Author Archives: Account Management Team

What To Do When You Don’t Win The Job

We talk a lot about tips to help you win the job and hopefully, you find them useful. But the fact is, you may not win every lead you receive. Of course, you should always approach a lead with your best foot forward, but ultimately, it’s the customer’s decision who they choose for the job.

This can of course be upsetting for anyone. But instead of getting mad, use the situation to learn and grow your business. It can help you to gain even more jobs in the future! Here are a few tips you can use when you don’t win the job.

As always, another way to win more jobs in the future is to try out CraftJack! Give us a call at 866-456-6977 to get started.

Why You Might Not Win The Job

When it comes to winning the job, there could be other pros vying for the same work. While you never know what other contractors bring to the table, you should be confident in your skills and abilities to do job as best as possible.

But for many other reasons, someone else can win the job. As frustrating as this can be, you should take the time and learn from the experience. Here are a few areas you might want to look at when you’re evaluating the situation.

  • Did you have great sales tactics?
  • Did you give the homeowner a follow-up call?
  • Did you give an accurate and professional estimate?
  • Did you show up on time?
  • Have you updated your website and social accounts?

CraftJack

Take Time To Reflect & Look At The Big Picture

You can turn a seemingly negative situation, like losing a job, into a positive one for your business, simply by taking time to reflect.

A great starting point is to first look at the jobs you’ve won. As a successful contractor, it’s likely that you have won more jobs than you have lost. Keep your focus on the big picture. What went well for those situations and what may have changed this time?

Work On Your Sales Techniques

As a contractor, you have to be an expert not just in your specific trade, but other areas of business as well. Becoming a salesman for your own work is important. When you’re interacting with a customer in person or over the phone, you’ll want to make sure you have your sales pitch down. Sharing your expertise and sounding confident is key. Read 5 Sales Tips That Will Help Win The Job to learn how you can improve.

Improve Your Follow-Up Call

Calling the homeowner is important. Calling the homeowner quickly and following up can make the difference between winning and losing the job. In fact, if you call within 30 minutes, CraftJack offers a 20% discount on that lead.

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to take detailed notes and keep track of how often you call a lead. You’ll certainly want to try calling more than once and set a specific time to follow-up with them if you don’t reach them.

Think About Your Online Presence

Consider Your Presentation

It’s true, presentation matters as a professional. This not only goes for how you present yourself but what’s presented. Often, if you’re giving an estimate, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s written down is accurate and proofread. Not to mention, the bid should look great with your logo and contact information on top. You can use various project calculators to help you accurately estimate the costs, which is what many customers are looking for.

However, how you present yourself to the homeowner says a lot about your business. Showing up on time as scheduled is a big part of this, not to mention wearing your clean clothing, likely with your company’s logo on it.

Think About Your Online Presence

Homeowners now have access to learning more about your company with just a few clicks. Have you reviewed what your business looks like online? Having an online presence and maintaining it can really help boost the impression a customer has and can make them more likely to hire you for the job. You may also want to check out what the competition is doing to see where you can improve.

If you haven’t yet, investing time into creating your own website and social media accounts can really differentiate you from other businesses. It’s a great way for a customer to learn more about your work and connect with you.

You may also want to take a look at what customers are saying about your business online. Contractors need reviews, according to multiple homeowners. However, while a positive review can go a long way, negative reviews can hurt your business. The time to respond to each review appropriately. Responding to negative reviews can be difficult but doing it well can turn the situation around and benefit your business.

Ask The Homeowner

Sometimes, one of the best things you can do to improve your business is to simply ask the homeowner why you didn’t win the job. While you should still reflect on yourself, asking them can help you to easily identify the areas you need to spend more time improving in to win the job next time.

Conclusion

Losing a job is a disappointment. But you can turn a negative situation into a positive one by evaluating your business and what you could have done differently. Hopefully, by taking some time to reflect, you can improve and win even more jobs in the future.

Photography Tips To Improve Your Portfolio

Photography Tips To Improve Your Portfolio

If you’re looking for new ways to win more jobs, consider brushing up on your photography skills. This may seem like a daunting task for some, but quality photos can really help increase your chance of getting more business.

You don’t need an expensive camera to get the perfect shot. If you have an up-to-date smartphone, you can easily get a few accessories and make a few changes to get beautiful images to use on your website or CraftJack portfolio. If you’re ready to get the most out of your job site pictures, here are a few photography tips to improve your portfolio.

Great photography starts with a great job. Get more quality jobs and leads with CraftJack by giving us a call at 866-456-6977.

