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Digital Tools to Help Home Improvement Businesses Navigate COVID-19

March 17, 2020

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Chris Bache
Written By
Chris Bache

COVID-19 is impacting how we do business as home improvement professionals.

Fear and financial uncertainty is causing more cancelled appointments, fewer installs, and is frankly hurting cash flow.

In these unprecedented times we need to find less traditional ways of moving business forward - going digital is great place to start.

This guide will help you find the best digital tool for your home improvement business.


Looking for a Specific Tool? 

Quoting and Estimation Tools

Quoting tools saves you time and increases accuracy when you create estimates. Quotes can be sent digitally over text and email, so you don’t need to be in person. Then, use Business Messaging tools to follow-up and communicate with leads.

 

Leap

With Leap, home improvement companies can create estimates, contracts, and proposals, and provide financing options all in one Apple iPad application. They integrate with major home improvement CRMs like MarketSharp, improveit 360, and LeadPerfection.

 

Image from iOS (4)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Estimates
  • Contracts and Proposals
  • Electronic Signature (via DocuSign)
  • Finance Options
  • CRM Integrations (Salesforce, MarketSharp, improveit!360, LeadPerfection, and more)
  • Exclusively for Apple iPads


Pricing

Leap pricing starts at $95 per month, per user.

Check out more information on Leap, and an article about them on Pro Remodeler.


Jobber Quote Management

Jobber provides a comprehensive home improvement management software. Their quote management tool allows companies to create, send, and track quotes from one place. Quote management is currently available on all Jobber plans.

 

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Highlighted Features

  • Approvals and Change Requests
  • Electronic Signature
  • Quote History
  • Reminders and Follow-Ups
  • Payment Collection (via Jobber Payments or Stripe)
  • Web and Mobile App


Pricing

Jobber pricing starts at $29 per month, per user. They offer a free trial.

Learn more about Jobber, voted as a top 10 most innovative software company by Fast Company.

 

Estimator360

Estimator360 is an estimating and project management software for home improvement companies. Their estimating tool allows home improvement companies to collect bids from suppliers, which automatically updates pricing lists to then be referenced in an estimate.

 

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Highlighted Features

  • Bid invitations
  • Automatically updated price lists from bids
  • Group materials, labor, subcontractors, or services together into an assembly
  • Material lists
  • Estimate templates
  • Pricing options and alternatives
  • Quickbooks integration


Pricing

Estimator360 pricing starts at $260 per month. They offer a free 14-day trial.

 

Financing Tools

In today’s ever-changing economic environment, offering financing gives your customers peace-of-mind and flexibility. Financing tools increase your customers’ buying power by providing payment plans and generous credit limits.

The tool allows you to submit and manage your customer applications online and get approvals fast.

 

GreenSky

GreenSky is one of the largest home improvement financing companies. With more than 17,000 customers, GreenSky offers up to $65,000 in financing per purchase and provides multiple financing plans. Plans include fixed rate loans with low payments as well as plans that offer no interest and no payments if paid in full during the promotional period.

 

greensky-toolkit-pic

 

Highlighted Features

  • Offer fixed rate loans with low payments
  • Offer loans with no interest or payments if paid in full during the promotional period
  • Financing up to $65,000
  • Apply customers through mobile app or by phone
  • Receive loan payments same-day
  • GreenSky fees paid monthly


Pricing

GreenSky charges a fee per transaction. Visit GreenSky for more information.

 

FinanceIt

FinanceIt provides financing for projects and purchases up to $100,000, and home improvement companies receive payment in full after job completion. Credit decisions last six months, so jobs can be scheduled long in advance.

 

financeit-toolkit-pic

 

Highlighted Features

  • Credit decisions last 6 months
  • Receive full purchase amount after job completion
  • Offer fixed rate loans with low payments
  • Promotional financing - 0% interest for 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months.
  • Defer payments for 3, 6, or 12 months


Pricing

FinanceIt does not charge subscription or transaction fees for their standard financing program, but companies are charged a percentage of the total purchase amount for promotional financing. Visit FinanceIt for more information.

 

Virtual Appointment Tools

With COVID-19 resulting in lockdowns and quarantines, your sales team may not have the ability to get in front of customers for appointments.

We’ve found that a number of home improvement companies are turning to virtual appointments, allowing your customer to give you a remote walk-through of their home. Here are our favorite tools for adding virtual appointments to your toolkit.

 

WhereBy

We like WhereBy because anyone can join from a mobile device without downloading an app.

This takes the stress out of meetings (especially with your older, less tech-savvy audience). WhereBy operates in rooms, which gives multiple members of your team the chance to join an appointment. 

 

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Highlighted Features

  • Real-Time Chat
  • Record & Playback Ability
  • Screen Sharing
  • Two-Way Audio & Video
  • Video Conferencing
  • Mobile Access


Pricing

Whereby pricing starts at $9.99 per month. There is a free version.

 

Zoom

Zoom is well-known industry standard software that is widely used for one-on-one meetings internally and externally. Zoom’s robust tool removes geographic barrier, allowing your team to interact with customers remotely. Although the free app is needed for cross-platform interaction, it is a reliable choice for companies on the go.


zoom


Highlighted Features

  • Electronic Hand Raising
  • On-Demand Webcasting
  • Presentation Streaming
  • Presentation Tools
  • Private Chat
  • Real-Time Chat
  • Record & Playback Ability
  • Screen Sharing


Pricing

Zoom pricing starts at $14.99 per month, per user. There is a free version.

