Leads for home remodeling companies can be the biggest factor separating business growth from survival mode.
There are two main questions our clients ask when it comes to lead generation: “How can I generate more leads?” and “How do I generate relevant, quality leads?”
No matter what type of home renovation projects you specialize in—bathroom, kitchen, basement, or exterior—scaling your business means taking your lead generation strategy to the next level. When your marketing strategy just isn’t reeling in the results you want, upgrading your strategy should be your number one priority.
So, how do you find the right leads and gain that competitive edge over the local competition? There are thousands of popular techniques out there, but the brutal truth is that most are unlikely to help your business. Don’t worry—we’re going to share exactly what you need to know to set your brand apart and get noticed.
Why Lead Generation Matters for Home Remodeling Companies
Lead generation involves cultivating people who have already shown interest in your business’ products or services. In some industries, like retail, transactions are quick and don’t require a lot of back and forth. That’s not the case for the home services industry.
Homeowners need to find reliable, experienced contractors within their budget. These contractors not only need the right credentials, but they also need to complete the job within the desired time frame, use quality materials, and provide references. And because so many businesses are competing for the attention of the same leads, homeowners need to weigh their options before making a final decision.
To even compete, you need to attract potential customers and show them that you’re worth hiring. To do this, you’ll need an effective lead generation strategy.
Instead of attempting to sell to every single homeowner in your service area, lead generation narrows your focus to qualified leads and maximizes your ROI. It also helps leads learn more about your business and what sets you apart from the competition. In turn, customers will feel more confident about their decision to hire you.
Powerful lead generation strategies strike the perfect balance between hard sales pitches and engaging marketing messages. Chances are, without either of these ingredients, you’re not going to be very successful in acquiring new clients.
Understanding the Customer Journey
To “win” at lead generation, you need to understand your customers’ decision-making process, or “customer journey.”
You want homeowners to buy your remodeling services. But before that happens, each customer will need to navigate the customer journey. There are some steps you can take to push the customer forward—and fatal mistakes you can make that might completely sabotage the process.
Imagine a funnel. At the top, the widest end represents all of your potential customers. At the bottom, the narrow end represents the customers who are ready to buy your services. Your goal is to make this journey as easy as possible for potential buyers.
To start the customer journey, you need to make homeowners aware of your business. After all, you can’t buy something if you don’t know it exists. So, you should start advertising your business as much as possible, right? Too many business owners believe that raising awareness is as simple as pouring their marketing budget into TV commercials and radio ads. But that would be too easy.
Every time you’ve made a major investment, you’ve probably experienced the biggest challenge in raising awareness: selective perception. Remember buying your latest smartphone? After deciding on the model, did you suddenly start seeing the latest iPhone model everywhere you went? In reality, there weren’t any more of them than there were at any other time, but you honed in on them because they were relevant to you.
Selective perception plays a key role in marketing. In most cases, homeowners won’t even notice your ads unless they believe that your services hold some importance to them. When raising awareness from local homeowners, you’ll never know which ones your services are relevant to.
But there’s good news: You don’t always have to wait for homeowners to decide that your services are relevant. There are tons of ways to create relevance, raise awareness, and generate interest in your business.
How to Make Your Business Relevant to Homeowners
The secret to creating relevance lies in powerful messaging and content. To stand out from the crowd and get the results you want, you’ll need to do things differently. Most homeowners will instantly ignore companies that don’t take their business as seriously as the homeowner takes caring for their home.
Every little detail, from your business name to the graphics on your website, plays an important role in forming homeowners’ perceptions of your business. So, whatever approach you take toward your brand image, consistency is key. The success of your marketing campaign depends on every touchpoint you have with potential leads. If these touchpoints are inconsistent, you risk losing your leads to competitors who already have it all figured out.
Once you’ve achieved consistent branding, you’ll need to help homeowners recognize your expertise and its value to them. It’s normal to grow accustomed to your surroundings and become “blind” to the alternatives. This is where your lead generation strategy will outshine the rest.
Maybe a homeowner is unhappy with their kitchen storage space and some new cabinets would fix all their problems—or prospective sellers are looking to get some more money out of their home. When you give visual examples and client testimonials of the beautiful, functional spaces you can help homeowners achieve, you’re making your services relevant to them.
