5 Ways Remodelers Can Make Their Marketing Work Better

February 17, 2024


After working with nearly 100 contractors, I’ve gotten to see the inside of many different businesses. There are things the high performers do that set them apart. 

One thing that’s certain: the marketing companies you use don’t make or break your results. In fact, two different companies who use the same marketing agencies often see completely different results.

So, you feel you have your marketing down. You’ve got a good website, SEO, and PPC running. But you still need to see better results in order to hit your goals. How do you do it?

Here are five ways to make your remodeling marketing work better:

1. Position Your Business

A big mistake most remodelers make is trying to be all things to all people. They take on many different types of projects and customers.

The truth is, there are some things your company does better than others, and some things your company does worse. 

A bath remodeler who only installs acrylic showers will be able to complete customer’s bathroom projects in 1-3 days, but he won’t be able to meet their needs for other customizations. A bath remodeler who does painting, flooring, and cabinet installation will meet those needs - but it’ll sure take more than 1-3 days!

The bad news and truth that has to be accepted is that you can’t serve everyone or please everyone. The good news, however, is that you don’t need everyone to be your customers. A small slice of the pie is enough to build a successful remodeling business. 

Some remodelers do good work, and are priced low to medium in their market. But normally they’re booked out months or years. 

Some remodelers are highly specialized and streamlined. And they can start new projects within a couple of weeks. But often, their customers pay a premium for that.

Some remodelers have incredible financing programs, very long workmanship warranties, and a white glove level of service. But customers won’t get to work directly with the owner - they’ll start with a salesman, then a project manager, and sometimes will call in to the office manager with questions. 

Where does your company stand? Don’t be like everyone else and say that your level of “quality and service” is what makes you unique. Figure out what you’re good at, own it, and use it in your marketing message. There’s a market for you specifically!

2. Offer Something Special

Offering something of high value in your PPC, Facebook Ads, Mailers, or on your website will increase your leads. 

Some example offers are:

  • A discounted or free design consultation with a 3D rendering
  • A limited time discount on your service
  • Free product samples
  • Financing a remodeling project
  • A chance to win a kitchen tune up for providing a phone and email
  • 5-10 year workmanship warranties

These types of valuable offers give customers one extra reason to reach out to you. And all other things being equal, they may choose you instead of a competitor. 

An illustration with two funnels. One funnel has an ad without an offer with less leads, and the other funnel has an ad with an offer producing more leads.
Using special offers in your advertisements helps you get more leads

One thing to keep in mind is that the offer should match your ideal customer. 

If you offer high-end custom remodels, a discounted or free design consultation might be a more appropriate route to go than a financing offer. 

Similarly, a low to middle class customer might be more interested in a chance to win a kitchen tune up. 

Discounts and financing offers work especially well when you sell a relatively low end product (an acrylic shower installation, for example.) 

3. Track and Compare Results from Different Campaigns

John Wanamaker, who opened one of the first and most successful department stores in the United States, said this: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

To some extent, marketing is a guessing game. The problem is that for some companies, it stays that way forever. 

To get better results, you need to keep tabs on the appointments and sales you get from each lead source. When these records are kept, you’ll be able to quickly see which ways of generating remodeling leads are providing the best results. In marketing jargon, we call this a "split test" or an "A/B test."

An illustration showing more spend with less results on the A test and less spend with more results on the B test
A/B tests can show you the drastically different results you get from different marketing sources

Of course, sometimes it’s not that simple. Your SEO might produce the highest quality leads (which would be shown by high booking and closing rates), but once you get to a certain point you won’t be able to scale it any further.

But for supplemental lead sources like mailers, Facebook ads, or third party lead companies, some lead sources perform orders of magnitude better than others. Sometimes with our Facebook ad campaigns, I see that certain offers even perform two or three times better than others.

When I tell people this, the normal response I get is “hmm, yeah, I guess so.” Maybe an example will persuade you.

With my previous marketing agency (which specialized in marketing only for HVAC companies) we found that financing offers worked well to generate leads. 

