Juggling New Customers When Your Work Schedule Is Full

7/19/2021
As home sales continue to climb, plumbers and HVAC professionals can expect to have their calendars full of remodels and upgrades throughout 2021. However, high home prices may mean new homeowners have inherited outdated kitchens, bathrooms, and HVAC systems for longer than they expected.

As a plumber or HVAC professional who does remodeling work, you have a tremendous opportunity to become the go-to person for these new homeowners... but only if you schedule intentionally. It's easy to pass up small jobs and repairs in favor of expensive remodels, especially if you're short-staffed. However, creating a connection with new homeowners now can ensure you're their first call when they're ready to renovate.
 

Here's how you can build your client roster, even when you're super busy.

 

Why Even More Homeowners May Need Your Services in 2021

Many plumbers and HVAC professionals are reaping the benefits of a hot remodeling market. As Americans spent months homebound during COVID-19, they became aware of all the nagging issues that bother them about their homes.

For some, less time out of the home means more money saved and available for renovations. It's no wonder the remodeling industry is expected to be worth about $352 billion in 2021.

New homeowners—especially those who are new to your area—are looking for professionals they can build lasting relationships with. And they may need your help with plumbing or HVAC upgrades sooner than you think. 

In June 2020, 20% of buyers waived a home inspection to strengthen their offers. Waiving home inspections has become "normal," as the housing market grows increasingly more competitive. Many of these homeowners may discover unexpected issues in their HVAC and plumbing systems, even if they intended to hold off on remodeling. Working with these clients on small projects, like replacing a faucet or an HVAC inspection, may mean you gain a valuable customer for years to come.

The Surprising ROI and LTV of Taking on Smaller Projects in 2021

While a $200 job may seem tough to prioritize when your schedule is full, that customer's lifetime value could be even more valuable than a single renovation! While the return on investment may seem low now, quick HVAC or plumbing upgrades can turn a repeat customer in the near future.

If you aren't already, now is the time to keep track of your average customer lifetime value (LTV). This data can provide new insights that can justify your marketing investments or show when it's time to hire a new employee. Here's how you can calculate your average LTV and see how much a customer is worth to your company. 

Once you see how much every lead is worth, smaller plumbing upgrades or HVAC upgrades for new clients take on even more value. But, how do you manage more work when you're already booked every day?

Managing Big Projects and Small Jobs Simultaneously

There's no way around it: Remodeling jobs take a lot of time and resources. When you're looking at multiple prebooked projects that take days or weeks, a late-night toilet repair or a run-of-the-mill air conditioning tune-up can seem like a waste of time, even with your customer LTV numbers in mind.

Even if small jobs don't come with a big payday, prioritizing regular work alongside bigger projects can poise your company for more projects down the line. Plus, even if you have a strong, preexisting client base, an influx of home purchases in your area may mean you end up getting fewer calls than you expect, as existing clients move away.

One or two small jobs a week can quickly add value over time. Schedule an hour each morning to reserve for smaller jobs and new customers. Creating dedicated time blocks in your calendar specifically for new clients can help you keep growing your books without compromising the work you're already doing. Plus, intentionally scheduling time for new customers ensures you don't unintentionally commit to more work than you can handle.

You may also consider expanding your business and offering emergency services if you have the staff to handle late-night or weekend work. The busy season is a great time to start expanding your offerings and notifying homeowners in your community that you're available, even without spending money on marketing.

If you aren't available to help every customer who contacts you, answering phone calls and responding to messages quickly can keep you on a new homeowner's radar. Providing exceptional customer service is a great way to set yourself apart from other service providers in your area.

How to Reach New Clients Who Need Upgrades

When you already have enough work to sustain your business, running marketing campaigns isn't the best use of your time and money. If your phone isn't already ringing with new opportunities, how can you bring more your way?

One way to find new customers is to keep track of home sales in your neighborhood. Once the "For Sale" sign comes down, drop off a postcard with your business information a few weeks later. After homeowners have moved in and unpacked, they'll be ready to think about what services you could offer them.

When you're working on renovations, ask your customers if anyone has recently moved into the neighborhood. Then ask if they'd be willing to recommend your services to their new neighbors. This is a smart way to make your current, heavy workload provide even more value. Offering a discount on their current project can incentivize your customers to share your services with others nearby.

Don't wait until you have new customers to block off an hour in your schedule. Once you block off time on your calendar, take that time to knock on a new homeowner's door and introduce yourself. This is the perfect opportunity to have newer employees work on their customer service skills and make your business a fixture in the community.

Be a Proudly Essential Pro in Your Community

At MORSCO, we know how critical Proudly Essential Pros are to their neighbors. In fact, you're so essential that your calendar is full! Still, taking on new clients now can prepare you when the slow season starts.

Expanding your business doesn't have to be overwhelming. With these tips, you can support new homeowners and become even more essential in your community.