It’s Home Improvement Month, and we want to empower and celebrate home improvement contractors. More people at home, and working from home, has caused an increase in the wear-and-tear on their houses—and the need for home improvements and home improvement financing options.*
This month, we’ll share blogs on:
- How financing know-how can simplify your home improvement business
- Contractor tips to a more consultative approach to financing options
- How contractors can position financing to meet client demands for more energy-efficient upgrades
- A celebration of contractors during a past year unlike any other
This is the third blog in our Home Improvement Month series.
Home improvement financing options may not be the first way you think of to help homeowners go green for their next project. The truth is that the best, energy-efficient options tend to cost more. And there are a number of other factors impacting your clients’ decisions. In our previous blog in this series, we explored how taking a consultative approach to home repair payment options can benefit your business at every step of the project. This approach is invaluable when guiding your clients to energy-efficient home improvements—and how to afford them with home improvement financing options.
Homeowners Are Willing to Spend for Green
In the third quarter of 2019, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) conducted a quarterly survey of residential construction and remodeling contractors on the “Prevalence, Opinion, and Use of Trendy Product Categories.” When asked, “What is the willingness of your clients to pay for green/environmentally friendly products,” they found that nearly 60% are either “willing to pay a little more” or “are willing to pay a lot more.”
Roughly a quarter of respondents didn’t know if their clients are willing to pay more. Whether those contractors did not investigate that willingness or if it was unclear for other reasons, there’s a likelihood that a more efficient option wasn’t presented.
You can gauge a homeowner’s willingness to spend more for green home upgrades by presenting good, better and best options for the repairs and the home improvement financing options. Often, “better” or “best” options for doors, windows, roofs, solar panels and HVAC systems correlate with more energy efficient solutions. Those upgrades can be critical to improving a home’s energy efficiency—and often come with a higher price tag.
The hardest part in selling a home improvement project isn’t convincing a customer they need it—it’s helping them figure out how to pay for it.
The majority of the HIRI survey respondents indicated that their clients were willing to pay more for green options. That’s why Mosaic provides home improvement financing options through its platform for a variety of home repairs and upgrades in roofs, windows, HVAC systems and other projects.
Contractors play an essential role in helping homeowners understand how they can afford the “best” green and environmentally friendly options they desire.
“Affordable” Is a Relative Term
“Affordable” can mean different things to different people. If your client’s cost evaluation centers on the overall ticket price of a project, then affordability may be a reflection of access to cash, home equity or existing credit lines. If your client is focused mostly on manageable monthly payments, then interest rates on home improvement loans or credit cards may become critical considerations for financing their projects.
Some homeowners may think they need to build a brand-new home or commit to reaching zero energy status to be on their way to making greener decisions. They may believe that “green” is out of reach (not affordable) even when they have a high desire to live in a more energy neutral home. A 2020 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy press release found that low-income households spend three times as much on their energy bills than other households.
Mosaic’s platform lets contractors offer their homeowners simple, fast home improvement financing options for both solar panels and home improvements like roofs, doors, windows and HVAC installs—upgrades that can be key for boosting your energy efficiency and affordability.
Energy Efficiency Beyond the Cost of Repairs
When your customers value energy efficiency in their homes and are willing to pay more to ensure they have it, you can help them find ways to afford it. According to the 2019 HIRI “Prevalence, Opinion, and Use of Trendy Product Categories” survey, 54% of respondents reported that energy savings is the top aided reason why green/ environmentally friendly products are used. When you understand a client’s motivation, you can help them identify the right cost savings.
Here are a few ways homeowners gain savings by going to green:
- The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy reports that “of the $2,000 the average American spends paying for energy annually, $200 to $400 could be going to waste from drafts, air leaks around openings and outdated heating and cooling systems.” When homeowners bring in green repairs, they find savings in the long run through reduced utility bills.
- Solar costs are falling and other utility costs are rising.
- In addition to federal solar energy tax credits, many states and local jurisdictions also incentivize the investments in the energy efficiency of your home with offers to make it more affordable.
Green and Growing in Your Business
At Mosaic, we aim to help you grow your business with simple, affordable financing options for solar energy and home improvement projects. You can maximize your revenue when you help your clients maximize their buying power for energy-efficient home improvements. If you want to help your home improvement customers go green by helping them afford it, click here to learn more about how to become a mosaic contractor partner.
* Home Improvement Loans through the Mosaic Platform are made by WebBank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.