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How COVID-19 is Affecting the Home Improvement Industry

March 25, 2020

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UPDATED: April 23, 2020

We're living in quite an unprecedented time and, understandably, a lot of home improvement companies have come to us with questions like:

  • What's an essential business as opposed to a non-essential business?
  • What does quarantine mean for my scheduled home improvement projects?
  • How can I still connect with my customers?

The good news? Despite shutdowns and quarantines, data from multiple industry sources shows that the home improvement industry has actually held steady over the last few weeks.

Essential vs. Non-Essential

We've monitored state-by-state regulations and found that most states have defined home improvement companies as essential businesses.

Check out this great infographic from our friends at remodeling.net for a full breakdown of what states have declared home improvement businesses essential and non-essential.
 

Trends in Customer Engagement and Sales

Originally, we thought that shelter-in-place regulations would mean a huge downtrend for home improvement as a whole.

Surprisingly, we saw that sales were up 33% in March - a big change. With more discounts being applied - which caused average sales price to dip - this was a pretty encouraging statistic to uncover. 

Additionally, customers are communicating with companies and spending just as much time researching for future projects. 

In our platform, we compared month-over-month numbers from February to March

hatch-stats-march-feb

 

What does this mean for home improvement companies?

  • With quarantine in place, you're more likely to have a meaningful conversation with homeowners. This means you can start building pipeline, even if they're not ready to start their project now.
  • You may want to start focusing on nurturing projects with clients who have higher quoted amounts to position yourself for installations in June and July. We suggest focusing messaging around federal interest rate cuts to make the project more economically viable on their end. Here's a real-life example of how this conversation can go (this conversation actually resulted in a sale).

COVID-19 Current Customer Webinar  (10)

 

Trends in Lead Generation

We recently sat down with our partner Modernize, a website that matches homeowners with home improvement contractors, to see how inbound requests were affected.

According to marketing manager Taylor Engstrom, Modernize has only seen a 2% decrease in leads from February to March.

 

COVID-19 Current Customer Webinar  (1)

 

"When we analyzed month-over-month data, we found that project requests didn't drop much at all," said Engstrom. "We understand that homeowners are in their homes and thinking about potential projects that they've been putting off."

"With most of their time at home, homeowners are starting to source estimates for projects within the next few months."

Trends in Google Searches

With Google's trends tool, we did some research into volumes of certain terms and phrases for the last 90 days. Amazingly, things are actually trending up for a LOT of home improvement terms. 

 

home-improvement-stats


The phrase "home improvement" is trending upwards.

window-replacement-stats


The phrase "window replacement" is trending upwards.

roof-repair-stats

 

The phrase "roof repair" is trending upwards.

home-diy-stats


The phrase "home DIY" saw its highest volume of searches in early April, and has held steady after a massive uptick around the time that shelter-in-place restrictions were put in place.

What this data tells us is that people are taking notice of the projects around the house and are starting to consider and compare options.

For home improvement companies, operating lean and keeping a steady hand on the wheel is important now, but putting a plan in place now to take advantage of the post-COVID-19 resurgence is absolutely crucial.

 

Be Sure to Check Out Our Digital Toolkit

Our team recently compiled a list of tools to help your business navigate COVID-19. Be sure to check it out, and download our free eBook with even more strategies to help you through this unprecedented time.

 

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