Boston has a new app to solve all of your minor home repair headaches, in a jiffy.
Jiffy On Demand allows users to schedule same day or short-notice repairs or home services. Started in 2015, the 12-person company headquartered in Toronto launched in Boston as its first United States market in early February.
When selecting a U.S. market to expand to, Boston features such as the number of young homeowners, their income levels and their living proximity to the center hit all the marks for Jiffy, according to CEO and co-founder Ryan Shupak, who added that the city also stood out for its relatively close proximity to Toronto.
“It’s a tech focused city,” Shupak said. “So finding early adopters and folks who are comfortable with putting their credit card online and recognizing the trust in a centralized marketplace like Jiffy is really important. We really think Boston is a perfect market to enter the U.S. with.”
Before entering the Boston market, the only thing left was to find a general manager to help manage the expansion. Enter Dave Spina, a former Boston College forward from the 2005 Hockey East Men’s Ice Hockey championship team. After he retired from his professional hockey career, Spina was looking for a new career path.
“I started to put my resume out there with some startup companies because I had that, I don’t know, just that internal fire,” Spina said. “I wanted to be a part of that startup culture. ”
The Jiffy app works on a gig economy 2.0 model, according to Shupak. While Jiffy is similar to a gig economy in the sense of temporary work from independent sources, the 2.0 represents that providers registered to the app can’t just be anyone capable of doing the job, but have to be part of insured, licensed businesses. In addition to that, providers have to apply and meet personally with that city’s general manager before being accepted.
Users can make an account on the app and browse the categories of home services ranging from holiday light installation and snow removal to appliance repair and roofing. Users describe what kind of job they are looking for and Jiffy will assign it to the right pre-vetted professional. Shupak said the services offered in Boston will be the same as the existing Canadian market, with the potential addition of tree removal.
If a user want the job done on the very same day, the app will use geo targeting to connect him or her with a service provider who may already be doing a job in the area, or have one planned. Users can also schedule services in advance.
Each service has a fixed minimum price. Jiffy takes into account the average cost of what local service providers charge and finds a happy, flat medium to price their services. They keep the pool of providers for each type of service small, around 10, for accountability and so that each company who signs up gets enough jobs for it to be financially beneficial, Shupak said.
Spina said the app has collected around 200 users in Boston since their soft launch in January, with multiple being repeat customers already.
“The only tool [young people] have in their toolbox is their cell phone,” Spina said. “An app like this is necessary. You know people have less time and more on their to-do list in this day and age and we fill that void.”