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 Some of the information in this article may soon be out of date.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 article below reflects information as of April 3, 2020.
The New York Times reports that 270 million homeowners, in 33 states, are currently staying at home to help decrease the reach of the novel Coronavirus. This sudden halt of human movement has had a swift impact on most industries— including construction and home improvement.
As homeowners seek comfort and shelter at home, the urgency to begin home improvement projects increases. Homeowner demand for reliable contractors has not decreased. To meet demand, from a safe distance, contractors must quickly adapt using virtual tools. It is important for contractors to be transparent with homeowners about updated safety procedures and processes during COVID-19.
As you all continue to navigate these unique situations, here is a helpful checklist:
- Create an updated document and share your hands-free, COVID-19 processes with both your team and your homeowners.
- Prepare your tech tools. It is important to keep your business operating, and virtual tools will be essential to your success.
- Now, more than ever, technology is critical for businesses.
- Create new resources and templates for reaching out to prospecting homeowners. Think about situations, such as leaks, repairs, and emergency replacements, and pivot your messaging depending on each scenario.
- Prepare and practice for conversations with homeowners about Coronavirus. Sounding steady and confident in your answers will help you reassure them that you are best for the job.
Support homeowners with a hands-free, COVID-19 project plan
Homeowner expectations are swiftly changing to keep up with the latest news. Safety is paramount. Write out your new policies and processes. Share these new guidelines on your website, social media, and the bottom of your emails. Reassure homeowners on the phone, and in virtual meetings, that you are taking every precaution necessary for the safety of all.
Make sure to address the following in your homeowner communications:
- Share how you are handling current and future appointments. If you have transitioned to virtual appointments, share how these meetings operate and what they can expect.
- Explain how you are handling installations at each home. Will your team be provided protective gear? If you have questions for the homeowner, how will you approach them?
- Address how your team is staying safe. How often is the team reporting status updates and symptoms?
Support homeowners with easy to use virtual tools
Contractors thrive during face-to-face meetings, but this time of social distancing, new technology needs to be leveraged. You can use new tools to see homeowners from a safe distance.
There are multiple video conferencing systems that you can use to host virtual appointments, including FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. You can learn about more virtual tools in our new articles. Spend time using these face-friendly tools with your team, or even family members, to get more comfortable with how they operate.
When setting appointments with homeowners, be sure to include details of how they can join the video call.
Consider homeowner project needs
As you continue to prospect, carefully consider the different situations your homeowners are facing. Do they need a repair or full replacement? Is this project an emergency or an opportunity to get ahead of large renovations? Each scenario has a different sales path. Consider the following when building out new templates and scripts:
- Is this project an emergency?
- Does the homeowner have a repair or need a full replacement?
- Does the homeowner need help financing the project?
- What is the timeline for this project?
Ask for a brief, 15-minute call to learn more about their situation. If you can, determine and provide a quote to help them understand the expense ahead. Gently inquire about their financial situation. If they do not have the finances available, this provides a good opportunity to discuss financing options with them.
Support homeowners by providing realistic expectations
This is an unprecedented time in history, and many homeowners may want to wait to execute on their project, due to the fluidity of this pandemic. It is still important to understand what the homeowner needs— even if the project start is delayed a few weeks.
Share what your team is able to accomplish now, and in the future. Make sure you remain professional and compassionate, even if the timing is not ideal. A friendly, welcoming tone —and genuine interest in your callers’ needs— will help position you for success and new opportunities.
At Modernize, we continue to see steady demand from homeowners across the country. In our most recent survey, up to 40 percent of homeowners were interested in meeting virtually with contractors. We will continue to develop new resources to help you sustain and grow your business.