Chances are you’re not going to get a signed contract back on the day you make contact with a home improvement lead—even if your work is wildly impressive, the client is completely enamored by your professionalism and demeanor, and your references are squeaky clean.
No matter how ready you are for the project, a contractor lead is cautious to invest heavily in their home improvement project right away—and that’s perfectly okay. At Modernize, we regularly speak with homeowners who look to us for guidance in the sometimes murky and confusing home improvement market. Our data shows that more than a third of homeowners will not begin the project they’re considering within 30 days of making contact with us or with a contractor.
And yet, you can’t sit idly by and wait for the work to begin—the client expects to develop a relationship with you during this incubation period. Use this opportunity to nurture their comfort and earn their trust. You need to balance a deliberate approach with patient execution to interact profitably in the home improvement market. Done correctly, you will have successfully constructed a pipeline feeding in high intent home improvement leads. Subsequently, you will compile satisfied customers who return and refer you for more work. Once rolling, this ball will keep you occupied since new work will sidle in as current work is coming to a close.
Contractors must embrace digital marketing in 2019
While services like ours are paramount to a successful marketing approach in the digital age, there are some things you can do right now to better and more regularly foster relationships with the vast world of homeowners who may have tapped you for your hard earned reputation but have not yet chosen the perfect fit.
When nearly nine of out ten people are finding their contractors online, that’s where the game is played. And when on top of that, 98 percent of homeowners pick a contractor from the first page of results they see on the Internet, merely existing online is not enough — you have to stand out. Despite this demand, data shows just one percent of contractors say they utilize social media.
Here are three broad goals you should set for yourself in 2019:
- Develop a strategy to utilize social media.
- Optimize the way your business appears in online searches.
- And structure a 40-40-20 rule, which reasons that you should offer customers value in exchange for their attention.
- Spend 40 percent of your time posting helpful information
- Spend 40 percent of your time directly interacting with customers
- And spend 20 percent of your time promoting your brand.
Every conversation should be a marketing tool for you
On the phone, chatting, or exchanging emails? Good. But remember: The client is still in the discovery phase and learning the lay of the land. Be ready with information but also be ready to listen. When a customer is talking (or typing), think about that 40-40-20 rule as you navigate them through the initial phases of their journey and potentially into a professional relationship with you—your goal is an in-person appointment for assessment and possible estimation.
- Know your brand.
- Rehearse the script.
- Keep the FAQs handy.
- Anticipate a caller’s needs.
- And be approachable.
Be confident you’re the right contractor for the job
If you treat every potential client as a paying client, you’re not only developing trust and reliability, you’re also displaying the confidence of your product.
We’re not saying you should put too much labor or time into a client who is not paying, but you should give them the impression that this is their best bet. If they don’t take it now, they may take it later. If a client is tending away from the project, be understanding and provide information as needed — sometimes it’s okay to let a client go, just be sure they take your business card on the way out.
Then keep in touch. You’re their friend in a crowd of contractors who unfortunately might attempt to take advantage of them or act dishonestly. Stand above that and you will earn repeat business.
Tap into feedback loops from lead generation services
No one knows homeowners like Modernize does — and like anything else, homeowners and their homes are ever changing and evolving, both technologically and culturally.
We are constantly talking to homeowners before, during, and after their home improvement projects. While the reality is that many contractors are not tapping into the potential of data and its resulting analytics, the most successful contractors in the industry are beginning to make the move: More and more contractors are turning to lead generation services like Modernize to complete more projects each year. Here’s where we stand:
- 1.5 million homeowners found their contractors through Modernize in 2017
- And that’s, in turn, earned $1.5 billion for those contractors.
We use the thousands of surveys homeowners submit to us to learn more about homeowner needs and challenges in the home improvement space — whether for solar, roofing, HVAC, windows, or other projects. Learn more about our most recent findings: the Homeowner Survey Index: Q4 2018.
Whether it’s starting your online efforts from scratch or diving into your decades of experience to discern trends and help you sharpen your client base, learn more about us today and find out how we can help you.