For many remodelers a lot of time is tied up in waiting for homeowners to call. Even if you’re actively marketing and networking, you’re still waiting for homeowners to seek you out. Veteran remodeler turned consultant Dave Lupberger wants to change that: “We’ve lived with a reactive business model; the homeowner calls and we come,” Lupberger says. “Let’s create a proactive business model. We call and we come.”
When your 401(k) is tanking, you call your financial adviser. For many people, a home is their largest financial asset. Yet where is the adviser helping to maintain that investment? Therein lies the premise behind Lupberger’s Home Asset Management Program (HAMP), a tool he says can help remodelers to change behaviors.
“I now position myself as a resource,” says Milt Rye, owner of Ethan Home Repair, in Everett, Wash., who uses HAMP with existing clients. “I look at vitals and check that systems are working properly ... see what’s going to happen down the road.” Using HAMP’s checklists, Rye helps clients prioritize projects, scheduling, and costs. He is able to bundle and schedule projects at his own pace.
Like Rye, Billy Webb, owner of Dandy Handymen Remodeling, a full-service company in Roanoke, Va., contacted existing clients. He also has approached insurance agents, several of whom include his brochure in their mailings. Realtors are another good connection. Webb creates a quarterly maintenance program with clients and plans to hire a full-time person just for HAMP projects.
PAY IT FORWARD
Relationship-based selling is not new, and most remodelers do small jobs for existing clients, but HAMP (about a $600 investment) formalizes the activity and includes consulting. “HAMP offers a series of questions, lays out the various meetings, and gives a specific plan for those meetings,” says Paul Sanneman, founder of Dream Business Coaching, who helped Lupberger develop HAMP. (It doesn’t cover energy audits, but users are encouraged to partner with auditors.)
All the information goes into a “Home Asset Notebook.” Lupberger envisions remodelers having “50 of these books on their shelves, representing a half-million dollars worth of work each year.” And when a client sells the home, the information can be passed to the new owner.
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.