A few months ago we met with Alan Carson of Carson Dunlop Home Inspection Services and he told us about an app called Setter. We have tried it and it is a Virtual Property Manager and concierge service for your home. It is like having a concierge to look after you in a hotel or condo except it is on your phone.
Each request is sent to Setter and they search for you, get an estimate and you can choose a time for the job to be completed. They have been very attentive and helpful throughout and we cannot recommend them highly enough. Here is a walkthrough and introduction to this game-changing service.
Setter is a venture-backed marketplace for home services such as plumbing, appliance repair, pest control, and much more. The app, available on both iOS and Android, founded by former custom-home builder David Steckel, aims to be a single point of contact for home repairs and upgrades for homeowners. And Steckel strongly believes that every homeowner should have a single point of contact for their housing needs:
The home is a person’s most significant investment in their portfolio. If you think of your health, you have a doctor. If you think of your wealth, you have many different institutions. If you think of your home, your single largest asset, it’s the homeowner managing it. And the homeowner is not always educated to do so. Setter is here to help with that.
Through Setter, you can order home services from reliable, Setter-vetted vendors. The app has a home management team comprised of individuals with different industry experiences. Collectively, they vet potential vendors. The company also uses Scope of Work and before-after pictures to verify the vendor’s capabilities.
Setter has a dedicated point of contact that you can message for all your needs—a home manager. You can make requests in simple English (i.e., "Can you dispose of a dead raccoon in my yard?"), and your home manager will find the necessary vendor and bring back a quote.
Steckel knows that consumers need an app like Setter due to his experience as a custom-home builder:
We were building homes and handing the keys to the owners, but they weren’t changing the filters to their AC unit or they needed a shelf put up. In these situations, they would call us back, and we would take care of it. I realized really quickly that there’s a real need for a trusted source for these little things, these little upgrades, these little repairs.
Noticing the demand, Steckel started a business to solve this consumer issue. As the business grew, he realized that he and his team could better facilitate their service through technology; and thus, the Setter app was born.
The app currently operates in the GTA and San Francisco, with plans to expand through the entire US and Canada, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Steckel envisions that Setter will make neighbourhoods with 250-500 houses behave similarly to a condo with 250-500 units. He wants Setter to function like a property manager for these neighbourhoods. This means scheduling all the maintenance for these 250-500 neighbourhood homes at once, just like a condo would. Steckel’s mission is to bring down the cost of living for these homeowners while providing increased home maintenance.
We want home maintenance to be invisible. Just like how getting a taxi or having something delivered is invisible—you just order an Uber or go on Amazon. We believe home maintenance will be this simple.
Inside the App
When you download Setter and enter the app, the first thing you notice is how nice the design is. The app greets you with beautiful images and a simple registration process, asking for your phone number and home address to get started. You then enter the main home page. On the top portion of the screen is a faded picture of your house (found thanks to the address, which can be slightly creepy) with a greeting and your address. A few functions are laid out immediately below this banner.
You’ll have the option to request services. The app asks for a picture of what is in need of maintenance with an accompanying voice note or text message. An image isn’t mandatory, however, and providing a voice note or text is more than enough. If you do want to send an image, you have the option choose a photo from your library or to take a photo through the app. This whole process is very straightforward and navigable for even the less tech savvy.
After adding a picture (or skipping this step), you’re asked "What do you need?", "Where is it in your home?", and "When do you need it by?". Again, you can respond either via text or voice note. By clicking on the Setter logo or the emergency option, you can also call your home manager directly, though you may not get a response outside of regular business hours. So unlike many apps, which run on chatbots, you’re talking to a real human being with Setter.
Once you make a request, you can check the status. There are four stages: Request, Quote, In Progress, and Complete. Below the status bar, you can continue to communicate with your point of contact. It can be confusing at first to cancel a request, but simply asking to cancel the request in the chat is the way to go.
The left-hand side has a menu where you can find a number of other options:
- How it Works: A static page that explains what Setter does and how it works.
- Maintenance services: All of the services that Setter provides—categorized by seasons in a checklist format. This checklist is highly useful for homeowners who don’t know what they should prioritize. Even individuals not using the Setter app can leverage this checklist to see what maintenance their house needs by the season.
- Pricing: A static page that explains how the pricing structure works and the 10-25% markup. This page also explains that the markup is to pay for your point of contact or "home manager" and that the 10-25% range depends on the service. Setter’s transparency in its pricing is fantastic.
- Call Setter: Brings you to your dial pad with a phone number to reach your home manager directly.
- Profile: A page to change your address, email, phone number, and/or add/edit your credit card information.
This menu is very easy to use. Most pages are static making it dead simple and again, great for those lacking technological competency.
During business hours, you can expect responsive replies from your home manager, and outside of business hours, a response will come as soon as it can. Because you’re dealing with a real person, you can expect customized answers and not ones that follow a generic algorithm. Overall this app is great in assisting you with accessing service providers for your home and is a great one-stop shop.
SIGN UP USING TORONTOISM's LINK AND GET $200 CREDIT!
There is no charge to sign up, and as a matter of fact, they are offering a $200 credit to any of our readers who sign up. ($100 off the first two jobs). If you are overwhelmed with work, family and the home that you love, go to http://setter.com/torontoism and sign up.