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What the Most Successful Remodelers are Doing Right Now

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What the Most Successful Remodelers are Doing Right Now

Industry advisor Mark Richardson shares the answers to his three most asked questions: What's the remodeling market like? What are other remodelers doing? How do I measure up?


By Mark Richardson June 6, 2024
mark richardson

There are three questions I consistently hear from remodelers of all shapes and sizes: “Mark, what are you seeing out there?” “What are others doing?” And for those who really want to improve, “How do we measure up?”

While there’s depth to each question, below are the high-level ideas relevant to your world, business, and market.

 

What am I seeing out there?

Overall things are fine—a little wonky and inconsistent, but the fundamentals are fine.

  • Higher interest rates for remodeling are a double-edged sword. 
  • Eighty percent of remodeling projects are paid in cash. Most homeowners with a 3% mortgage rather keep it than move. 
  • Plus, COVID-19 made people value their homes more than ever. 
  • The supply of new homes is less than the demand, making homes appreciate and continue to be a good place to plant funds. 
  • The average project size for most has remained the same or increased a little, which is a good leading indicator. 
  • Lead flow is down a little for some and there is more mystery in what marketing strategies work today versus the past. 
  • While labor remains an active focus, the challenge of hiring talent has dropped.

 

What are others doing?

The best of the best put more energy and time into these three things:

1. Client Acquisition

There’s more money, creativity, and time focused on marketing. Leads are the fuel that creates clients, projects, and revenue. 

In a less wonky time, this might be 5 to 10% of a leader’s energy. Today, marketing needs to be 10 to 20% of a leader’s energy. 

For the best marketing, lead generation has become a team sport, not just an expense. This is a top priority.

2. Sales Training and Leadership

The selling environment has changed. While 90% of the sales techniques and skills are the same, there are nuances today (like controlling the client, creating urgency, handling escalating costs, and deeper client relationships) that need to be mastered. 

The best of the best double down on sales training and more simulations. 

Leveraging technology to monitor sales behavior is a priority. Sales data is more important than ever to get one more lead out of 10 leads to turn into a sale.

3. Operational Excellence

If you don’t have your act together, it is hard to focus on tweaking and improving.

It’s critical to ensure the right people, processes, and accountabilities are in place. Most of the best also really appreciate the collaboration of a face-to-face office but balance high tech and high touch. 

Leaders who make sure the business avoids potholes and always look to improve things, even just by a little, make a big difference.

I don’t have a crystal ball nor do I think there is a simple magic pill, but I do believe that your success and failure today is up to you. It is a choice.

How do we measure up? 

While there are many variables to this question, a few common denominators are…

About 20 to 30% of the remodeling businesses I know are doing very well (ahead of 2024 targets). 

About 10 to 20% struggle (at least 20% below targets). 

And about 50 to 60% are fine (hitting roughly where they wanted to be). 

One big common denominator between those who struggle or do well is that the struggling companies blame their struggles on the economy, price escalation, labor market, and supply issues. 

The ones that are in the top tier acknowledge it’s tough out there, but tweak their strategies, invest in training and their people, get innovative with new processes, and, overall, work harder.

 

I don’t have a crystal ball nor do I think there is a simple magic pill, but I do believe that your success and failure today is up to you. It is a choice.

You can choose to:

Watch it happen and be on the sideline, not getting dirty on the field.

Wonder what happened, be like a deer in a headlight, and hope the car does not hit you.

Or:

Make it happen, rally the team, get clarity on priorities, sharpen your axe with training, and realize that what you do is important, but it is hard work.

 


written by

Mark Richardson

Contributor

Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com or 301.275.0208.


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