Need snow removal in Metro Detroit? There's an app for that

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

Clearing inches of snow from yards has become as easy as ordering food delivery from an app. 

With just a click of a button on a smartphone, Metro Detroit residents can order up a snow removal to their homes while still following social distancing guidelines. 

Debra Horton, of Mount Clemens, uses a broom to clear snow off a driveway and sidewalk near her house on Leslie near Robertson in Mount Clemens, Tuesday morning, December 1, 2020.

As people find more ways to make ordinary things coronavirus-safe, added to that list is snow removal. 

"You don't have to find that neighborhood landscaper or contractor to do the work ... we bring them to your fingertips," said Ben Zlotnick, CEO of lawn care app Eden

Michigan-based companies have catered to resident's concerns about meeting landscapers face-to-face during the COVID-19 pandemic by creating apps that allows them to schedule landscaping jobs, such as snow removal, in a contact-less process. 

Users can request snow removals and other lawn care services virtually from the apps and pay electronically. Users aren't required to be home during the services. 

The on-demand, outdoor service app Lawn Guru has seen nearly twice as many customers and double the number of providers signing up as people seek remote solutions for snow removal. 

"We've seen a big uptick in both new users and new providers joining the platform since last spring because of the pandemic," said Lawn Guru co-founder Skye Durrant. "People as don't want that face-to-face interaction; they don't want to be shaking hands or kind of walking around the property and our application allows providers to do everything from deliver quotes to accept payments all completely remotely."

Eden is an app that allows you to hire contractors by job for snow removal or other services. It's now available in Detroit.

 The process to request a snow removal on both apps is simple. 

Users can create an account and choose snow removal as the requested service. Once the request goes through, local landscapers receive a notification that someone nearby needs a service. 

Users are able to track the travel time of the landscaper and will be notified when the service is completed with a picture of their driveway or lot. Credit card information will need to be entered at the time of the initial request but won't be charged until the user acknowledges that the service was finished. 

"We don't take away from the landscapers and snowplow contractors that are out there; we actually help provide them more business," Zlotnick said. 

All landscapers go through a background check with Eden and Lawn Guru requires  providers to have a credible landscaping business and does an equipment check. 

Customers are almost guaranteed for landscapers on the app, Zlotnick said, especially with Eden's recurring program that allows people to sign up for automatic snow removal whenever there's more than two inches. Lawn Guru also has a similar program. 

"We want to ensure that we're bringing on good providers that can perform the type of work at the price that is competitive for our customers and is also safe for them," said Durrant.