News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Diane Kittower / REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR / May 1, 2013
Bidding on competitors’ names is legal, but is it effective?
A recent Google search by Durante Windows & Siding, in Irondale, Ala., yielded a startling result: An ad popped up offering a free estimate from “Durant Windows.”
“We clicked on it,” marketing manager Daniel Gallegly says, “and it took us to a landing page asking for contact information.” Gallegly figured out that the overseas company behind the ad generated leads and sold them to home improvement companies.
After being confronted, the company apologized and removed the ad. But who knows how many leads that tacticRead More
Stacey Freed / REMODELING / April 23, 2013
Consumer-driven sites leave contractors no choice but to play the game
Simply put, online review sites ask consumers to rate businesses from which they have received services or purchased products. Other consumers read those reviews and use the information to make informed decisions — turning those sites into lead generators.
Angie’s List and Yelp are the two largest, most widely known sites, but there are others such as Manta, Google+, and Hotfrog (international); remodeling industry–specific sites such as HomeAdvisor (formerly ServiceMagic); local/regional sites such asRead More
Linsey Isaacs / April 25, 2013
The general contracting business was nearly dead in the water during the recessionary years, but the companies that hunkered down and held on strong are starting to reap the benefits.
For many contractors, the last couple of years have been a true reversal of fortune. And for a representative rags-to-riches story, look no further than Rampart Construction. The Grapevine, Texas-based company is new to the Top 50 list but landed the No. 1 spot nevertheless, with 4,433 units started in 2012.
“One of the things we’ve really focused on over the last four years is the visibility of the company,Read More
Eric Mower + Associates / April 23, 2013
Contractors’ use of smartphones while on the job jumped 35% from last year, according to new research from EMA Contractors, a specialty group at Eric Mower + Associates. While the use of tablets (i.e., iPad) rose nearly 54% over last year (overall, 22% of contractors are using tablets), most contractors (68%) said they use smartphones as part of their workday.
Of those surveyed, 40% of contractors said they use smartphones when making purchasing decisions, making it second to desktop computers back at the office. More than half (56%) of respondents think smartphones are the fastest growingRead More
Shawn McCadden / The Design/Builders Blog / April 14, 2013
Having worked with hundreds of remodelers to help them improve their businesses and achieve their goals has exposed me to the common reasons their businesses run into financial problems. Here my list of the five biggest mistakes I see contractors make that lead to money problems, and some suggestions on how to avoid or prevent them.
Guessing at the markup used to determine selling price
Pricing your work without knowing the true cost of being in business is referred to as using the “WAG” method, or “Wild Ass Guess” method. Unless a business knows what markup to use to determineRead More