Update as of April 24, 2020: After the PPP was launched in early April, the funds were quickly exhausted. As of Friday, April 24, new legislation has been signed to add $310 billion to the PPP budget. To learn more, please read our article here.
COVID-19 news and updates change quickly and frequently. Some of the information in this article may soon be out of date. We will do our best to keep details updated during this challenging time. The information below reflects information as of April 7, 2020.
As this global pandemic unfolds, we understand there are many new challenges being experienced by contractors— including how to reach homeowners, efficiently close sales, and begin or complete installations. At Modernize, we continue to see strong and steady demand from homeowners across the United States, despite the mounting uncertainty around COVID-19. We believe it is important to keep your business engaged.
Below, we’ve compiled nine reasons why you should continue to market your company during this unprecedented time of social distancing:
- Homeowners are, well, home!
- Many construction services are deemed an essential business during “shelter-in-place.”
- Home improvement projects are on the rise.
- Homeowners are taking advantage of mortgage rates.
- Take advantage of business loans and installer availability.
- All eyes are on digital marketing.
- Keep ahead of the competitive construction landscape.
- Operational efficiencies will yield better results.
- Digitize, sustain, and future-proof your business today.
Homeowners are, well, home!
One of the silver linings in this stressful situation is that homeowners are home, all the time. According to The New York Times at the beginning of April, 311 million people in 41 states have been ordered to stay within their homes to flatten the curve of this disease. This presents new opportunities to reach out to homeowners who previously were too busy to focus on home improvements. This is a strategic time to nurture colder leads or coordinate a virtual appointment that homeowners can easily attend.
Many construction services are deemed an essential business during “shelter-in-place.”
Arizona, California, Illinois, and Texas are just a few of the states which have listed construction activities as essential. In California, Governor Newsom issued “Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)” are deemed essential. In other states, repairs and replacements to roofs and HVACs continue to be seen as critical in keeping homeowners safe.
Home improvement projects are on the rise.
With more time at home, homeowners are actively pursuing home improvement projects. According to Foursquare, “foot traffic to hardware stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s are up 26 percent nationally” during COVID-19. At Modernize, we have also seen unwavering demand from homeowners. With more time and energy to focus on projects, intent with homeowners is increasing. There is a new emphasis on “shelter,” allowing you to connect with more homeowners who want to make sure their homes are comfortable, safe, and energy-efficient.
Homeowners are taking advantage of mortgage rates.
In March, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates by 1.5 percentage points. This, along with other efforts, is to help protect the economy from the catastrophic impact of COVID-19. Also last month, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported refinancing applications increased 79 percent, week over week. These are the highest levels since April 2009.
Through our homeowner surveys, we know that more than 80 percent of homeowners would like to finance part (if not all) of their essential home improvement projects. Now is the ideal time for you to remove this barrier for homeowners looking to complete their project. If your homeowners are looking for financing, we have a list of suggested financing partners.
Take advantage of business loans and installer availability.
COVID-19 has disrupted almost every industry. In March, 7.14 million people were unemployed, largely due to the Coronavirus. However, many independent contractors and construction workers have been deemed “essential” during this time. If you have installations to complete, you have the advantage of finding skilled laborers looking for work right now.
Additionally, the federal government has opened applications for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s (CARES) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is providing more than $349 billion to businesses to help support furloughed workers. If you have recently let-go installers, you may be able to rehire them with this forgivable loan. We link to more resources, including the application, in this blog.
All eyes are on digital marketing.
Last month, Facebook reported the highest traffic the platform has experienced. “The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry,” Facebook published in a release. “We are experiencing new records in usage almost every day.” Homeowners have increased activity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is an excellent opportunity to increase your homeowner pipeline by marketing on social media platforms to capture new leads.
Keep ahead of the competitive construction landscape.
This disruptive time has provided many new opportunities for market share and discounted rates on advertising. Capture your market while other home improvement companies struggle to transition virtually. Pivot your messaging on new platforms to reach homeowners. Show your strength as a company by continuing to support homeowners at this time.
Operational efficiencies will yield better results.
During this time of self-distancing, contractors can still connect with homeowners for virtual appointments and demos. Commuting to and from home appointments takes precious time. Hosting virtual demos saves gas, time, and increases net opportunities. Your sales team can nurture leads and manage up to six appointments per day, without additional expenses. The opportunity for more projects increases.
Digitize, sustain, and future-proof your business today.
This historic pandemic has forced many industries —including the home improvement sector— to adopt more digital resources to maintain “business as usual.” Digital demonstrations, meetings, and estimates can help your sales pipeline. We have organized a list of digital tools to help you, many designed for contractors. Now is the time to test and transition your business strategy. This will position your business to thrive and evolve with our changing landscape.
During this pandemic, marketing can seem daunting, but it’s essential for sustaining your business. Use this time to set up for success tomorrow— and well into the future. Modernize can help you connect with engaged homeowners, and develop clear, achievable goals with a dedicated account manager. Together, let’s strategize your marketing efforts to achieve the best results.