Don’t Despair, Home Improvement Contractors – There’s Still Gold in the Market

The shaky housing market has some home improvement contractors running scared, but there is no reason to hang up your tool belt just yet. Business from homebuilders may have dried up, but homeowners themselves still need what you have to offer. In fact, experts are forecasting growth in the remodeling arena – in part as an offshoot of the decline in home sales. The trick will be switching your marketing strategy to reach your new target audience.

Remodeling, of course, is an evergreen business. Approximately 25 million homeowners undertake some type of home improvement project each year, according to research from Harvard’s Improving America’s Housing 2007. And the Home Improvement Research Institute predicts that sales of home improvement products will grow at an average rate of 6% annually over the next four years – a sign that people will still be investing in their homes.

Some of this demand is triggered by normal home upkeep. Two-thirds of existing homes are now at least 25 years old – the age at which items such as the roof, windows and plumbing fixtures begin to need repair or replacement, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Other projects are inspired by a simple desire to upgrade one’s living environment – perhaps pushed along these days by television lifestyle shows filled with luxury amenities.

Additional demand will be driven by the state of the housing market, experts say. Some homeowners who were planning to move will instead renovate because they can’t sell their homes in the current economy. Properties that have fallen victim to the foreclosure crisis will be acquired and in need of remodeling, particularly over the next 18 months as foreclosures peak. And pent-up demand for older home remodeling, energy efficiency retrofits and rental stock improvements will be unleashed when the economy perks up, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Bottom line: there’s still business today, and there will be MORE business over the near term. Now is the time to lay the marketing groundwork to cash in.

While word-of-mouth referrals will always be important, it’s not enough to keep your pipeline filled. Advertising plays an essential role in bringing customers to your door by building brand recognition as well as credibility. But not all ads are created equal. Follow these rules of thumb for best results:

Define your target audience and create an effective method to reach them.
If your service is high-end, maximize your advertising dollars by targeting only top homes by value in the marketplace.
Showcase your best work through photographs. This inspires remodeling ideas and helps consumers visualize the effect that a remodeling project will have on their own home.
Look for advertising outlets that focus on home remodeling, because that’s where your target customer is going to be looking for contractors – not mixed in with pizza coupons.
Advertise on a regular basis. A consumer normally needs to see your name and ad repeatedly before picking up the phone.
Be sure that your phone number and other contact information is prominently displayed in your ad so that consumers can reach you easily.

Remember: the home improvement business is still alive and kicking. It’s just a matter of finding opportunities in new places. Put yourself in front of the right people – through advertising – and the work will come.

Discount Home Improvement – The Places to Get Your Supplies

Any person who owns his or her home feels really proud of the great achievement and dream come true for sure. However, this achievement comes with as many challenges as there are benefits. Your home must be maintained as well as ensuring constant upgrading of all the facilities. This is the point when discount home improvement becomes an important issue to consider. Your home must be well kept, clean, safe and all the units being functional. Constant repairs and replacements are the jobs that call for discount home improvement.

Although most people think that after building or acquiring a new home there is no more work, this is just a misguided assumption. Although you will not spend as much money as you do on paying rent, you will need some money for the maintenance. Discount home improvement supplies help you to save a lot of money that you would have used on all the renovations your house requires.

You should set out enough time to ensure you are not in a hurry when shopping for discount home improvement goods. This is to ensure that you secure the best and cheapest deals. You should carry out window shopping prior to the actual shopping to determine the cheapest stores and shops in town.

You can start the search for discount home improvement sellers through local advertisements. These can be in posters, banners or road signs. Similarly, the newspapers also carry these adverts as well as a list of things that are offered for free by other people. Discount home improvement goods can range from plumbing supplies to other household goods.

The best place to ultimately go is at a local public auction. This is where most professional contractors and rich homeowners dispose their excess supplies and items. Here, you will get discount home improvement goods at a price that is below retail and wholesale pricing. If you miss out on a public auction, there is still another option to consider.

Visit your local hardware and head straight to the back of its store. You will be surprised to find very many discount home improvement supplies. Most of them only need some little repair and renovations here and there, to continue serving their purpose. Consequently, they are cheap and you are assured of selecting from a huge variety to end up with something good.

At some places meant for ‘Habitat for Humanity Restore’ these supplies are also offered for sale at very reasonable prices. Although they are not popular, these places receive donations of all kind including discount home improvement goods and supplies. They sell them at their various retail outlets. This could be the best place to get your household home improvements because many people do not know much about them. Therefore, there is no competition for the goods.

The last place I can assure you of getting these households is the carpet stores. According to my own research, many carpet stores have an area for clearance where they auction goods such as vinyl flooring and discontinued carpets. They sell them at a cheap price so that they can get out of their possession quickly and free up space.