A user-friendly home maintenance app designed to guide homeowners, particularly first-time buyers, in maintaining their homes effectively.
Homeowners, especially first time homebuyers, lack knowledge and tools to maintain their home which often leads to preventable problems that can escalate into expensive home repairs.
Owning a home is a major investment, and maintaining it is crucial to protect its value, protect against costly repairs, and ensure its long-term health. New homeowners often lack tools and guidance to navigate basic essential maintenance tasks effectively, which can lead to costly problems down the road.
Regular proactive home maintenance can enhance property value by 1% annually, minimize depreciation, and lessen the likelihood of expensive repairs, particularly given the escalating costs of labor and materials due to persistent labor shortages and inflation.
Furthermore, our research survey uncovers key insights that reinforce the problem and validate our initial hypothesis: First-time homeowners often lack the necessary knowledge and tools to effectively manage their home maintenance needs, track necessary tasks, their timing, and proper execution. Consequently, this leads to a reactive rather than proactive approach to maintenance, resulting in less methodical and less advantageous maintenance practices which ultimately means higher maintenance costs and a greater reliance on professional repairs.
- Knowledge Gap: Only 37% of respondents are aware of the required maintenance checks for their homes.
- Uncertainty and Lack of Guidance: A staggering 77% of respondents feel unsure about where to start with home maintenance, while 54% lack the knowledge of maintenance schedules and tracking methods.
- Confidence Deficit: Only 46% of respondents feel confident in their ability to handle home maintenance tasks.
- Limited Experience: Only 17% of respondents have some experience with home maintenance.
- Professional Reliance: Only 8% of respondents would prefer to have their home maintenance fully handled by professionals.
- Tracking Tool Absence: None of the respondents have used any tools to track or complete their home maintenance tasks.
- Demand for Assistance: Despite the lack of tool usage, all respondents expressed a desire for tracking tools and support to stay on top of their home maintenance needs.
These findings highlight the need for education and supportive tools to empower homeowners, particularly first-time buyers, to effectively manage their home maintenance responsibilities.
Landing on the Solution
To address the identified challenges, we're developing the Upkeep app. Upkeep is a comprehensive solution that addresses both the knowledge and logistical needs of homeowners, particularly first-time buyers. It serves as an educational platform and provides tools for homeowners to create tailored maintenance plans, track progress, manage expenses, and gain insights into the impact of their maintenance efforts enabling them to make informed decisions about future upkeep.
Our immediate priority is to work with technical teams to develop an MVP that focuses solely on core maintenance learning, scheduling and tracking functionalities. This will allow us to gather user feedback on the app effectiveness before expanding the feature sets.
Product Manager Learnings:
I learned a ton during my Co.Lab experience and I can honestly say it was very enriching. Among other things I learn the importance of taking a user-centric approach, emphasizing on user needs to create valuable products. One of the most significant takeaways from the program has been the emphasis on problem discovery. The emphasis on the pain points but mostly importantly the core issues to be solved. Thinking about the job to be done has helped me reshape how I look at problems and it’s a new framework that I’m excited to continue to use onwards. Even though the program was short, I appreciated the focus on instilling the habits of doing proper user research without leading the users to validate my solution/hypothesis. Perhaps the most profound lesson I've learned is the importance of clear, organized thinking and prioritization. The ability to document my thoughts, articulate ideas effectively, learning not to be vague and provide the right amount of details which also help when deciding to prioritize tasks because nothing was overlooked.
This sort of thing will be helpful as I continue to navigate the product management space and break down complex problems into manageable pieces especially as I work with other teams. Speaking of teams, I got to collaborate with lots of talented individuals who are all selfless and motivated. I enjoyed the exchange in peer groups with diverse thoughts and the supportive environment that was created. This was on full display during our Hackathon since we had to deliver in a limited time and under pressure. Team 25 did a great job and we were proud to finish 7th overall. My learnings through the product management program will undoubtedly serve me well in my future endeavors, both personal and professional.