LETTER FROM THE GM
December 18, 2019
This is the first note from me in what will become a regular part of the way we communicate with our Customers. Some of you have said this is overdue, and given how much has happened at HomeGauge over the last two years, I whole-heartedly agree.
I am Paul, the General Manager of HomeGauge. I came to HomeGauge having spent almost 20 years in technology companies, and have been working with Russell and Sean and the growing team for just over six months.
For those of you who don’t know these guys, they were the original founders of HomeGauge, and Russell is a licensed inspector himself. With our commitment to product development Russell helps guide what the inspector needs, and how to support that relationship between Inspector and Agent.
For the business I have some very specific areas of focus:
Investing in our products to give Home Inspectors the best tools to do their job better is fundamentally my #1. Without the best products, we wouldn’t continue to win.
Building the team needed to accomplish each of these goals.
Bringing innovative solutions to the industry and help drive it forward.
Growing the number of Home Inspectors HomeGauge works with.
As many of you know, HomeGauge was acquired by American Family Insurance two years ago, and with that has come a lot of additional resources for us to work with.
Many of those have been invested into the product itself, fixing bugs and catching up on several requests from our Customers. In the last six months especially, we have increased the size of the engineering team to 15 full-time engineers, and have brought in expert leads for both engineering and for product management.
Historically, we have over committed to our Customers on what could be done in the time available, and underestimated the time it often takes to bring together two companies after an acquisition. With these notes from me, going forward you will know much more about what is happening here behind the scenes, and with the new content coming from the team leads, you will also get more insight into the product too.
I do however appreciate that some expectations were set in the past that we did not achieve, and I am sorry for any inconvenience that caused any of our Customers. We have some good time under our belts with additional team members and that means we will not be in that position again.
HomeGauge has been doing this for over 18 years, which in itself is a huge achievement. For those of you that have worked with technology before you may know that with such a time period, when a product becomes as robust and capable as ours has, it can also become complex, which likely contributed to unrealistic historical timelines.
We are working towards a new era of the HomeGauge product, AND we are continuing to invest in our existing products. I am very happy to see that with the influx of technology talent we have made major progress on both fronts.
Some of our recent product / engineering highlights include:
- Tripled the size of the engineering team;
- Resolved ~200 software bugs;
- Improved dashboard performance by 60+% for mult-inspector customers;
- Upgraded security on our cloud infrastructure;
- Launched two product betas (which several groups of our customers are part of);
- Launched a new Buyer dashboard; and
- Implemented new engineering processes to release software updates twice as often as 2018.
And imminently we will be releasing:
- Cloud based report writer;
- Ongoing development of new appointment manager, including ScheduleNow for your Customers and Agents;
- An updated companion app for iOS; and
- New print templates for a new report look, with multiple variables.
It is hard to beat the HomeGauge record for industry firsts, which have included video in reports, uploading reports, 360° images, CRL (Create Request List), expanding pictures, time-stamped delivery, (and many, many more), and we are now drawing on every advantage we have from being part of a $9 billion entity to continue that record. Our rollout of pay-per-report E&O insurance has been a huge success, and we have a number of other industry-first solutions underway.
Going forward you will see our Product and Engineering leads adding content here soon, and will be publishing more detailed information about what we have achieved each quarter, and what is coming up in the following quarter. I know many of you are eager to hear about our next major releases, and so we will be sure to be more transparent.
I hope this first edition has been helpful and that you feel a little bit more connected with us. We recognize that trust is built over time, and with Thanksgiving coming, we thank each and every one of our Customers for their commitment and their feedback to HomeGauge.
Enjoy the holidays!
General Manager, HomeGauge