Qualified Remodeler Magazine

FEB 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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IF YOU could look into a crystal ball to foresee the future of remodel- ing businesses, what do you think you would see? How might various processes or client interactions look different in five years? And which innovations may be available or in the pipeline that could im- pact or even evolve steps along the way? What role might technology play in bringing about ad- vancements to business processes? Clearly, there are many questions about the future of remodeling. And while there are several industry forecasts for remodeling market condi- tions—such as the NAHB's Remodeling Market Index and the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University's Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity—we turned to you, our read- ers, seeking answers to a few questions about the future of remodeling processes. The results for our "Remodel of the Future" survey show 89 percent of participants anticipate that five years from now business process—such as sales, design and project management—will be simplified and/or made more efficient by business technology advancements. In fact, the top-ranking area of the remodeling process survey respondents believe will undergo the most significant change in the next five years is estimating/bidding. Design processes and customer relationship management were ranked the next highest, respectively. "It's a conversation we could have all day or even multiple days, because the reality is that ev- erything is going to change. Everything the way we know it is going to change, and it should because the model that we have is so archaic it's rife for complete disruption," says Larry Green, CEO of System Pavers in Santa Ana, California. "When you think about the process of home remodeling, the model—whereby salespeople have to spend half their time in the car to go and visit customers, sort of assess the site, measure, design and quote the project—that is inefficient and, therefore, is going to change very, very quickly." For Green, the future starts now as his company begins to implement changes to its lead generation and sales processes. When it comes to marketing, he notes he is looking for what's unique or different, or what gets a client to respond, and he references the notion of going "viral" by gaining traction on social media. "If we can drive value through the process of technology then that's a great story for the customer, or if you can drive really cool experiences, that's a really great marketing an- gle as well," Green says. "An example, I believe our sweet spot in future-forward design will be done using virtual reality. Well, that means I can design every household's backyard in America by pushing a button; and if I can send you a marketing campaign that says, 'Hey, I've already designed your backyard. Do you want to see it?' or 'Here's a before of your house. Do you want to see the aƁer?' That's compelling. "I think there's the way people consume and the way they respond, and the internet is going to keep driving that. But I think it's just a dif- ferent way of doing things; it just creates more opportunities, a more fun, custom experience. And I think that's where opportunities come from for lead generation," he continues. "We are working on issues of remote presentations. We've seen that by doing web-based consulta- tions, utilizing the data that's out there for the entire design and sales process, it becomes less invasive for the client. Using this method, we're seeing closing rates jump up by 40 or 50 percent. And we're seeing ticket price jump up also by, I would say, 25 or 30 percent, sometimes even a little more. Because we've discovered the way to do this, it immediately opens us up for the ability to scale the whole sales part of the process across the country." In an industry where referrals are still oƁen the bread-and-butter of lead generation, Elliott Pike, GBAHB Master Remodeler, CGR, CAPS, manag- ing member of ELM Construction in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, observes the methodology has changed. "Our biggest source of leads is through referral, and it used to be, even just a few years ago, 'You did our cousin's neighbor's kitchen and they were happy with it, so we wanted to call.' And it's still the same thing, but now it's through things like Remodelers are tasked with seeing and delivering their vision for the home as they undertake a client's project. What could their business be with the help of new technology and process advancements such as online sales, virtual reality or even robotics? by Kacey Larsen EARLY ADOPTER OF NEW BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY? MORE EFFICIENT PROCESSES FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? Survey results show that 89 percent of respondents anticipate business processes will become simplified by advancements in business technol- ogies within the next five years, yet only 61 percent indicate they consid- er themselves to be "early adopters" of new business technologies. 2019 Qualified Remodeler Remodel of the Future Survey YES 61% YES 89% NO 39% NO 11% QualifiedRemodeler.com February 2019 25

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