Lawn care app launches in Santa Barbara
The services of between 15 and 20 Santa Barbara area lawn care professionals are now available through GreenPal, the Nashville-based app that launched this month in Santa Barbara.
Just as Uber and Lyft allow people in need of a ride to connect with independently contracted drivers, GreenPal helps homeowners in need of lawn care to find vendors.
Homeowners can use the app to list their lawn, the kind of service it requires and their preferred date and time of service. Lawn care professionals can then bid on the listed property, and homeowners select whichever bid they prefer.
Once the vendor who received the bid completes the job, he or she sends a time-stamped photograph of their work to the homeowner for approval. After that, the homeowner pays them via the app.
In addition to lawn care, homeowners can use GreenPal for landscaping services such as leaf removal and shrub pruning.
Currently operating in 47 states and 250 major markets, GreenPal is concentrating this winter on expanding its services into Southern California. GreenPal co-founder Gene Caballero told the News-Press that word-of-mouth regarding the app traveled to territories where GreenPal wasn’t yet providing its services.
One of those places was Santa Barbara.
Even though there were no vendors available through GreenPal in this area, Mr. Caballero said there were still Santa Barbara residents who liked the idea of the service enough to sign up for the app anyway. When the company saw this demand, GreenPal determined it was time to expand into Santa Barbara.
“Demand drives where we launch our market, and that is one of the reasons we decided to launch there,” Mr. Caballero said.
Currently GreenPal has between 15 and 20 vendors available in Santa Barbara and around 15,000 across the U.S., according to Mr. Caballero.
Mr. Caballero co-founded GreenPal in 2012 in Nashville.
For nine years before that, he worked in corporate sales for Dell computers. During that time, however, at nights and on weekends, he did landscaping work, which he had been doing his entire life.
While working for Dell, Mr. Caballero’s territory was the West Coast, so he was privy to new technologies emerging from Silicon Valley such as Uber and Airbnb.
Just as those services connect customers with drivers and lodging, Mr. Caballero thought the same model could be used to connect users to lawn care professionals and landscapers.
So he started GreenPal, which eventually decided to expand and first did so in Miami and Orlando.
In 2021, the company has plans to expand throughout California, and not just to major cities.
Mr. Caballero said GreenPal’s services have actually been more successful in smaller markets such as Santa Barbara than large markets like Los Angeles and San Jose.
Signing up for GreenPal is free, and Mr. Caballero said there are no convenience fees. GreenPal makes its money by taking 5% of each transaction between the homeowner and the lawn care professional.