Part of your success as an in-ground pool contractor lies in your ability to build a reputation as a dependable, knowledgeable, and skilled professional within your local market. Knowing what your customers want and delivering a superb product with efficient service is the catalyst to growing your business over time.
Below, we look at eight things that homeowners look for when hiring a contractor to install swimming pool products.
Each state has certification and licensing requirements for in-ground pool contractors. Before installing a swimming pool, you must have a business license and pass state exams that certify you to work on residential pools. Homeowners look for credentials to establish trust and accountability early on. Attempting to run a pool contracting business without the right education, training, and licensing is dishonest, and will likely ruin any chance of you having a good reputation in your industry.
Without liability insurance, you leave you and your company vulnerable to lawsuits from your employees, business partners, and clients. You may also face legal problems in your state if you operate your business without liability coverage. Carrying liability insurance or worker's compensation gives the impression that you care about everyone associated with your business. Insurance may also keep your business from going under financially if an accident occurs.
Installing an in-ground swimming pool requires a specific set of skills that only come from proper training and years of experience. Homeowners look for contractors that specialize in installing in-ground pools – not just any pools. Therefore, you need to show proof of experience. When talking to a potential client for the first time, have a portfolio of relevant past work ready to show. You may also want to provide references from past satisfied customers.
In today's web-driven culture, if your business is not present online, it may as well not exist. Homeowners rely on Internet sources to find information about your including:
If you are too busy or uninterested in promoting your business online, you can outsource your marketing to a local or national marketing agency that can promote your business across multiple channels and websites on the web.
Professionalism involves more than just having a nice truck or a friendly smile (although that certainly helps). Your clients want to know that you truly care about their needs and preferences on every level. As such, they are observing every detail of your performance.
As a reputable in-ground pool contractor, you provide prompt and efficient service, keep your commitments, arrive on time and finish schedule, offer a transparent and honest estimate, deliver a product that meets or exceeds industry standards and safety regulations, use the proper equipment, and practice courtesy and respect. These elements of your work ethic are what will truly distinguish you from the competition.
Homeowners value prompt and consistent customer communication and management. Communication ranges from one-on-one interaction to email and text updates, as well as efficient services such as electronic estimates and invoices. Effective communication tools eliminate wasted time and guesswork, which can be frustrating. If possible, use as many communication tools as possible. Doing so may get you the job faster and help solve any potential problems along the way.
The average cost to install an in-ground pool is $38,000 to $76,000, depending on various factors. Where your rates fall in that price range may get you more jobs. However, the key to determining your pricing is establishing value. Surprisingly, most homeowners do not choose the lowest price when taking bids. Instead, they look for the contractor that offers the greatest value for the price. So, make sure that your value is competitive and your price is fair.
It’s tempting to cut corners or take unnecessary risks to keep your contracting business afloat. However, your reputation depends on your honesty and integrity at every level of your business. Keep your commitments, be transparent with your business practices, and be willing to tell the client what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear. Also, be willing to admit and correct mistakes quickly. Honesty and integrity always pay off in the long run.
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