Effective Date: October 2018

Here’s some answers to most of the questions we think you might have – but if you have a question we haven’t covered, drop us a line at hello@houselab.com.au

If it’s really urgent, you can email us on support@houselabpro.com, 9am-6pm Mon-Fri– and we’ll be happy to help you set up your first project or solve any issues you may be experiencing.

Professional Users

What does the $100 per project fee cover?

A professional account allows you to create a personalized dashboard for your clients. You can add your logo, include all relevant project information and of course, hand over the project to your client. (With a free account you can’t hand over the project and you can’t customize the dashboard with your logo.)

What happens once I have handed over the project?

Your client receives an email invitation to accept the digital keys to their new home.They can then access the information you have uploaded and begin adding their own documents and details. You will have access to an archive copy of the project (as it was at handover) to ensure you keep a digital record of what you provided to the client. No need to keep paper records for when your client rings to ask what the paint colour on the walls is …

How easy is it to set up?

You should be able to create a project, load all your documents and hand it over to your client in 15 minutes. You might need extra time to assemble all the information and documents you want to include, but once you’ve done that, it’s as simple as dragging your folder of documents into HouseLab.

What happens if I have an apartment block of 20 units, how long will that take?

If you’re a volume home builder or apartment developer, you can quickly create multiple copies of similar properties within a project. We’ve designed the system to allow you to create a 20-unit multi-residential project in just 20 minutes or so.To help you set up multiple projects we have created a series of videos to assist you. Please visit https://vimeo.com/album/5453156

How is this better or easier than the way we have been handing over using a USB key or our company branded handover kits?

When you hand over a folder of documents, or even a USB key containing property documents and information, there’s a sense of “job done, no need to talk again.” Houselab allows you to maintain a relationship with your client without putting a strain on your own resources and time. This helps deliver the kind of customer service that clients respect and will talk about within their own networks. All the good work you’ve put into creating someone’s dream home will live on thanks to a continued high-quality customer experience. After all, you might get sick of answering post-handover calls about build details – but you can be sure that making these calls is even more frustrating for your clients. Houselab will reduce friction for you and, most importantly, your clients.

How will it save me money?

Our research shows that typical handovers cost a business between $500-$2000. At $100 and the 15-20mins it takes to create the project ready for handover, we know you’ll be saving money right away. But we also think it will help you generate money through the positive customer experience you’ll be delivering to your clients; they’ll become advocates for your business.

Is Houselab useful if I’m just doing a renovation to a kitchen or bathroom?

For sure! Kitchens and bathrooms are high-use areas of a home, often containing specialty appliances, finishes, flooring and so on. This guarantees lots of questions, especially as many customers manage their own projects. And as you probably know, smaller projects generate the most amount of work post-handover. HouseLab is simple enough to manage for a small project and will help you cover all the bases with your client so you can get on with your next job.

Can I try it out before handing over $100?

Yes! Set up a personal account for free here https://app.houselabpro.com/getting-started and test it out now. A free account won’t allow you to hand over the project to a client, customize the dashboard or keep an archive copy, but you can manage documents, set reminders, create teams, send messages and more. Once you see it in action, and fall in love with it, all you have to do is upgrade your account by purchasing credits equivalent to the number of properties you want to hand over. Each home, apartment, townhouse etc is treated as a separate project and is $100 per project. However if you have more than 20 projects to handover we can work with you to create a custom pricing schedule. Please contact chris@houselab.com.au to discuss.

How do I buy credits?

You can buy credits through your account settings. Just select the number of credits that you require and follow the steps

How secure are my payment details?

We use Stripe (https://stripe.com/about), one of the largest payment management companies on the planet. Houselab doesn’t see or store any of your financial data.

Where is my project data – plans, permits etc – stored?

We use Amazon Web Services (AWS) which run the highest levels of cloud security. Protecting your data is a priority and AWS delivers gold-standard speed, stability and security.

How do I store all the documents in HouseLab?

If, like many builders and developers, you store documents all over the place – Dropbox, your computer desktop, the shelf by the window – you’re not alone! But we’re here to help. We’ve created a tagging system that preserves all your folder structures when you drag and drop your documents into HouseLab. For example if you stored a user manual for a dishwasher in the following folder structure: Townhouse 1> Kitchen>Appliances>Dishwasher, then HouseLab converts these folders into tags, making it easy to search in groups or individual documents.

Can I group documents together?

Absolutely. Some people will just want to upload documents and hand over the project but you can also do a whole lot more. If you want to include all the documents associated with a dishwasher (warranty, user guide, receipt etc) for example, they can all be tagged the same way and therefore linked. You can even add reminders, so your client will know when the warranty runs out. There are instructional videos to help you get the most out of HouseLab, just use the HouseLab helper on the dashboard to access.

Can I use HouseLab as a communications hub?

