If you're a contractor, you know your job is a lot about balance. Of course, you have to have the know-how to fix pipes, a broken oven, or HVAC systems. But you also have to do marketing and spend a good chunk of money on advertising so you actually have service calls coming into your business.
Yet some contractors never worry about advertising or marketing. In fact, some of them don't even have an advertising budget. How is this possible? They've found success working with home warranty companies!
Now, of course, working for a home warranty company isn't for everyone. However, many contractors find success and grow their business by doing so. Ryan Nelson, Director of Contractor Relations at Landmark, knows this more than anyone. Previously, he was the co-owner of Nelson's Plumbing in Utah for more than 10 years and worked with a number of home warranty companies during that time. I sat down with Ryan and asked him to outline the top three reasons many contractors decide to take work orders from a home warranty company.
The first reason many contractors find success working with home warranty companies, are the consistent service calls throughout the year. Many contractors know the low season can have a negative impact on their pocketbooks. Not as many people are calling for HVAC repairs in the spring and fall, for example. By working with a home warranty company, you can ensure you get work frequently.
Alex Martinez, a contractor with AirZone A/C in Texas, said he has seen success by working with home warranty companies because of this reliability in the work.
"It's nice to have A/C and furnace tune-ups to do during the off-season," he said. "With a home warranty company you can count on constant work all year."
Of course, this consistency only comes if contractors are willing to provide excellent customer service to the home warranty company's clients. Ryan said the more often a contractor provides great service, the more they're trusted. In fact, providing great customer service is one of the stipulations he has for the contractors that work for Landmark.
"I tell my contractor relations reps to find "˜the gem' of a contractor," he said. "If a contractor wants to give great customer service, and grow with us, that's who we consider as a "˜gem!'"
This consistency in work can also help you to ...
Grow Your Business
Once you start taking work orders from a home warranty company, you will have the opportunity to grow your business.
Ryan said when he started his plumbing business he often had days where he waited on calls from homeowners and didn't have a full schedule. One day, a small home warranty company called him to fix a problem in northern Utah. After completing the repair, he asked if he could get more service calls from the home warranty company. As he started out, he kept getting more and more calls a day, until he was the primary plumber.
"At the beginning, I was taking one call a week," Ryan said. "That progressed to two calls a day, to at least 15 calls a day."
However, with this influx in work orders, there can be problems if the contractor is not prepared to handle the workload.
John Adams, a contractor with GKB Appliance Service in Texas, said having enough qualified technicians to handle the number of calls is important.
"Don't grow too fast," John said. "It's hard to balance work and family. I completed 32,000 work orders last year by myself, and it was hard to find that balance."
Luckily, you should have more budget to hire more technicians because you'll...
Remove your Advertising Budget
As a contractor, you can know all there is to know about plumbing, heating or air, but if you don't have any service calls coming into your business, you won't make money. Most contractors pay for advertising to make sure they have consistent calls coming in, but that can really add up fast. That is why getting service requests from a home warranty company can be beneficial.
"You always have a check coming in the mail," Ryan said. "Anyone can go out and start a business, but one of the biggest challenges is actually getting consistent work. A home warranty company helps with that."
Ryan said the great thing about getting service calls from somewhere like Landmark is that they already have clients that know to call them when something breaks down. Then, the home warranty company calls you, eliminating any need for advertising. It's also great for repeat work. When something else goes wrong, if you did a great job the first time you went to the clients house, they may call you again for extra work.
"The home warranty company puts you face-to-face with the customer," Ryan said. "That's your advertising. If the customer likes you, they will call you back."
So there it is. If you have the right mindset, and customer service, you can grow your business, reduce costs in advertising and get consistent service calls by working with a home warranty company.