In 2016 “Consumer Specialists” (www.consumerspecialists.com) completed an update to extensive research on the Changing Approaches to Home Improvement they began in 2006. I wanted to review the findings of this research to validate and update the marketing and sales recommendations presented at the HMI Discovery and Training Seminar. For me the key is/ was to identify what is changing. I was most surprised! After review I came away with 3 thoughts.
- There is a massive generation shift taking place. The market is evolving where Millennial’s and Generation X buyers are dwarfing the traditional sweet spot of Baby Boomers and they are spending MORE!
- Online presence is becoming more and more important since Generation X and Millennial buyers are more comfortable in this environment. However, although everyone is influenced by price, younger generations are increasingly influenced by style, appearance and “how things look.”
- HMI is directionally influencing the correct things for its customers:
- Investment in strong/powerful Internet presence featuring video for clear understanding of how.
- Levering Estimate Rocket, which beyond efficiency, creates a professional/contemporary image of your company as being: differentiated, tech savvy, efficient and focused on e-mail communication.
- Levering references and referrals since “birds of a feather flock together!”
Time has created a massive population shift.
MILLENNIAL GENERATION (Born 1981-1987: Ages 18-34) – NOW 83.1 MILLION
GENERATION X (Born 1965-1980: Ages 35 -50) – NOW 66.2 MILLION
BABY BOOMERS (Born 1946 -1964: Ages 51 -69) – NOW 75.4 MILLION
- 56% have done home improvement projects in the last year
- Online research is the #1 source of information
- Looking for information on style and appearance
- Looking for the “Latest Thing”
- 72% have done home improvement projects in the last year
- Second Highest Spending level for home improvement of all generations
- Immersed Online in research of alternatives far beyond Baby Boomers
- Top Issues are Cost and “HOW”
MILLINEALS (This may shock you!)
- Most Active (75%) in doing home improvement projects.
- Most extensive contractor use of all generations. (NOT DIY’ers and want things RIGHT)
- Highest Level of Home Improvement Spending.
- Internet Researchers but heavily influenced by referrals and references.
- Top Issues are cost, how and STYLE/APPEARANCE!
The market is changing dramatically as generational shifts unfold before us and with them comes differing buying influences. It is important that each concrete repair contractor evaluate the uniqueness of their individual market. The generational population dominance varies dramatically by geographic market and each entrepreneur must taper their marketing and sales focus accordingly.
In the end two things are worth remembering and focusing on:
- Irrespective of generation Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs influences/rules. (https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html) After basic needs of life sustaining sustenance everyone is looking for safety. Safety in removal of trip hazards and safety of retaining a contractor who will perform, on time, on price and minimize risks to other property.
- Image and Appearance Count and is becoming increasingly important! It may be worth doing an audit of your customer contact processes which influence the buying decision:
- How does your web site look? Does it include video? When was last time it was updated?
- Who answers your phone and exactly what is being said?
- What information does a person receive in advance of an estimate experience?
- What is your estimator driving? What is your estimator wearing? What does your estimate look like and how is it delivered?
- What is the follow-up schedule post the estimate?
Paul DelFino is a principal of the consulting firm Opportunity Inc. For over two decades he has assisted entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, responding to economic downturns and merger and acquisition activity. He has consulted with HMI and RaiseRite for over 17 years. His publications include “Avoiding Skewed Entrepreneurial Strategies” available from all on line booksellers.