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4 Qualities Homeowners Value in a Home Improvement Provider

Pregnant homeowner talking to a contractor.

December 13, 2021

Whether they’re weighing the costs of DIY vs. hiring a professional or comparing your services to the shop around the corner, homeowners have a lot of choices when it comes to home improvement projects. Your business needs to stand out from the pack to ensure you can compete. To make a good impression that will land (and keep) customers, these key qualities will differentiate your services and help your home improvement business thrive.

Build a strong reputation

Many home improvement customers rely on word of mouth when choosing a provider, so make sure your reputation is top-notch. Ask satisfied customers to recommend your business to family and friends and consider implementing a referral rewards program to incentivize recommendations.

A good online presence is a must for reputation building, as today’s customers often turn to review sites like Yelp, Angi and The Better Business Bureau. Ask your happiest customers to write reviews and make sure you keep tabs on the conversation so you can respond to feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. An active social media presence is another way to cement your reputation and communicate with customers. Engaging with them in an authentic way shows that you care about their experience with your company.

Let your work speak for itself

When you take pride in your work, it shows in the finished product. A commitment to excellent work will ensure every project can serve as an example of your capabilities. Encourage customers to use pictures in their reviews to provide a visual. If you can point to completed work that can be seen in person, such as a house you worked on in their neighborhood, offer that up as well.

Before and after photos on social media demonstrate the impact of your work, and the online platforms can also be used to establish yourself as an expert in your field. As a plumber, for instance, you might post a short video on how to DIY a simple clog or leak. Customers appreciate the insight, and it keeps your business top of mind when they encounter a problem that requires a professional.

Be honest and transparent

Customers turn to a professional because they value your expertise. Earn their trust by being transparent about your process and setting realistic expectations.

No one wants to feel like they don’t know what they’re paying for or are being taken advantage of. Prioritizing honesty may even result in losing out on a job from time to time. For instance, you may determine that the project is too large or small in scope for your business and end up referring the customer to another provider. Although passing on the job won’t pad your bottom line in the short-term, customers appreciate honesty and are more likely to remember you when they have another need that your business is a better fit for.

Reasonable rates that are in line with competitors will go a long way toward establishing you and your business as fair and trustworthy. Provide a thorough and detailed budget, and be prepared to answer any questions. Offering financing options through a lender like Ally Lending can help make projects more affordable for homeowners as well.

Always back up your choices with an explanation and evidence. For example, if you prefer to use a more expensive material than the customer requested, explain why it’s a better value in the long run. Also, be sure to efficiently make use of change orders as plans shift throughout the process.

Most people have heard nightmare home improvement stories about a project taking way longer than originally promised. So, when quoting how long you expect a job to take, be as realistic as possible with your estimate.

The worst thing you can do is overpromise and underdeliver. Instead, build a bit of cushion into your timeline so the customer will be pleasantly surprised when the job is done ahead of schedule. You’ll want to be upfront and clear about possible roadblocks that could delay progress, so there are no major surprises when the inevitable snafu pops up.

Treat their house as if it’s yours

The golden rule of treating others as you’d like to be treated definitely applies in the world of home improvement. Remember: You’re working in/on someone’s home, which is often their largest investment and holds a lot of value for their family.

Ask yourself, “Would I want to do this in my home?” Clean up after yourself and be careful to avoid any damage to their home or belongings.

Be respectful of their property, as well as their schedule and needs. Whenever possible, try to honor any special requests and preferences. A customer may ask for an early stopping time to accommodate a napping toddler or to use hypoallergenic products when possible because they have asthma. If they make an ask that just won’t work, remember that honesty is paramount, and be transparent with them about why you can't fulfill their request. Offering an alternative solution is also a surefire way to prove your professionalism and dedication to customer satisfaction.

Make your home improvement services indispensable

Home improvement is important to homeowners, and your services can make all the difference in taking their vision from dream to reality. By embodying the core characteristics that make your business a good investment, you’ll be the contractor of choice again and again.

Ally Lending’s financing solutions enable customers to achieve their home improvement goals without putting a strain on their budget.

Explore Ally's Home Improvement Financing

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