5 Ways to Attract More Clients to Your Renovation Business
Find out what homeowners are looking for when hiring a design professional for their project
By far the biggest factor for homeowners when hiring a pro is whether they have good reviews or recommendations, according to 2022’s UK Houzz & Home Study. In fact, 73% of respondents said reviews were very important for their choice of service provider.
To encourage clients to leave a review on your website or Houzz profile, Jessica Spencer of My Bespoke Room advises you give them enough time to digest the results and ask any questions first. “Equally,” she says, “don’t leave it too long – you want to catch them at that point when they’re ecstatic about the results and it’s fresh in their minds.”
Natasha Burton of NB Interiors UK says she follows up two weeks after the first request. “If clients don’t leave a review, I do chase them a couple of weeks later and kindly mention that, if they have time, it would greatly benefit me and give confidence to future potential clients,” she says.
It seems cost is a major factor when choosing a professional, with 68% of respondents saying that it was important a quote was priced within their budget.
Addressing pricing head-on rather than skirting around the subject is key, particularly in the current climate, with challenges around material costs and supply chains.
“I think it’s always best to be clear from the very first conversation, follow up in writing and highlight you’re happy to have a conversation to discuss, should they wish,” interior designer Caroline Nicholls of Slightly Quirky says. “Communication both ways is the key.”
Good communication and organisation skills are a deal-breaker for many homeowners. In fact, 49% of the Houzz & Home Study respondents said this was important for their choice of professional. With this in mind, it pays to show off these skills at an early stage in the sales process.
Naomi Starr of Naomi Starr Interior Design & Property Stylist recommends contacting leads quickly to demonstrate that you’re efficient and organised.
“In the past, I haven’t always been able to contact leads immediately – quite often this has been up to a week after the enquiry has been made,” she says. “It’s very rare for me to convert a lead or enquiry if I haven’t contacted them on the same day or the day after.
“I now have a process in place to make one point of contact with the lead within 24 hours and to follow up with a phone call as early as possible to find out more information about the services they require,” she says. “This has been extremely successful.”
Homeowners want to know you’ve carried out similar projects to their own, according to the Houzz & Home Study respondents. For 48%, experience with projects of a similar scope was important, while 31% said they would choose someone with experience of projects in a similar style to their own.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to show your previous work is through imagery. A huge 89% of the survey respondents said they use Houzz for inspiration, by browsing photos for instance. So it pays to invest in good photography and frequently update your Houzz profile, website and social media platforms with new projects.
The efficiency and accuracy of an estimate or proposal can play a huge role in bagging you that job. 36% of our survey respondents said a bid that’s easy to understand influences their choice of pro, while 28% placed importance on the speed of receiving a proposal, quote or estimate.
You can make this process faster by using templates for your estimates. The US-based staircase-maker, Chris Hebert of Advanced Millworks, for example, created his own spreadsheets in Google Sheets for different aspects of building a staircase, and fills in specific details for each project.
It took Chris eight months to build these spreadsheets, so for a quicker option, US-based Francisco Gomez-Palacio Jr of Integrated Home Improvement uses the Houzz Pro Estimate Builder tool to create estimates. He can easily select line items to include, preview the estimate, export it as a PDF and send it to the client. “It’s really fast doing it the way I do it,” he says.
Which of these tips is most effective for your business when finding new clients? Share your thoughts in the Comments.