Two common offers we ran were:

  • Get a new HVAC system with 0% APR for 60 months
  • Get a new HVAC system for as low as $99 per month

One time I was curious what worked better. I compiled all the leads we had generated for all of our clients, and looked at the sales. 

What I found is that leads who had opted in to the 0% APR campaigns were 2.5 times more likely to turn into a customer than leads who opted in to the low monthly payment campaigns.

This is the difference between getting $10 back for every $1 spent on ads, or getting $25 back for every $1! 

The discipline and systems to track results will help you find similar opportunities in your marketing. Focusing your spend on what works best will help you do more with less.

4. Work with Specialized Marketing Partners

Attention from in-the-market buyers is a limited commodity. And us advertisers need to compete with each other for that attention. 

Your SEO efforts compete with other companies’ SEO efforts to get in front of people searching online. Your mailers compete with other mailers for their attention. And so on.

That’s why it’s becoming more and more important to work with competent marketers who can compete.

When marketing agencies start growing, they get inundated with requests that aren’t part of their core specialties. “Do you guys do designs for truck wraps?” or “Can you help me run my email marketing too?” 

The list of specialties expands and the ability to execute suffers as a result. The company is spread too thin. 

However, when a company stays specialized in one field, there’s a higher probability they will be able to execute well. 

At Service Allies, for example, we only run our specialized Facebook ads system. What’s more, we only do it for high-ticket home improvers. This is so that we can stay streamlined as a company and deliver the best results possible for our clients.

To make your marketing more effective, I highly recommend choosing marketing partners who are masters at their craft and understand your industry. 

5. Develop a Strong Sales Process

Time and time again, I’ve seen a peculiar thing happen. Two different companies who operate in the same area, in the same industry, and use the same lead sources, get completely different results. 

I’ve even seen where seemingly small changes in the same company produce different results from marketing. 

One time, an HVAC client of mine started out very strong (4 or 5 deals in the first month). Then, out of nowhere, they stopped making sales even though there were still plenty of leads coming in. When I asked the manager if there had been any changes, he told us there was a different sales person running the leads. Bingo!

To maximize your marketing, you need an effective remodeling sales process. Your own internal sales process has more effect on the results of marketing than almost anything else.

An illustration with two companies. Company A has good ad results with a bad sales system, and their final results are mediocre. Company B has good ad results and a good sales system, and their results are excellent.
Even if your advertising produces a high volume of quality leads, a mediocre or poor sales process will negate your results.

Here’s how to book more appointments and sell more jobs:

Build Trust with Your Customers

Selling doesn’t mean pushing your product on someone. It means finding out if your services are a good solution for your customer’s needs and, if so, asking for their business. 

To build trust with your customers, listen. Ask questions, hear them out, and then ask follow-up questions. Stay engaged and make sure they know you’re listening. Knowing that you’ve taken an interest in hearing all their needs and concerns will let them trust you with their project. 

Stay Present

Staying present with the customer means that they’re hearing from you often. New leads should receive several calls. A customer you’ve provided an estimate with should receive plenty of follow up calls and emails. 

With all other things being equal, customers are going to go with the contractor who’s in front of them. 

One of my clients recently decided to call through their list of leads. On the third phone call, an old lead asked if they could provide an estimate for their basement finish. That may be a $50,000 to $90,000 deal, simply because they were present. 

Developing good systems to call, set appointments with, and turn your leads into closed deals will put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors. 

Ask for What You Want

To get profitable jobs, you’ll need to ask. When you call your leads, you’ll need to ask for the appointment. After you’ve taken measurements, you’ll need to ask for the follow-up call and presentation. And finally, you’ll need to ask for the deal.

It’s so, so tempting to beat around the bush and hope the customer finally says “Okay, let’s move forward.” But so many more deals, especially profitable ones, can be won by calmly asking for your customer’s business in a non-pushy way. 

Final Notes

As a business owner, the responsibility for marketing is ultimately on you. Marketing partners and lead sources should be thought of as tools in your arsenal. And yes, some are better than others. But ultimately, it’s on you to make it all work. 

Getting good at your marketing takes time, effort, and testing. But if you decide to make it a priority and keep working at it, you might be surprised at just how much of a difference you can make!

Here’s to your success.