Denver, CO-based BrightNest, an online platform that provides personalized content to help users meet their home maintenance and cleaning goals, announced today the launch of its iPhone app. A 500Startups alum, the startup looks to provide users with all the necessary tips, tools, and home design ideas on the go with the new app to prepare them for spring cleaning. Originally launched in early 2012, the company is hoping to add to the 100,000 completed personal projects and tasks already inspired by the startup.
CEO Justin Anthony co-founded BrightNest with Allen Shulman, who had prior to starting the company, 25 years of experience as a custom home builder. Frustrated by the means to convey his knowledge to others, he paired up with Anthony to give homeowners more hands-on advice broken down in digestible chunks.
“The focus was to find a way to leverage technology to simplify the lives of homeowners and that’s what we’ve allowed them to do. Over time we’ve found that by combining utility with fun, sexy, interesting content that’s personalized to the user is our route to success,” said Anthony in an interview. “We’re growing rapidly, the biggest change we’ve made is going from a one-size fit all to that personalized approach…since then we’ve seen steady, consistent growth, and more importantly really high engagement. Our email engagement with users has been 3 times higher than industry standards.”
Users start out on the platform by answering a few details about themselves that include information about their current living situation and the goals they have in mind for their homes. At a minimum they select their content preferences that range from wanting to be green, healthy, creative, handy, among others as a means to filter and personalize the content.
The iPhone app is billed as a predictive app in that it provides users information they need without having to go out and search for it. The proactive nature of it, allows it to help users remember household responsibilities, schedule to-dos for home-related tasks, and alerts them to get it all done while syncing completed tasks with the web app, in addition to providing a materials list for supplies they require for their project of interest. They can also search a library of more than 1,000 how-to articles which range from money-saving and creating you’re own house cleaning supplies, all the way to interior decor and maintenance solutions.
For its business model, BrightNest makes all its content free for users and rather than go down the advertising and sponsored content route, it instead provides a means for realtors and insurance companies to better connect with home-owners. It does so by giving realtors the ability to give their customers a custom branded version of BrightNest as a way to keep them engaged after they buy their products, knowing that the majority of their new business comes from referrals, while for insurance companies it provides a number of authoring tools to allow them to incorporate content into their newsletters and other touch points with their customers.
While there are other platforms like Houzz that allow users to create an ideabook in a Pinterest-like manner for their next remodelling project and allows designers a way to connect with potential clientele, in addition to virtual room builders provided by home improvement giants like Lowes, BrightNext looks to differentiate on a few key things. The first according to Anthony is the company’s obsession with making its content as simple as possible and broken down in a manner users don’t feel overwhelmed with, secondly it provides a hybrid approach to its content, providing both home maintenance and home decor advice.
Up next, the startup is busy working on its Android and iPad apps which it will look to release over the next three months while continuing to iterate on its existing products. Its curated content approach that comes in a ‘set-and-forget’ manner to keep users on par with their goals is one factor that will allow it to become a favorite amongst a myriad of options that home owners have available to them.