Handymen are Never Around When You Need Them, But Nigeria’s Uber for Artisans Call2Fix is Looking to Fix That
Artisans may be everywhere on every regular day. But locating one when you actually need one can be a very demanding task. It is even more difficult finding one that won’t give you all the headaches and troubles normally associated with artisans.
Call2Fix is a home-assistant service that helps individuals and organizations locate servicemen and artisans for various repairs, purchases, and maintenance of buildings. The proptech app was recently launched by Alpha Mead Group, a Real Estate development and infrastructure company.
To see how the app works, I installed it and registered as a new user. While registering, there are different categories to select from like Customer, Requester, Service Provider, Workman, and Supplier. Since I am neither an artisan nor a requester, I registered as a customer who wanted to access the services.
Call2Fix can be used by a single individual or by a company or group that wants to maintain more than one property from a central account. Under the customer registration section, I selected single and completed the process.
The details of at least one building have to be added to the app because that is where the services of Call2Fix will be directed, so I filled in house details.
The dashboard allows users to request a service, buy materials, and rent a space or equipment. From the menu option, I can access all the aforementioned services and track the progress.
To request a service, a user can either call from the app or follow the text and image prompts to make an appropriate choice. The services offered range from Air conditioning, Carpentry and Furniture works, Swimming Pool Maintenance, Catering and Events Management services, to Electrical and Power services.
After selecting any of the services, a sub-category opens up where an extensive list of possible problems is provided for the user to select from. When the selection has been made, users can give more details of the problem and attach pictures if available.
Before the form is submitted, the user is required to specify the area within the building where the fault is located and to select a date and time when the service team can come to inspect and, or fix the problem.
Call2Fix also has some aspects of e-commerce incorporated into it with the Buy Materials option. Items that are available for sale are listed under different categories. Alternately, items can be searched for and the results filtered by price or location.
There are not many items available for purchase. Recall that at the point of creating an account, there are different forms a user can register with. People who have equipment, fittings, and materials that are often in-demand can list them for sale.
Equipment and spaces are available on the app for rent. The app acts as a virtual meeting point for people who make a business out of leasing out equipment and people who rent it for a price.
The Call2Fix model resembles that of Uber for repairs and Jumia for purchases of household fixtures. The app is simple enough to navigate and presents information in a clear and orderly manner, however, images on the mobile app are not responsive.
For every business conducted on the app, payment is made using the wallet. When a user registers, the wallet is credited with N1,000 as an incentive to use the services. More money can be added to the individual’s wallet from the bank account.
Since it was first announced in September 2019, Call2Fix has undergone changes that have increased the strength of its ecosystem. In a phone conversation, CEO of Call2Fix, Mr Femi Akintunde told TechNext that the app is in the stage of merchant acquisition, after going through processes that have made it suitable for use in Nigeria.
Merchants and artisans are being added to the Call2Fix ecosystem to make sure there is enough supply for the expected demand.
“We are rolling out the service in Lagos, then Abuja for now. Alpha Mead currently has operations in 11 other countries outside Nigeria, we will be leveraging our network in those countries to establish Call2Fix there, after Nigeria.”Femi Akintunde
Ahead of its June launch, the proptech app is being tested by users and remodified based on relevant reviews. As more sectors move to on-demand services, having an efficient way to reach artisans for house repairs and track their progress is the next thing in facilities management.
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