Palisadian Frank Renfro started a new company in January that residents ought to know about.
No, it’s not another sexy yoga clothing store, nor a tchotchke shop or even a hot-stone massage parlor, instead, Renfro has something every resident can probably use – a home maintenance concierge service – SoNeighborly.
The concept is simple, a resident signs up for the monthly maintenance service, and once a month an expert comes to a home and will take care of all the tasks that go undone—and could eventually lead to bigger maintenance problems.
Some residents might say, “I need you to clean gutters or can you mount a television, or can you move this heavy piece of furniture,” and Renfro or his maintenance staff will take care of that, too.
“I call them honey-do items,” Renfro said, noting that for a person who has elderly parents and who lives out of town, this is an essential service. Light bulbs can be changed, slow moving drains attended to and even yard work dealt with. “Seniors might not have the energy.”
He also says this business is perfect for couples with kids—especially if both parents work. “They might want to do other things than worrying about plumbing,” Renfro said, noting that he and wife Marisa have two small children and Marisa runs her own company Get Casa Mia (getcasamia.com). He understands first hand how difficult it can be in a busy household to find a last-minute electrician.
He said that so many of the younger generation have never fixed anything and would have no idea how to start. It seems that everyone calls a tradesperson when there is a problem in the residence.
Additionally, “I have a vetted network of insured licensed contractors for various trades,” said Renfro, who grew up in Dallas and fell in love with his wife, who is from Long Beach.
She agreed to try life in Dallas, where Renfro was working in health care and then trucking. He promised to move to California if she didn’t fall in love with Texas. They couple moved to California in 2017, and to the Palisades in 2021.
Renfro, who graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin with a degree in international relations and studied abroad in Venezuela and Costa Rica, said “There’s a lot of opportunity in the home maintenance business, the industry is so fragmented.”
He explained that so many businesses have trouble finding help because people quit to start their own companies, but yet others return, and – all companies are having trouble finding tradespeople. “We’re reliable,” he said about SoNeighborly, “and we vet the contractors.”
He said by having a monthly maintenance service, “we keep an eye on things and notice possible issues, such as, ‘this is about to break, so we should fix it before it becomes a problem.”
SoNeighborly might be helpful to dual-income households, overwhelmed seniors, second homeowners and traveling executives. “I’m saving you the time and the hassle,” Renfro said.