How COVID-19 Has Affected Consumer Demand in the Home Remodeling Industry
In early 2020, everything shut down due to COVID-19. Workers were sent home with no end date to the quarantine in sight. People stayed home and socially distanced. During this time, many industries lost business due to the pandemic. But what industry soared at this time? Home remodeling.
Home Remodeling Demand Surged During the Pandemic
Consumer demand for large home remodeling projects was as unprecedented as the pandemic itself. Homeowners needed more space for home offices, learning spaces for children, and more efficient homes to suit the entire family’s needs.
Beginning in August 2020, Google Trends, a tool that measures searchers’ interest levels for various topics, shows a sharp increase in search demand for home remodeling in the United States.
And it wasn’t just for whole-home remodels or complete renovations, it was for all sorts of home improvement projects:
The graph below shows the Google Trends search demand report for basement remodeling in the past five years nationwide. Here, you can see that search demand for basement remodeling spiked quickly in August 2020 but plummeted in January 2022.
The search demand for kitchen remodeling follows a similar path. Interest in kitchen remodeling started its incline in May 2020 and saw a sharp decline starting as early as November 2021.
While bathroom remodeling didn’t have the extreme spike in demand like we saw for larger remodeling projects like basement and kitchen remodeling, there is still an obvious increase starting in April 2020 and ending in November 2021.
Home Remodeling Demand Is Dropping (Fast)
Today, however, we’re noticing this demand bubble bursting. Since early 2022, the searches that indicate an interest in conversion — searches for specific remodeling projects — have tanked.
What Caused the Drop?
Across home remodeling searches — basement, bathroom, kitchen, etc. — you can see search demand increasing and decreasing on the same timeline. The causes for the sharp decline are threefold:
- Completed projects
- Supply and labor shortages
- The impending recession
Now that homeowners have tackled their long-term project goals, demand for big home remodeling projects has dropped. CNBC reported that in June 2020, there was a “58% annual increase in project leads for home professionals.” Diana Olick wrote in the article, “Sheltering at home clearly influenced demand, as more than three-quarters of all U.S. homeowners said they had done some type of home improvement project during the pandemic.”
Supply & Labor Shortages
Secondly, supply chain issues are known to be halting homeowners from starting new projects. The National Association of Business Owners and Entrepreneurs reported in June 2021 of record-breaking material shortages.
Ask Google yourself. Run a search for “should I remodeling my home in 2022?” and articles show up left and right on the rise of cost and the need for patience. News like this isn’t encouraging homeowners to begin a home remodeling project in the midst of a labor and supply shortage.
Lastly, many homeowners are wary of beginning a new home remodeling project with a potential recession looming. According to Hippo Insurance’s 2022 Homeowners Preparedness Report, “43% of recent [home] buyers (since 2020) say inflation and price increases have kept them from doing planned home projects.” Homeowners are nervous to spend on large projects when economists are advising to start saving money.
But … There’s Still Interest in Home Remodeling
While we saw search demand drop for specific project terms in recent months, general search terms have not decreased in the same magnitude. Here, we can see the search demand for home remodeling and remodeling contractor has some ups and downs but remain relatively stable throughout the past five years.
This indicates that U.S. homeowners are still interested in future projects — even if they think they can’t afford the time or money to start one now.
How To Increase Leads & Differentiate Your Home Remodeling Business Online
Knowing that homeowners are still interested in remodeling, what can you do to encourage your website visitors to start a new remodeling project?
Well, there are a few strategies, but we strongly suggest focusing on your website:
- Blog more
- Optimize your website for conversions
- Refresh your Google Business Profile
We suggest keeping your website up to date with information on the industry, adding inviting website elements to help turn more users into qualified leads, and focusing on your Google Business Profile.
Create content about financial incentives to remodel like tax breaks, energy-efficient remodeling swaps, or increasing home value. Regularly publishing blogs on information that your consumer base is searching for is proven to lead to increased website traffic and leads.
Blogs on Taxes & Bills
Taxes, bills, and mandates open the opportunity for state-level local content. Writing blogs to inform consumers about new taxes, bills, and mandates can be the extra push your company needs to get to the top of Google’s results for local searches. Each state has different requirements for licensing and permits, and you can dominate the results page with the information that your consumers are looking for when considering a new remodeling project.
Blogs on taxes, bills, and mandates are shown to drive local traffic and leads.
For one of our clients, we created content on relevant mandates in their state, and this became one of the most popular blogs on their site. Don’t underestimate the power of tax incentives for your consumers!
Blogs on Energy Efficiency
Energy-efficient appliances and rebates are incentives for homeowners to renovate, even when demand for bigger projects is down. Energy-efficient swaps are long-term investments that homeowners are considering making to lower their energy bills. Additionally, some states and companies like Energy Star® offer rebate programs for energy-efficient homes. If homeowners knew that their initial cost of home remodeling could be lowered, they would be more likely to take on a remodeling project.
Blogs on Increasing Home Value
Many economists suggest remodeling homes before a recession to increase the value of their assets. Contributing to this discussion could help inform homeowners on the benefit of increasing their home value and drive more leads. Homeowners are interested in protecting their assets rather than jumping ship to another home. For one of the remodeling clients we represent, we’ve created successful content on how “Investing in Home Additions is Better Than Buying New,” which started gaining traffic in May of this year.
Also, consider covering the topic of how much value can be gained from specific projects. SEMRush (a tool in the SEO industry) shows that one of the most commonly searched questions about remodeling is “How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Increase Home Value?”
We suggest creating case studies or guides on how much value your home could increase from a basement remodel, a kitchen expansion, an addition, etc., to capture the traffic from searches like these.
Conversion-Friendly Website Elements
Make your website stand out from others with impressive elements. Include project galleries, customer testimonials, conversion elements, and more to encourage passive searchers start a new remodeling project. Also, make sure the simple things like headers are optimized with keywords to improve your chances of ranking first in Google’s results!
Google Business Profile
Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile to appear above competitors in search. Choose additional business categories from options like Architectural Designer, Remodeler, Interior Designer, Kitchen Remodeler, Bathroom Remodeler, General Contractor, Construction Company, and more.
Make sure you include all of your priority cities in the service area list to rank in those service areas as well. Read our tips on optimizing your Google Business Profile for more tips to optimize your Business Profile.
Helping Remodelers Increase Leads & Sales Since 2008
Here at Blue Corona, we’ve been helping remodelers grow their businesses since 2008. We’ve helped local companies successfully market their companies when demand is aplenty and when demand must be earned or created to increase leads and sales.
If you’re a remodeling company looking for an experienced marketing partner with proven experience, send us a message and schedule a free marketing consultation.