Photography Is Important

If you haven’t started taking photos of your work, now is the time to start. Photos can be used for more than just your portfolio. In fact, they can perform better on social media as well, especially as Instagram and Snapchat continue to rise in popularity. Over 70% of businesses in the U.S. are now using Instagram to reach their customers, according to Sprout Social. So, it’s more important than ever to perfect your photography skills.

Here are a few tips to make sure you’re taking great photos:

  • Invest in Accessories
  • Avoid Distractions
  • Pay Attention to Lighting
  • Wide Photos are Best
  • Use Objects for Scale

Photography Is Important

1. Invest In Accessories

As I mentioned before, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on high-end photo equipment, but you’ll likely want to have a few accessories to make sure photos taken on your smart phone look great. A tripod can help you create clean and clear photos with little effort. Most you can find for $25 or less. This will help to steady your pictures and reduce blur.

Using HDR on your phone will be helpful too, and thankfully, it’s something your smartphone should have the capability to do. You can always invest in an additional lens for your smartphone for even better quality photos, but those tend to have a higher price tag depending on what kind of phone you have.

For small touch-ups and adjustments, PhotoShop express is a great and free option you can use on your phone. Simply download the app and get started.

2. Avoid Distractions

A great rule for contractor photography is to avoid any distractions that may take the viewer away from your work. If you’re taking a photo of a home’s exterior, avoid any cars or dumpsters that may be outside of the house. Inside, you’ll want to make sure the area is clean and maybe even do a little bit of staging to make sure the room looks its best.

Many contractors choose to take before and after photos of their work to highlight the changes. A good rule, especially in the after photo, is to make sure the job site is clean and clear. A potential customer does not want to see the mess you’ve made; they want to know what the finished job looks like. You’ll also want to be sure to stand in the same spot for the before picture as the after photo, so it’s an equal comparison.

Camera Attachments

3. Pay Attention To Lighting

When you see a photo that looks great, observe the lighting. A quality photo is usually well lit by natural light at the right time of day. Can you guess what time might be best? Noon is a common answer, however, the best lighting for color and shadow is in the morning or before sundown. This natural light will really make the most of your photos.

If you’re in a space where it’s difficult to get adequate natural light, getting a camera light accessory can be helpful to taking better photos. Most are circular and attach to your phone. It’s advised to not use flash as you can’t control where the light goes quite as well.

4. Wide Photos Are Best

For your website, portfolio and social media, the best way to capture your photo is horizontally. You’re able to include more of your work in the photo and have a better ability to crop out what you don’t want there. You’ll also have more control of your shot when using your phone sideways than vertically, so it’s easier to get the image you want.

5. Use Objects For Scale

While this may not go for all contractor photography, using objects for scale can really help to draw the eye to your work. A little bit of home staging can go a long way when photographing a bathroom or kitchen remodel. An accessory can help to focus the eye to the detailed paint job. Consider small, neutral accessories like bowls, plants and trays to give the space something special.

Wide Photos Are Best

Good Photo Etiquette

While all of these tips are helpful, you want to be sure you can actually get the image you want. Always ask the homeowner before taking any photos of their home. Avoid including any personal objects in your photos such as family photos or calendars. You may also want to check the area to make sure there are no safety hazards you’re about to photograph, as people are sure to catch them if they find your photo on the Internet.

Conclusion

Though professional photography may seem daunting to some, you can start improving your portfolio in a manner of minutes. Try a few of these tricks to improve your photography and start impressing more customers.

The CraftJack Way: Focused Exclusively On Your Trades

The CraftJack Way

Here at CraftJack, we understand what’s important to you. You want to find more leads and win more jobs. Your time is valuable and we want to help you make the most of it. That’s why we’re focused exclusively on what trades are most important to you.

Not only do we offer leads in various categories, but we take it a step further by providing valuable information and tools you can use for your business. The CraftJack way means that we’re focused exclusively on your trades. Here’s how.

If you’re ready to start generating more leads in your trade, call us at 866-456-6977 to sign up with CraftJack today and start receiving leads from homeowners in your area.

The CraftJack Way

While there are many lead generation companies out there, CraftJack is unique. We offer a variety of benefits for our contractors to take advantage of. On top of leads focused exclusively on your trade, CraftJack contractors get:

  • Free homeowner reviews
  • Speed-To-Call discounts
  • Leads generated in real time
  • Dedicated account managers

Leads For You

Leads For You

One size does not fit all when it comes to lead generation. That’s why we offer leads in various trades and specialties. You’ll get the leads you want to receive. We currently offer leads in these trades:

  • Architecture
  • Carpentry
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Cleaning
  • Decking
  • Interior Design
  • Drywall & Installation
  • Electrical
  • Fencing
  • Flooring
  • Garage
  • General
  • Gutter & Downspout
  • Handyman
  • Home Building
  • Home Inspection
  • Home Theater
  • HVAC
  • Junk Removal
  • Landscaping
  • Masonry
  • Painting & Staining
  • Paving
  • Pest control
  • Plumbing
  • Pool
  • Remediation
  • Remodeling
  • Roofing
  • Security Services
  • Siding
  • Snow Removal
  • Solar
  • Stone & Tile
  • Tree & Shrub
  • Windows & Doors

As you can see, CraftJack offers quality leads in many different specialties. These trade-specific leads are high-quality and phone-verified, so you don’t have to worry.

