UPDATED: June 4, 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
Surprisingly, we saw that sales were up 33% in March and have held steady through May. 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
What does this mean for home improvement companies?
- With quarantine starting to lax in almost every states, you're more likely to have a meaningful conversation with homeowners that results in a set appointment. This means you can start building pipeline, even if they're not ready to start their project now - pushing to late-June or July seems to be working for most contractors.
- Since travel is difficult, you'll find a lot of homeowners spend their summer vacation funds in other areas. This is a great conversation starter to open the door - offering deals around federal interest rate cuts and financing can get your foot in that door to keep the conversation going.
This is a perfect real-life example of how a conversation like this can go.
Trends in Lead Generation
According to marketing manager Taylor Engstrom, Modernize is seeing estimate requests tick back up to normal levels.
"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 weeks."
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.
The phrase "remodeling" is trending up and starting to hold steady from March to June.
The phrase "contractors near me" has seen a surge in searches since the initial drop and uncertainty after lockdown.
The phrase "window replacement" is steadily trending upwards, with the highest search volumes occurring in the end of May into June.
The phrase "roofers" is a bit erratic (people tend to search this term more on weekends), but it has trended upwards since the initial lockdown in early March.
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.