How To Promote A Home Improvement Business

Home improvement businesses face a unique challenge in marketing themselves to potential customers.

Businesses offering services like loft conversions, double glazing, conservatories, landscaping, kitchens and bathrooms face widespread competition, some of it from larger retailers which can offer low prices thanks to greater economies of scale.

At the other end of the market, less reputable businesses can damage the reputation of the home improvement sector through poor workmanship or unethical marketing practices like cold calling.

Marketing channels available to home improvement businesses are often costly and hard to measure, such as local press or phone directory advertising.

Yet the effort in marketing can be worthwhile, with a typically high average spend per successful order. So how can a home improvement business stand out from the crowd, whilst achieving a good return on its marketing investment?

Direct marketing tools and methods can often offer the answer. Because it’s more measurable than other marketing methods, direct marketing is more measurable and it can be targeted more closely to those potential consumers most likely to buy your home improvement services.

Here are some of the ways in which direct marketing can help:

1. Planning

Before any direct marketing campaign you have to carry out some planning. For a home improvement business this can involve analysing your existing customers to see what they have in common. Using tools like Easycheck list profiling software (www.selectabase.co.uk/i-have-a-list/easycheck) you can discover more about your customer’s interests, likes, dislikes and lifestyle just from their postcode. Also look at there they are based and what type of home they live in, to help identify potential markets.

Once you’ve analysed your existing customers you can put them into different groups, or segments, and then prioritise which groups are of most importance to you.

For example, if you are a landscaper, you might want to target properties in local areas that you know have larger sized gardens. Double glazing companies may want to target homeowners in coastal or exposed areas, where their properties are more likely to suffer from the elements. Loft conversion or conservatory companies could target growing families likely to need more living space.

2. Direct Mail

Once you’ve identified your target segment, or segments, you can source lists of more people of the same type.

There are numerous reputable mailing lists available that you can select data from. For example the Consumer Profiles list (www.selectabase.co.uk/lists/consumer/) which allows you to target potential customers by lifestyle, Silver Prospects (www.selectabase.co.uk/ppc/grey-market-silver-prospects-list.aspx) is a specialist list of retired older people, and Recently Moved (www.selectabase.co.uk/recentlymoved/) provides a monthly list of people who’ve just moved into your local area.

Mail these lists with a good quality mailer, personalised to each person, explaining clearly why you are approaching them and the benefits of what you have to offer; price, service, testimonials, knowledge etc. Include a clear call to action and offer a no hassle free quotation.

Mailings can also be used successfully to drive traffic to your website, where people can see more about your business and obtain a quote online.

3. Telemarketing

Unsolicited telemarketing, or cold calling as its also known, has done much to tarnish the reputation of the home improvement industry.

However if you have your own list of leads, enquiries or prospects that you plan to phone, you can do so as long as you check each number first to see if it is registered with the Telephone Preference Service. You can check numbers as you go using an online service like www.selectabase.co.uk/1check/ or you can clean your list each month using software like Easycheck.

Also, it is completely acceptable to follow up a mailing to a rented list with a brief courtesy call asking if the homeowner received the information and if it was of interest. If it’s bought from a reputable source, your list will have been screened against the TPS just before you buy it.

It’s worth spending time briefing the person who makes the call to make sure they have good product knowledge and know how they should represent your business.

Summary
In summary, direct marketing methods provide great opportunities for home improvement businesses to identify and target relevant potential customers on an individual basis, without the interference of competitor’s messages that you find with press advertising.

Results can be measured precisely, and the results used to guide future mailings or campaigns. And if direct marketing is carried out in a high quality and reputable way, consumers will see that your home improvement business is going to provide a high quality service.

Tips For Getting A Home Improvement Loan Grant

Living on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t improve your home. A home improvement loan grant from the government may be the perfect solution and most American citizens are eligible to apply for one. Here are a few tips for getting a home improvement loan grant from the government that you should keep in mind.

