Existing home sales have dropped to the lowest rate in three years, according to the National Association of Realtors. As interest rates rise and memories of the housing crash remains fresh, more homeowners are opting to remodel their existing homes rather than buying new homes, according to the Chicago Tribune.
But construction companies eager to cash in on that remodeling work may have to wait until spring —unless they can develop strategies for keeping homeowners comfortable in their homes while the work is underway.
Remodeling often slows during the winter months, as cold and wet weather can delay outdoor projects and many homeowners don’t want their homes in disarray during the time of year when families spend more time indoors. However, during the slower cold-weather months, construction companies can often offer lower prices due to lower demand, and may be able to complete projects quicker, as they’re not spread thin among many jobs.
But during an indoor wintertime remodeling project, it’s crucial to show homeowners that a cold-weather project can be executed without interrupting their lifestyle.
Consider these five tips for ensuring customer satisfaction and keeping your construction company flourishing through the chilly months.
Sell customers on discounts
Offering a discount on construction services during the winter could help convince customers to move forward with their projects. Even if your labor and overhead prices can’t change, customers may benefit from supplier discounts. Remind them that construction supplies are often reduced during the off season, and by undertaking a project now, they can take advantage of those lower prices on lumber, windows, doors, paint and other supplies.
Isolate the work area
If your customers will remain in their home throughout an indoor renovation project, take pains to keep dust, noise, and debris out of the usable living space as much as possible. Use plywood, plastic wall barriers, or other materials to close off the area of the home where work is being done to keep living spaces clean and free from construction materials.
Keep tools supplies off the job site
No homeowner wants to step over construction equipment while they’re trying to enjoy a winter afternoon in front of the fireplace. After your crew is gone for the day or the weekend, allow your customers to forget that there’s a construction project underway by removing all tools and equipment from their sight. One of the easiest ways to do this is by stationing a PODS container in the driveway, or elsewhere on the property, to store construction equipment and supplies. The items will be out of view for the homeowners, but readily available when your crew needs them.
Consider storage delivery
If there’s not a good location for a portable storage unit on-site, or if your customer would prefer not to take up outdoor space with a PODS container, you can utilize PODS delivery services. With delivery of a portable unit, crews can store tools and equipment to be available on-site when needed, but they won’t be stored there for the duration of the project. This solution is also ideal for tools and equipment that need to be stored in a climate-controlled space.
To further minimize intrusions to your customer’s daily life, you can arrange for your PODS container to be delivered after he or she is gone to work for the day, and picked up before he or she returns home. If your customers need their driveway free on weekends, you can leave the container on-site during the week and have it removed on the two days between work shifts. With portable storage, your tools and equipment can be available when you need them while remaining flexible when it comes to your customers’ needs.
Provide extra services
Most homeowners have a number of wintertime maintenance chores that are easy to ignore when the weather is cold and wet. While your crew is on-site, you can win customers’ loyalty by offering to handle small maintenance tasks in addition to the construction work you’re undertaking. Encourage crew members to offer homeowners help with things like shoveling snow and clearing gutters of leaves and debris.
Take extra steps to wow your winter customers, and you won’t just keep your crew busy throughout the cold season — you’ll also earn loyalty and referrals that keep projects coming your way all year.