How Has Working with Exterior Contractors Changed in the Last 10 Years?
The past ten years have been remarkable due to the evolution of technologies. We have seen rapid changes in the ways we buy and sell across the board, from our everyday purchases like groceries to services like medical care, transportation, and even home improvement.
Exterior Home Improvement – The Past
Ten years ago, we relied on friends and family for advice when we needed to hire contractors for a home improvement project. If our immediate social circles didn’t have solid recommendations for us, we were left with few alternatives to vet our options. Frequently, we would just open up a physical copy of that year’s Yellow Pages (do you remember the Yellow Pages?) and scan the print ads to find a company offering the services we needed. We would make a phone call from a landline during business hours, which would often go to the contractor’s pager, so we would have to wait for a return call. Once the appointment happened, the contractor would walk the property, climb ladders, and take measurements by hand and would create rough sketches. Then we would wait another few days to receive an estimate, sometimes by phone or maybe even in the mail. We’d repeat this scenario several times in order to have estimates to compare.
If we wanted to check the quality of a contractor’s work, our best option would be to call former customers to inquire about their experiences. It’s easy to imagine that at times the process of hiring a contractor for projects like roofing, siding or windows could take as long as the project itself!
The influx of New Technologies and the Change in Homeowner Expectations
As new technologies were developed and released to the market, construction professionals began to adopt practices and devices that slowly sped up these time-consuming procedures. First, they started carrying cell phones and developing websites, which made it easier for homeowners to identify the right company for their project much easier and faster. Then, job site tools like laser measuring and smartphone cameras began to replace the old-fashioned tape measure and pencil sketches once used for creating estimates and takeoffs.
The development of these technologies allowed for much faster and more accurate estimating — which, coincidentally, also tightened sales competition between companies. To single out which of the many contractors would be best equipped to complete the project they have in mind, today’s homeowners turn to the internet.
They expect to be able to read customer reviews and detailed information about a company’s services, warranties, and products online before they ever speak to a representative. Often, they expect to schedule their estimates online as well. Inevitably, online presence has become a must for contractors in this highly competitive environment.
Further, the introduction of digital platforms like Marketsharp, JobNimbus, Leap Digital and HOVER have made construction organizations much more efficient than they ever were. This rise in innovation has allowed organizations to become increasingly agile with tasks ranging from project management to being able to quickly provide quotes on any project. Technologies like HOVER have also lead to much more transparency across the home improvement process and among key stakeholders, generating more satisfied and trusting customers.
For example, HOVER has eliminated the need for contractors to spend hours climbing ladders and manually measuring a house, saving both homeowners and contractors significant time and money. The platform turns smartphone photos of any property into an accurate, interactive 3D model giving contractors all the detailed exterior measurements they need to estimate a project accurately. It also provides contractors a way to visualize what the finished project will look like for their clients. As such, the HOVER deliverables are a huge advantage over the rough pencil sketches and outdated measurement reports that past generations used to base their exterior home improvement buying decisions on.
The process of working with exterior contractors will, no doubt, continue to evolve as more technologies are created that eliminate the risks and hassles we associate with construction projects. However, when a contractor can provide an accurate, interactive 3D model of your actual home by simply taking a few photos, it feels as though the future has already arrived.