Even though there is so much aging in place renovation work to be done, getting new business is not as easy as it might seem. Since the vast majority of seniors want to remain in their current homes the rest of their lives, it is doubtful that their homes are totally providing for their safety, convenience, and accessibility needs. They may be doing well in some areas, but as a whole, most homes that have not undergone a recent renovation – and even some of them that have – likely are coming up short in addressing the sensory and mobility needs of their occupants – even without any particular progressive condition or traumatic injury being present.
Some people – the procrastinators, as well call them – are going to remain in their homes and accept them just the way they are – for better or worse. Hopefully, there are many things about their homes that are serving them well in terms of what they can reach and use effectively. Still, they are making the best of what they have and are not seeking any changes to be made – because of the expense, the disruption, finding a contractor, or not thinking that anything needs to be done.
Also, there are clients of ours who will refer a friend, neighbor, or family member to us because of the quality of the work we did for them or the scope of the project. While these people have never met us, we do come highly recommended to them by our clients. Therefore, this is an easier sale than what occurs with people we have never met previously or who have not been told anything about us by someone whose opinion they value and trust.
Then, we come to people who want work done in their homes to facilitate their raging in place and remaining in their homes but are searching the marketplace for someone to help them. We would like for our names to be part of this search.
However, it’s challenging to sell ourselves to a population (mostly seniors) who may be a little reticent about hiring and working with contractors and having strangers in their homes. Some of us advertise in print media, most have websites, many use social media, and some take advantage of home shows to introduce the public to what we can do. This may get the telephone to ring, but we have to do the work from that point forward of getting them to like, trust, and have enough confidence in us to allow us to help them.
We also know that there are many stories circulating in the marketplace of both good experiences and not such good experiences in working with contractors to have modifications done to their homes for resale purposes, as an upgrade, for function and safety, for accessibility, and other purposes.
So many business people, including us as contractors and aging in place service professionals, go to the effort to create a Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or other online profile, but the public doesn’t get to see what the person looks like. It doesn’t need to be a studio portrait, but there should be a headshot of sorts that makes us look pleasant, knowledgeable, and approachable. Instead, some people use a pet photo (people like pets, but they also want to see us), a company logo, a sports team logo, stylized graphics, a group shot (that includes us but they don’t know which one we are), or a landscape or other scene. That is better than no photo or avatar at all, but just barely.
People – especially seniors who are doing a remodel perhaps for the first time ever – don’t want to connect with someone that they are not able to see. Even if they aren’t the one doing the search but a son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild is doing it for them, the photo will be shown to them. If people don’t get to see who they are considering – on a website or social media profile page – they are going to keep looking. It doesn’t matter how good our content on our site is, they want to make a personal connection.
Some people post no photo of themselves – old, current, close-up, full length, in focus, fuzzy, or anything at all and just leave the “witness protection photo” (that gray silhouette) that is a default placeholder. This is not helpful for people who want to make a visual connection with the person they are considering hiring for their project.
Committing to having work done, spending their savings, having strangers in their home, and essentially embarking on something that might be a little scary for them is serious business for them. So, let’s at least show them who we are by posting a personal headshot. Studio shots aren’t necessary. Just post a nice digital snapshot – closeup. If we don’t like it a couple of months from now or we change our hairstyle, it’s easy enough to update the photo.
People want to do business with people – especially ones they like and trust!