Do You ‘Make a Market’?

It goes without saying that there are many different types of remodeling companies. Here at Qualified Remodeler we tend to think of remodelers in five different groups. There are full-service remodelers: These firms are staffed up and ready to handle a wide spectrum of projects from small repair jobs on up to whole-house renovations. A second group is comprised of design-build remodelers. These firms handle a narrow spectrum of complicated, larger projects from kitchens and baths to gut rehabs. Third, there are kitchen and bath specialists. These firms often have showrooms and focus on finishes and design expertise. Then, there are insurance restoration firms, set up to work with insurance companies to conduct property restoration projects after fires and other disasters. The final group is a vitally important group to our industry and our magazine. They are firms that specialize in windows, roofing, siding, gutters, decks and sunrooms — exterior replacement contractors.

Aside from specializing in one or more exterior renovation types, these firms are usually structured in a different way. They also come from a different tradition. They are set up to market and sell their services in a very sophisticated and deliberate manner. Simply put, they are distinct from all other remodelers because they “make a market,” says longtime industry consultant Dave Yoho of Dave Yoho Associates. The other four types of remodelers tend to “take a market.”

What does it mean to make a market? To keep the phones ringing, exterior contractors spend a greater percentage of their revenue on marketing in order to drive more qualified leads. They quickly set meetings. And they tend to sell jobs during a single, in-person sales presentation. They tend to use a range of marketing venues — from home shows to Google “search terms” — to make their phones ring. And they tend to know the cost of the resulting leads and use that information to steer clear of lead sources that are too expensive. They do this in order to better marshal finite resources around those lead sources that tend to work best. In recessionary times, it is tougher to make the phone ring. But the disciplines of making a market offer the opportunity to thrive regardless of the type of firm you operate.

You may have seen our Exterior Contractor section over the past several years. Filled with marketing and sales ideas, Exterior Contractor runs six times each year within the pages of this magazine. During the first six months of 2010, we will also be offering great, live content in the form of six educational opportunities via ExteriorContractor.com. Sponsored by MarketSharp, this series features leaders like Dave Yoho and his colleague Brian Smith, who addresses

“The Science of In-Home Selling” on February 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Other Webinars will address the opportunities offered by a potential home-weatherization program now being proposed by the president (Jan. 27) as well as the requirements of the new EPA rules regarding testing for lead-based paint (March 24).

Make a market for your company in 2010. We want to help. Go to www.exteriorcontractor.com/webinars2010 to learn more and to register.

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