The landscape construction industry continues to reach higher and higher value levels. Similar to other disciplines within the overall design/build industry, today’s homeowners expect to pay a higher price point for professional landscape design services and elaborate hardscape installations. Despite the researched intelligence of the modern homeowner, many are not comfortable paying for the full cost of the project without the payment options they’ve become accustomed to with other large purchases.
A large number of landscape contractors see the greatest volume of high-end work come from homeowners who are 50 or older. Why? Because this is often the most common demographic that can afford – or still chooses – to pay outright the full cost of their dream outdoor oasis. Unfortunately, this can severely limit the scope of the business’ reach, shrinking the geographic radius of service areas and reducing the number of referrals.
It is a massive waste of time for landscape contractors to attend meeting after meeting with clients who cannot bear the entire financial responsibility of their new patio or front entrance renovation. Excited homeowners become discouraged by the cost of a large project when there is no alternative plan. Unfortunately, when this happens, a negative connotation can become associated with the landscape company, making it less likely that the homeowner will call again even after they can afford the project. This not only wastes the time, money, and energy of the landscape contractor’s team, but it simultaneously creates negative feelings of inflexibility towards the company.
Homeowners that are in a rush to enjoy their outdoor space but cannot afford the backyard they were hoping for will still want to enhance their space somehow. In this case, they may wish to only pay for a smaller project. For example, instead of the luxurious patio with an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven, the homeowner might scale back and only install a small patio area or fire pit. The issue with these projects is that, while the contractor will still accommodate the needs of the customer, they are less profitable and will create roadblocks to building a larger scale work in the same space at a later time. Another common option is to divide one big project into several smaller projects to be completed over a number of years. This option, however, can ultimately cost more for the homeowner because the contractor will need to keep returning to the design phase on a loop. This is very disruptive of the homeowner’s lifestyle, as well as that of the entire neighborhood.
Offer a Payment Options Plan on Every Project
The best possible solution to this major – and recurring – problem for landscape contractors is to offer a payment options plan all the time. There are different payment option solutions on the market for contractors. Unilock Authorized Contractors located in the U.S. have the ability to offer the Unilock Do-It-Now Payment Options Program. Instead of waiting until they can pay out the entire cost, this program helps U.S. homeowners get the funds they need to complete the outdoor living space of their dreams right now.
Regardless of the exact solution, contractors who offer payment options encourage homeowners to start enjoying their space now, instead of waiting for years or even abandoning their dream project altogether.
By offering a payment options plan all the time, landscape contractors don’t have to solely focus on just one demographic. They can expand their reach by catering to other target markets, providing the opportunity to network with a larger variety of homeowners and create new, exciting projects that will expand their portfolios.
Time Used Wisely
Rather than wasting time and energy on sales that simply will never materialize, landscape contractors can educate homeowners about payment options before a meeting begins. By providing payment options information on their website and training employees to mention it over the phone, homeowners can feel more comfortable about moving forward with a project. Contractors, as a result, can fully commit their time to the most worthwhile leads.
More Sales, Happier Customers
Ultimately, offering payment options inspires more homeowners to complete the project they truly want without delay. When homeowners learn upfront about their payment options, they are less anxious about the potential for a large price tag during the process. The positive customer experience due to payment arrangement flexibility often results in more and better referrals, creating a cycle of success that’s a win-win for everyone.