If you feel apprehensive about home renovations for fear of having a bad experience, you are not alone. According to a Léger survey conducted in October 2020 for Billdr Canada Inc.
(Billdr), more than three-quarters (77%) of Montrealers say they still find it stressful today to undertake and coordinate major renovation work. Billdr was established with the mission to make renovation work simple, transparent and efficient in order to bring peace of mind to homeowners. The company has launched an online marketplace that supports homeowners and contractors throughout their projects.
The intelligent platform assigns a dedicated renovation expert that guides and supports homeowners step by step throughout their home renovation project. “Billdr brings peace of mind to homeowners by offering a tailor-made quality support service. We cover all stages of the renovation, from the detailed definition of the project, development and review of architectural and engineering plans, detailed cost estimates, selection of a certified general contractor, to secure payment,” explains Bertrand Nembot, co-founder of Billdr.
Billdr has developed a mobile application for general contractors that brings together pre-qualified projects and a suite of technological tools to simplify the bidding process. This innovative approach ensures task follow-up as well as billing and communication, greatly facilitating the administrative management of a project and customer relations. “Seventy percent of constructioncompanies in Quebec have fewer than five employees. Therefore, the majority of general contractors do not have the luxury of having a secretary to handle administrative tasks. We want to equip contractors with technology to eliminate the time invested in administrative responsibilities so that they can be more efficient on the construction site,” says Bertrand Nembot.
Founded in early 2020 and based in Montreal, Billdr has gained the confidence and funding of angel investors in Canada (Formentera Capital), the UK (Simple Capital) and US (Aleka Capital) to finance its expansion, demonstrating international interest and need for such a solution.
The answer to a real need
The pandemic has accelerated or triggered the desire of more than a quarter (28%) of Montreal homeowners to undertake renovations. Since the start of its activities in February, Billdr has witnessed this trend firsthand. About $10 millions worth of projects were posted on the platform, mainly through word of mouth. Within the context of a pandemic, many homeowners are having difficulty finding trusted contractors. All the more reason to turn to reliable resources on the market, especially when one considers that only 48% of Montreal landlords indicated they had conducted some form of background check before selecting a contractor and only 28% claimed they had conducted a check on the validity of the contractor’s permit with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).
“Billdr defines itself first and foremost as the trusted intermediary that createsand facilitates relationships between owners and general contractors. At Billdr, we work exclusively with certified and insured contractors who have a true passion for the trade and very high service standards,” says Bertrand Nembot. “And while the vast majority (85%) of Montreal homeowners are satisfied with the results of their renovations, only 52% report a good customer experience. So we’re here to respond to a real need to improve the customer experience.”
At Billdr, a renovation expert defines the scope of work in the language of contractors. As a result, homeowners receive competitive bids more quickly. The customer experience is reinvented through the use of technology that makes renovations simple, transparent, and efficient.
As for the sources of stress mentioned by homeowners, Montrealers’ lack of knowledge about renovation comes first, far ahead of peers in other major Canadian cities, according to the Léger survey mandated by Billdr:
Selecting a contractor, managing “extras” and monitoring the quality of work on the site are also among the sources of stress mentioned by about one-third of Montreal homeowners. The data is roughly comparable to their counterparts in other major Canadian cities.