Despite the widespread lockdowns and restrictions caused by the pandemic, the last year has been surprisingly positive for our industry. For instance, in 2020 we actually loaned Canadians 24% more money than we did the year prior, and in Q1 of 2021, we received nearly 33% more loan applications compared to Q1 of the previous year.
Studies suggest that customers will continue spending significantly on their home in the coming months, and with public health restrictions beginning to ease across the country, business will continue picking up. We’ve got you covered with tips to help make sure you’re ready.
Prepare for Safe Visits
With vaccination rates rising and case counts dropping, many homeowners are becoming more comfortable with the idea of having people in their homes, and that includes contractors and vendors. As a result, be prepared to see more customers engaging on projects that they may have put off at the height of the pandemic.
Your Tip: Reassure your customers that despite the easing restrictions, your team will still be following strict protocols to ensure their safety, including wearing a mask, sanitizing, and maintaining a safe distance. This will provide peace of mind for customers who may still be wary.
Help Customers Increase their Home Value
COVID has had a massive impact on the real estate market with house prices soaring over the last few months. This has left many homeowners re-evaluating (and then working on improving) the value of their own home. Many home improvement businesses are seeing a marked increase in sales, with 46% of Canadian homeowners saying that they plan to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 on renovations or repairs in the next year, an additional 24% who plan to spend up to $25,000, and 11% who are willing to spend as much as $50,000, according to HomeStars.
Your Tip: When meeting with a potential customer, come armed with information and data about which upgrades will have the most impact. You want to be able to demonstrate how you can help build incremental value associated with investing in their home.
Support Your Customers with Unique Financing Solutions
Although restrictions are easing, many people will still likely be spending lots of their time at home as more and more workplaces shift to fully remote work models, or a hybrid of in-office and work-from-home structures. Many people are now also beginning to socialize and welcome people into their homes for the first time in over a year, which has led to a greater focus on areas of the home that need improvement.
Your Tip: Being able to offer financing and leasing solutions is one of the best ways that you can help support your customers as they undertake much-needed home improvement projects that may otherwise be out of reach (because of the large upfront cost). Our products, like the 240-month amortization option, are a great way to help make necessary home improvements less financially burdensome. With longer amortization periods (up to 240 months now), payment deferrals, rate buydowns, and other added incentives, customers benefit from affordable monthly payments that allow them to get exactly what they want. At the same time, you’ll be able to grow your customer base, increase your average ticket size, and ultimately close more sales.
For more tips on how to support the ongoing growth and development of your business through COVID and beyond, your Dealer Relationship Manager is always available to help. Get in touch with them today!
Restrictions surrounding COVID-19 vary by region. Please be sure to always follow the protocols and guidelines outlined by your region’s public health department.