In today’s tech driven environment, service-based businesses need access to the tech tools to help them meet customers’ needs. Roland Ligtenberg, Co-Founder and SVP of Growth and Innovation at Housecall Pro provides an overview of how his company has grown to be a leader in businesses digitization, which is especially important during the pandemic. Housecall Pro controls the scheduling, automated marketing, and invoice dispatching for all home service professionals across plumbing, electrical, carpet cleaning, HVAC, housekeeping, handyman, window cleaning, locksmith, and many other industries. The business management app includes QuickBooks Desktop & Online integration, scheduling, dispatch, invoicing, text notifications, payment processing, marketing, online booking, and more.
Listen in as Neal Bloom chats with Roland about the software behind Housecall Pro and its role in San Diego’s tech ecosystem.
Roland spent his childhood in the Silicon Valley surrounded by a tech oriented family and community. From here, he graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He then lived in Cabo for a few years, did some research, and built a few businesses from the ground up. After graduating in 2008, he started his own business consulting firm. He then transitioned to working with software development kits at Qualcomm, where he met his current team for Housecall Pro.
The original concept of Housecall Pro was like an Uber for home services, in that Roland and his team aimed to create a product connecting homeowners to professionals in the area. Within a year, he and his team designed the app (called Pro Tools at the time) and launched it in 2015.
Going all in for a business is terrifying for any new entrepreneur, so the process of building a company from scratch and quitting previous jobs differed for everyone. Roland described the notion as a “leap of faith” and emphasized the importance of surrounding oneself with a community of like-minded, goal-oriented individuals who make the experience worth it.
Roland shares essential pivots the company had to make over the years. As a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) company, Housecall Pro acted as its own “Geek Squad” and engineers initially. Soon they realized that in order to increase revenue and expand the team’s skill set, the company needed to increase the price of the product and hire more professionals as the value of the company grew.
All startups endure different stages of development, with each stage teaching new lessons. Roland understood how vital the daily efforts of each department (e.g. engineering, computer science, sales) are and emphasized the importance of transparency within the company. Maintaining a positive environment and highlighting the skills of each team member increases employee retention, contribution, and overall positivity.
With COVID-19, Housecall Pro has actually seen a boom in business due to the increase in people working from home. Roland describes various developments the company made to keep up with the changing times, including expanding marketing outreach. They even introduced a daily news segment, which eventually transitioned into their very own podcast.
Going forward, Roland underscores the importance of being flexible in these unprecedented times. As for Housecall Pro, the company is currently looking to build its culture and is hiring, so if interested, check out the website for more information.
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Thanks to our partners at Cox Business for their support in enabling us to grow the San Diego ecosystem.