We're in an economic downturn likely to continue into 2024. The best way to escape the rat race of competition and decreasing profit is referrals. Growing a wait list of homeowners who pay you for a profitable service.
Most contractors do not have the time or budget. Hiring a competent and professional marketer could cost 100-$200K and good luck finding someone who understand the nuances of construction. We've identified 20+ necessary tasks overlooked by most contractors. Im going to discuss some of these below.
In Southwest Florida (SWFL), commercial construction offers stability and higher pay, whereas residential contractors often face pressure as the economic tides change.
I'm Dr. Ryan Lutz, a doctor with awards to my name, but my true passion lies in color, design, and selling residential construction. I'm also a Google marketing expert who runs the prominent global art and interior design website (xzib.com). I also have a track record of top performance in residential and commercial construction sales.
I'm entering the SWFL Home Remodel & Handyman industry to assist homeowners and contractors in securing consistent and quality work. Over my 20 years of experience, I've found that ESL (English Second Language) contractors often excel in their work. They also are often hamstrung by lack of sales, marketing, business, and other skills.
It is my goal to help the top interior contractors to sell more high profit work. South Florida will continue to be full of opportunity for well organized contractors, especially those who deliver high end work.
The Reality of Contracting
While working with a prominent contractor, I witnessed hundreds of specialized tasks related to business, sales, and marketing. Completing these tasks results in satisfied customers, job referrals, and access to premium projects.
Unfortunately, many subcontractors neglect these tasks. This is why the GC gets to keep most of the profits.
Partner with us to address these tasks, allowing you to focus entirely on delivering the best possible installations. And we profit share with you, both parties having a vested interest in success.
Challenging Tasks for Contractors
**Before the Job:**
Legal matters, insurance, website management, SEO, marketing, pricing, brand positioning, paid ads, and blogs – all with a strong focus on customer communication.
Managing paperwork, contracts, design, colors, materials, financing, subcontracting, and again, effective customer communication.
**During the Job:**
Handling changes in material, pricing, delivery, and scheduling while maintaining continuous customer communication.
**After the Job:**
Generating referrals, collecting reviews, capturing video testimonials, maintaining a blog, integrating with your website, networking, and managing hiring and firing, all with ongoing customer communication.
The most important step for contractors is prospecting for new customers. How to get a "seat at the table" to talk with a new potential customer. There are 4 ways contractors prospect for new customers.
1. Networking- Home Depot or working for a Spec builder like Lennar. Or refferrals from family, friends, or networking groups, or previous customers.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Well written content, high quality images & video from an optimized website. This is published to Google, Bing, Etc
3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)- Well written content, high quality images & video published to Facebook, Instagram, etc
4. Paid Ads - Paying for ads to appear on Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Angi, etc
English Second Language
My experience for over 25 years is that many ESL contractors are the most diligent and talented installers. Non Americans and ESL contractors bring flexibility and open-mindedness. On the other hand, many "native baby boomer" contractors in Florida often have negative attitudes and subpar work.
ESL contractors often underbid their services due to language barriers and lack of business best practices. This is where my business/marketing/sales skills can provide value. Allow me to turn a negative into a positive.
Las-Casas.com and my sales process converts a language barrier into a positive. Creating customer who prefer to work with ESL contractors because they believe the ESL contractor work to be superior.
We need all installers to deliver on this promise of quality, regardless of race or language. Delivering top quality is the Magic Key for stability.
Angi.com and HomeAdvisor sell job leads to subcontractors like yourself. Imagine you were the owner of Angi's List or HomeAdvisor with access to unlimited job opportunities. This would mean:
1. Access to a limitless pool of job leads.
2. The ability to cherry-pick the most lucrative and rewarding projects.
3. No more squandering time and fuel. You wouldn't have to deal with customers who can't afford your services and negotiate prices down.
4. You'd dedicate 100% of your time to profitable work, eliminating time-wasting activities.
5. With a steady income, you could expand your workforce and facilitate growth.
6. Your family's stability and happiness would increase as a result.
If you owned Angi.com or HomeAdvisor you could cherry pick the best work and multiply your income. THAT is EXACTLY what Im creating with Las-Casas.com
Angi & HomeAdvisor
Your website is a waste. Google is the largest lead source with the highest quality users. Homeowners trust Google more than platforms such as Angi and Home Advisor.
But Google will never send your business customers, unless you pay or ads. Angi and HomeAdvisor will continue to take all those SEO leads.
Your business cannot compete with Angi on SEO. But Las-Casas.com CAN! My art website gets hundreds to thousands of daily page views because I built a website that Google users loves. Im doing the same thing for Remodel and interior contracting, starting in Fort Myers.
