Thinking of marketing your remodeling business as a green operation? It’s a pretty savvy business move. Interest in green products and services has grown over the past decade—particularly for millennials, who are just starting to enter the housing market. In fact, Mintel, a marketing and research agency, found that consumer interest in green services—including home improvement contractors—doubled between 2008 and 2010.
Nielsen insights indicate that Generation Z (defined as respondents aged 15 to 20) has an overwhelming preference for green. Seventy-two percent of surveyed participants from this age group said they were willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products and services, up from 55 percent in 2014.
That means that positioning yourself now as a green remodeling business may be one way to set yourself up for future success, especially with Generation Z. However, this move does require some marketing finesse. You’ll need to earn your client’s trust by offering your knowledge as an educational resource. Here’s what you can do to green up your marketing.
Focus on Savings First, Environmental Impact Second
Green updates cost money, and money talks. However, if you can get clients to understand their full return on investment for efficiency updates, they’ll be much more likely to bite. Relying on a product or service’s “green” qualities alone tends to not be compelling to homeowners—at least according to marketing professors and experts—so selling the utility savings helps homeowners see the full benefit of such items. Be prepared to produce market data to help homeowners understand their investment and why it’s such a smart idea. Look for statistics on property values as well, since green features typically help homes fetch more on the market—they added 3.46 percent, in at least one study, to the final selling price. Additionally, be ready to address the specifics of any rebates or incentives your clients may apply for and identify where they need to go to get that process started. To familiarize yourself, check out both the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University, and the federal government’s list of income tax rebates through their Energy Star program.
Help Future Customers Understand the Benefits
Passive house certifications, LEED, and green building standards all sound good, but they may be new to homeowners. The U.S. Green Building Council only certified its 50,000th LEED home as of January 2014, after all. As a green remodeler, part of your role will be as an educator. Your marketing materials, like your website or newsletter, need to serve multiple purposes, such as not only promoting your services, but also explaining their value. Use your mailers and even social media to promote useful information about new technologies, and how those products benefit your audience of homeowners and business owners.
Apply for Certifications to Legitimize Your Services
Whether or not they’re aware of the term, most customers know about “greenwashing”—bogus environmental claims and half truths intended to sell a product or service, rather than help the environment. Thanks to false advertising from laundry detergents, cleaning agents and more, you’ll have to be prepared to back up any purported benefits from your services with hard data. However, you can also use this shortcut to gain some legitimacy: Complete a green certification course, like the National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Green Professional (CGP) program. As a bonus, many of these programs provide logos and marketing materials that you can use once you receive your certificate.
Use Technology to Live Your Business’s Values
Green goes hand-in-hand with innovation, so it’s important to keep your web presence fresh and modern. Use photo-heavy social media tools, like Instagram, to promote your completed projects, but make sure to act as a resource and not just a self-promoter. Follow green building sites and retweet or share content that’s relevant for your customer base. Position yourself as a helpful, friendly service, willing to give knowledge away for free. Help clients understand your business’s mission through your everyday actions by letting them know you put your money where your mouth is when it comes to green.
Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner. She currently resides in Austin, Texas, where she writes full-time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.
Modernize is a driving force in online lead generation—connecting high-quality local contractors with homeowners looking to complete home improvement projects of all kinds. Modernize also focuses heavily on making things energy efficient through sustainable home improvements such as solar panels and upgraded roofing. Learn more about Modernize and how to get involved here: https://modernize.com/contact.