Friday, July 28, 2023

Announcing: Thumbtack Home Repair Estimates

I'm thrilled to share that Majordomo's Domoreport is becoming 
Thumbtack Home Repair Estimates.

Six years ago, my co-founder and I set out to help homeowners take better care of their homes (hence the name "Majordomo," which is the chief steward of a large household). We road the typical start-up roller coaster with big wins, tough trials, plenty of pivots, and now, handing off this project to new owners.

The Path To Providing Repair Estimates

Our first product evaluated the condition of a home. The idea was to help you create a maintenance and project plan. It had two problems: 1) creating the report is labor intensive, and 2) it left a "now what" feeling because it didn't include the next steps. Furthermore, people who already cared about the home's condition didn't learn anything. And people who didn't care about their home's condition... didn't care about this report.

So, we focused on the one time when everyone cared about the condition: when buying a home. And great news! Someone else - the inspector - already did the hard work of evaluating the condition of the major and minor systems. Plus, to help answer the "now what" question, we included ZIP Code specific repair estimates.

We had a product that people found valuable. Yes!

Implementing AI

The first time a customer uploaded an inspection, it took us 6 hours(!) to create the report (we promised a 24-hour turnaround). We created tools that got it down to just under an hour on average. It was good, but it still wasn't scalable. The haunting question was, "If we experienced an avalanche of success tomorrow, could we handle it?" If we received 1,000 inspections, we'd be in trouble.

So, we created an AI to read the reports, identify defects, and recommend repairs. People still reviewed the results, but the processing time dropped dramatically. And, this is cool, as new inspections were processed, we kept retraining the AI to get smarter and smarter, requiring fewer and fewer corrections. It's kind of amazing to watch an AI learn from the very beginning.

The Remaining Question... But Who Can Help?

People loved their repair estimates, but it naturally led to the next question: who can help me do these repairs? This is kind of tricky to answer because, typically, when you receive your estimates (24 hours after getting the inspection report), you don't own the house yet. So, if you want repairs done, the seller does them. We created a slick tool to help buyers generate a repair addendum in minutes, it was helpful, but people still wanted contractors after closing.

Enter Thumbtack, which helps you find local professionals for any home project. I used them multiple times for a painting project, a new fence, a roof repair, and electrical work. It's fun to post a job and get multiple quotes.

We started talking with them about integrating with their API, which would allow us to suggest contractors within the report. And through those conversations, we got to know their team and our shared vision.

So, instead of only doing the integration, they bought our technology and hired our people to do a much deeper integration in the future.

Plus, because of their business model, they can offer repair estimates for free!

So now, you can upload your inspection at for free, get prioritized repair estimates, and find locally-based professionals. How cool is that?!

As I said, we're thrilled about taking this product to the next level with Thumbtack because we believe it'll help even more homeowners care for their homes.

My Next Adventure

I'm continuing to focus on multifamily syndications. Given the economic volatility, the lack of housing supply with increasing demand, and technological improvements in automation, there will be some incredible multifamily deals in the next couple of years.

Furthermore, I believe multifamilies are the best investment on the planet because of their consistent above-average returns (10%+), extraordinary tax benefits, inflation hedge, and creative financing. And it's providing something that everyone needs: housing.

My focus is two-fold:

  1. Analyze multifamily properties in the $2M -$10M range that needs some TLC.
  2. Invite people to invest passively with us who want to diversify from the stock market but don't have the time or knowledge to do so.

Thank You

I want to say thank you to everyone who helped us with Majordomo: Lee, Matthew, Isaac, Graham, Zach, Lance, Daniel, Scott, Linda, Noah, Ken, Anthony, Ben, Josh P, Jenny, Kevin, Mike, Moshe, Josh A, Tony, Dan, and Corey. I learned a lot, had a ton of fun, and am excited to see where Thumbtack takes it.


  1. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Congratulations on the success of your app…handing it over to someone who has the resources to take it to the next level is a true measure of success!

  2. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Wow! Great job James! So glad to witness the growth and successful move forward! Not unlike birthing a baby, now you get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    1. James Furlo4:35 PM

      You're right. I'm excited to see it evolve to be even more helpful.