Homeowners looking to buy home improvements in SWFL and smart contractors are always looking to improve.
Collaboration with other high end contractors can propel your business ahead. Instead of competing with hundreds of other contractors, we are creating a coalition to dominate the local market. We are stopping Angi and HomeAdvisor from taking all the business. Instead we are building Google optimized content so people can see your work. Las-Casas showcases your work with HD videos and photography onto Google, Instagram, and Facebook. So you can capture your EXACT customer.
In contrast, Angi and HomeAdvisor use the same content everywhere, which Google doesn't favor. By featuring jobs in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, we are giving Google users what they want.
Google users want to see local contractors
with local job results
and local testimonials
from REAL people.
Cost to Collaborate
My expertise is learned from my mentor who led NetFlix into a Billion dollar valuation as their marketing consultant.
Most contractors cannot afford to hire an expert like myself full time.
I charge for is my time to drive to your jobsites and do professional photography. And also for getting the content profesionally published.
This creates a low risk scenario where your company can walk away
Daily Fees I charge per jobsite visit for partners
$500 for Photos + Editing.
$1000 for Videos + Editing.
Fees for non Partners
$1500 for Photos + Editing.
$3000 for Videos + Editing.
Sample video below
Bartolome de Las Casas
Bartolome de Las Casas, a Spaniard who dedicated 50 years to organizing and combating slavery. Our mission is to combat the exploitation of labor by uniting top contractors in South Florida. Collectively gaining leverage under one brand, thus creating wait lists. Which THEN empower us to raise prices.
Las-Casas.com is in the spirit of helping the underdog succeed.
I'm a 4th-generation electrician who has worked on 5k- 50 million jobs construction jobs. I was negotiating contracts for home improvements and managing salespeople 2x my age at 24 year old.
Ive sold upholstery fabrics by the container and became an award winning doctor.
I've come to realize that the color and design aspect of construction is my true passion. Completing projects brings me immense joy, and the world of construction reminds me of my grandparents, who played a pivotal role in my life.
My father was a well-known furniture designer and skilled woodworker. In 2019, I lost my grandmother and then my longtime partner to cancer – she was the senior jewelry designer for Chico's in Fort Myers. And in 2021, I lost my best friend and then my beloved dog. To honor their memory, I initiated the art website that benefits people worldwide everyday.
I'm embarking on a ReGrout and Tile Repair and a handyman business. This means I'll be developing systems that can not only benefit my own ventures but also potentially assist your business. Im a workaholic and an obsessive engineer.
Supply / Demand
Very few contractors have a structured process for sustained profitability. They do not have a process to collect referrals. This presents an opportunity!
Contractor success depends on two key factors:
1. Building a waitlist of high-quality projects.
2. Developing a reputation for delivering top-notch work
Google Paid Ads
When it comes to getting traffic to your website, there are two ways to get people to the site: "organic" and "paid ads." Organic happens when you create GREAT content. This is a slow and steady process. Paid Ads get immediate traffic to your website.
For example, when you search Google on your cell phone for "pizza near me," Google displays local pizza options. The top results you see are paid ads. Those pizza businesses pay Google to be at the top, where you will likely click. If you do click one of those ads at the top, it costs the pizza business $1.42 USD. Many businesses pay Google for ads to have their website show up in the top of Google's results.
Paid Ads Problems
However, there's a catch with paid ads. Your business has to pay for every click, but there is no guarantee that the person who clicked on your ad will buy. The $1.42 click paid by the pizza restaurant to show you their ad DOES NOT guarantee that you are going to buy pizza. It only guarantees they saw your ad....
Everyday Google makes $350,266 by showing ads for people who search "pizza near me." Some businesses find PAID ADS cost-effective.
Many contractors do paid Ads poorly. They are wasting much money and NOT attracting the right customer. If your website looks cheap and ugly, than you will attract cheap people with low budgets. And the Paid Ad to landing page is just the start of converting a customer. The website design, call to action, lead capture, offer, employee uniform, employee scripting, pricing...
An ad for "Luxury Vinyl Tile" costs +/-$20 per click. Lack of a process for paid ads can quickly waste your hard earned money.
"Google Ads" is a free program by Google showing the cost to buy ads based on the terms people search in Google.
But it also is a treasure map for smart business owners because it tells you exactly what people are typing on Google. It also tells you the compeition level to rank for that word. As a contractor it can help you identify how competitive it is in your market. For example a business that sell granite countertops has much less compeition than a LVP installer. The barrier to entry to sell counters is much higher with the cost to import the granite, so there are much fewer people driving the cost up!
Below you can see some search volumes for Sout Florida and the cost to buy those ads. Marketing is a big complex subject and this is why the top marketers makes hundreds of thosands and sometimes millions of dollars in commisions each year.
