Things are changing, again, at Angi (ANGI -3.40%). Less than a month after a bringing in a new CEO, the home-services company announced a rebranding, casting the entire business under a new, simpler name. With the move, Angie's List becomes Angi; HomeAdvisor is now HomeAdvisor, powered by Angi; and the corporate name ANGI Homeservices is now just Angi.
The rebranding comes with a new logo, a new mobile experience that includes the company's new pre-priced offering, in-app messaging, and ways to get financing and make payments.
Rebuilding from the ground up
CEO Oisin Hanrahan, who was named as the company's new chief last month, has extensive experience in start-ups, including Handy, the home services marketplace Angi acquired in 2018.
In an interview, Hanrahan described the rebrand as an opportunity to reset expectations among customers, service employers, and employees, and is approaching the company like a start-up -- albeit one that already has 5,000 employees.
He sees a huge opportunity in front of the company, valuing the addressable market in home services at $500 billion, and explained his thinking on the rebrand:
I've been in the business for nearly nine years, and I have a very specific point of view, which is the way to win this is to build the best experience for customers, and that starts at a category level. When you think about what that means, it means category by category, you gotta break down what the customer needs.
He also explained that the company had been offering two separate experiences: A marketplace that connects homeowners with service providers, and pre-priced services, which bring already-booked jobs directly to service providers.
The key then to Angi's growth is expanding and improving pre-priced service and features like payments and financing that eliminate much of the friction between homeowners and the service provider. The company is also building a membership program that helps lock in customers and incentivize future spending with Angi.
Historically, home services have mostly been bought and sold offline, and the company's biggest competitor is probably word of mouth. The category has also been late to shift to e-commerce because it's hard to do, Hanrahan said. There are hundreds of verticals that the company competes in, including everything from plumbing to lawn care to house cleaning. Angi is also the clear leader in the category, and that presents a huge opportunity, though capitalizing on it has been difficult.
Historically, Angi has struggled with a shortage of service providers as demand from homeowners has outstripped supply, and that's been especially true during the pandemic. In fact, marketplace revenue in February fell 2% even as service requests were up 17%, showing a significant portion of demand going unmonetized.
The lack of supply has been the company's biggest impediment to growth, and Hanrahan sees that as a problem with the model, saying: "I think if your only lever is to go out and say, 'Hey, we have leads and they're available. Buy them from us.' Then in certain categories you're going to have a problem where there's not enough supply."
Hanrahan contrasted that approach with giving service providers fully sold jobs at a good price, which is going to attract increased supply as it eliminates much of the legwork for service providers.
If Angi can do that well, it should unlock significant growth for the company.
What to expect from Angi in 2021
One of Hanrahan's biggest priorities for the year is to rebuild the company's culture and align it with what customers want, which is an easy way to get work done on their homes. In the year ahead, Hanrahan is focused on introducing a new mission, set of values, and organizational structure, essentially focused on transforming the culture to meet customer needs.
The potential for Angi's business has long been evident as home services are a huge market, and consumers generally like the convenience of shopping online. However, the company needs to execute in areas like pre-priced services, and on increasing customer frequency through tools like its membership program.
Hanrahan underscored that opportunity, saying: "With 20 million households using the platform in a year and 250,000 service pros turning to us to drive their business, we're in an unbelievably powerful position to go and redefine who we are and what we can do for our customers."
The rebrand looks like a smart first step, and Hanrahan's approach makes a lot of sense. Keep an eye on upcoming updates from Angi to see how the transformation is progressing.