Recently, I found myself in the market for a new home. So I started the exhaustive process of browsing through countless realtor sites looking for the perfect match for my family’s needs and our list of must-haves. After walking through a few of our top choices, I was amazed to see the state of these homes’ HVAC equipment. We were looking at properties which were about 15-30 years old, and most still had the original equipment from 1983. Yikes!
Being in the industry, I know I’m more than a little biased on evaluating existing equipment, however I was shocked at how many homes had all the upgrades you can imagine: granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, energy efficient windows, plush carpeting, and a ticking-time bomb in the basement.
Homeowners tend to update their home’s features they, and others, can see. No one sees the furnace in the basement, so it is left alone, with only minimal repairs being made to it. When they try to sell the home, they hope the new buyer doesn’t catch on to the age of the equipment and demand a contingency clause of replacement.
If the seller doesn’t have a trusted comfort advisor, there is a good chance they don’t even realize there is functional need to update equipment that has gone beyond the 10 year mark.
Update and upgrade opportunities for your business. Find a successful realty company or individual realtor in your area and partner with them to help discover homes on the market which need system replacements and comfort enhancements like zoning systems.
Gather intel on the home before its sold: A realtor knows the ins and outs of the homes they show and can spot layout challenges quickly, making them your guy on the “inside.” You can educate them how to spot old equipment and homes that could benefit from multiple thermostats with zoning.
Get a trusted endorsement for your company’s services. Homebuyers tend to trust their realtor to give them advice on the buying process, and pointing out an older piece of HVAC equipment gives you the opportunity to make a system swap out. The realtor can even roll the cost into the contract, benefiting the buyer with a new system, and giving the home seller a break on the cost.
Craft an enticing offer. One contractor offers a program where the customer buys a furnace and gets the AC free. This is a perfect offer for home buyers who are dealing with old equipment. The contractor is able to adjust their pricing to make the higher efficiency equipment a more desirable deal.
Offer a complete solution. These are great opportunities to include comfort enhancement options since the new buyer is getting an existing home that was not designed around their own comfort needs or lifestyle. It is hard to discern how the home will heat and cool based solely on a quick walk through where the homeowner is examining the home’s other features. However, once the first winter or hot summer hits, the new buyer quickly realizes they should have paid attention to the stuffy second floor or freezing cold bonus room.
All these factors impact a new homeowners overall happiness, and if you get in with them when they first move in, you have the potential to be their trusted comfort expert for many years to come. Furthermore, you open a new lead pool with other homes in the same neighborhood that are all the same age and, more than likely have the same comfort challenges.