Popular Searches with Ad Costs and Monthly Volume
Top Problems & Concerns Facing SWFL contractors.
More Contractors / Competition
During the pandemic, 2 out-of-state contractors moved directly beside me. Contractors from Miami are also rapidly relocating to SWFL. There are too many contractors and they are undercutting each other. It is becoming more like Miami every day.
The solution? Establish a competitive advantages to get the profitable work.
Contractors often face a negative image, and unfortunately, so do Floridians.
I've personally witnessed three friends lose approximately $65,000 due to Florida contractors who provided poor work and engaged in outright theft.
If you aspire to succeed, it's crucial to distinguish your business from these unscrupulous contractors. Failing to do so could unfairly associate you with their negative reputation. Working with Las-Casas.com and the professional brand we are developing will help you stand out!
Since 2002, the wealthy have been amassing even greater fortunes and they are buying 2nd homes in places like South Florida.
Premium installs with Premium materials is a wise position to cater to the high net worth individuals. That is the direction of Las-Casas.com
Consistent & Predictable
Wondering why McDonald's is so successful? It's not just the logo or colors; it's the consistent experience—food quality, uniforms, pricing, cleanliness, seating, and more. This predictability creates a sense of safety.
Many people mistakenly believe that a business and brand are all about logos, fonts, colors, and social media posts, but that's not the case. A brand is the feelings you give the customer. Do they feel safe and confident to make a purchase?
Sales / Marketing Jobs a Contractor Need to Hire
To attain success, follow these steps:
1. Hire an expert to manage your paid ads on Instagram, Google, and Facebook. But first create the systems to manage the prospects. If you pay for ads and staff is incompetent or unmotivated, its just a waste of your money!
2. Adjust Paid Ad bids regularly, deactivating non-converting keywords/ads and raising bids on successful ones.
3. Experiment with copy, creative, and keyword targeting to reach new prospects.
4. Implement an automated follow-up system on your website through emails or texts to highlight your expertise to your customers for at least the subsequent 5 days after their intial contact.
5. Create blog posts with in-depth details and high-quality images to give prospective customers insight into working with you.
6. Maintain an active social media presence with professionally edited images and videos. Craft compelling, action-oriented copy and boost successful posts.
7. Document the installation process with high-quality images and create blog + social media posts.
8. Capture audio/video testimonials and customer goals before, during, and after the project.
9. Ensure you have an sales trained and English-speaking person handling phone calls.
10. Monitor the success % of inbound calls in converting to appointments.
11. Have a specific process for home design and estimating process.
12. Monitor the success rate
13. Employ an estimator and salesperson who visits homes to secure contracts
14. Monitor success rate of contracts -signed
15. Provide detailed estimates that include all materials and quantities to instill confidence in the customer.
16. Establish processes to measure all aspects of success and make necessary hiring and firing decisions when needed.
These are the non-installation jobs. You should not be dealing with any of these marketing / sales jobs above.
Let us manage these complicated and expensive aspects.
Here are Some Simple Tips:
1. Diversify Your Job Sources: Don't rely on just one company or contractor for work. They might cut your pay or go out of business.
2. Background Checks: Make sure you know who you're working with. If someone refuses a background check, it's a red flag. Some crime is ok but repeat offenses such as DUI are a threat to your company reputation.
3. Paid Ads: Using Facebook ads can bring quick results, but it's like renting attention. As soon as you stop paying, you lose everything. Don't build your entire business on ads.
4. Facebook vs. Google Ads: Facebook ads are easy to use, but more competition can raise costs and lower quality. Google ads are harder to master but can deliver better results.
5. Build a Strong Brand: Most contractors underestimate the power of branding. Strong brands like McDonald's don't need to pay for ads; they're recognized everywhere. Building a brand can attract customers to you.
6. Supply and Demand: You should aim to have more demand for your services than you can supply. This allows you to charge higher prices, maintain a steady workflow, and grow your team.
7. Specialize: Just like McDonald's doesn't sell pizza, you should specialize. Transitioning between different types of work can hurt your profitability. Focus on a limited number of services to become a specialist.
8. Use Premium Materials: Home Depot materials might not set you apart from other contractors. Look for unique, high-quality materials to make your work stand out.
9. Itemized Billing: Transparency is key. Providing itemized bills makes your customers feel safe, and it helps you avoid clients who only focus on the lowest price.
10. Offer Financing: Even wealthier customers use financing. Get organized and pre-qualify potential clients before investing a lot of time in bids and site visits.
Las-Casas.com can bring all the above to the table for you. Otherwise you would need to hire multiple people spending hundreds of thousands over a several year period.
We are just getting started join us and grow with us.