Yes! You can store all your messages in one place, keeping a record of decisions that in the past might have been communicated with email or SMS. No more searching all over the place, just keep it all in HouseLab.

There are lots of project management tools out there, what makes yours different?

HouseLab is not a project management tool! It’s a customer experience hub, one specifically designed to make handover easy for you and a pleasure for your clients.

What about defect management, can HouseLab help with that?

Defecting is clearly a part of handing over a property, so HouseLab provides a simple defect management and tracking tool. Defects can be submitted by your client for you to assess before committing to remediation. It’s also very transparent, with everyone having access to reports. No more spreadsheets being passed around between clients and subcontractors, just HouseLab!

Can HouseLab be used as a body corporate property management tool?

It sure can. HouseLab makes it easy for body corporate managers to have all the right documentation for each property ready to go. When a tap handle breaks, there’s no need to inspect to work out what part id required for repairs, just log in, check the spec, order it and arrange the repair. HouseLab saves you time and money.

I’m a real estate agent and we sell a lot of new homes, can we use it and how?

HouseLab is perfect for agents/agencies. You can set up your new owners with a branded platform rather than a bottle of champagne, then when they come to selling or buying another property, you’ll be front and centre to win their business. We also have features on our roadmap just for agencies, so it’s going to become even more useful in the not too distant future.

Personal Users

What is HouseLab?

In simple terms, HouseLab is your home management hub – and it’s especially useful when building or renovating, managing communications with the people doing the job, and keeping track of the numerous manuals, warranties and documents that come with a home or renovation.

The value continues past the build stage though – you can continue to store information about almost every aspect of your home. You’ve had the deck oiled, set a reminder and HouseLab will remind you when it’s time to recoat it so you get maximum longevity from it. Or maybe the kitchen wall needs repainting – what shade of white was it again – HouseLab is a place where you can see that it’s Antique White USA, not Antique White! Warranties for appliances like ovens, washing machines and fridges – keep them all in one place.

How much does it cost?

It’s free to set up a personal account to manage one home. If you want to add additional properties (eg investment or beach house) then you will need to upgrade to a professional account. We charge $100 per property that you want to manage using HouseLab

Can I use HouseLab for renovating or building my own home? 

HouseLab is here to help with the issues that arise when you’re renovating or building. In practical terms, HouseLab can help you collect information about your new build or renovation – appliance details, material details (like paint colour or carpet type) and maintenance schedules that will help keep your home sound. It will also help you create a trail of correspondence with the people doing the work on your home, so that you can quickly and easily find out what was said, who said it and when it was said.

But we can also help in the planning stages – we publish a range of inspirational content to help you with ideas for your build – from design through to putting you in touch with suppliers.

How easy is it to set up?

You can register your home in under five minutes and with the ability to easily drag and drop files from your computer you can start storing important documents right away.

How is it different to just using dropbox or a folder on my computer to store all my relevant home information?

While houselab does store documents, it provides much more functionality so you can easily manage your home. You can create reminders and sync with your personal calendars to keep track of important dates. Upload receipts and attach them to a product like a fridge, in case you need to make a warranty claim. You can create and then communicate with team members, meaning all communications are in one place. No more emails, text messages and voice mails to keep track of.

How do I store documents in HouseLab?

Simply drag a document – word, pdf, image file – into houselab – you can apply tags that associate it with a room if you like, then categorize it as a warranty for example, and houselab will have it ready for you whenever you need it

I rent my house out using Airbnb, could I use it for client information?

Absolutely just provide your username and password to guests when you are communicating with them. You can include wifi passwords, local transport options and attractions as well as emergency mumbers, saves having loose paperwok in your home that can get lost or damaged.

How exactly does HouseLab work? 

All you need to do is register your home or renovation details and start adding documents, images, products, reminders etc. All your information is securely stored on the cloud meaning it’s easy to access all your critical information wherever you are. Even if you just want to manage your home, you can do that as well.

What happens to all the information if I want to sell?

You can simply download all your data if you need to retain anything. If you’d like to hand over all the details of the house to the new owensr, you can pay $100 and transfer ownership to the new owners – all the history of your home would be carried over to them. It saves you time by not having to find the alarm codes or the other information that needs to be collected prior to the sale of a home. You’ll already have it all stored in your digital home.

What happens if I want to access all my documents that I have stored on HouseLab, is there a fee for this? 

You can freely download all your documents, messages, and anything else you might have uploaded. If you uploaded a photo of a warranty card, you can download it too. If it was a PDF of an air conditioning manual, you’ll download exactly that. When it comes to messages and other information you’ve entered directly into HouseLab, you can download it as a .csv file (which you can open using MS Excel).

How secure is my information?

HouseLab is run on Amazon Web Services, and that means complete peace of mind when it comes to security and stability. We use Square to manage any financial transactions, so we don’t store any of your payment details at all.

How can I learn more?

Get in touch if you have questions, we’ll get back to you within a day. Email us at feedback@houselabpro.com