Survey Results: When Do Homeowners Call a Painting Contractor?

While customer satisfaction can help drive repeat business, it also has the potential to secure new clients through referrals. To help painting contractors better understand how customers seek them out, we conducted a survey of more than 1,700 homeowners to see when they hire a painting contractor, where they look for professionals and what drives the selection process. This is the first in a series of articles that will walk through those findings and provide best practices to help you evaluate and build your company's services.

With more than one third of homeowners hiring in the past year, the industry is bouncing back well after the recession.

Interior Projects Lead the Way
When it comes to projects, 58 percent reported hiring for interior painting jobs and 15 percent for both interior and exterior and 27 percent exterior. 

On the interior front, 85 percent of homeowners’ projects required painting two or more rooms. This is an indicator that when a homeowner has more than one room to paint, they want to bring in an expert to handle the full-project scope, efficiently and seamlessly.

So why are homeowners hiring a professional painter? Lack of time topped the list of main reasons at 42 percent, tied with homeowners feeling it was a job best left to a professional. Nearly one-quarter of homeowners believed they did not have the ability to paint themselves.

Important Demographics to Target
Two important groups to consider when looking for new clients are senior citizens and baby boomers. While lack of time and capability were cited as reasons to seek professional painters for both these groups, they also have the disposable income to take on home improvement projects and hire someone to handle the jobs for them. Many seniors are choosing to stay at home rather than move into an assisted living facility. This choice means they often need help with daily maintenance activities, including paint touch-up projects. Baby boomers on the other hand are eager to enjoy life and let others take on home maintenance needs. Consider the needs of these two audiences and ensure your business is marketing its ability to deliver these services to be considered for projects.

At the end of the day, homeowners are looking for support on many interior projects, whether it is due to lack of time, requiring a higher skill set or a general feeling that the job is best left to a professional. Focus on the value that your business can deliver to potential clients in these areas and your team’s ability to seamlessly handle the project at hand. In the next article, we’ll discuss where the customer is looking for you.

About the Author
Jeff Winter is director of marketing, residential repaint for Sherwin-Williams.

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