5 Ways to Distinguish Your Home Service Company From the Competition

Home improvement projects are on the rise. The COVID-19 pandemic had a lot of people spending more time indoors and in their homes. As a result, homeowners are realizing that their houses could use some fixes, upgrades, improvements, or be adjusted to better suit their remote work/life balance. Whether it has been telecommuting at the dinner table, attending virtual classes on the couch, or exercising in a basement, many are looking for ways (and contractors) to remodel parts of their home to accommodate their new lifestyle. 

While some industries have been threatened, decimated, or faced an uncertain future due to the pandemic, home service professionals have been seeing a huge increase in demand for their expertise. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, Americans spent an estimated $440 billion on home improvement projects in 2020. That trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon in 2021.

And with that increased demand, comes competition. Consumers are searching for the best solutions to aid their home improvement projects. Unless the homeowner is an expert in remodeling or construction, they’re likely going to need help. With so many options for designers, contractors, builders, or installers to choose from, homeowners want to be sure they’re getting the best there is.

As a business operating in the home service space, it’s important that you represent yourself as an ideal solution for these kinds of projects. So what makes a company successful in their attempts to distinguish themselves from the competition? We’ve identified some of the most important factors that do just that:

1.Have a multi-skilled workforce

Employing or having access to a large network of subcontractors and tradespeople gives your company an upper hand when deciding what jobs you can bid on. If your company provides a large array of general contractor services, you’re giving yourself multiple avenues to win all kinds of business. If you specialize in one specific type of home service (like roofing or plumbing), it’s important that you have a strong team who are experts in that field. Either way, having the right personnel and a talented workforce will always be a way to differentiate your company from the competition. After all, people’s homes are usually their biggest asset and will want the best person for the job.

2. Be price competitive

As with so many things in life, it will often all come down to the $$. Just because homeowners want the best for their house remodels doesn’t mean they’re ready to pay extravagant prices for it. Consumers are price savvy and will often get multiple bids from different companies for the same project. While it’s not always the most important to be the absolute lowest priced option for a job, it is important not to price yourself out of the market. If you find your price point is often the cause of lost work, it may be a good idea to reexamine your pricing relative to the market. You may be getting outbid. Tip: Offering a special promotion or “first-time buyer” discount can be an effective way to win business and turn them into repeat customers.

3. Invest in digital marketing

Everything is online now, and I mean everything. A website and good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is digital marketing 101 these days. A website for your company is the primary way most consumers will find out about you. Be sure your online presence is optimized for Google searches and that your website provides consumers with a good experience. Getting people to your website can be the harder part. This is where digital marketing can really help: Advertise on social media platforms, publish a blog, organize a webinar, send out email campaigns, or even produce/sponsor a podcast. Once you start getting more traffic to your website, you just need to work on converting them to customers. That’s something live chat can help with.

4. Manage your reputation

Reputation management is essentially your reviews. And these can make or break you. Review sites are everywhere and for everything these days. Yelp, Google, Facebook, and ReviewBuzz (just to name a few) all provide the ability for delighted or distraught customers to provide their feedback in a public forum. And if you think other people aren’t reading these reviews, you’re in for a rude awakening. In fact, 86% of consumers read reviews of local businesses. Now the nature of reviews is unpredictable to some extent. How are you, as a business, supposed to control your reviews? Although you cannot control the feedback you receive, you can do some things to manage them. It is good practice to respond to both positive and negative reviews, as well as promote the positive ones in as many places as possible. Think of it like spreading the digital word of mouth.

5. Don’t forget the cleanup

This may seem like an obvious one, but it can easily get overlooked. home improvement projects can get messy quick and cleaning up isn’t often thought of as “part of the job”. These projects can be a stressful and intrusive experience for a homeowner. Once the project is complete, the last thing they want to do is clean up the mess left from the construction. The cleaning aftermath may not technically be part of your business’s duty, but customer experience certainly should be. Think of this aspect of the job as providing a better customer experience. A pleased customer will be more likely to become a repeat customer, leave positive feedback, and recommend you to their friends and family. You want to be an “all in one” service that does excellent work and leaves the house better than when you arrived.

This increased demand for home improvement projects was certainly an unexpected outcome of the pandemic. National lockdowns changed the way we all live, relax, and spend our money. People are reprioritizing to optimize their homes not only for comfort, but for getting things done. With more homeowners renovating and remodeling to accommodate this shift in lifestyle, they will continue to have a need for reliable and ethical home services and contractors. If you want to make your company stand out and distinguish yourself from the competition, follow these 5 steps and you might be one of the first calls homeowners make.