LAWN CARE

GreenPal is a Nashville-based online platform that connects lawn care companies to clients through a mobile app or website.

Contactless lawn care sounds like an oxymoron, ranking up there on the contradictory scale with jumbo shrimp and devout atheist, but a company calling itself “Uber for lawn care” has brought that very service to Bowling Green.

GreenPal, a Nashville-based online platform that connects lawn care companies to clients through a mobile app or website, has entered the Bowling Green market at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has heightened the need for avoiding person-to-person contact and accelerated the young company’s growth.

“We have launched in Bowling Green, “ said Gene Caballero, a co-founder of GreenPal. “We have about 30 landscaping services signed up in that area.”

The concept – using technology to connect lawn care vendors with homeowners needing to keep their fescue or Bermuda under control – may have seemed revolutionary when Caballero and his partners dreamed it up in 2012.

In 2020, it provides the perfect blend of convenience and social distancing in the COVID-19 world.

“We have been a contactless service from the beginning,” Caballero said. “That lends itself to the current environment. Elderly people don’t have to meet the lawn guy, and people working from home still may not have time to mow their lawns.”

That formula has resulted in growth nearly as rapid as one of those 20-horsepower, zero-turn machines that knock out lawns in about the time it takes you to drink your morning coffee.

“We’ll see about 40 percent growth year-over-year,” said Caballero, who explained that GreenPal is now operating in 46 states and in such major markets as Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The formula is simple. Homeowners who have traditionally had to research lawn services and prices on their own can now do one-stop shopping.

As Caballero explains it, homeowners can use the GreenPal app or website to list their lawns with their service date and lawn care needs. Vetted lawn care companies then bid on properties based on Google street and aerial images and any other lawn details the homeowner provides. Homeowners can then select who they want to work with based on the vendor’s ratings, reviews and price.

Once a vendor has completed the service, he will send a time-stamped photo of the completed work. Homeowners can then pay via the app and set up more appointments.

For those match-making services, GreenPal pockets a 5 percent transaction fee.

“If you’re familiar with Uber and Lyft, that’s the whole idea behind GreenPal,” Caballero said. “The lawn services can bid on jobs, and customers can get real-time quotes.”

GreenPal vendor Marcus Cowan, owner of Cowan’s Lawn Care, said using the app has helped him get established in Bowling Green.

“I like it, and the customers seem to like it,” Cowan said. “It’s very convenient. Someone new to town can use the app and within a few minutes have a lawn care company lined up.”

Cowan said GreenPal allows customers to give feedback on the services they receive.

“If they like your service, you can continue,” he said. “If not, they can find somebody else.”

Since signing on with GreenPal, Cowan said he has been getting 30 to 40 text messages per day about mowing jobs.

“My phone goes off constantly,” he said. “It’s definitely an up-and-coming thing, and the timing for it is perfect.”

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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