Leveraging Digital Marketing to Your Advantage
Digital marketing can make or break your lead generation strategy. Today, digital marketing channels offer more opportunities than ever before to reach leads. Our clients maximize their ROI by targeting specific neighborhoods, homeowners who use specific search terms, and even people who have recently purchased a home.
Marketing on the right channels will help you get noticed by the right people at the right time. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of digital marketing channels, it’s a great jumping-off point to get your strategy off the ground.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To create relevance, you need to be there when homeowners need you. Most homeowners have questions about the renovation process, and they’re going to ask those questions through a search engine. Your goal is to answer those questions with engaging, informative content.
Search engines can be your strongest ally or worst enemy. On the one hand, they provide great opportunities to answer questions at the exact moment potential customers are asking them. On the other hand, they give your competitors that same opportunity. That’s where SEO will ignite your lead generation strategy.
SEO involves creating relevant, informative, and valuable web content. Search engines regularly “crawl” websites to evaluate their content. If your content is more valuable than your competitors’ for any given search, you’ll rank higher than the competition in the search results.
If you’ve gotten your hands dirty building your business from the ground up, you might be used to making new commercials or radio ads a few times a year—but that’s not going to cut it anymore. Today, creating new content is a never-ending process. You need to continuously produce new content to rise above the competition. Valuable content gives potential customers confidence in your abilities and the solutions you offer, which ultimately boosts your conversion rate.
When you create new content, you build relevance among homeowners by covering a broader range of topics and providing in-depth answers to specific questions. Plus, you can repurpose your existing content to use it across different platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, to draw in even more leads.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
PPC advertising is one of the best ways to generate leads for home remodeling . If you’ve searched on Google, you’ve already seen PPC ads in action. Paid advertisements at the top of the search results show up before the organic listings, giving your business an obvious advantage over the local competition.
SEM is a pay-per-click strategy where you bid on specific search terms targeted toward homeowners. Basically, you select the keywords you want to trigger your ads and choose a max bid. Your maximum bid and other factors, like your AdWords Quality Score, determine the placement of your ads.
Combined with the right strategy, PPC is well worth the investment—even if you’re working with a limited budget. By leveraging PPC to your advantage, you can draw in high-intent searchers. And 65 percent of all high-intent searches result in someone clicking on a PPC ad, according to WebFX.
Our clients love PPC because they can regulate their budget, so they never have to pay more than their max bid for each click. Plus, people who click on PPC ads are 50 percent more likely to buy than organic visitors because they’re further along in their customer journey. They’re ready to make a choice, and they’re looking for the best contractor for the job.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms make it easy for brands to connect with their target audience. A lot of business owners struggle with this piece of the puzzle—and for good reason. The content shared across social media needs to be useful, engaging, and relevant to those viewing it. It also needs to stand out within a sea of status updates, advertisements, and news stories. And, to top it all off, it needs to add value to users’ lives.
To generate leads with social media, you need to find out what platforms your customers are using. This way, you’ll be able to connect with your target audience instead of wasting your precious time and money advertising to people who aren’t interested in your services. Our clients typically have success reaching their target audiences using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Social media offers endless opportunities to share content, but that doesn’t mean you should just repost every blog you’ve published on your website. Your goal is to create short, impactful touchpoints with customers. Promote your services, quickly introduce new products, and slowly warm leads up to your brand without long, boring narratives.
The ultimate hack to social media marketing is sharable, digestible content. Videos and infographics will help you stand out from the crowd because they’re easy for users to share on their own pages. In 2020, videos were the number one way customers discovered a brand they later purchased from, and 93 percent of brands acquired new customers because of videos shared on social media.
With sharable content, you can encourage engagement and entice people to check out your website. And the more people you draw to your website, the higher your conversion rate will be.
What About Lead Generation Sites?
Generating leads requires much more than launching an ad campaign, sitting back, and waiting. And contrary to what many business owners believe, simply paying for PPC ads isn’t enough to make the phone calls come pouring in. Your digital marketing strategy is important, but it shouldn’t do all the heavy lifting.
Enter lead generation sites. Listing your business on these websites can help you reach leads who are actively shopping for your services. Sure, you shouldn’t rely solely on lead generation sites, but they can definitely compliment your digital marketing strategy. Plus, they help raise brand awareness among homeowners in your service area.
