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Booking a Contractor is Now as Easy as Talking to Alexa

Booking a plumber or an electrician is never fun — mainly because if you have to call one, you’re already dealing with a pretty unpleasant problem. But, just the process of trying to find someone reliable and get an appointment ironed out can be a pain, and if there’s one thing we know about the tech industry, it’s that it loves fixing life’s minor inconveniences. HomeAdvisor has been helping out for well over a decade now, matching people up with contractors and doing the heavy lifting when it comes to scheduling.

Originally known as ServiceMagic, HomeAdvisor was acquired in 2004 by IAC (proprietors of Tinder, Match.com, and Vimeo, among others) before changing its name in 2012. But, despite its well-moneyed corporate backing, it’s taking a distinctly startup approach to taking advantage of new tech that can make their service even more convenient to use.

Most recently, HomeAdvisor became one of the poster children from Facebook’s new call-to-action button. You might notice that recently, when you’ve looked at a Facebook page for a business, there’s now a large blue button under the cover photo that tells you to do something — look at their online store, buy a product, or sign up for updates, for example. HomeAdvisor is now using that button as a way to use their service more easily. Contractors who work with HomeAdvisor can now use that button to bring up a widget that uses HomeAdvisor’s platform to allow for faster and easier booking, all without leaving Facebook.

From there, it’s business as usual — HomeAdvisor, which is linked in to their partner contractors’ calendars, will automatically tell you when they’re available, letting you add a chunk of time to both your calendar and theirs. From there, an appointment can be set up, no calls or emails necessary. Later on, the contractor will give you a call to get more details about the job, but the time saved by HomeAdvisor up that point is already considerable.

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But, even Facebook is old hat these days. HomeAdvisor has jumped on a couple other growing tech trends, including one that fits in perfectly with what they do — smart home devices. HomeAdvisor already works with Amazon Alexa through their Echo and Dot devices. Tell Alexa to have HomeAdvisor find you a plumber on a certain day, and she’ll be able to handle the rest with just a few more voice commands from you. At a recent press event in San Francisco, I was told that HomeAdvisor is looking into working with similar smart home hub products, too. On top of that, they already have an Apple Watch app, so you can book contractors from your wrist.

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Over the years, HomeAdvisor has brought in thousands of contractors across the nation. On top of their initial vetting of contractors, they use a rating system that you can view for each contractor before booking them, so not only is the whole process more convenient, it’s a lot easier to avoid wasting time and money on a job poorly done. At this point, they have people for just about every home improvement and repair job you can think of, so if no one is particularly handy in your household, their service could relieve a lot of headaches, especially with their new smart booking features.