With new home trends constantly emerging, it’s no wonder that home improvement spending in the U.S. is up more than 50% since 2010. As homes become outdated, newer generations want to add their personal touch, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
This is an important factor for our home improvement contractors to consider as they search for new customers. The study stated, “Spending on improvements and repairs to the US housing stock continued on an upward trend in 2017, setting a new high of $424 billion. This represents a 10% increase from 2015 and more than 50% gain from the low in 2010.”
Basically, about 22 million homeowners across the country completed at least one home improvement project in 2017. And with the trend continuing in this direction, contractors can expect to stay busy with home improvements.
Some people attribute this increase to a shortage of new construction or reliance on aging housing stock requiring upkeep. But regardless, home improvements are likely to continue in their popularity.
Finding your ideal customers
So what target market should you be looking at? Well, three main groups are contributing to these home improvement projects:
- Homeowners using growing home equity to make improvements
- Homeowners playing catch-up on deferred maintenance
- Rental property owners hoping to increase their fees
As you target these groups, it’s also important to note the most popular home improvement projects. Some of these include:
- Replacing their flooring
- Adding or replacing plumbing fixtures
- Built-in dishwashers or garbage disposals
- New windows or doors
- New water heaters
But oftentimes these updates are part of larger development projects. If a homeowner needed a new dishwasher, they’d likely also include a kitchen remodel. Or if a customer was updating plumbing fixtures, likely, they’d also want to update their bathroom.
Financing creates upsell opportunities
Many of these homeowners (75% to be exact) spent less than $10,000 on these updates. We can speculate that this percentage could be much lower if contractors emphasized affordable financing options.
These homeowners usually work out a budget long before they ever reach out to a contractor for these projects. But instead of focusing on the added value, the contractor might just accept the smaller project.
These are definitely missed opportunities! And as you continue to emphasize financing for these home improvement projects, you’ll be able to upsell your customers. Doing so gives them a better experience and end result.