“Lead generation sites can be a great option for our clients who do not have anyone in-house to run marketing—it’s kind of like outsourcing your lead generation,” says John Antognoli, Senior Client Advisor at Company 119. “You know how much you will pay for certain leads and, in some cases, the service is already pre-negotiated. So while you might not be making a lot, you might be able to build up a client base depending on your industry.”
At the end of the day, the best lead generation sites will depend on your specific preferences, goals, and budget. Here are some to check out:
- Angi – With Angi, it’s free to create a business profile and acquire leads from your profile. But if you advertise on the lead generation website for contractors, expect to pay between $4 and $8 for every click on your ad.
- HomeAdvisor – HomeAdvisor offers access to over 30 million users, but you’ll need an annual subscription to get started. On top of that, you’ll also pay for every lead generated. HomeAdvisor charges between $15 and $60 per lead.
- Porch – Porch is a lead generation platform for contractors specializing in home services. Unlike other platforms, you can pick and choose your leads instead of paying for every single lead that contacts your business. Depending on your preferences and goals, you might buy leads individually, set a monthly budget and receive automatic leads, or combine both options.
- BuildZoom – When you sign up for BuildZoom, you only pay for leads (via a referral fee) when you’re hired by that lead. In other words, you can technically generate leads for free. As a bonus, BuildZoom acts as a mediator between you and leads, providing invoice templates and key performance metrics for construction professionals. BuildZoom also vets every client so you only work with real leads.
- Bark – Bark is home to over 20 million users and operates on a paid business model. While contractors can sign up for free, you’ll need to purchase credits to contact leads. Bark connects contractors to leads by compiling project details. Then, after reviewing projects, you can choose whether to submit a proposal.
- Houzz – Houzz is designed specifically for home remodeling and design professionals. Unlike most other platforms, Houzz doesn’t require background checks, and contractors can buy their way to the top with paid listings. Although Houzz might help you generate a few leads, it’s not the best choice for contractors with limited budgets.
- Thumbtack – Thumbtack offers a fresh approach to lead generation for home improvement companies. With Thumbtack, you only pay when a lead contacts your business, although the platform offers refund options for select circumstances. The best part? You can take your lead generation to the next level by advertising on Thumbtack to boost your visibility.
Fatal Mistakes in Home Services Lead Generation
Competition is fierce for leads in the home remodeling industry. As a result, it’s harder than ever to cut through the noise and reach your customers when they need you. Driving website traffic is your first obstacle, but converting that traffic into quality leads is a different beast.
Of course, there are basic, beginner mistakes, like forgetting a call to action at the end of your Facebook ad. But there are also fundamental, strategic errors that can completely dismantle your entire strategy. Here are fatal mistakes that will waste your time and resources—and how to avoid making them.
1. Using Overly Targeted Messaging
It’s always a smart move to weigh the pros and cons of targeted advertising. You might spend $1,000 to reach 100 targeted prospects, while that same $1,000 could reach 10,000 people in mass media. Targeted criteria are important, but you should always balance targeted ads with a broader strategy.
If you’re just getting started, finding the perfect balance is going to take some trial and error—but it’s well worth the effort. With the right mix, you can optimize your targeting while ensuring no potential leads “fall through the cracks” of your targeted messaging.
2. Spreading Yourself Too Thin
If you’re working with a limited marketing budget, you’ll need to learn the most efficient channels for lead generation quickly. But if you try to leverage every channel at the same time, you won’t get any meaningful results.
To draw conclusions from data, you need volume. And with a thin budget spread in every direction, you won’t be able to make any informed future decisions. Considering the drastic differences between digital marketing channels, it’s impossible to compare apples to oranges if you’re trying everything at once.
When you’re getting started, give yourself some time to learn which channels are the most effective for lead generation. Instead of draining your precious resources on dozens of channels in a week, experiment with different channels—one at a time—to figure out which are worth prioritizing.
3. Relying on Lead Generation Sites
Lead generation sites can connect you with loyal, quality leads, but they shouldn’t be the main component of your marketing strategy. The biggest deal-breaker is that lead generation sites tend to accept any leads that come their way.
What does this mean? These websites typically accept all leads, no matter how close a lead is to making a purchase decision. This leads to a mix of low-quality and high-quality leads, and you’ll never know what type of lead you’re paying for before it’s too late. Sometimes you’ll get homeowners ready to make a commitment, and other times you’ll get homeowners who are at the top of the sales funnel.
