As professionals in the home services industry, we become masters of balance. We must deliver quality and results that stand the test of time; we must maintain reputations built on integrity, transparency, and honesty. And we must also move at the speed of business. This means integrating targeted technology into our everyday operations to create strong, cohesive teams and to provide seamless (and in many cases, contactless) services to our clients and customers.
It isn’t about technology for technology’s sake; it’s not about the newest, shiniest gadgets or apps. It is about moving our companies forward and seizing the opportunity to do what we do best: make dreams come true.
Anyone else still jot down notes or measurements on Post-its or napkins? As a whole, we tend to be very visual and tactile people! So, if you scribble on a scrap, by all means, continue. But by implementing selected tech solutions into your business, you can increase efficiency and deliver even more exceptional results.
Simple + Safe = Satisfied Customers
When it comes to technology, it is not always necessary to launch the most complicated option on the market. Simple is often an optimal choice. This is why Drapery Street, a modern Indiana window treatment gallery that specializes in working with homeowners, designers and builders, uses a streamlined, user-friendly virtual consultation process.
They “meet” with clients via the platform of their choice (e.g. Zoom, FaceTime, GoToMeetings, etc.), discuss needs, establish the scope of the project, and deliver samples for material selections before creating the final product and scheduling installation. No fuss, no muss.
Technology doesn’t need to be overwhelming or intimidating; in this case simple solutions are clearly effective.
AR (Augmented Reality) In Action
With AR, professionals can render digital elements onto real-world graphic information (i.e. photos/videos). This isn’t new: many B2C companies routinely use AR. In fact, makeup, jewelry, and other aesthetics-based businesses have been leading the way because their businesses are so reliant on visualization and experience. The applications for home services professionals are just as aspirational.
For example, clients can easily snap pictures of their home’s interior. Designers can then overlay their concepts onto these images to give homeowners not only an idea of what their spaces will look like – but how it will feel and flow. Builders can also use AR for any number of applications, from project planning to measurements to revisions.
ACo, a top Indiana company that specializes in kitchen/bathroom remodels, flooring, and cabinetry, uses Morpholio to create a streamlined experience for clients. While prompted by the pandemic, this is an exceptional service offering; homeowners can show their designer around their space via video conference, discuss their needs, project details and budget, and take specific measurements using virtual tools. With the user-friendly Morpholio platform, ACo clients can select and share design elements that look and feel right for their space. They have all the support, guidance, and expertise they need literally in the comfort of their own homes.
Living in VR
Solutions like IrisVR allow builders, designers, and other home services professionals to share their ideas with clients in a powerful, compelling way. They can experience how their home will look, feel, flow, and function; it feels so real that they’ll want to start running a bath in their gorgeous new spa-like space.
VR does require more of an investment than AR; you’ll need the equipment (e.g. headset), as well as a subscription with the VR service. It’s flashy, attention-grabbing technology, but if you’re on a budget, augmented reality solutions require little more than an app and a smartphone to produce exceptional experiences as well.
Ditch Drudgery and Danger with Drones
Drones have made their mark on the home services industry, particularly for builders and real estate professionals. While not “new” technology, they are a time and money-saver for professionals. In some cases, such as when accessing treacherous terrain for site surveys, it is also a potential lifesaver. You can:
Obtaining in-depth visuals of building sites or areas for development
Cut down the time it takes to “walk” an area or subdivision to mere minutes
Gather key information that will facilitate the building of spec homes (e.g. elevation, potential design accommodations, etc.)
Capture images to market your homes and projects
Monitor project progress at job sites
Check and track inventory and equipment at larger sites
Improve site security
Take some great shots for your happy clients!
Be sure to check your area’s licensing requirements and other applicable rules before launching your drones. A third-party provider can take care of that heavy lifting for you so all you need to do is look at the images and examine the data to make business-building decisions.
BIM for Builders
Commercial builders have been using BIM (building information modeling) successfully for years. It allows professionals to reduce errors and change orders, cut costs but not quality, increase productivity, maintain inventory with greater accuracy, and, ultimately, boost the bottom line. BIM hasn’t been as widely used in the residential building market, but that should change. This technology can be transformative.
Think of BIM as an evolution of blueprints and CAD; these 3D technologies allow construction – and other home services professionals – to collaborate, design, and build in virtual space. We don’t have the luxury, time, or resources to build full scale prototypes of all of our projects. Or do we? Yes! With BIM, this is just what you’re doing. It’s a full-scale digital prototype.
“Our guiding focus has been (and always will be) to provide our customers with the high-quality products and services they require and deserve. To do this, we understand the importance of valuing, respecting and developing the talents of each employee while creating a team structure focused on meeting and exceeding the needs of every customer.”
One way they do this is by working with Lessonly, an Indianapolis-based training software company. Through Lessonly, Custom Concrete can train employees more efficiently, effectively and prepare their customer service and sales teams for success. Given the labor shortage in our industry and the need to maximize our time, leveraging technology within our companies is critical.
Advancing the Home Services Industry
This is just a taste of the available technology for the home services industry; when it comes to implementing solutions into your business make sure that they actually solve something! Determine what you most want and need and find the tech that will help get you there.