Business owners and industry experts joined ArcSite for an hour-long discussion on how to grow your residential contracting business in 2022. Using data insights and strategies found in the 2022 Homeowner Survey Report, panelists shared their thoughts on how business owners can improve their sales and follow-up process to maximize time and profit.
You can review the webinar in full by watching the video below.
Residential Contractor Business Experts
Panelists included Brian Cotter, President of Durham Artificial Grass in Ontario, Canada. He has also run a successful horticulture business since the 60s and knows a thing or two about growing a sustainable business.
As the owner of Rainmaker Internet Marketing, Bill Crawford helps residential contractor businesses gain traction online, where most homeowners go to research and evaluate contractors.
Better known as "The Fence Expert," Joe Everest is a titan in the fencing industry. His YouTube channel has over 35,000 subscribers and focuses on helping fence businesses succeed. He is also a third-generation fence builder and owner of Ozark Fence & Supply Company.
Where do people go online to research contractors?
Reviewing the data from the 2022 Homeowner Survey Report, Crawford said he wasn't surprised to see that 65% of people go to search engines like Google in order to research contractors.
"I've been to Google's headquarters a few times and they shared some data that I will never forget and they said that more and more people are researching companies more than ever before, and it's not because they're more cynical, but it's because it's just so easy to do a background check on a company. Because no one wants to get ripped off by a contractor," Crawford said. "So I'm not surprised at all."
Crawford added that in his experience, most contractors don't have great profiles on Yelp, but the ones that do, do very well.
How long do people spend researching contractors?
Based on the data from the report, most homeowners spend less than two hours researching contractors. When the numbers are broken down further by income and budget, homeowners with a higher income and budget tend to spend more time researching contractors.
"I really thought it'd be 3-5," said Everest, noting that many homeowners may have answered based on their needs and the necessity of the repair.
"I'm not surprised by the results," said Cotter, "and a lot of it I really feel depends on the size of the project. If it's a smaller project, a few thousand dollars, I don't think you would spend more than an hour or two because time is so precious to people."
When faced with a large home repair bill, here's how people pay for it
When evaluating contractors, homeowners overwhelmingly solicit more than one bid before selecting a contractor. In fact, over half of all respondents said they solicit at least three bids per job, and 95% solicit more than one. This means that contractors always have competition.
"We actually ask people 'how many quotes will you be receiving,' just for our own knowledge," said Cotter. "If they said just one... we suggest to them that they actually call one or two more, so they have three as an average, so they make sure they're comfortable with the decision."
For Joe Everest and Ozark Fence Company, he acknowledges that his quotes are often on the higher-end of price.
"Only because of the processes we have and the overhead," said Everest. "I'm not a big fan of trying to distance yourself from the other bids. I'm a pretty big fan of just saying what makes us different. We have a lot of overhead in office personnel to make sure your project goes incredibly smoothly."
When do homeowners expect to receive a quote?
Timing is everything when it comes to delivering quotes to your customers. Data from the Homeowner Survey Report suggests that 28% of homeowners expect their quote within the same day of the visit.
"[Homeowners] want to work with the guy that's much more efficient," said Crawford, "especially with something like ArcSite. It's all there in front of you, the information is there, they want to make the decision when all the information is in front of them."
Do homeowners prefer a digital or handwritten quote?
Unsurprising to the panelists, data from the survey report shows that an overwhelming majority of people prefer to receive their quotes digitally. While many contractors are still using handwritten drawings, carbon copy receipts, and other inefficient processes, the expert panelists all agree that the customer would much prefer a digital quoting process.
"I think we all see more and more people getting used to technology," Crawford said. "We're evolving more and more with technology."
"The evolution is important to note," said Everest. "When I started out working in sales for my dad, it was a proposal sheet that was in triplicate... The problem with that is invariably those copies would get lost at some point."
Everest said that those copies would get lost by both the clients and the company, and that was a driving factor for why the business decided to go digital.
"We print out a copy to hand to them, and we email it to them," said Cotter. "We stay flexible, that's why we still have printers in trucks."
When receiving a quote, are people more or less likely to select a contractor who uses software or tech over handwritten quotes?
Data shows that there is little downside to going digital. Homeowners are much more likely to select a contractor who uses tech than less. Many are just "as likely" because they value other factors such as quality of work and price over how the quote is delivered.
"I've always been a fan of we have to adapt to the customer," said Crawford. "As more and more people are wanting technology, contractors are going to have to keep up with the times and they are going to need to be able to offer that if they want to stay on the cutting edge of things."
ArcSite offers efficient drawings and professional estimates
ArcSite is the mobile sketching and estimation software of choice for residential contractors. Professionals use ArcSite to save time and eliminate errors with digital drawings and instant proposals. ArcSite enables businesses to close more deals on the spot and save hours every week producing quotes and takeoff reports.
Over 75,000 contractors use ArcSite to deliver more bids and boost sales as high as 52%. Schedule a meeting with an ArcSite expert and see how your business can look more professional, stand out from the competition, and bid better.