Canadian Contractor

Marketing & Sales

June 20, 2014  

Strategies for competing with Fly-By-Nighters

Fly-By-Nighters, Trunk Slammers, Cash Guys, The Underground… whatever you call them, they are everywhere these days – trying to outbid you by 30 to 40 per cent. Here are some ways that established, above-board, legitimate contractors are competing with this hidden marketplace.

May 5, 2014  

Lethbridge, Alta.'s Bezooyen Contracting is latest builder to partner up with the (Mike) Holmes Approved Homes program

Holmes Approved Homes was launched in 2011 and has steadily signed up builders who want to partner up with Mike Holmes to ensure that their clients know they are getting a quality build

May 2, 2014  

Yellow Pages, the book, is a dinosaur. Yellow Pages on-line gets us customers on a daily basis.

It seems the Yellow Pages might have to rebrand itself as the “Yellow Screen” – or something like that

April 16, 2014  

Six myths about customer financing of home improvement projects

Financing a project stimulates opportunities for renovators, but traditional methods of doing so can slow down or kill that sale.

April 16, 2014  

Salary Survey result: 51% of contractors under $250,000 billings now have websites

The more money contractors are billing, the more likely they are to have websites. Or is that the other way around?

April 9, 2014  

Canada's top renovators and builders honoured at CHBA Conference in Whistler, B.C.

The award for “Whole House Renovation” (more than $500,000) went to Eurodale Developments, Toronto

April 2, 2014  

Alberta contractors report most sales increases in country, Atlantic Canada places second

Ontario and B.C. have the least optimistic contractors – when asked about sales increases in their region – in Canada.

March 25, 2014  

Grow your contractor business: Get an advisory board

Small businesses that added an advisory board grew an

March 18, 2014  

VIDEO: Interview with PROBUILT's Mike Upshall: How to structure your renovation firm

Mike Upshall, a veteran homebuilder and renovator, talks about how he runs his firm using a lead carpenter system that puts on-the-tools carpenters into front line roles with full budgetary responsibilities

February 26, 2014  

American renovators talk about a boycott of Angie's List

Renovation contractors can find it much harder to close a sale once negative reviews of their work appear online. Angie’s List, based in Indianapolis, has angered so many contractors that a boycott is now a possibility.

January 29, 2014  

Can you guess the top 5 renovation projects (in terms of returned value upon resale)?

A simple entry door replacement on an American home will return almost every penny it cost the homeowner, upon resale. Can you guess some of the other top 5 projects, as surveyed by Remodeling magazine?

January 10, 2014  

Pin it to win it: Pinterest offers your reno firm a creative way to get new clients

Pinterest, the online scrapbooking site, has more than 70 million users. Lowe’s is using it extensively to promote its products. As a professional renovator, you should check it out.

December 4, 2013  

Networking – not a dirty word but a great way to market your reno business

Networking is not about handshaking or cocktail parties, it’s anything you can do to meet new people and get word-of-mouth referrals.

November 27, 2013  

Why renovators can pick up so much business from community newspapers

You’d be hard pressed to find another advertising medium that reaches 75 per cent of your potential clients.

November 20, 2013  

Renovantage’s Mike Draper on turning leads into customers

“Never email a quotation,” Draper counsels. “Always visit with the client to go over the details so that you can make adjustments to include or exclude changes the customer wants to see.

November 20, 2013  

Getting a website? Forget .COM. How about .BUILD, specifically created for the construction industry

If you don’t have a website yet – or

November 14, 2013  

What women want, and why you should care

You may be negotiating with the man of the

November 13, 2013  

The value-add: Help clients understand ways to finance home renovations

I’m sure you’ve all been there. A client asks

November 13, 2013  

How to sell, sell, sell your renovations expertise year round

Winter’s coming and you may be up to your

November 4, 2013  

Protecting cash flow

Learning to manage cash flow is one of the

October 30, 2013  

Is your crew undermining your reputation as a contractor?

“I watched as a crew showed up the day after Canada Day to spend four hours sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.”

October 25, 2013  

Promoting your contracting business via Facebook

Have you been avoiding Facebook because you think it’s just for kids? Think again. There are more users over the age of 40, including men, on Facebook than there are teenagers. It’s an excellent medium to promote your reno services.

October 9, 2013  

VIDEO: Flip School's Ian Szabo talks about keeping a positive mindset when renovating

Keeping your cool under pressure in this crazy business of renovating houses is a matter of learning to “hit the reset button” in your own head, Ian Szabo advises.

October 8, 2013  

Boost your reno sales without sounding like a car salesman

It’s important to understand that people only do renovations because they have pain. While your client is explaining to you what they want done, your job is to find the real “pain point.” Is your prospective client embarrassed by the poor condition of their residence? Have they promised an upgrade in living space to their spouse?

August 6, 2013  

Coaches' Corner VIDEO: Solving problems with the homeowner, Part 1

In our latest Coaches Corner video (here), Mike Draper

July 22, 2013  

Managing your online reputation: VIDEO interview Part 2 with Brian Sharwood, HomeStars

You are online whether you want to be or not. You need to manage what is being said about you and your company.

July 16, 2013  

How to manage your online reputation: Interview with Brian Sharwood, HomeStars

It’s a listing you never asked for and don’t want and there are bad reviews from angry customers attached. What can you do? HomeStars president Brian Sharwood tells us why the listing is there and how to protect your reputation.

June 25, 2013  

E-newsletters for renovators: Five keys to success

Newsletter marketing is a great way for renovation contractors to add new customers.

June 11, 2013  

Can ClubLocal become the "Amazon of home repair"?

Club Local is funded by wealthy publicly-traded owners, and the website promises homeowners needing repairs that they can track the whereabouts of their tradespeople “in real time.” And that the trades hired online will do their work for “below market” prices. Good luck with that.

May 21, 2013  

Why most renovations start in the kitchen… and what homeowners might be missing

What web search data tells us about how Canadian homeowners go about finding a contractor online