Ron Sonntag Public Relations, Inc. (RSPR), a full service public relations and marketing agency, reports that a recently completed independent survey conducted for the Milwaukee/NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) Home Improvement Council, Inc. shows more than 74 percent of the respondents achieved increased sales, while 23 held steady in 2013 when compared to the previous year.
Of the 36 Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc. members that responded to the “Industry Activity Questionnaire,” 75 percent were contractors, while 17 percent were either wholesalers/suppliers, manufacturers, or designers. The objective of the questionnaire, which RSPR distributed in January 2014, was to measure home improvement and remodeling trends and ascertain changes, if any, being experienced by Milwaukee/NARI members within the industry. Survey highlights include the following:
• Of those that said sales were up in 2013, 54 percent specialize in interior remodeling projects, while 15 percent focus on exterior remodeling and 31 percent do a combination of the two.
• Of the companies that experienced flat sales in 2013 when compared to the previous year, 37 percent specialize in interior remodeling, while 63 percent do a combination of interior and exterior work.
• 64 percent of the respondents said there was an increase in the average project cost completed for homeowners in 2013 when compared to 2012, while 36 percent said the project cost remained the same.
• 41 percent of the respondents said the average project cost completed in 2013 was between $1,000 - $10,000, 18 percent said it was between $25,000 - $75,000, and 18 percent said the cost was between $10,000 - $25,000.
• Sales volume for 17 percent of the respondents was over $3 million, while 40 percent had sales between $1 million and $3 million, 11 percent had sales between $750,000 and $1 million, 11 percent had sales between $250,000 and $500,000, and 11 percent had sales between $100,000 and $250,000.
• Contractors continue to generate business in a variety of ways, with past customers (81 percent) and referrals (75 percent) given most often as the reasons that contracts are signed. In addition, improved economic conditions was listed by 44 percent of the respondents, while 36 percent indicated an increase in marketing and participation in Milwaukee/NARI consumer shows positively impacted their business in 2013.
• Contractors indicated that 53 percent of their business was done with “Baby Boomers” (age 48 – 66), while “Generation X” (aged 34 – 47) comprised 29% of the work, and “Matures” (age 67 and up) were at 14 percent.
• 66 percent of customers paid for the remodeling products/service in cash or with a check, while 13 percent used outside financing and 12 percent paid with a credit card.
In its research, RSPR learned that Milwaukee/NARI members are seeing a variety of industry trends, including…
• more home additions.
• expanded outdoor living areas.
• increased use of LED lighting.
• increased renovation to kitchens and bathrooms.
• use of products to seal and better insulate the home.
According to David Pekel, MCR, UDCP, CAPS, Milwaukee/NARI president, “We are experiencing a very favorable response by consumers interested in home projects and remodeling as the economy continues to improve. The recent Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show was well attended with a high level of enthusiasm from homeowners, as they were actively consulting with association members on project pricing and then signing contracts to have work completed.”
“The majority of Milwaukee/NARI members surveyed indicated growth or steady business conditions during 2013, as they continued to provide a wide array of home improvement and remodeling products and services to southeastern Wisconsin homeowners,” Pekel said. “As existing housing stock continues to age, there will always be a need for maintenance and repairs; Milwaukee/NARI members are well qualified to complete the required work. As homeowners continue to feel more confident in the economy, Milwaukee/NARI contractors are able to help them make their homes into what they desire.”
The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July, 1961 as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. With over 740 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the largest in the nation.
The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, sound business practices, and professionalism in the remodeling industry have led to the growth of the remodeling industry nationwide and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry.
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