Lowe’s selects Porch.com to simplify the search for home professionals

As part of a new deal, Lowe’s will be promoting a handyman and fix-up related network through national online company Porch.com. The first stores to experience the changes are in the Carolinas and Seattle (Globe Newswire photo).

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Lowe’s and Porch.com this week disclosed a partnership to connect consumers with experienced home improvement professionals, the companies say.

The deal involves “nearly any project outside of Lowe’s current installation services,” according to the ventures. The agreement will “help pros increase their exposure to consumers seeking their services.”

According to the home improvement retailers, the partnership will be introduced at Lowe’s stores beginning with 139 outlets in North Carolina, South Carolina and in the Seattle area.

According to the ventures, homeowners “often turn to pros” to complete projects that they find too complex or don’t have the time to finish.

Historically, finding the appropriate professional can prove difficult, and homeowners wind up using paid services, rely on word-of-mouth, or “make an uneducated guess” to start out. The companies say that Porch.com’s “vast network” can help consumers find the right professionals, based on endorsements of neighbors and friends.

“Working with Porch is another great example of how Lowe’s supports our customers throughout every step of the home improvement journey,” says Jay Rebello, vice president, New Business Development & Corporate Innovation at Lowe’s.

“By partnering with Porch, Lowe’s can help our customers achieve their home improvement dreams by providing them with the confidence of knowing who their neighbors have used successfully, and benefit our professional customers by providing them greater opportunities to grow their businesses.”

Porch.com built up a “robust” network by amassing large amounts of local home improvement information — free for homeowners and professionals. With more than 1.5 million pros and 90 million projects in the Porch.com network, homeowners can easily locate home improvement experts based on references, project- and cost-histories and top-notch advice, the online business says.

“For millions of people, the home is the biggest investment of their lives. Home improvement projects are an essential part of owning or renting a home — finding the right professionals should be easy, delightful and connected,’ says Matt Ehrlichman, chief executive of Porch.com.

“Now, Lowe’s customers can not only buy high-quality products to make their home improvement projects a reality, they can connect directly with local professionals their neighbors have used. With the complement of services Porch and Lowe’s will deliver in 2014, there has never been a better time to love your home.”

The partners plan to deliver what they’re calling the “Total Home Improvement Solution.”

Through the strategic partnership, Porch.com will serve as a resource for Lowe’s employees to hook up customers with the right pros on jobs that Lowe’s doesn’t currently offer through its installation program, such as handymen, painters and landscapers.

If a Lowe’s customer needs a professional for a service the retailer doesn’t now offer, employees can link into the Porch.com network of pros on their mobile devices and in-store terminals. This way, employees and customers can work together to find the right local pros. Once the work is complete, the homeowner can offer feedback on Porch.com.

In addition, Lowe’s professional customers nationwide can join the Porch.com network for free. They would gain exposure to Lowe’s and greater insight into local home improvement projects and trends, the companies say.

Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s stands as the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. The retailer serves 15 million customers a week at more than 1,825 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S. including the Charleston area; Canada; and Mexico. Lowe’s Companies says it finished fiscal year 2012 with $50.5 billion in sales.

For more information, visit www.Lowes.com.

At the same time, Porch.com says it’s developed the world’s first home improvement network, free for homeowners. Launched in 2012 in Seattle, Porch.com helps professionals grow their business and succeed, as more homeowners look online for trusted pros to complete their projects, it says.

For more information about the West Coast-based company, visit www.porch.com.