As a contractor, anything you can offer that sets you above the competition can mean the difference in a winning proposal and a losing one. Consistently, the ability to offer financing to your contracting customers is a key point in customers deciding to go with your firm, instead of accepting your competitor’s proposal.
Let’s explore the options your customers have for financing, what you can offer them, and when to bring it up in the bidding process. These tips are excellent for all types of contractors: home renovation, commercial building, new home construction, land development, architectural firms, landscapers, pool builders and spa dealers, and many others.
Know the Options Your Customers Have Outside Your Company and How Yours Compares
Homeowners have several options for financing:
- Cash flowing the project — Few of your customers are likely to be able to do this.
- Taking out a home equity loan (HELOC) — This is time-consuming and requires a home appraisal process. Many banks and financial institutions require staged funding, meaning the payouts come in increments at certain completion points in the project. This is frustrating for both contractors and their customers.
- Home improvement loans — These are available at very competitive rates, with no staged funding. Customers can even apply without affecting their credit score.
- Using a revolving credit account.
- Mortgage refinancing
- Government loans
When your contracting business is able to offer home improvement loans with great rates, easy terms, a simple approval process, and fast payouts, you can usually win customers easily. Other loans involve extensive paperwork, a home appraisal process, and a lot of time and effort.
What kinds of financing can contractors offer?
There are so many projects that can be financed using an HFS Financial home improvement loan. Here are some of the most common:
- Home remodels and renovation financing, including kitchen and bathroom remodels
- Swimming pool financing, as well as hot tubs and spas, home saunas, outdoor kitchens
- Landscaping and hardscaping (including outdoor fireplaces), or financing for complete backyard renovations
- Financing for general contractor work, as well as specialty contracting like carpentry, electrical, plumbing, sheetrock, drywall, plaster, painting, roofing, demo work, masonry, excavation, concrete, iron and steel, and more.
- Hurricane and earthquake improvement financing
- Fencing, privacy fencing, and financing for all types of fencing and pool enclosures.
- Financing for basement finishing, garage building, home theaters, man caves and she sheds, barns, sheds.
- HVAC and ductwork financing
- Financing for exterior home improvements, including windows and glass, new siding, gutters, roofing, etc.
- Financing for solar panel systems, generators, and other eco improvements, as well as off-grid renovations and emergency backup power systems.
No matter what kind of contracting business you run, there are financing options you can offer your customers!
How to Offer Financing to Your Contracting Customers
The first step to offering fantastic financing is to find a suitable partner to work with who can offer your customers an excellent experience. Frankly, if you partner with the wrong institution, you could run off more customers than you land. Here’s a checklist for what to look for in a financing partner for your customers.
- Stellar customer service.
- Easy application and approval process.
- Favorable terms so your customers can choose to pay their loan off fast or spread out their payments over time.
- Competitive interest rates, because even the easiest financing option isn’t workable if the interest rates are high.
- No appraisal process to slow down the building process.
- A company that’s been around a long time. Don’t trust your customers to home improvement financing newbies.
HFS Financial allows you to check off every item on this list!
Market Your Financing Options
After you’ve chosen a partner to offer customer financing, it’s important to advertise. The home improvement market is tight. People make decisions quickly when they’re ready to move forward with a project. Even if they’ve pondered a specific home improvement project for months or years, you need to make sure you’re right in front of them when they have that “It’s time!” moment.
A good marketing plan for your financing options includes both traditional and digital marketing. Great platforms are local signage, local TV and radio ads, and newspapers. Free marketing opportunities include partnering with the local Chamber of Commerce and getting registered with the Better Business Bureau.
On the digital front, make sure your financing partnership is featured prominently on your website, and run that along with your regular specials on Google, Facebook, and other platforms you use for advertising.
When to Discuss Your Financing Options During the Proposal Process
With solid marketing in place, many customers will contact you to specifically ask about financing. But when should you bring it up if they don’t mention it? It’s okay to casually toss out that fact as you talk to them about what they want, their timeline, budget, and other normal conversations that go into creating a contract. Here’s how to navigate those waters.
Overall, you’ll quickly find that parting with HFS Financial is the smartest idea for offering financing to your contracting customers! Contact us today to get started on a bright new future for your company.