Some home improvement loan grants are based on income level and ability to qualify for a loan. Many low income families may meet this qualification. Other grants may be based on geographical location and many times rural locations are given preferential treatment. Some home improvement loan grants require that you own your home and that you will not be selling it for a minimum of three years. Elderly home owners may qualify easily if their home needs improvements or renovations to adapt the home to a medical condition. Always read the qualifications of the grant for which you are applying to save yourself time, effort and unnecessary paperwork. You don’t want to apply for a grant if you don’t meet the basic qualifications.

Some grants require that the home improvement to be done be in a certain area of the home or that the improvement is designated to a certain aspect of the home. A valid reason must be given for the home improvement in question. Home improvement loan grants for the elderly are a good example of a valid reason to do a home improvement. Other valid reasons for receiving a home improvement loan grant may include making your home more energy efficient or to have old and dangerous construction supplies such as lead paint or asbestos removed from your home.

Find a grant for which you feel you have the best chance of qualifying. There tend to be many rules and regulations for compliance, but following those application rules to the letter will ensure you the best possible opportunity for receiving your home improvement loan grant. If you have questions concerning the application process, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the appropriate governmental agency or local government.

One useful tool is a grant guide that can be borrowed from the library or purchased from your local bookstore or through the internet. A grant guide will give detailed instructions and information about home improvement loan grants, but it will also give you ideas of other grants for which you may qualify. In order to make the most from your grant guide purchase, be sure to buy the most current copy available as they may be updated every 6 to 12 months.

These tips for getting a home improvement loan grant could have you well on your way to the home improvements you want or need to make. Although grants are free money and do not require repayment, you can’t afford to be sloppy with the application process. Attention to detail is vital. Most home improvement loan grants don’t require contracts like loan companies do, but thoughtful and careful documentation is necessary for success. Be confident, plan carefully and a home improvement loan grant could be in your future.

Tips To Find The Best Home Builder For You

Building our own home is an exciting process. Many people are looking for the potential Perth Hills Home Builders available to them that can deliver their home to the highest quality and in the best possible time frame. When it comes to custom home builders, it’s a lot more difficult to find a good Home Builder. Most custom builders don’t have display homes for analysis, so what are your options then?

There are a number of ways home buyers can find their custom home builder. Observe what is going on around their neighborhood and write down details of builders who may be building in their suburb, speak with friends or family about their experience or do what a lot of people try to do, search the internet for them.

You’ve done your research, and you’re convinced that you want a Custom Builder for your new home. But now you are overwhelmed by how many small to medium sized builders there are! Here are some tips to find an ideal builder for you.

Use the internet to make a shortlist-Restrict your search to builders who work in your general area, who are familiar with your land. Search for builders in the town you wish to build in, and other similar fringes. You want to find a builder who understands the soil and geology. Not only will they build your home more effectively, they will also be able to give you precise estimate of site costs.

Write your requirements down-Like where are you located, in what city or regional area? What is the terrain where you looking to build? Do you have a specific block in mind? What is the slope is it from front to back, from left to right? What home do you envision? How many living areas, bedrooms and garage spaces? The more specific you are, more they can do better.

Consider budget-Most of us have budget limits, and need some indication of costs before you hire any builder to build home. Ask the Perth Hills Home Builders enlisted by you to provide an initial quote based on your block and the home you envision. Builders should have list of experienced and exciting designers to match your vision and budget.

Look at the testimonials on a builder’s website, and ask to speak to their references. There is no better indicator of what your experience will be than asking previous clients the following questions: Did the builder completed the job on time?

How did the builder tackle problems? There will always be something that doesn’t go as planned. A good builder also needs to be an instructor. If they keep the client well informed as to how things are going, a lot of stress is dispelled.

Building a home should be one of the most exciting times of anyone’s life, yet many people will say it was one of the most traumatic. But, it will really be a positive experience if the builder is doing their job well.

Home Improvement Tips To Help Sell Your Home

If you are a total layperson as far as home improvement is concerned, then you should hire help or enlist friends if you’re tackling areas where it does make a difference how you get the job done. Simple home improvement projects like painting can be attempted by everyone as the worst you can do is a patchy job that can be painted over.

