Grass need a mow? A St. Louis start-up created an app for that.

Mow Magic connects lawns that need mowed with people willing to do the work.

Megan Lynch
June 28, 2019 - 12:15 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — You need your lawn mowed in a hurry, but can't find an available lawn service.

Now there's an app for that. And it was launched here in St. Louis.

Bryce Hopler fires up his red push mower and wades into an overgrown yard. 

For the last year he's been a provider for an app-based service called "Mow Magic." 

"I kind of compare it to Uber," Hopler said. "People will request a job and you see it pop up in the app and you see details about the job, about the size of the job, where it is, how much they're paying. And if it looks like something you want to do you just hit accept and you have 48 hours to go get it done."

Hopler has a full time job, but manages to squeeze in 6 to 8 mowing gigs a week. Some weeks he pulls in an extra $250. 

"The flexibility is really nice," he said. "It's nice to be able to do it when you have time and if you go on vacation you don't have to worry about someone needing their yard mowed while you're gone. Someone else will do it."

Mow Magic was the brainchild of Mike Braun and Ryan Leffler. They launched the app-based service last year in two markets and have now expanded to 10 others. 

"When I was a kid I used to knock on my neighbors' doors all the time and ask them to mow the lawn for $20 to make extra money," Braun explained. "I was out of town for my construction company and we have a very small lawn in the west end and my called me and said 'hey, you forgot to mow before you left' and I said 'I cannot believe that there's not some kids in our neighborhood knocking on the door to mow the lawn'."  Braun said at the time, he tried to call a landscaping company but no one responded. Leffler had a similar experience, lawn service companies were booked and couldn't get to his house for a week or more.

Mow Magic has a consumer app and a provider app — both designed by Leffler. On the consumer side, you make your request and name your price. Leffler says providers are notified and given a birds eye view of the yard. "They get a Google image of the house, so from an aerial view, so they don't actually have the address yet but they can get a pretty good idea of how large the yard is and they can decide whether they want to take it or not."

Braun says they've found that their customers use the service for three main reasons: an emergency situation, they decide they'd rather do something else with their Saturday morning, and for more than half of the customers, they use it for regular service.

As far as providers, they thought they would have a lot of high school or college kids using the app. But he says a good number are like Hopler. They have a full-time job but want to bring in a little extra cash. Others may run their own lawn service and are looking to fill gaps in their schedule.

Customers and providers can rate each other and you can even request a provider again if they've done a great job. If a provider gets too many poor ratings they're dropped from the service. By the way, the average bid to have a lawn cut — $35. 

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