The Perks and Challenges of Residential Painting

Painting is painting, right?  Right.  But residential jobs are not the same as commercial ones.  Each type of job has perks and challenges.  If you’re aware of these (especially the challenges) you can prep for them and be more successful!  And if you currently focus on either residential or commercial work, you can use this information to expand your business into another market. RESIDENTIAL – The Challenges Must Be Knowledgeable Must Communicate Well Your knowledge of materials and your ability to communicate with your clients is key to the success of a residential job.  Some high-end clients will have an interior designer overseeing a project (and making all the decisions), but most homeowners will rely on your knowledge and experience to select/recommend materials and colors for their space.  You need to make recommendations that reflect the homeowners’ concerns (durability, care, environmental impact, etc.) and lifestyle (kids, pets, etc.).  Your recommendations also need to account for things the homeowner doesn’t consider, like moisture level in a space, how the paint will wear over time, sheen, how much light a space receives, etc. Price vs. Value Closing a residential deal isn’t based on coming in with the lowest bid.  It’s about the value you bring to the job (being knowledgeable is part of this).  It’s about whether the homeowner feels a good personal connection, so be friendly, patient, and courteous.  People Live Here You and your crew are working in someone’s home.  Take extra care to protect furniture, floors, personal items, and to respect the space for the family living there.  All of the above will impact your business long term....

Prepare the Exterior Crew for Interiors

When it’s too cold to paint outdoors, your exterior crew should move indoors.  Painting interiors, though, requires a different set of knowledge and habits.  Here’s a quick list of training topics to prepare the exterior crew for interiors. Before walking in the door Cover or remove shoes to protect the client’s floors.  Check out E-Z Floor Guards for a neat alternative to traditional shoe covers – they’re adhesive!   Mentally prepare to be careful – there are more fragile objects inside a house than outside and more to protect. Prep and Paint There are more surface types inside than exterior crews are used to.  Take time to train crews on the common surfaces and how to prepare them for painting. The age of the surface determines the prep method.  Crews need training to properly handle the lead-based paints that were used prior to 1978. Different surfaces require different primers! Ventilation isn’t a big deal outside because you’re outside.  Teach your crew how to properly ventilate an indoor space for their safety and the safety of the clients. More variety of surfaces, different prep and primer needs, extra care around the homeowner’s personal objects.  All this means more setup/clean up time each day. Proper preparation will result in a great coat of paint.  Just like painted surfaces, prep your crew with the training they need to do interiors.  Success can be seen on the walls and on the faces of your happy clients....

Increase Sales and Perceived Value through Discounts

What?  It’s October already?!  As the busy summer season winds down, you can promote your services (and increase sales) by offering deals (discounts) that make customers feel like they’re getting a big bang for their buck (perceived value).  Back in August we blogged about how you can use special offers to get customers to book early (see Prepare for Winter – Don’t Wait!).  With that in mind, we thought you might be curious about why offers work.  Understanding the consumer psychology can help you come up with offers that customers will connect with. Discounts for no reason are bad, but discounts for a good reason are good! An item or service discounted for no reason suggests to customers that the item/service is a lower quality than a non-discounted item/service.  BUT, customers are quick to change their opinion if they see a reason for the discount. Seasonal/Holiday discounts are good. Get your home ready for the holidays!  Take advantage of our Fall specials. More is better.  (Offering free stuff increases perceived value.) Jobs scheduled for Oct – Dec 2015 will receive free ceiling paint or window cleaning! Discounts for bundling increase perceived value. Get  3 or more rooms painted and take 15% off your total.  Pre-paid discounts are good too. Prepay your invoice in full and take an additional 10% off!  Call now for your free estimate and get on the schedule.  To sum up, using discounts is a great way to increase sales by increasing the value customers feel like they’re...