StrucSure’s Home Warranty
REMODELING IS HOT (BUT DON’T GET BURNED)
I’ve noticed that the word ‘Remodeling’ has become an extremely popular topic in the last year. I am glued to remodeling programs when I turn on the T.V., I read about new remodeling ventures in the news, and as a marketing V.P. for a company that sells warranty services to builders and remodelers, I’m always following industry trends and forecasts. There’s no doubt that right now, remodeling is hot.
According to Davide Crowe, Chief Economist at NAHB, improvements to owner-occupied homes (remodeling) has exceeded single-family construction (new homes) value since February 2009. Those remodelers who have been around for decades are riding this wave of opportunity, while builders who are suffering from a downturn in their core business are trying to jump on before the ride’s over. With new home numbers continuing to fall and building projects scaling back in size, it looks like the remodeling wave will last a while.
The remodeling industry allows me to wear two hats, which is both challenging and exciting. When I am wearing my business hat, I track statistics, digest the news, and continually think about how the changes will affect business (both positively and negatively). As a key decision maker for household improvement projects (over 85 percent of females are2), I get to wear my consumer hat and view the industry from a different vantage point. Both perspectives are highly beneficial to my marketing position.
Consumer Trust Is Low
Here’s what I know from having both perspectives: Consumer trust is at an all-time low. Remodelers can thank T.V. shows like ‘Holmes on Homes’ and the current state of the economy for lack of confidence in the industry. So what if you’ve been in business for 20+ years or you do a good job (and have references to prove it)? We all saw what happened to General Motors after 100 years in business, and we’ve all heard a remodeling horror story or two. Some of us have even been main characters in those stories. And it’s painful.
The reality is that in order to be a successful remodeler in today’s marketplace, you need more than a flashy truck, a great BBB rating, and a long reference list. Of course those items help, but they may not be enough to put homeowner’s fears at ease and close the deal. What you need is something that will build your credibility and set you apart from your competition. You need to offer the homeowner a warranty on their remodeling project.
That’s right. Warranties aren’t just for new homes anymore. StrucSure Home Warranty, a leader in new home warranties nationwide, saw a need for warranty coverage in the remodeling industry and recently developed a low-cost, insurance-backed warranty product that remodelers can now offer to homeowners.
StrucSure’s remodeler’s warranty is a powerful selling and closing tool as it assures the homeowner that someone will be there to make things right if something goes wrong. The warranty addresses common homeowner questions, such as “What if my new addition develops a structural issue that requires repair?” “What if I have an issue with my remodeling project and when I go to contact the remodeler, I find out he’s no longer in business? “What if I’m not satisfied with my remodeler’s work and he won’t make it right?” “What if my warranty items are not taken care of after the job is completed?”
StrucSure’s Home Warranty
We launched our remodeler’s warranty program at the beginning of this year and promoted it at the Baltimore Remodeling Show in September. We were thrilled at the response the program received and the comments we heard from remodelers across the U.S. “I’ve been looking for something like this.” “As a new remodeler, this is going to be a great sales tool for my business.” “I’ve never seen anything like this before… what a great idea!”
The remodelers we talked to were even more impressed with the cost. For $199, a homeowner can get up to $25k worth of coverage (higher coverage options are available and can include a structural option, if necessary). Remodelers have multiple options for covering the fee: They can roll it into the bid, split it with the homeowner, or even cover the cost of the warranty for a repeat customer or a large project.
I’m confident that a remodeler’s warranty will add value to the remodeling industry as it will not only protect a remodeler’s bottom line, but add to it by communicating to prospects and clients that as a professional remodeler, you care about their remodeling experience. After all, just because something’s hot doesn’t mean you have to get burned…
For more information on StrucSure Home Warranty’s remodeler’s program, please visit www.strucsure.com and click on the “Remodelers” icon.
Best of luck to you in your endeavors!
Other interesting articles:
• http://www.amazon.com/Trillion-Dollar-Women-Remodeling- Decisions/dp/0867186348
By Adria Ellerbrock, V.P. of Marketing
StrucSure Home Warranty