Don’t Miss Out by Putting Off Upgrades to Payment Suite - IE3: Business Tools for HVAC & Plumbing Contractors  

Don’t Miss Out by Putting Off Upgrades to Payment Suite

September is upon us, and while the end of the busy summer season is in sight, most of the country still faces several more weeks of hot weather. That means homeowners will continue to turn to ACCA contractors to help beat the heat when their systems faulter or need replacing. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, many customers will require financing to afford this much-needed service, and it is important for you as contractors to offer a suite of financing products to ensure that customers can qualify – or else you might lose the sale to a competitor who does.

Beyond prime financing options that typically approve customers with a prime FICO score above 700, second look financing enables contractors to approve customers even with scores below 500. With more than 43 percent of Americans posting scores less than 700, contractors are better positioned to complete sales to a large portion of the American population if they supplement their prime credit offering with a second look financing provider.

Prime financing products can bring a lot of business into the door, especially with 0% interest and $0-down payment offers, and second look financing helps close more of those sales by approving 25-50% of customers who were declined for prime credit. Despite the increased sales potential, contractors who have not already built out their financing program too often delay the implementation of new payment offerings during the busy summer months.

Though much of the summer is behind us, it is not too late to capitalize on boosting financed sales numbers during the upcoming months, which promise to remain busy for a number of reasons.

“Summer” is Lasting Longer

According to a study by Climate Central, the last day of summer-like heat is coming later and later each year, which essentially extends the summer season and shrinks wintertime. In addition to the effect this lengthy heatwave has on agriculture and other natural occurrences, it also takes a toll on consumer buying decisions around air conditioning.

The longer wait for cooler temperatures means that homeowners who have put off a needed air conditioning unit replacement or repair may be more likely to finally call an ACCA contractor. Because these customers held off on making such an important purchase for months of summer heat, one can assume that there is an element of financial hesitation for them. Financing options that enable them to pay for the unit over time are likely important to these families, and a robust, flexible financing program could be the competitive advantage that lures them to your business.

Lengthier dependence on an air conditioning unit during high temperatures also increases the chances that a unit unexpectedly breaks. Because the Federal Reserve found that 46 percent of Americans do not have more than $400 to make an emergency purchase, financing is essential to address these unexpected breakdowns.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is fast approaching, and heating and air systems are subject to unforeseen damage from the storms. While a homeowner’s insurance hopefully covers hurricane damage, there are scenarios where homeowners are unexpectedly left to foot the bill for a damaged A/C system.

According to Bulldog Adjusters, homeowner’s insurance may not cover an air conditioning unit if the damage was caused by flooding, unless the policy happens to include flood insurance. Alternatively, an insurance company may reject a claim for an older, damaged unit by asserting that the defects are due to normal wear and tear. Worse yet, hurricane victims may not have adequate insurance coverage in place, leaving the totality of the expense under their responsibility.

Whatever the reason an insurance company rejects a claim stemming from hurricane damage during the heightened season, the customer is put into a financial predicament. While we’ve already established that many Americans do not have the cash to make such a large purchase without the help of credit, hurricane victims also have other concurring expenditures as they work to repair and replace their possessions after a storm.

Winter is Around the Corner

Customers will often put off an A/C purchase until the summer is over with the expectation of catching a great deal during the colder months. While these customers may have had an opportunity to save up some cash for this purchase, a large contingency of buyers will still plan on using financing to make this purchase.

For contractors, it is better to prepare for this post-summer rush than to wait until the slow season to add new financing options. By building out your financing program during the summer and rolling into fall, contractors can ensure that their business is ready to accommodate eager customers in conjunction with their discounted sales period.

Conclusion

It is easy to put revenue-driving initiatives off, especially when work is busy and business is good. However, there is a significant threat of lost sales by delaying the implementation of a robust financing program that works for customers across the credit spectrum. By taking the time to research and implement a full payment program today, your business will be better positioned for several months of boosted sales and happier customers tomorrow.

Bob Maisel

Bob Maisel

RVP Business Development at Fortiva Financial
Bob Maisel is the RVP Business Development for Fortiva Financial.
Bob Maisel
Bob Maisel

Bob Maisel

RVP Business Development at Fortiva Financial
Bob Maisel is the RVP Business Development for Fortiva Financial.
Bob Maisel

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