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Archive for May, 2020

Two Types of Painting Customers Who Will Be Hurt by The Recession – And Two that Won’t

May 29th, 2020

As the calendar turned to 2020, experts were debating when a recession would hit.  Now, they’re trying to predict how bad the Coronavirus-caused recession is going to be, and how long it’s going to last.  Most experts think it’s extremely bad, and it will probably last through 2021.

On the whole, recessions are bad for everybody.  But, they do also present opportunities for some.  There are products, services and business models that do better when everyone else does worse.

With that in mind, here are two types of painting customers who will struggle during this recession, and two who won’t.

Recession-Risky: Residential Homeowners

For the forty years before the financial crisis of 2007, home prices climbed, never dipping more than 5%, even during a recession.  Buying a home was considered a guaranteed investment.  It turns out that nothing is guaranteed – they collapsed in 2007, leaving many people owing more on their home than it was worth for the first time in modern history.

We could be facing the same “vicious cycle” of downward prices during this recession, too.  People who owe more on their home than it is worth can’t move, because they can’t pay off their old mortgage.  This reduces the number of buyers in the market, lowering home prices.  As home prices fall, more and more people owe more than the home is worth.

None of this is good news for painting contractors.  Most people who are trapped in a house don’t want to invest in it even if they can afford to do it. Although some may decide to “make the best of the situation” and try to upgrade the house.  And nobody wants to invest in a house that’s dropping in value.  As a result, fewer homeowners want to have their house painted when house prices go down.

Recession-Risky: Commercial Rental Real Estate

It’s too early to tell, but Coronavirus may create the worst commercial rental real estate market in modern history.  A huge number of restaurants and stores are predicted to go bankrupt.  On top of this, many businesses that do survive the economic shutdown will discover that their employees are just as productive when working from home.  These business owners may allow these employees to continue working from home for years, reducing their need for office space.  Instead of moving into larger offices when their leases expire, they may move into smaller spaces.  We may have more commercial buildings than renters for years.

If this happens, owners of commercial real estate will not be able to pay their mortgages and will go bankrupt.  Their properties will be tied up in bank auctions.  It’s going to be years before many of these properties get any investment at all, including a new paint job.

Recession-Resistant: Single-Family Rental

One of the worst parts of the last recession was that many homeowners couldn’t pay their mortgages.  The banks foreclosed on their homes and sold them at auction.  In some cases, businesses picked them up at a large discount and rented them out.

Because many people can’t afford to buy a house in a downturn, rental homes are a good investment.  Unlike the average homeowner, the businesses and people who buy these rental homes have plenty of money to invest in them, and they’ll be more than happy to pay for a paint job if it will increase the amount the house will rent for.

Recession-Resistant – Industrial & Manufacturing

In a normal recession, industrial and manufacturing businesses do poorly.  People are buying less, so there’s less demand for their products.  But this won’t be a normal recession.

We couldn’t do anything about the shortage of masks, gloves and medicines at the beginning of this crisis because we didn’t make many of those things in the United States.  It was a wake-up call to our government that manufacturing nearly everything overseas is a national security issue.

Already our government is trying to grow US-based manufacturing.  The government may choose to purchase American-made goods even if they’re far more expensive than those made in China.  This will encourage companies to move their manufacturing to the United States – possibly leading to large growth in manufacturing, which would be especially helpful to rural areas.  While earning painting contracts for these types of jobs will be much more complex, one contract will provide an enormous amount of work for the lucky contractors that secure the job.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help you gain more customers with a strong web presence, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at

How Painting Contractors Can Overcome Customer Fear and Distress

May 26th, 2020

One-third of people describe themselves as highly distressed right now during the Coronavirus pandemic. In most cases, you’ll need to get past that fear and distress before you can paint their house. Click here for three ways you can address their fears.


When Will Things Get Back to Normal for Painting Contractors?  Here are Three Factors to Consider.

May 22nd, 2020

Right now, governors in most states are trying to answer the unanswerable: which restrictions should be lifted, and when?  If they move too fast, there’s a good chance everything will get shut down again.  If they move too slow, millions of people will needlessly lose their jobs.

As a business owner, those decisions around reopening your state will have a big impact on your business.  But as a painting contractor, individual business and customer decisions in your community will matter even more.

People will make their own decisions about what’s safe.  Some people are trying to return to their lives already.  A much larger number, however, are likely to be more cautious than whatever their state enables them to do.

It boils down to this – if a person isn’t going back to work, they might not feel safe having a painting contractor in their house, either.  And even if they didn’t mind, they may not have the money to pay you for your work.

As soon as the “official” lockdowns end, business owners will be waiting to see what their customers do.  When will people decide to get back out and live their lives?  That depends on if the virus stops spreading or picks back up again.

Nobody knows where the number of infections are going to go in the next couple of months, but here are three factors to consider as you try to forecast your revenue for the rest of 2020.

More new confirmed cases doesn’t necessarily mean there are more new cases.

More than 90,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United Statex.  It’s clearly extremely dangerous.  But it’s not dangerous to everyone who gets it.  In fact, 25% to 50% of people who got Covid didn’t even know they were sick.  Those people certainly didn’t get a test.

In the early days, the only people who got a test were people who showed up at the hospital, struggling to breathe.  There just weren’t enough tests for anyone else.  That means there were no mild or moderate cases of Covid being confirmed.

Now there are more tests, and more people are getting tested each week.  We are confirming moderate cases, and some places are confirming mild cases.  This is going to lead to more confirmed cases – but it doesn’t mean that more people are getting Covid.  There are just more people being tested.

Any good analysis of what’s happening in your state won’t just throw out some large number of new cases.  It will also consider what percentage of people being tested are positive for coronavirus, which will hopefully be going down every week.

We don’t know the tipping point.

The reason we’re opening in phases is that we don’t know what activities are going to lead to a breakout.  Otherwise, we’d just ban those activities and open everything else up.

One article recently claimed that indoor spread is fairly unlikely, while another said talking for one second can emit enough particles to infect someone, and they stay in the air for 14 minutes.

We just don’t know what, if anything, is going to send the new case number skyrocketing.

Bouncing back and forth between a mostly opened economy and a mostly closed one would be miserable.  But there’s a chance that it could happen, causing more uncertainty for your business.  There are plenty of restrictions to be lifted between now and schools opening, and any of them could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

None of this is black and white

If most businesses are closed in your state, it probably feels like someone flipped a light switch.  In a week’s time, you probably went from a full painting schedule to having plenty of openings, and you probably aren’t making any money.

As many businesses open back up, however, they’re learning that their customers aren’t as excited about having people in their home as they were before this all started.

As long as people aren’t resuming their normal lives, businesses will be impacted.  Whoever the biggest employers are in your town, it’s going to affect you if they aren’t open.  Whether that company’s employees are your customers, or your customers’ customers, it’s going to impact how much money people around town have to spend.

The good news is that, no matter what the impact is, you can make decisions now that will help you for the rest of 2020.  You may need to make quick changes to your expenses or payroll as your local economy changes from week to week or month to month.

The most important thing is to take the steps you need to take to make sure your employees avoid becoming a statistic while they’re working.  Painting contractors that are thorough in planning (and executing) ways to keep their employees and customers protected are less likely to be associated with a Covid epidemic. That is especially important when you are working on-site for your customers.

Spread to customers or other employees would be terrible news, even if the infected person had few or no symptoms.  While a work-from-home order has been devastating to many small businesses across the country, a local reputation as “the Covid painter” would be far, far worse.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business earn more business through a strong web presence, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at