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Home repair firm looks to challenge the big players

A SCOTTISH home repair company is hoping to take on the big boys and garner £3 million in revenues in the next 12 months.

CONFIDENT: Paul Greaves, MD of First Call Home Assist.
CONFIDENT: Paul Greaves, MD of First Call Home Assist.

First Call Home Assist is launching a range of policies covering areas like central heating, boilers and emergency repairs.

The past six months has been spent laying the groundwork for the business. That included setting up a call centre to handle inquiries, gaining Financial Services Authority approval and building a UK-wide network of trusted trade operators.

Now the Edinburgh business hopes to sell more than 20,000 policies during the next year.

It has already secured a partnership agreement to offer discounted services to the 27,000 homeowners using Glasgow Housing Association's property management arm YourPlace

Paul Greaves, managing director, believes the company can take on existing big players like British Gas Homeserve.

He said: "The £3m revenue and 20,000 people signed up are our targets. With what we have in the pipeline I don't see too many problems with those figures as long as we get it right.It is all kicking in to place and we are ready to do a big marketing campaign.

"We are trying to do things a wee bit differently. So we are thinking about picking up 10,000 potential customers in one place and in big chunks.

"On the other side, we are just about to appoint someone full time to do online and social media marketing to get individual customers.

"We have to be out there and are trying specific routes to market no-one has really touched yet."

Mr Greaves said the business is also looking to do a pilot scheme with London Stock Exchange listed plc Grainger which has thousands of properties and tenants on its books.

Another area the company is looking into is the charity sector which would involve customers choosing to donate some of their premium to an organisation of their choice.

Mr Greaves added: "Our staff use the latest hand held technology and have vans stocked with more than £2500 worth of parts to ensure repairs are quickly carried out. And all our policies are insurance-backed products regulated by the FSA – to provide the ultimate in reassurance.

"We see the opportunities to grow First Call Home Assist as endless. We also know the development of the trade network means we are providing valuable work to many contractors who are still continuing to struggle because of the ongoing challenging conditions in the construction industry."

Mr Greaves believes revenue for First Call Home Assist and its sister company, First Call Trade Services, will reach £5m by April 2013.

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