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Are You Letting Other Contractors Run Off With Your Customers?

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As an HVAC contractor, you know how important “customers for life” are for your business. You spend countless hours training your employees on the importance of selling maintenance agreements on every call, so you have a reoccurring revenue stream in the future. The simple truth is, as a home performance contractor, there is so much more you can offer your customers to help them be more comfortable and energy efficient in their homes.

Home performance contracting is the final piece of the puzzle for HVAC contractors. By looking at the whole house, not just the HVAC systems, you can maximize homeowner comfort and increase indoor air quality all while saving heating and cooling dollars throughout the year. Expanding your knowledge base and expertise with home performance contracting will increase your average ticket size without having to expand your service area. Offering whole house solutions including comprehensive air sealing and insulation to your existing customers should be a “no-brainer.” Although it’s not a huge investment up front to get an insulation blowing machine and the right products, you want to make sure you get the proper training in order to sell and install these products correctly.

We have all heard of the “blow and go” contractors who can actually do more harm to a home than good. Home performance contracting is the opposite. It has everything to do with diagnosing the entire house and offering solutions that will make the house perform better.

In a nationwide survey, HVAC contractors who sold home performance along with their current heating and cooling packages have seen “call backs” drastically reduced; higher levels of customer satisfaction, increased lead generation, and higher average ticket prices. When you treat the house as a system, you can reap the rewards by focusing on three main components at first:

  • Air Sealing
  • Insulation
  • DHW and HVAC systems

If you concentrate on these areas first; you can always add or expand your services to other energy savings measures in the future.

The national average for an HVAC job is around $6,500 and for a home performance job $9,500. Where could you take your business if your average ticket price is $15,000 or more? Not only is your average ticket price higher, but you have also provided more effective solutions to your customers. Happy customers are some of the best lead generators out there.

How many times have you sent a service technician out to a home to fix a comfort problem that the service technician cannot solve? Your company has installed the correct size equipment for the home and it’s working perfectly, yet the homeowner is still unhappy? Most of the time, it’s not the equipment that is the problem. It’s the home is unable to maintain the desired thermostat setting. Too oft en the house is the problem not the HVAC system. Either way, it’s your customer that is unhappy. Letting another contractor “fix” your customer’s unhappiness should never happen. Yet every day HVAC contractors lose customers, because they fail to offer solutions to complement their HVAC work and deliver what was promised to the homeowner from the start.

Other contractors are already getting their feet wet in home performance such as window, siding, and solar contractors to name a few. However, providing comfort, indoor air quality, and energy savings solutions are a big part of what HVAC contracting companies do already. They are ideally suited to offer whole house solutions to their customers. As a HVAC contractor, educate yourself on what you can do to add home performance to your current business model. You can get there by conducting research, trial and error, and learning as you go. The “go it alone” approach can be frustrating at times. You can also partner or franchise with local or national companies. This will get you into the home performance business quicker and easier. Whatever you do, DO IT NOW!

Many HVAC contractors have tried and failed in the home performance industry because they thought a one week class was enough. This limited training is not nearly enough to make you a successful home performance contractor. Do your homework; ask successful contractors how they added home performance to their current business model. Build partnerships and get moving. Home performance is here to stay and there is no better industry to take it by storm than the HVAC industry. I just have one question left for you, are you letting other contractors run off with your customers?

Michelle Knaszak

Posted In: ACCA Now, Building Performance

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