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Saturday, June 27, 2020
Paint has changed plenty in the past several decades, but the process of painting hasn’t. The paint brush has been around for 2,000 years, and the paint roller has been around since the 1940s. They’re just as useful as they’ve ever been.
It’s not that people aren’t inventing new ways to paint. The problem is that most of these are gimmicks aimed at people who want to paint their own house and are looking for a shortcut. Some of these may make things a little easier for an inexperienced painter, but most of them end up causing more trouble (and mess) that they’re worth.
Occasionally, a new product comes around and makes a painter’s life a little easier. Here are a couple of new ideas for 2020, and how they might help you or your business.
Paint Rollers save plenty of time, but they also can be messy, take forever to clean and waste a good amount of paint. Nespoli’s RollMatic product recently launched in the US and attempts to deal with all three of these problems.
When you’re done with a paint roller for the day, simply pop it off into an air-tight plastic container and click the top shut. The paint roller stays moist and ready for re-use for up to three weeks. When you’re ready to reuse the roller, just open the container, snap the roller on, and it’s ready to go.
Armed Work Wear Painter Pants
With so many companies trying to come up with new tools to carry, it’s surprising that nobody has put much thought into carrying them all. When you’re working on a ladder, the last thing you want is to have to get down four times to fetch the right tool.
Armed Work Wear put some thought into this and came up with a pair of pants specifically for painters. They didn’t focus on marketing gimmicks – they’re made of pre-shrunk cotton, not some patented fabric blend. But they carry more of what you need, keep you safer and more comfortable, and don’t fall apart after dozens of washes. (unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic is causing some supply issues, so it may be a few weeks before more of these are available)
American Painting Contractor recently wrote an article on a protective coating that kills COVID-19 on contact. It’s not ready for commercial use yet, and for now the product is aimed at coating masks and gloves. But if this spray is commercialized, it could quickly become sought after by businesses desperate to avoid an outbreak in this building. Keep an eye on this, because if it becomes available as a paint additive or surface coating, it will be a huge opportunity for painters!
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your company earn more painting leads, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
When it comes to buying goods and services, people trust their own experiences. But many homeowners who need to hire a painting contractor are doing it for the first time – or at least the first time since they’ve moved to the area. Since they can’t rely on previous experience with the painting contractor, they have to find other ways to determine their credibility.
Customers in this situation will often ask for a recommendation from friends or family members, either in person or through social media. This is why recommendations are such an effective way to earn more painting business. Outside of a direct request for a recommendation or a comment on a newly painted house, however, the topic of house painting doesn’t come up often in conversation.
Reviews are also a great way to earn trust from someone looking for a painter. Unlike recommendations, people can read dozens of online reviews almost instantly. Great reviews lead to more business, and we highly recommend seeking them. Reviews aren’t always easy to earn, however – many customers don’t remember to write them unless they’re personally asked and reminded later via phone or email, which can be awkward and time consuming.
There is one way to gain trust that doesn’t rely on anyone else speaking on your behalf, however. One of the easiest ways to gain trust is to let your customers get to know you. Once customers learn more about you, they’re less likely to view you as a business and more likely to view you as a person and a community member.
New customers aren’t going to call every painting contractor listed online and interview them. If you want a chance to tell customers about you and any other people who paint for your business, your best opportunity to do that is on your website.
This is why we encourage our customers to add some personality to their websites, especially on the “About Us” page. While most pages of a painting contractor website are built to get you found when people search Google for painting services, this isn’t the case for the About Us page.
The About Us page should contain:
What You Focus On – This shouldn’t be boilerplate language about fantastic customer service or great prices. It’s what you do better than any other painting contractors nearby. Whatever you say your focus is, you have to deliver on it every time.
Names, Pictures and Descriptions of Staff Members – Homeowners obviously want to know about the person, or people, who will be in their house. That person’s integrity and attention to detail will determine how comfortable the customer will be in trusting that their home and its contents will be taken care of as the painting is completed.
Community Involvement – If your business sponsors any local events or participates in other community activities, this is a great place to highlight information and pictures about your involvement. Any free painting services you’ve provided to nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity should be listed here as well. The more potential customers see you as a member of the community instead of a company, the more comfortable they’ll feel that they’re going to get good, honest service.
Improving your About Us page (and other areas of your website) by adding pictures and personal information is one of the most cost-effective things you can do to bolster trust in your painting business. We love it when our customers reach out and ask us to post things like this on their websites because we know it will improve their results!
To learn how ProPainter Websites helps painting contractors build trust and earn new customers, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Monday, June 22, 2020
Recessions are not a fun time to be a business owner. But painting contractors who use them as an opportunity to master the basics put themselves in a position to survive the recession – and thrive in the years afterwards. Click here to learn about three important focus areas.
Friday, May 29, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Tuesday, May 26, 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.