In March 2020, contractors across the country were suddenly forced to adapt to the new reality of COVID-19.
Homeowners became hesitant to book meetings with contractors due to fears of impending job loss. The idea of letting a contractor into their home was a deal-breaker for many.
As of April 22, 2020, 90% of remodeler respondents to an NAHB survey indicated a slowdown in both remodeling inquiries and willingness of homeowners to remodel at this time.
86% of those remodelers cited homeowner concerns about interacting with remodeling crews as an issue.
But here’s the thing:
Ordinary home wear-and-tear isn’t going away.
Homeowners are simply more willing to endure it for now until a time when they feel more comfortable hiring a contractor.
For many, that level of comfort may not come until after the immediate crisis.
However, NRCA CEO Reid Ribble (along with many others) believes that there will be a period of “pent up demand” when recovery begins.
But contractors can’t afford to wait for an end to the crisis. They need to reassure homeowners that remodeling is possible, and it can be done remotely and “hands-free” from start to finish, TODAY!
“[…] contractors can’t afford to wait for an end to the crisis. They need to reassure homeowners that remodeling is possible, and it can be done remotely and “hands-free” from start to finish, TODAY!”
Remote Design, Estimating, and Sales – An Opportunity to Grow Together
Remote selling was a popular practice for contractors well before COVID-19. In fact, Renoworks has been helping contractors sell to homeowners remotely for the past 20 years.
With the growing popularity of online commerce, many industry leaders believe remote selling of remodeling services will become the new expected norm in the next 2-5 years. COVID-19 has merely accelerated the need for remote selling software and strategies. It has made remote selling a necessity for contractors as opposed to something they were just dabbling in or thinking of adopting in a few years.
With the pressure to book business and reassure homeowners, contractors are now eagerly searching for information and digital tools to help them sell remotely.
This is a tremendous opportunity for you as a building product company to help contractors transform their sales process and further cement their loyalty to your brand and products.
“Contractors are now eagerly searching for information and digital tools to help them sell remotely.”
How Manufacturers and Distributors Can Help
Here are three ways you can help contractors sell remotely to homeowners:
Everything starts with education.
Webinars are being held in unprecedented numbers by manufacturers and trades organizations. For example, the NRCA and NARI are holding webinars every week on topics ranging from state legislation to remote selling strategies.
Renoworks is also helping customers by co-hosting webinars to train their sales reps and pro customers on selling remotely with the Renoworks Platform. If you’re a Renoworks client then be sure to reach out to us and book one.
2. Remote Design, Estimating, and Sales
Contractors can’t bid and close jobs if they can’t take measurements and show homeowners what their home will look like when it’s done. They need a remote tool to obtain measurements without visiting the job-site and a virtual design tool to show what the homeowner is investing in.
Luckily, Renoworks recently partnered with EagleView to make this a reality for building product companies. The Renoworks Platform now generates accurate roofing and full-property measurements as well as realistic (2D) designs and interactive 3D models without the home visit. Best of all, it can be custom made for your brand and products.
“Contractors can’t bid and close job if they can’t take measurements and show homeowners what their home will look like when it’s done.”
3. Resource Centers
COVID-19 resource centers are becoming extremely popular, especially for businesses whose customers must interact with the public on a day-to day basis. Your COVID-19 resource center could consist of the latest rules from state law-makers on “essential businesses”, CDC guidance, pre-recorded webinars, and advice on how to sell remotely and complete jobs safely. Fill your resource center with helpful material and your customers will keep coming back for more.
Mind the (Tech) Gap – We’re All In This Together
As a parting note, it’s worth noting that not all of your customers will be sufficiently tech-savvy to immediately start selling remotely. Our industry has been historically resistant to adopt technology. Many contractors run family businesses and they are used to doing it the “old school” way. These types of contractors need to be considered and catered to with practical instructions, easy-to-use tools and excellent customer service.
This is not a “sink or swim” scenario. We all need to lift up our customers and help them embrace technology, whoever they are, or whatever stage of technical expertise they are at.
After all, we’re all in this together.