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Educate Customers about DIY Risks & Make the Case for Hiring Your Business

Educate Customers about DIY Risks & Make the Case for Hiring Your Business

Tuesday, June 30, 2015/Categories: Running a Construction Business

Home remodeling or repair projects are steadily on the rise, and most folks who pursue these projects aren't looking to move. In fact, according to the 2014 Houzz and Home Survey, 66 percent of US homeowners who are remodeling plan to stay in their home for the long term. Even those who prefer to move say remodeling their home makes more economic sense.

In keeping with the trend toward economic savings, the past few years have also seen an increase in do-it-yourself (DIY) house repairs and revamps, even though the Houzz and Home survey states homeowners struggle with:

  • Finding the right products (39 percent).
  • Defining their style (28 percent).
  • Educating themselves (22 percent).

So we have three major factors in play here: homeowners want to stay at their current home, they want to save money through DIY fixes and remodels, but they also have a hard time figuring out what to do. If they try to fix things on their own, they could inadvertently waste a lot of time and money.

Want to Boost Construction Revenue? Customer Education Is Key

Your sales and marketing strategy probably already makes a good case for hiring your construction business. Chances are you have an online portfolio full of before-and-after photos that invites viewers to imagine what magic you could work on their homes.

But there's another facet of your marketing to develop if you're going to win over stubborn clients who think they can do it all themselves. By educating them about some of the risks associated with DIY projects, you subtly make a case for hiring your business.

For example, your website and marketing materials might highlight that DIY projects can expose homeowners to:

  • Mold. If a property has severe water damage or humidity levels, removing cabinets or opening walls may reveal years of mold growth. Once exposed, that mold can be easily aerosolized and lead to health complications. Learn more about that in this mold remediation guide by the National Institute of Building Sciences.
  • Asbestos. Older building materials may contain asbestos, a carcinogen that can cause respiratory problems once exposed.
  • Lead-based paints. Homes built before the late 1970s often have lead-based paints, which can become airborne during renovation projects and cause lead poisoning. New York's Department of Health offers some advice on safely removing lead-based paint.
  • VOCs. New materials (e.g., most cabinets, carpeting, flooring, and paints) may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the indoor environment. Prolonged exposure to VOCs can cause both short-term and long-term health complications.

These dangerous substances require proper handling, management, or disposal. Without the requisite precautions, DIYers risk unnecessary health problems and financial losses if they have to pay someone to clean up the mess.

Tips for Educating Clients

Educating customers about the dangers of doing work themselves serves three purposes: it makes them think twice about not hiring a professional to complete the project, it showcases your expertise, and it demonstrates your willingness to help them succeed.

Here are some ways you can educate potential clients:

  • Offer pamphlets or brochures. You can pass these out at trade shows or other networking events. You never know who you'll run into. You can also turn these into PDF documents that visitors can download from your website.
  • Start an e-newsletter. Been wondering what to do with your email marketing list? Why not try a monthly newsletter with DIY tips for popular home repair projects?
  • Create web-based videos about DIY-related risks. You can share these videos on your website and your construction business's social media pages.

Remember, giving good advice for free positions your business as a credible source, and people want to do business with those they trust. For more advice on how to build your credibility, read "What Does It Mean to be 'Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?'"

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