Property Brothers, House Hunters Renovation, Renovation Realities, House Crashers, Fixer Upper — do you know these reality shows? Whether you watch them or not, they’re having an impact on our industry.
Television channels, such as HGTV and DIY Network, have made home renovations a popular idea. If you haven’t ever tuned in, the gist of these shows is that the homeowners usually have a situation they’re not happy with and they would like a change. They want a remodel; they want new things; they want something different.
In 2015, the DIY Network had more than 60 million subscribers, and Home and Garden TV (HGTV) had nearly 95 million. Pinterest, a popular website for DIY home improvement, currently has 291 million active users. Now, not all of your customers watch these channels or use these types of websites, but lots of your customers are in those numbers somewhere — you can be sure of that.
All these numbers tell us that consumers are researching. They’ve recognized they want something and they’re looking at how they can make it happen. That “I want” is a powerful thing.
Here’s where we come in: I’ve seen a lot of articles on HGTV.com about how to select a contractor. These articles tell readers to look for contractors who are similar to the ones the channel has on its shows. Many of these shows feature full remodels, but that’s fine if that’s not what you do. You can still give them one or a few specific elements of what remodeling customers want — you don’t have to give them a full remodel.
The customers who want these things might not be like your average customer. HGTV viewers tend to be female, around middle age and making more money than average. But if you’ve seen the shows and you have a general understanding of their typical viewers, all you have to do to avoid missing a sales opportunity during a job is to inquire!
It’s as simple as asking what the customer likes or dislikes or whether they’re thinking of making any changes. Then, you can find out if these ideas for changes stem from something that was seen on TV and connect over the fact that you or someone in your life watches home improvement shows, too.
I’ve seen some negative reactions online from contractors about home renovation shows. Here are the top three perceived obstacles, as well as some ways you can easily overcome them:
“These shows make it look too simple — my customers will be angry that I need more time to complete the job.”
You’re a professional — it’s part of your job to explain to your customers what you will be doing in their home. Explaining the realities of your work is the first step to clearing any objections they may have about the time issue.
“The products on those shows and that customers request only come from big-name advertisers, and they’re not as good as the ones I want to use.”
I’ve seen the brand names (who are advertisers) on these shows, and even though we don’t always see these things as quality, you should also be able to explain to the customer why the product you want to use is better than what they’re seeing on TV.
Confusion and anger come from the customer being left in the dark.
“The contractors on these shows are extremely professional, and we’re just never all going to be on that level.”
I get it: TV contractors are going the extra mile. They’re using technology, they’re excellent consultants, and they have lots of empathy. They’re incredible… almost to the point of not being believable.
But when the customers expect this kind of service, they better get it, or they’re not going to hire you to do any piece of whatever it is they might want. But you know what? I believe you and your team can be this good.
You can have a positive outlook about home improvement shows or a negative one. But we can’t argue with the “want” factor these shows create. These wants are emotional. We don’t have to take advantage of this — the customers will! When it comes to home improvement show viewers as customers, you have an opportunity to help realize someone’s dreams and give them something they wish they had. Don’t miss it.