Additionally, we offer our CraftJack Mobile App to contractors, so you can manage your leads from wherever you are. This is an added benefit for any trade category you sign up for. You can access the app from either your iPhone or Android device.

Trade Insights

Trade Insights

Getting leads in your trade is the most important part. After all, you don’t want to waste your time with leads that don’t apply. However, here at CraftJack, we take it a step further. We’re publishing trade trends and tips to help your business grow. We’re covering topics such as construction forecasts, industry news and social media trends.

These insights are to help you focus even further on growing your business. Successful pros have resources for their specific trade and we’re here to help. Stay up-to-date on current trends in your business by utilizing some of the resources we provide. If you’re looking for even more industry news, consider joining a group on Facebook or LinkedIn to chat with other pros in your trade. Or, utilize trade organizations to help you discover more about what’s important to you.

Conclusion

Among many of the other benefits, focusing exclusively on your trades is the CraftJack way. We want to help you be successful in your business by providing all that you need to get the job done.

Wondering what else makes CraftJack stand apart from the rest? Give us a call at 866-456-6977 to find out!

2018 Construction Forecast

2018 Construction Forecast

A new year is here! Hopefully, you’ve had time to look over 2017 and figured out what worked and what did not work. Now, it’s time to look towards 2018.

Last year, we predicted slow growth in the construction industry. This year, we’re expecting steady growth as well as a boost in the remodeling industry. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for 2018.

Looking to start winning more jobs in 2018? Get the leads ready to hire by giving us a call at 866-456-6977 today!

Overall Construction Forecast

The news forecast is positive for construction in 2018, although slow growing. According to Dodge Data & Analytics annual report, construction starts should increase 3% in 2018 to $765 Billion.

“For 2018, there are several positive factors which suggest that the construction expansion has further room to proceed,” Robert Murry, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, said. “Overall, the year 2018 is likely to show some construction project types register gains while other project types settle back, with the end result being a 3% increase for total construction starts.”

The report also states that the industry saw fast growth between 2012 and 2015, resulting in more modest growth these last two years.

Overall Construction Forecast

Residential Construction & Remodeling

The outlook is good for residential construction and remodeling too. According to the Dodge Data & Analytics Outlook, single-family home starts will have a 7% increase in units, mostly due to the millennial generation demanding more single-family housing. Additionally, there will be new home starts due to the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

The remodeling industry will also see growth in 2018. According to the Joint Center For Housing Studies, there is a prediction for remodeling spending to grow 7.7%, up from 6.3%, by the third quarter of 2018. They predict homeowners will spend $330 Billion on remodeling projects and upgrades within the next year. The report says that older homeowners are leading the way in this spending, as the baby boomer generation is now remodeling to age in place. Generation X homeowners are also starting more remodeling projects as they have more money to spend after recovering from the housing crash.

If you’re a remodeling pro, you’ll be seeing some trends in the next year pop up. More homeowners are planning for the future with accessibility remodeling. Universal design and accommodations will be at the top of the list for those looking to remodel their homes. Mudroom additions and luxury basements will also be popular this year.

Construction Job Growth

Jobs in the construction industry have been a hot topic in the last two years due to the skilled labor shortage. It’s likely you’ve seen headlines about this in the last year, but prepare to see more of them. Although companies are stepping up now to encourage the next generation of workers, it will still continue to be an issue in the industry.

Skilled workers will be needed to fill the predicted job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry is expected to grow 13% between 2016 and 2026.

It’s more important than ever to be encouraging the growth of your young employees and helping them in the trade. Consider mentoring younger workers and networking with your community to help prepare the next generation of workers.

Residential Construction & Remodeling

Trends To Watch

Depending on your trade, there might be other trends you’ll want to keep an eye on this year. Last year, decking pros saw an increase in homeowners wanting to expand their decks and many wanted to also upgrade their homes for sustainability. Here’s what you’ll be seeing in 2018:

Lighting Upgrades

This year, homeowners will be looking to upgrade their light fixtures to make a statement. Starburst chandeliers and industrial bathroom lighting is trendy this year. Electrical contractors should be on the lookout for these hot items and understand what homeowners are looking for.

