The remodeling industry is booming with renovation spending projected to increase by 7.5% in 2018. With over 44 million viewers, Home & Garden Television (HGTV) is capitalizing on this trend. In fact, HGTV is one of the most-watched channels on cable television.
This rabid audience has created a new phenomenon some remodelers are calling the “HGTV Effect”. In a nutshell, it’s homeowners starting home improvement projects they’ve recently seen on HGTV – and expecting the same experience. If you haven’t encountered it already, believe me, you will. 75% of HGTV’s viewers are homeowners ages 25-54 with an average income of $83K.
Here’s a look at how you can alter your sales approach to better manage homeowner expectations and put the HGTV Effect to work for you.
How the HGTV Effect Works
Here’s what happens: a homeowner watches HGTV and falls in love with a project (“Honey, take a look at this kitchen!”). The process appears fast, the price appears low and the results are designer quality. Plus, everyone’s objectively good-looking! So, the homeowner picks up the phone and calls you, eager to start their own project. Great! You set an appointment.
The consultation is going well, but when you deliver the cost estimate, they ask, “Why is it so high? The price was so low on HGTV.” That’s a problem. While you may know how wildly inaccurate those shows are, you have to be careful to not derail your deal when you handle the objection.
Breaking the HGTV Spell
When you get a lead that takes HGTV at face value, you have to remember why these shows are so popular in the first place. Homeowners watch these shows to be entertained, to be inspired. When they start their own project, they’re trying to recreate that experience.
Connecting with a homeowner’s HGTV inspiration will give your sales team a competitive edge. First impressions matter. Think of yourself as an HGTV host and guide them through the process; if their ideas seem cloudy or vague, keep asking questions to clarify their goals.
Every homeowner needs to go through a brief period of self-discovery before deciding to pull the trigger. Homeowners need to realize what they like, what they prefer. HGTV jump starts that process, but you need to reinforce it to keep prospects engaged.
Nonetheless, be prepared to adjust homeowner expectations. The “reality” of the situation is that HGTV distorts what a home renovation really looks like. Actual costs can be inaccurate and because HGTV viewers see entire homes transformed in an hour, day or week, the timelines can be misleading. It’s up to you to keep your prospects grounded.
Be honest and clear about what the homeowner can realistically afford and how long the project may take. Make sure they understand the scale of their project and how it will temporarily impact their life.
Are HGTV-Inspired Leads Worth it?
In a word: yes. The upshot of getting HGTV-obsessed homeowners is that they are motivated and ready to invest. They often have a clear vision of what they want, which can make it easy to accurately estimate price and project duration.
In addition, HGTV shows feature just about every type of home improvement project. A homeowner may come to you looking to remodel a bathroom, but once started, may undertake remodeling other rooms. These homeowners crave transformation; if you can deliver, they’ll be back for more.
Using the HGTV Effect to Your Advantage
In summary, HGTV gives homeowners an extra push to re-invest in their homes. In high-demand housing markets, renovating is becoming a no-brainer, in part because HGTV makes it look so easy.
That means the leads you want are out there. Embracing HGTV-mania and tailoring your sales strategies accordingly will help you drive business. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired too.