Pet sitters, carpet cleaners, and panel beaters: These are some of SA’s most in-demand services

Pet sitters have been in high demand this year as people return to the office and do not want to leave their pets home alone. Picture: Blue Bird/Pexels

Pet sitters have been in high demand this year as people return to the office and do not want to leave their pets home alone. Picture: Blue Bird/Pexels

Published Nov 8, 2023


South African homeowners who have managed to hang on to their homes this year have been making savvy investments in their properties, including small renovations and borehole and gas installations.

In addition to seeking out private contractors for these projects, they are also increasingly hiring pet sitters, event décor specialists and caterers, carpet cleaners, and panel beaters, and calling out tow trucks.

Comparing data from 2022 with that of this year, South African online home services marketplace reveals that people are staying put in their homes and making smart investments with the help of experts.

Jeanne du Plessis, head of communications for Kandua, tells IOL it appears that people are making smaller, savvier investments in their homes instead of taking on full-scale renovations for kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

There also seems to be an increase in demand for expert services – the types of services that would not result in a successful DIY project for the average homeowner, and continued investments in utility backup solutions. The demand for solar systems specifically has, however, plateaued, she notes.

Small, smart renovations

“Demand for renovators is down, but requests for kitchen specialists have more than doubled and for bathroom specialists it is up by 17 percent. Bathroom and kitchen renovations are some of the most popular, and for good reason as these are most likely to increase the value of your home.

“Perhaps we will see the larger projects come through next year as we have seen an increase in demand for quantity surveyors and architects.”

There are also signs that homeowners are looking for additional small ways to breathe new life into their spaces; requests for blind installers are up slightly and there has been a 23 percent increase in demand for carpet cleaners.

However, Du Plessis says wallpaper seems to have fallen out of favour this year, with demand for these installers down by about eight percent.

“In the garden, it looks like people are working with what they have rather than making big changes: irrigation projects are up by 57 percent and there is a 23 percent increase in demand for garden services. Landscaper requests have declined by 17 percent.

DIY where you can

She notes that the shift towards specialist services has been “really interesting” as more people are looking for IT support, and appliance, fridge, TV, and aircon repairs. Handyman requests are down by 19 percent though.

“The increase in demand for repairs – rather than replacements, echoes the trend that people are looking for more frugal, savvier approaches to home improvement...

“Of course, we always advise getting an expert to help with your home project as, in the long run, this will definitely save you frustration and probably also save you money.”

Post-Covid normalisation

As more people are required back in the office, and travel and entertainment habits have stabilised, Du Plessis says there have been knock-on implications:

  • All the pets that were adopted during the pandemic need to be taken care of when their owners are away. Thus, the demand for pet sitters has almost tripled in the past year.
  • People are staying put in their homes and it seems like the semigration trend has slowed. Coupled with a stagnant property market and rising interest rates, it’s “no surprise” that moving services have seen the biggest decline over the past year, with demand dropping by about 60 percent.
  • Events are back in full swing as Kandua has seen a big growth in demand for event décor and caterers. Requests for event planners are, however, down. This again shows that people want the help of experts where they don’t have the skills, but are less likely to outsource the full project.
  • Being on the road is as perilous as ever as there has been a five percent increase in requests for panel beaters and triple the amount of call-outs for tow trucks. The demand for driving instructors is flat though.

Alternate energy and water demand

As issues with water and electricity supply continue, Du Plessis says the demand for borehole specialists has doubled. Gas installations are also more popular, with requests up by 11 percent year-on-year. As the solar market becomes more saturated, however, demand here has levelled out.

She adds: “Requests for electricians are up by 18 percent and we would not be surprised if many of these are for the installation of more affordable backup solutions such as inverters, rather than full solar systems which require a bigger capital outlay.”

IOL Business