Have Realistic Time, Money and Expertise Expectations – If you want to replicate a room that you have seen on Trading Spaces or Design on a Dime, get the inspiration but keep your expectations in check.

The people behind the work in such shows are experts; professionals in their field with years of experience. They can do things faster and better than an average person and if things go wrong, they also know how to make them right. When planning home improvement projects, keep your expectations real as far as budget and time considerations go as well.

The designers on the show often get great discounts from others in the business as they need the promotion on popular television shows. Plus, they often accessorize rooms with flea market finds and things picked up at garage sales. You could strike gold too, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Home improvement shows boast of the latest faux paint techniques and the hottest colors for the season. However, the green you like for your master bedroom may not appeal to prospective homeowners. If you do have hot pink bedroom walls for your daughter, tone them down or make them neutral as well. This is because new owners may not have a daughter who will use that room and they may want to move in to something that requires minimum effort.

The designers on the show are experts themselves plus they have a lot of help from back up crew and the like so they can delegate tasks and get more done in less time.

What You Can Do On Your Own – There are things shown on home improvement shows that you can easily replicate like rearranging your furniture, de-cluttering and even painting so don’t give up a home improvement project just because you can’t compete with the pros. However, assess your strengths and keep a plan B in mind. For instance, while you are redoing your kitchen, factor in the cost of eating out for all the days that the floor is ripped out and the appliances unusable.

Go through the entire home and toss, donate or store anything you do not need immediately. This will free up walking space, wall space, counter space and the like and prospective owners will feel they are getting more footage for their dollar. If there are pieces you can not part with, hold them in a separate storage area not your garage or basement. Then if you still feel they are important, bring them back in your new home.

Get Approved For A Bad Credit Home Improvement Loan

Home improvement projects are wonderful, but can quickly become expensive. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when planning home improvements. In some situations, contracting the services of professionals, buying tools and supplies are necessary for completion. There can be a strong inclination to withdraw from your personal savings for home improvements, especially if there is a large repair involved that is an absolute necessity. This can lead to a strain a family’s financial security. If this is the case, you might want to try to get approved for a bad credit home improvement loan.

Making home improvements are one way to increase the appraisal value of your house. However, if your have a bad credit history, your chances for loan approval will certainly decrease. Banks and other financial lenders take your credit history into consideration when trying to get approved for any type of home improvement loan. The lower your credit score, the more difficulty you will have in obtaining a home improvement loan.

Even though this is not encouraging news, don’t give up just yet! You may still be able to qualify for some types of bad credit home improvement loans. Lenders do exist that are willing to approve home improvement loans for persons with a bad credit history, however, possessing sufficient equity in your home will likely be a major requirement.

Unfortunately, bad credit home improvement loans have higher interest rates. But there is a bright side, because if scheduled loan payments are made on time, the credit rating of the borrower will increase provided there are no other negative factors affecting the credit score. After a period of 12 to 24 months of timely payments, you may be able to refinance your bad credit home improvement loan for a lower interest rate.

Here are some excellent tips on ways to get approved for a bad credit home improvement loan and get the lowest possible interest rate for your current credit score:

1. Research
Take time to research your available options. Knowing your options will be a large help when it comes to finding the lowest possible interest rates on a bad credit home improvement loan.

2. Recommendations
Talk to other people who may have gone through the bad credit home improvement loan approval process. Recommendations from friends or co-workers could save you hours worth of your own research time. You may get information from people who have completed the process that you might not learn otherwise.

3. Multiple Lender Quote Comparison
Always get more than one lender quote. You should compare home improvement loan quotations from no less than three or four lenders before attempting to make a decision.

4. Good Rapport
Contact the lenders with which you think you have the best chance of getting an approval for a bad credit home improvement loan. Once a good relationship has been established, lenders may be more likely to give you a lower interest rate.

Improving your credit score as much as possible before you apply for a loan is the best way to get approved for a bad credit home improvement loan. Your bad credit home improvement loan should be seen as an opportunity to both increase the value of your home as well as improve your credit score in the future.