 

Google Hangouts Meet

As part of Google’s robust online toolkit, Google Meet is an offshoot of Google’s Hangouts business messaging software tool. Meet adds capabilities for video conferencing, allowing your team to take connectivity to the next level.

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Highlighted Features

  • Alerts/Notifications
  • Audio Calls
  • Discussion Threads
  • Mobile Access
  • Real-time Chat
  • Search
  • Video Conferencing


Pricing

Google Meet is a premium addition to Google Hangouts. Pricing is currently free. 

Photo and Video Tools

Documentation of job sites and recalling specific measurements, entryways, and aesthetics is important to ensure accurate estimation and completion. Especially with COVID-19-induced quarantines, having record of your job sites can help if you’re unable to review someone’s interior again.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite photo and video tools to help you overcome the struggles associated with lost time and money traveling back and forth to jobs.

 

CompanyCam

CompanyCam is the industry-standard for photo applications. By adding CompanyCam to your location-based photo tools, CompanyCam gives your team the ability to quickly access a job site without the headaches of sifting through and organizing.

companycam

 

Highlighted Features

  • Live Project Feed
  • Comments, Mentions and Voice Notes
  • Draw, Markup and Tag photos
  • Photo Reports
  • Project Timelines
  • Before and After photos
  • Document Scanning


Pricing

CompanyCam pricing starts at $19.00 per month, per user.

 

Hover

Hover is a new, proprietary tool that uses 3D modeling technology originally built by the U.S. military. Hover takes eight smartphone photos of a house and builds a complete 3D model with accurate measurements down to the inch.

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 5.11.33 PM


Highlighted Features

  • Project Management
  • Quotes and Proposals


Pricing

Hover pricing starts at $20.00 per property.

Check out more information on Hover.

Lead Generation Tools

Lead Generation tools matches homeowners with your services and provides one location for you to purchase and handle new leads. Since many home shows and events have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, Lead Generation tools can help fill your sales funnel with qualified homeowners.

 

Modernize

Modernize matches window, roofing, solar, and HVAC companies with qualified leads through Modernize.com and their other digital marketing channels. They are the largest private residential lead generation service in the US.

modernize-toolkit-pic


Highlighted Features

  • Home improvement leads
  • Customized targeting
  • Company profile
  • CRM integrations
  • Lead management tool


Pricing

Modernize charges a cost-per-lead based on trade and location. Pricing is available by request.

Learn more about Modernize and how Modernize customers can use Hatch to instantly engage with their leads over text, email, and phone.

 

HomeAdvisor

Since 1999, HomeAdvisor has matched over 30 million homeowners with relevant home improvement professionals. They provide flexible budgeting and their software allows companies to connect with leads over email or phone.

homeadvisor-toolkit-pic


Highlighted Features

  • Home improvement leads
  • Flexible budgeting
  • Customized targeting
  • Lead management tool


Pricing

HomeAdvisor charges a cost-per-lead ($15 - $60+), depending on the size of the job. Learn more about HomeAdvisor.

Business Messaging Tools

We saved the most important for last - your business needs to become an expert at communication in order to withstand the brunt of quarantines associated with COVID-19.

Using any of these tools opens up new opportunities for communication beyond the standard phone and email back-and-forths.

 

Podium

Podium is an all-in-one messaging platform that allows you to maintain customer conversations and interact with customers on multiple channels. Podium specializes in reputation management, which is monitoring and responding to reviews that customers leave for your business.

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Highlighted Features

  • Campaign Management
  • Dashboard
  • Negative Feedback Management
  • Response Management
  • Review Monitoring
  • Review Notification
  • Review Request
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Social Sharing


Pricing

Podium pricing available by request. 

 

Hatch

Hatch is a business messaging platform built specifically for the home improvement industry. Hatch combines two-way text, email, and voice with automation in one collaborative workspace to increase close rates, shorten sales cycles, and boost 5-star reviews.

hatch


Highlighted Features

  • 2-Way Messaging (text, email, phone)
  • Email Distribution
  • Multi-Channel Communication
  • On-Demand Communications
  • Personalization
  • Performance Metrics
  • Template Management


Pricing

Hatch offers a free trial for all users, which includes a free rehash campaign or instant lead follow-up. Check out more information on Hatch.

 

SalesMsg

SalesMsg is a business-to-consumer tool that focuses solely on two-way, real-time SMS texting. It is a great addition for any business looking to add text messaging to their toolkit that use Hubspot, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, or Pipedrive as their CRM.

salesmsg


Highlighted Features

  • 2-Way Messaging
  • Contact Management
  • MMS
  • Mass Texting
  • Message Personalization
  • Mobile Coupons
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Scheduled Messaging
  • Shortcodes


Pricing

SalesMsg pricing is available by request.

CRMs

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are critical to inventory your leads and customers and move them along the buyer's journey. Read the 7 Best CRMs for Home Improvement Companies in 2020.

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