Along with questionable lead quality, most lead generation websites (not all, but most) don’t sell exclusive leads. When the same lead is sold to several contractors, you’re racing against the clock to reach out first. And if you’re late, you can pretty much forget your chances of closing the sale.
According to Harvard Business Review, businesses that reach out to new leads within the hour are seven times more likely to have meaningful conversations than those who wait 60 minutes or more. Being the first to reach out can make or break the sale, and there’s no telling what other professionals will bid for the job. We’d also caution your business about relying on lead generation sites in the long-run.
“At some point, your business needs to think about ways to grow and find ways to be more profitable,” says Antognoli. “If Angi, or another lead generation site, charges you $350 for a lead, for example, you can increase profitability by getting a similar lead for $200 yourself. It comes down to whether you can do lead generation on your own and claim the leads through organic search instead of buying them through Angi or another site.”
This highlights the importance of having a high-quality website with great content that will bolster your search engine optimization strategy. High organic rankings increase the likelihood that your website will show in search results for relevant queries, such as “home remodeler in Cleveland open now,” and let you capture great leads directly from search, before a lead generation site like Angi can sell you the same lead for a higher cost.
4. Failing to Tailor Your Strategy
A one-size-fits-all approach to lead generation isn’t going to get you anywhere. When you Google “lead generation strategies,” you get millions of results (maybe even this one). But if you blindly follow those steps, you’re not going to get the results you want. Every business is different, and every business needs its own custom lead generation recipe.
Even in the home services industry, every business has a slightly different target audience from the next, and each service addresses customer pain points differently. Your business is at a different stage than your competitors’, and you probably have a different budget to work with. Naturally, all of these factors impact your strategy.
So, sit down and consider your budget, target audience, and long-term goals. Do you want to reduce the expenses required to find new leads? Are you looking to convert more leads into appointments? If you’re too busy running your business to fine-tune your strategy, a reputable marketing partner can help you get the job done.
“Be everywhere you can for free first,” recommends Antognoli. This means setting up your Google My Business profile, getting into any online directories that do not charge for a listing, participating in community events—anything that will get your name out there. “Go after the people who are in your community; these are the people who should trust you the most. And then promote that you are local in your ads, so that people can distinguish you from the big chains or places that bid on leads, like Angi.”
Putting It All Together: Closing the Sale
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The same is true when it comes to generating leads and closing the sale.
So, what’s the secret to getting homeowners to buy your services? Of course, recruiting great salespeople can go a long way, but that’s only part of the answer. The other part starts further up the sales funnel, all the way back to when you first started creating awareness: setting the right expectations and meeting them.
Have you ever been excited by great advertising but disappointed by the actual product? Effective advertising campaigns work wonders to create demand, generate awareness, and sell products—all in a very short time. But once customers realize the product leaves something to be desired, the backlash can be great enough to kill the product or, at least, drive customers straight to the competition.
A prime example is Microsoft Vista. In 2007, Microsoft pumped $500 million into their Vista marketing campaign. But once users upgraded and realized the software had performance and capability issues, it killed the product. Apple jumped on the opportunity and created a clever ad bashing Vista, which led to a huge market share gain.
There’s a powerful truth about advertising: It needs to be authentic. As you create marketing content to drive homeowners through the sales funnel, it needs to be consistent with the experience of closing the sale. Advertising that sells homeowners on expertise might generate quality leads, but you’ll have a hard time closing the sale if your salespeople don’t know the first thing about bathroom renovations, construction costs, or project timelines.
For the best results, your conversion of sales to leads needs to meet the expectations you set along the customer journey. Then, you need to follow up with unrivaled customer service and quality services. Remember: Today’s leads are tomorrow’s referrals.
Get the Team & Playbook to Grow Leads for Home Remodeling Business
As the home services industry continues to grow, finding time- and cost-effective ways to grow your business and capture new leads is more important than ever. There are a lot of steps between attracting initial interest and closing the sale, and it’s up to you to guide leads through the sales funnel.
The best lead generation strategies are authentic, highlight your expertise, and add credibility to your business. Once you develop a proven process to consistently generate leads, you’ll be more successful at converting website visitors into loyal customers. Our team is here to help if you’re not quite sure where to start to kick off your new lead generation strategy or revamp your existing lead generation activities to take a different, more effective, approach.