While closed crawlspaces are a great add-on opportunity for PMPs, not every customer or prospect is appropriate for this service. Many don’t have crawlspaces and others may already be closed — or some homeowners may just not want a closed crawlspace.
So, without expanding your geographic service area, how can you expand your customer base and increase revenues? Working with builders and remodelers is a sure way to open a new stream of opportunities.
When Billy Tesh, president of Crawlspace Depot, started closing crawlspaces as part of his pest management firm, Pest Management Systems Inc., he was able to make a name for himself with local builders as their vendor.
“We’ve been working with contractors and builders for years to provide the service,” Tesh said. “Then, after the home is remodeled or built, we would pick up the homeowner as an ongoing pest control client.” For Tesh, it was a big positive. But it takes finding builders who see the vision of closing crawlspaces and the benefits they offer to homeowners.
Todd Usher is president of Addison Homes, South Carolina’s premier green homebuilder. After getting his feet wet years ago by starting to close crawlspaces, his company is dedicated to them 100 percent as part of its award-winning homes. “Our whole approach to building is building healthy, high-performance homes. We build homes that provide improved air quality, energy efficiency and durability and closed crawlspaces are a key component of that.
“We build almost exclusively homes with closed crawlspaces,” Usher continued. “It’s become something we believe in; I believe they function incredibly well, better than a vented crawlspace, especially in humid climates.”
In Marlton, N.J., Barclay Extermination President Don Barclay says he’s been growing his business through great customer service and relationships that last decades. He truly understands the importance of working with builders and developers.
“I have actually had builders call on me to do work before the top block is on, to go around and apply a treatment to their foundation,” Barclay said. “For any service, it’s good to be working with builders. If you’re in with a builder, it can lead to bigger things down the road. Without a doubt.”
Barclay says that while providing closed crawlspaces and other services are great revenue streams with builders and remodelers, crossing over to providing homeowners with services is the long-term goal of that relationship.
“Because your information is there for the homeowner, they’ll refer you. “Homeowners are in many cases new to the area and they don’t know who to call. ‘Who’s a good plumber?’ ‘Who’s a good pest control guy?’ Those are common questions and a builder will say, ‘We work with this guy.’ It’s a great way to build long-term business,” Barclay said.