Modernize, a provider of home improvement contractor lead generation services, has released its latest Homeowner Index, a quarterly research study that measures sentiment among thousands of U.S. homeowners currently considering windows, roofing, solar, or heating and air conditioning projects. This particular study covers how homeowners educate themselves about the improvement projects they are interested in, how they find and choose what contractors to work with, and how they think about paying for those projects. The findings seem particularly relevant for solar contractors.
The latest wave of the study found that 51 percent of homeowners utilize online articles as the primary source for research on their home improvement project. And they spend substantial time in their research, with 35 percent of homeowners spending between 1 and 5 hours investigating their project before submitting a lead and a full 28 percent spending more than 10 hours researching on their own.
Then, when they’re selecting a contractor, homeowners shun bad communication skills, with 23 percent listing that as a factor that would prevent hiring a contractor; by contrast, only six percent listed “Ego” as a factor that would prevent a hiring.
“The continued prevalence of homeowners’ online research for information and guidance on their home improvement projects points to the importance for contractors to communicate and make connections online,” said Jason Polka, CEO of Modernize.
When it comes to kicking off their home improvement project, many homeowners are nervous about their understanding of costs and want help. Eighty-six percent of homeowners surveyed had not created a budget for their project, and of homeowners who paused their project, 58 percent did so because it was too expensive. Across all trades 42 percent of homeowners would like to finance up to half of their project, and 19 percent would like to finance the entire project.
“The homeowner’s lack of knowledge about costs reinforces the need for contractors to educate customers about financing so that homeowners can have more confidence,” said Polka. “Homeowners go online to get quotes and find ways to pay for their home improvement projects. Contractors should capitalize on those needs by having their websites educate and inform homeowners on the financial options.”
— Solar Builder magazine