Unlike many other markets, home improvement sales professionals pretty much always start at zero. Here, veteran home improvement marketing expert Mark Zokle answers questions on how to push forward in one of the hardest markets.
Q: Why is home improvement such a hard industry to break into, from a sales perspective?
Mark Zokle: Home improvement trends are always changing and new competition is constantly emerging. It’s also an industry that is heavily dependent upon the real estate market. When real estate is doing well, people are more likely to sell their homes and move, as opposed to invest more money into their existing one. When the market is down, remodeling becomes a more attractive option.
Q: So, how do you push forward when people are selling instead of improving their current space?
Mark Zokle: You have to look for opportunities. Many people will seek the advice of a home remodeling expert before they put their home up for sale. You have to help homeowners understand where their home improvement money will do the most good.
Q: Do homes with recently remodeled bathrooms sell faster?
Mark Zokle: Bathroom remodels provide a very respectable return on investment. Most buyers really scrutinize the bathroom because that’s where they’ll spend a good bit of time. If you put two comparable homes up for sale, chances are the one with the better (newer) bathroom is going to sell first and for closer to the asking price.
Q: Do you have any advice for Bath Planet’s novice network partners?
Mark Zokle: Make sure your sales team is driven. Without the right people, you can’t be successful – no matter how great your business is and how hard you work. As an owner-driven business, you have to recruit the proper “driver” to keep volume and collections in place. You always have to keep in mind that you don’t have ongoing contracts to keep you afloat!