By Chris Stahl
10 Home Improvement Contractor Business Trends for 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic caused not only an unprecedented disruption in 2020 but also a shift in trends for the coming year. Here are 10 home improvement trends that industry-leading contractors see on the horizon for 2021.
1. Adoption of Virtual
The home improvement industry adopted more than 10 years worth of technology in just a few months; rapidly deploying virtual selling, digital signatures, secure electronic payments, and marketing techniques. This is driven by the influx of younger heads-of-households entering the market and expecting a digital sales process within all aspects of their lives.
Through the addition of a virtual presentation option, you can provide your customers with more flexibility to schedule a sales call, while increasing the likelihood of being able to sit down with both household decision-makers at the same time. In a world where safety is a rising concern, you’re providing your customer with the ultimate version of personal protective equipment (PPE) – a personable, yet contactless, sales presentation.
2. Less Direct Mail & More Pay-Per-Click
With the influx of younger heads-of-households entering the market and them being accustomed to the convenience of everything being digital, it is with no surprise that there is a trend towards less direct mail and more pay-per-click ads. Since COVID-19, the average amount of time spent looking at screens is 13+ hours per day! With PPC, you increase the likelihood of getting in front of your homeowners because that is where they are spending a predominant amount of time. Vicki Kiger, Marketing Director at Exterior Source, has already implemented the transition to PPC, stating “that’s where people are right now, so that’s what we are going to do, and the results have far exceeded our expectations.”
If you are interested in still incorporating direct mail, Enthusem allows you to deliver hyper-personalized, trackable content that syncs with your digital strategies.
3. Virtual Home Improvement Expos
In-person trade shows and expos are predominantly canceled throughout the beginning of 2021. While some expos are being turned into virtual events, others are being postponed till later in the year. Savanna Forster, IT Marketing Strategist at Minnesota Rusco, stating “our tradeshows have been canceled through March.”
List of Upcoming Trade Shows & Expos
4. 5% Growth in 2021
Small remodeling projects costing less than $8,500 (e.g., painting, flooring, fixtures, etc.) are expected to grow by at least 8% in 2021, while the industry as a whole is expected to grow by at least 5%. This is the onset of younger heads-of-households entering the market.
If you haven’t already considered looking into various forms of financing options, this might be the year to start that adoption. Refinancing activity is surging, and homeowners are investing in their homes, which are creating and sustaining strong demand for remodeling.
5. Focus on Social Media as a Marketing Tool
As younger heads-of-households enter the market, the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool will continue to improve in reaching homeowners across all verticals of home improvement and home services. Social media not only is one of the most cost-effective means of marketing but the constant improvements in targeting make it even more appealing.
With the additions of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now even Tik-Tok for Business, you can target your customers through both organic posts and paid advertising.
6. Websites Becoming a Crucial Tool
Your website is one of the single most important sales and marketing tools for your business. When a homeowner has exhausted all their options for word-of-mouth contractors, they begin searching online. If your website isn’t able to be found by prospective customers or it does not instill a sense of professionalism, you might as well not even have a website.
A crucial step in making 2021 better than last year is taking another look at your website and making sure it has the following key components:
Greta Bajrami is the CEO and Founder of Golden Group Roofing, which focuses only on residential roofing, and is expected to close out the year with around $6.7 million in sales. Greta attributes much of her success through a social strategy, stating “we relied on the internet, SEO, blog content, PPC, and being really strategic to manipulate the social platforms.”
7. New Marketing Tactics – Carvertise
New marketing tactics and services are constantly being developed – Carvertise is one of those. As the rise of rideshare and food delivery services continues to increase a new class of high-exposure vehicles has created a market for unprecedented advertising abilities.
Drivers receive passive monthly income, while your ads autonomously move around the neighborhoods you service, spreading word of your business.
8. Reputation Management Increasing Lead Generation
Jeff Bezos not only created a standard of exceptional customer service, but he proved that if you put the customer experience at the forefront of your focus, you will create raving fans that keep coming back for repeat business.
Yelp’s Senior Field Marketing Manager, Emily Washcovick, who is responsible for building a thriving network of local business owners, operators, and marketers, discusses how you want to “create a clear, concise and consistent message.” This will lead to a positive reputation which will in turn inspire great reviews organically.
An interactive sales experience that homeowners cannot say no to, is a great step in improving your reputation. This will capture the homeowner’s attention, increase order values, and close deals faster. A seamless digital sales experience is not only the expectation of the 2021 consumer, but it is the first step in the customer experience that sets the tone for their entire home improvement experience. This will lead to creating a repeat customer and leads through word of mouth.
9. Marketing Managers Building Their Own Brand
Differentiating yourself from your competitors through all forms of communication is important to creating and maintaining your brand. Charles Antis, Founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, has become a trusted name in the roofing industry, not only through being an expert roofer but specifically through creating a unique brand of being a humanitarian and “cheerleader for good.” By building a brand around being a champion of social corporate responsibility, he has managed to build his roofing business to heights far beyond his expectations.
Building a unique brand for your business can help you stand out from the crowd and make homeowners want to go out of their way to do business with you. If your Marketing Managers and leadership builds their own brand, being active in the industries community and through social networks, you will begin expanding your businesses reach even further!
If a homeowner needs a job done, their first step is typically not to go and pull a name out of a hat. Initially, a homeowner would look through their contacts to see if they already know someone that can do the job. If there is no primary contact, then they ask friends or family members for a recommendation. If there is not one, then the search for an unknown contractor ensues. This is why you need to make sure that you and your company are well networked.
The more people you know, both homeowners and fellow contractors in your vertical and other verticals across the home improvement industry, the more opportunities will come your way. Trade shows, expos, summits, charity events, Better Business Bureau mixer, or other networking specific groups can help to increase your reach.
Don’t forget…reputation management is key to boosting the success of your networking!
Want to dive deeper?
Watch the webinar below on What to Expect from the Home Improvement Industry in 2021, as several of the industry experts quoted above sit down for a virtual discussion.
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This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and may or may not reflect the opinion of Leap (Leaptodigital.com).