How to Stay Relevant in a Home Improvement Market
Consumers are an ever-changing bunch, so it’s always an exciting time when the tide turns in favor of your industry. And if you’re in the home improvement industry, we’ve got good news for you. Despite the recent changes in the economy related to COVID-19, home improvement spending is holding strong, and even on the rise in many places, with no sign of slowing down any time soon. In fact, home improvement is the quickest-growing retail category at the moment, with homeowners jumping at the chance to do anything they can to make their home a more enjoyable place to be.
And a sizable chunk of that market today includes millennials.
Home Improvement Spending is on the Rise
Many factors are influencing the rise of home improvement spending. For example, many of today’s younger home buyers care more about the location of their home rather than finding the “perfect” home in a less ideal location. Outdated homes in a great neighborhood with desirable amenities are far more valuable than luxurious homes in a bad location.
Popular renovation shows like HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” and “Property Brothers” have given young home buyers the inspiration and confidence they need to tackle home improvements on a fixer-upper of their own. And since homeowner equity has almost doubled in recent years, many homeowners are eager to put some of that value toward their dream kitchen or high-end bathroom.
After years of renting and establishing their careers, the millennial generation is diving into homeownership. These 25-35 year-olds are investing in more home improvement projects than other age groups, which will boost the industry for years to come.
Stay Relevant in the Home Improvement Market
These factors are working to the benefit of contractors and other companies in the home improvement market. But, that means many new businesses will be popping up to capitalize on the trend, and competition will continue to heat up over the years. So how can you stay relevant during these times?
One important way contractors will need to adapt and keep their competitive edge is by marketing specifically to millennials. This generation has come of age in a world completely different from the gen-X and baby boomers before them, and marketing needs to be tailored to reflect those differences.
Key elements of a millennial-friendly marketing approach include:
- Focus on marketing that can easily be delivered via social media and apps. You don’t need to be the king of Instagram, but keep in mind that it helps to have a meaningful presence in the places your leads are hanging out.
- Use video, and keep things brief and fun. Again, you don’t have to become a YouTube star (though it doesn’t hurt!), but having a nice set of short videos you can repurpose for various social media can really help you reach your audience on their terms.
- Being able to provide instant responses is a plus. Stay connected using tools that help you answer questions and book appointments quickly and easily using the latest technology.
- Appeal to their values. Millennials appreciate companies that are not just providing the service they need, but are also making a positive difference in the world. Show them that’s part of your own values, too. Be sure to be authentic.
- Consider their FOMO. “Fear of missing out,” or FOMO, means you have an opportunity to provide a unique experience for them that they won’t want to miss — and that will help drive them to you. For example, highlight fresh trends that you’re seeing in your customer projects, as well as special offers with deadlines.
- Remember the power of word of mouth. Reviews, reviews, reviews. Make sure you solicit reviews, so you can point millennials to those reviews. Social proof is huge for this group.
- Offer interactive experiences. If a lead can play around on your website with layouts, or building their options into an order that makes them feel involved, then part of your job is already complete, and the lead feels more engaged and committed.
Providing millennials with home improvement payment options can go a long way to helping them be more comfortable with investing in their homes. These choices can really set your contracting business apart from the competition. By offering home improvement financing, you’ll enable customers to get the financing they need more quickly and easily — and that means closing more deals, and completing large or more expensive renovation projects.