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Remodeling activity could fluctuate, improved customer service can bolster local businesses

Posted on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 2:38:21 PM

The last few months have experienced strong gains in home remodeling interest, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. However, momentum is expected to slow down toward the end of 2014, returning to normal levels last noted prior to the Great Recession. If you work closely with homeowners interested in spending home improvement financing over the next several months, this could impact your business.

In order to ensure you get the most out of each new client, Home Loan Investment Banks' Brian Harvey recently took the time to provide some insights into the remodeling and customer service process.

"Many homeowners seek home improvements without a great knowledge of the projects they are pursuing," he explained. "Understanding your customers' expectations and building their confidence is a great opportunity to earn their trust and their business."

For example, Harvey noted several occasions during the consultation when you can educate and inform your customer. These include offering a sample schedule of when the project will start, stating early on how long it will take and setting a completion date. Any resources and sample materials will also prove helpful, such as literature and online links.  

"Show your knowledge by taking the time to explain the differences in materials and techniques and provide comparisons to previous projects similar to theirs that you have completed," Harvey stated. "And, based on your experience, review why you are providing those recommendations. By setting a customer's expectations high and then exceeding those expectations you can earn more business from them and employ them in recruiting additional business. Employing past customers for testimonials for your website and portfolio is a valuable tool for showcasing your work. Do not hesitate to ask for referrals from their friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers."

When targeting marketing toward clients with home improvement financing to use, don't forget about word of mouth advertising. Harvey recommended registering with Yelp and Angie's List, as well as other similar sites.

"Long term success is not built on selling one job at a time, but by developing a rapport with your existing client base so that when they need that next project done or they get asked for a recommendation you and your company are the first they think of," he concluded.