Since houses don’t cost the same in every city and state, it will be difficult to talk about the types of neighborhoods you target for marketing in absolute terms. However, I am interested to know where you find the best customers, so here goes…
In Raleigh, NC, I can divide the housing market into lots of different price ranges, but for simplicity, I’m going to divide it into three segments as follows:
Under $300K - these are typically either smaller, starter homes or older homes in less desirable neighborhoods. These houses will usually be about 2500 square feet or less - depending upon condition and location. The homeowners are probably tradesmen or work in sales/management for small, local companies, and the wife almost definitely works outside the home. Candidly, I would not expect these homeowners to have much cash available to afford window cleaning services.
$300K-$500K - these homes will be in nicer neighborhoods, and the folks clearly have disposable income to spend. They have nicer cars, may have lawn care services, and possibly a maid service if they want it. At the lower end of the spectrum, husband and wife probably both work; at the upper end, the husband may be an executive with a larger, national company while the wife is a stay at home mom.
Above $500k - these folks can buy pretty much whatever they want at any time and not think a thing about the cost. Now, granted…these are not all million dollar homes overlooking the Pacific or the Rocky Mountains, but these folks live a good life.
Having said all that, it is perhaps obvious that marketing to Group 3 is a no-brainer; however, there are not as many of these homes. Group 2 is more plentiful, but may be less likely to spend money on window cleaning than Group 3.
Does this make any sense? And how would you devote your marketing time and dollars?
Randy…First let me say you ask good questions in these threads. Second don’t pre-judge a jobs based soley on incomes or home price ranges. Some of my highest paying jobs come from lower income homes. (Did one today if fact).
Maybe a better demographic would be based on peoples ages. I’d say almost 80% of my highest paying clients are over age 50. Out of that group, over 70% are female. People in that group don’t like ladders or cant’ physically do the job. The over 50 crowd usually have more disposable income for our kind of service.
I’d wager if you focus more on age groups than neighborhoods, you will have a better hit rate.
An old timer taught me this 3 years ago and he was right on the mark.
Anyone else with an opinion on this?
I can’t believe it, I agree with Larry. Make a note of it… June 23rd hell froze over
I saturate every home in the towns I service. I have learned that just because someone is not in a specific demographic or high end neighborhood it doesn’t mean they are not in need of your service.
I definetly agree!! I target all kinds of homes/neighborhoods too. A lot of my customers have lower priced houses (under $120,000)…they HAVE to work and dont have time to maintain windows , gutters. Smaller homes are a quick way to make good money in 20-30 mins.
I don’t focus on how much money their house is worth. Rather I try to focus on the neighborhoods that tend to have disposable income. It will take a while to get a feel for this, but you’ll figure it out.
There are some areas here full of 300-500k houses. Problem is every dollar they make goes to pay for the house! A mile down the road you’ll find a neighborhood with homes in the 225k price range and homeowners around 30-50 years old. You’ll make 10x the money from this neighborhood then the hood with 500K homes.
I agree though, target all areas until you find the areas that produce for YOU. Then target those fruitful areas again and again. Don’t forget to blanket the entire area often again to see what has changed.
I have to agree with most here in that you should advertise to every home regardless. What I will tell you is that it’s always based on the person and what they think your service is worth. Most of the time they have a preset idea of what they are willing to spend in their head. I have gotten to a point were I do not like to estimate large 4000 sqft or more homes. I find 1 out of 5 will just spend the money without question. Most watch their money very closely. I have a harder time landing $1000.00 large home gigs then $500 home gigs. This is just my opinon, but I think people who have larger homes are accustomed to paying a low wage for cleaning services. Either it’s a live in who makes maybe $10 per hour or a personal assistant who does the same. When you per window price these homes or even try to per hour price these homes, most of the people I have delt with are shocked to see the estimate. They then go for the cheapest guy in town.
I’ve been in business less than a year, but the 30 or so homes I’ve done all have one thing in common. Neat Yards. Not pro landscaping with natural rock waterfall stuff, just a well kept yard. These are the customers I target.
When I started putting this business together I had chart overlays depicting property value overlaid with median incomes, overlaid with age of neighborhoods. What a waste of time!
Now I swoop in and drop at least 25 flyers a day. this type of sales methology goes against everything I know, but it has really been the most effective. Its like throwing crap at a wall and seeing what sticks, but its been working pretty good. As long as the neighborhoods are at least 5 years old, I usually get 1 call or 1 job out of 50 flyers. (I got 3 calls/2 jobs from a 50 flyer distribution run using some WCR Prefab postcards, its worth the 99 bucks)
Also, I learned that Id rather do a couple $175 dollar jobs rather than a single $350 job. So I do prefer hitting average sized family homes 3b/2b ~ 1600sq ft. Most of these can be knocked out in less than 90 minutes, so its a quick 200 bucks, versus the larger homes taking 4-5 hours.
Experiment and see what you like cleaning the best. One big job each day or a few small ones, then market accordingly. Check out the WCR premade postcards too, it will save you hours, and they are effective.
The 500k plus crowd here in San Diego CA is equal to the 250k crowd in other places, as far as customers are concerned the million dollar mc mansion crowd is the absolute worst customer as far as I am concerned. We Target single level houses at 2500 square feet or less, allowing us to move from job to job fast and don’t have to even use my WFP’s. Anything larger and the pricing does not make sense to the consumer or to us. I mean a 90 window house will range from 600 to 900 dollars if a legit company is being hired, most of those customers will comment that the last guy did it for 350 or some nonsense that makes no sense at all. Basically it makes more sense to get the 180-300 dollar jobs that will take 1.5 to two hours to finish and move from job to job