applicant:
1) Verify High Ratings and Reviews
2) Review their Social Media presence and interaction with customers
3) Make sure no active complaints on the Better Business Bureau
4) Make sure they have their professional license for their trade if required on county and state level
5) Make sure they have at least $1M in general liability insurance
6) We verify their identity and do a criminal background check
7) We also make sure they aren’t on any sex offender lists
8) Finally, the Lula pro must maintain good reviews on the platform to remain a Lula Pro.
“We check on a continual basis that the provider continues to carry active general liability insurance as well as perform continuous criminal background checks. Lula also carries an insurance policy that provides another layer of coverage for each job on top of the provider’s mandatory $1M GL policy,” Lais says.
The origin story for Lula is rooted in home contractor frustrations Lais experienced. In 2016, his home started having air conditioning problems. He searched for a contractor and set an appointment, but the person ended up being a no-show.
“This was frustrating and was stealing time away from more important things I needed to be doing. It’s typically a hassle to get a home service pro when you need one and there isn’t much accountability in the home services space in general,” Lais says.
His problems continued when he hired someone else to do some fence repair, and it ended up falling over a month later. The person promised to come fix it multiple times but never showed up and eventually ignored Lais’ calls, the CEO says.
“I knew there had to be a better way,” he says, and the idea for Lula was born.
Lais says Lula gives back to charity, as well. He was motivated after the passing of his five-year-old nephew, Hudson.
“In July of 2015, the Make-A-Wish Foundation made Hudson’s wish come true as our family was honored to receive a private cruise for the day on the Atlantic ocean,” Lais says. “It was truly a magical experience for everyone involved. When I started Lula, I knew I wanted, in some small way, to give back and let other families experience the joy and blessing that we were able to share. That is why I am proud to say we donate a small percentage of every job transaction to the non-profits such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Hudson’s honor.”
As for why Lais chose to expand to Northwest Arkansas, it turns out he attended school at the University of Arkansas from 1999-2003. His brother is also the assistant golf coach at the university, according to Lais.
“Northwest Arkansas is a fast growing area and we have a lot of support in Northwest Arkansas to help penetrate that market. It’s likely the smallest market we will rollout Lula in but with all the surrounding communities and fast growth in the area it should be a good market for us,” he says.
The first thing Lais does when deciding on a new market to roll out to is perform a market analysis to make sure it makes sense for Lula to come to a new area. Then, the company starts working on getting providers.
“We can’t rollout to consumers until we have a good pool of Lula approved providers on the platform ready to take jobs. We also work on distribution partners in the new markets to help us reach a lot of our target customers that face the problem we are solving for them,” Lais says.
Consumers will find the app has already launched in Northwest Arkansas, but not all services are available yet. Right now, Lais says the company offers home cleaning, junk removal, HVAC and handyman, with lawn care, electrical, plumbing and HVAC coming by the end of May.
Lais says the company is also considering expanding to Little Rock, but there aren’t other plans for other Arkansas metro areas like Jonesboro at this time.
“We care deeply about the users on our platform. We are extremely fair to our providers, and we make sure our customers are happy with the service they receive because if not they pay nothing,” the CEO says. “Fortunately, through our rigorous vetting process, we have great providers that do a really good job for our customers. The Lula team monitors every job from start to finish and communicates with the customer and provider every step of the way.”
And for contractors, Lais says he believes Lula is the only platform that pays out their providers the same-day the service is completed.
“Our providers don’t have to wait to get paid with Lula, we pay them immediately after the job is complete and the customer rates them,” Lais says. “The bottom line is that we truly care about providing a great experience for everyone that chooses to engage with Lula. We are building trust with the community one job at a time!”
Customers interested in the app can find it in the Apple App Store on iPhones and Google Play on Android. For more information on Lula, click here.