GreenPal app available in Topeka, connects landscapers with homeowners
Homeowners in the Topeka area who have had trouble securing reliable lawn-care service may soon find relief in the form of an app designed to help them do just that.
GreenPal, an online and mobile application designed to connect homeowners with vetted lawn-care professionals, has made its way to Topeka, and co-founder Gene Caballero hopes it becomes a resource for area residents and landscaping professionals alike.
“A lot of it has to do with convenience. … And with the coronavirus still looming around, our service is 100% contactless,” said Caballero, who is one of three co-founders of the Nashville-based company.
GreenPal officially launched in Topeka earlier this month, with the capital city joining more than 250 communities across the country that are home to the GreenPal app.
Getting GreenPal started
According to Caballero, he and his co-founders grew up together and each has some experience in the lawn-care and landscaping field.
“We saw the challenges that local landscaping professionals face,” he said. “It’s trying to grow their business, trying to make their business run easier and more efficient. And then the homeowners’ side — in the midst of the spring and summer, you call 10 people, and you’re probably going to get 10 voicemails. We knew that there had to be a better way to connect those two.”
As Caballero began working on the west coast right out of college, he took note of such technologies as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.
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“(I) knew that if someone was going to summon a stranger to come pick them up, at some point they would do the same with lawn care,” he said.
And that became reality with the creation of GreenPal.
Caballero said he and his co-founders knew such an app was a good idea, but bringing the concept to life, and getting customers on board, was the real challenge.
They started offering GreenPal in the Nashville area in 2012, and a couple years later, they expanded south to Florida.
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“We knew we needed a year-round market that would help us get feedback on where we needed to improve the app and the website,” Caballero said. “After we tackled the Florida area, we just kind of followed where our traffic went.”
During the summer of 2020, GreenPal became available in the Kansas City area. Caballero said that move is what sparked the expansion to Topeka.
“We had homeowners that were signing up in Topeka. We also had vendors that were signing up in Topeka,” Caballero said. “So we knew that it was one of the markets we needed to launch in the summer of 2021.”
Lawn-care professionals, homeowners sign on
He indicated close to 60 local lawn-care professionals have signed up to provide services through the app, which is free for professionals and homeowners to download.
They can also access the service by visiting GreenPal’s website, YourGreenPal.com.
According to Caballero, the company makes money by collecting 5% of each transaction once a lawn-care professional has completed a job.
“A lot of local landscaping professionals don’t have a marketing team. They don’t have an accountant. They don’t have a route-optimization tool. That’s what GreenPal provides,” Caballero said. “We do all of that for 5%, and we feel that’s fair.”
James Sage, owner of Sage Lawn & Landscape in Topeka, has already signed up for the app. Sage said he decided to give it a try because his business is relatively new and he wants to grow its customer base.
“We were kind of looking for ways to get out and establish our brand in the community,” Sage said.
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He signed up before GreenPal was operating in Topeka and hasn’t seen much business through the app yet. But with the recent expansion, Sage looks forward to having that side of his
business pick up.
“I’m happy to hear they’re going to be expanding their territory into Topeka and making a push to get consumers and landscape professionals connected in a way that is kind of non-traditional,” Sage said. “We can all do it from access of our smartphones or tablets, and I think that’s where a lot of our technology is advancing.”
On the homeowner’s side, people seeking lawn services may submit information — including pictures of the yard or property — through the app, detailing the work they want done. Once that information is submitted, local lawn-care professionals bid on the job, and the homeowner gets to choose which bid to accept.
Caballero said the price quoted is what the homeowner pays, and they aren’t billed until the work is completed.
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Homeowners may also submit reviews of the lawn-care professionals who work for them. And according to Sage, that GreenPal feature could help cut back on the number of people asking for referrals through such social media platforms as Facebook.
“I see it every day, somebody asking for landscaping professionals. There’s always 20, 30, 40 comments on these posts, tagging different guys,” he said. “If you have this (GreenPal) app downloaded, us as consumers throughout the community can review each of these guys as they work for us.
“You can just log onto the app and click on a service provider and see all the recommendations and referrals and stuff like that. It puts it right there in front of us at our fingertips.”