Go from trusted advisor to project hero by mastering the journey no homeowner wants to take.
No homeowner is excited about replacing their windows. It can be a challenging process filled with new terminology, options, and questions.
As a home remodeler or replacement contractor, it’s up to you to play a guiding role in the homeowner’s window replacement journey. How will you deliver a winning solution with minimal homeowner worry and disruption? Answer correctly and you’ve likely earned a customer for life—and all the referral business that goes with it.
Few understand the replacement process better than Kris Hanson. Hanson leads our product management team at Marvin Windows and Doors.
It’s his business to understand the journey homeowners and contractors go through together. “We constantly talk to homeowners and contractors about their needs,” Hanson says. “We know there are many good reasons to replace windows, from improving the look of the home to energy savings. Every homeowner has a different tipping point for when it’s time to replace.”
To better understand what the homeowner goes through during the process, our team conducted research to identify the pain points and hurdles most homeowners experience during the replacement journey.
The findings help predict homeowner behavior and the contractor’s best response. That research model helped us develop seven business-building strategies that you can follow for your next project:
Advise. Hanson says, “What homeowners really want is someone who can assess the problem and show them the way forward. Ask ‘What is the issue with the present windows?’ Help them navigate the slew of window replacement options that are out there.”
Listen. “The homeowner wants someone that listens carefully and they can confidently lean on for advice. Hear what the customer says. Listen to what is driving their decision-making. If it’s aesthetics, for example, offer suggestions like, ‘Here are some popular window styles for you to consider,’” says Hanson.
Focus. Hanson says most homeowners will have done their online homework. That’s not always a good thing. “Homeowners check out Houzz, Angie’s List, Porch and similar websites. They might have even visited a lumberyard or building supply store. They’re probably pretty confused,” says Hanson. Understand what your homeowners want to accomplish and show them which products can help them meet their goals.
Demonstrate. “It’s difficult for many homeowners to visualize. I’ve heard some remodelers will actually tape new windows dimensions or divided lite patterns on the wall. Window corner samples are great, along with interior and exterior color chips,” suggests Hanson.
Endorse. Homeowners trust your expertise. “Endorsement is important. Homeowners are easily influenced by their last trip to the home improvement store. You know more than that. Be careful to not push an agenda, but rather focus on what’s best for the homeowner and how you can solve their problem,” advises Hanson.
Calm. The new windows are ordered. The homeowner is relieved, excited and antsy. “Now’s not the time to let the homeowner wonder about delivery and installation,” Hanson says. “Call with regular updates. Explain ‘We’re still on track with that eight-week schedule.’ I don’t think I’ve ever heard a homeowner complain, ‘My contractor was too good at communicating. I was way too informed.’”
Follow Through. Be proactive after installation. Inquire 30 days after the new windows are installed how everything is working. Are there concerns? Great contractors have this part down pat, Hanson says. They know how friendly follow-up sparks referrals.
As you pursue replacement window projects, keep these strategies in mind. For a free kit you can leave behind with your customers and in-depth guidance on navigating the replacement process, visit our replacement windows and doors page.