Nashville-based landscaping company GreenPal made its Atlanta debut on April 11, adding the metro area to its steadily-growing list of more than 250 markets across the United States. Credit: Courtesy of GreenPal

Nashville-based landscaping company GreenPal made its Atlanta debut this month, adding the metro area to its steadily-growing list of more than 250 markets across the United States.

GreenPal’s expansion into the Atlanta metro area isn’t the company establishing a presence in the state, but it is the company’s first time integrating into Georgia’s largest market.

The digital landscaping service announced its Atlanta expansion following success in previous markets across the country, including Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles.

GreenPal’s co-founder Gene Caballero said the service allows independent landscapers to operate their businesses completely cashless, while eliminating unnecessary steps in the lawn care business model that have historically stripped landscapers of valuable time and money.

While Caballero and his partner, co-founder Bryan Clayton, came up with the idea for GreenPal in 2012, the company officially began to take form three years later, starting within the pairing’s hometown of Nashville before spreading to other major U.S. cities in the following years.

“My first job out of college was in sales. So I was a little privy to newer technologies like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb,” Caballero said. “[I] knew that if someone was going to summon a stranger to come pick them up, or allow a stranger to live in their extra bedroom for the weekend for extra money, at the same time, they would do that with lawn care at some point down the road.”

Screenshot of GreenPal app. Image courtesy of GreenPal

How it works

GreenPal is a comprehensive lawn care service that allows users to connect with landscaping technicians in their area. Clients can book, pay, rate and rebook their favorite landscapers all from the interface of GreenPal’s mobile app or website.

“We’ve described it as the ‘Uber’ for lawn care,” Caballero said. “It’s the easiest way for homeowners to find, schedule and pay their lawn [care specialist].”

Customers can post photos of their lawns to GreenPal, and, using satellite technology, the company’s algorithm connects customers’ requests for service to independent landscapers in their area. According to the company’s website, GreenPal secures five bids for each consumer within 24 hours of submitting photos. 

Customers can then select the landscaper they want, after reading ratings and reviews from previous consumers. The contractors provide personalized quotes as a part of each bid, which can also aid customers in making a decision. After confirming an appointment, the landscapers send customers a photo of their yard upon the job’s completion. Following approval of the landscapers’ work, customers pay them through the application and have the option to book another appointment weeks in advance.

Effective for clients and entrepreneurs alike

While GreenPal works to convenience customers by combining the many facets of hiring a lawn care professional into one easy-to-use business model, Caballero said that GreenPal’s interface is designed to benefit landscapers, as well, enabling them to focus more on completing gigs and less on technical issues that take time away from completing more jobs and making more money. He said that this business model separates GreenPal from competitors in the landscaping market.

“I think that’s what fueled our growth so much,” Caballero said. “Not only do we handle their demand creation, we also handle their scheduling, their route optimization and their payment processing.”

Having spent his early years operating a landscaping business of his own, Caballero said he wanted to create a product that removes the hassle of paperwork, tracking missing payments and other tedious activities for current owners of lawn care startups and companies.

“I just wanted to mow and take care of my customers,” Caballero said. “I certainly didn’t want to sit at home after a 14-hour day and send out invoices and chase my money. That’s who we designed the entire thing for: that landscaping professional, and we believe we’re the first true operating system for those guys.”

GreenPal pre-screens all of its landscapers to confirm their identities before making their services available to the public through their app and website. Caballero said the company requires its contractors to submit proof of identification in the form of a driver’s license and social security number, and proof of a valid bank account within an institution in good financial standing. Landscapers wanting to join the program must also send photos of their previous work, as well as references attesting to their skills.

“Our homeowners have told us that the most important thing to them is the actual social proof,” Caballero said. “So we do all that and what homeowners seem to really care about is the ratings and reviews. But, we’re still going to continue to do as much as we can to vet these guys and make sure that the homeowner has a wonderful experience, as well.”

GreenPal in Atlanta

Caballero said the company is expanding across the greater Atlanta area one region at a time, starting in the outer suburbs and inching closer to the inner parts of the city over time. He said allowing GreenPal to grow gradually, as opposed to all at once, will help the company manage its consumer load more efficiently, a task that GreenPal has had issues handling in large markets previously, like Houston, Texas. 

Caballero also said that in the company’s short time settling into the region, Atlanta may prove to be one of the company’s most successful markets come the end of this summer, and may rise to become a top-three market by the end of 2023. He also said GreenPal’s leadership intentionally expanded to greater Atlanta during Georgia’s month of seasonal transition, in order to beat the spring and summer rush of landscaping requests.

“We’ve had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the area,” Caballero said. “And springtime is when people are looking for lawn care, or deciding whether or not they want to do it or outsource it. So, for this market, I will say that, yes, we have actually timed it [perfectly].”

Atlanta homeowners looking to use GreenPal can visit the company’s official website for the city, or download GreenPal’s app to any portable mobile device.