Eco-Friendly Remodeling

No surprise to pros, eco-friendly remodeling is still trendy. But this year, homeowners will be more conscious of choosing sustainable materials for their home. This includes flooring, appliances and even window treatments. Research what eco-friendly options are available in your trade to better assist customers.

Deep Paint Colors

Painting pros tend to see a lot of change in their field as opposed to others, as popular colors are so frequent to change. This year, homeowners are looking for deep paint colors. One of the more surprising trends to some might be the popularity of navy blue in the bathroom or the warmer, bold colors throughout the home.

Conclusion

This year, contractors will likely see positive growth across the board. Of course, forecasts are just a prediction. Pay attention to trends in your area to better plan the next year for your business.

A Year In Review: 2017 Industry Trends

2017 Industry Trends

At the end of a long year, it’s always a good idea to take some time to reflect on your business and the remodeling industry. Consider all that you’ve seen change in the last year. It can help you better plan for the new year.

If you don’t know where to start, we can help. We’ve wrapped up some of the industry trends from 2017. See what contractors are experiencing across the nation!

Are you looking to generate more leads and win more jobs in the new year? Call us at 866-456-6977 to start receiving leads from homeowners in your area.

Remodeling & Renovation

This year proved to be good across the board for anyone in the remodeling industry. According to the annual Cost Vs. Value Report, one of the biggest projects homeowners were tackling was improving their curb appeal. This could mean an upgrade to their windows or fixing up their garage.

These projects helped to add livability to homes that suburban and urban homeowners weren’t quite ready to leave yet. According to the National Association Of Realtors, 55% of homeowners in suburbs and 52% of homeowners in urban areas said they would be interested in remodeling their home. At the top of the list were kitchen upgrades, bathroom remodeling and home additions.

For a deeper look, here are some of the popular projects of 2017.

2017 Kitchen Trends

Kitchen Remodeling

It’s no surprise that kitchen remodeling projects top the list in popularity. After all, it can certainly provide additional value to a home. According to our data, 34% of homeowners were ready to hire a pro and get their project started. Within these remodeling projects, the need to update countertops grew year over year, while less homeowners plan to update their appliances in comparison to last year.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are another hot project for homeowners but not too much has changed between 2016 and 2017. When it comes to hiring, 40% are ready to get their bathroom project started ASAP, similar to last year. Bathroom countertop remodeling has stayed consistent as a popular bathroom project as well as upgrading the bathroom floor, per our data.

Additions

Additions are a big project for a homeowner to take on and most often choose to have a contractor help. According to our data, there were slight increases in bathroom and kitchen additions, while there were declines in homeowners looking for living room additions, from 2016 to 2017. Even with the increased emphasis on creating greener homes, only half of homeowners are interested in hearing about eco-friendly remodeling options when asked. However, as trends point to more sustainable materials, expect for that number to rise.

2017 Garage Trends

Garages

If you’re a garage pro, the good news is that business has remained steady since 2015. There have been no major changes in garage remodeling projects. This is expected to continue into 2018 as well.

Basements

As more homeowners look to luxury basements, many are ready to start their remodeling project. According to our data, there was a 3% rise in homeowners who are ready to hire for their basement remodeling project from last year. Additionally, most are looking to add a bathroom or bedroom to their finished basement, as opposed to other options such as a game room or office.

Other Notable Trends

Outside of popular remodeling projects, we’ve been keeping up with industry trends all year. If you missed it, here are some of the trends we covered in 2017:

Solar Industry Trends: With green home initiatives coming to the forefront, installing electric solar panels became a very popular task.

Pool Industry Trends: While pools are seen as a luxury item for homeowners, many are taking it a step further and including smart technology with their installation.

Window & Door Industry Trends: There’s a lot that could change for the window and door industry, but that hasn’t stopped the movement of more homeowners wanting energy-saving features.

Painting Industry Trends: Popular paint colors change fast, so it’s no surprise that painting pros are busy through out the year.

2017 Construction Trends

Conclusion

As you look back at 2017, identify areas where your business has been successful and think about how you can move forward in the near year. Reflecting on this can help you make 2018 the best year yet for your business!

Beyond adapting to trends, getting more leads will certainly help you reach new heights in 2018. Fortunately, CraftJack can help. Give us a call at 866-456-6977 to get started.

2018 Social Media Trends You Should Know

2018 Social Media Trends

Social media marketing trends change quickly. As a business owner, it’s important to stay on top of the best marketing practices for your business. As challenging as it can be, using social media can truly help you boost your business.

From using live video to Instagram stories, there are many new features and some that we’re even waiting to see in 2018. To help you discover what’s best to try for your business, here are the social media trends you should know.

Social media is a great way to generate new leads, but a lead generation service can help you find even more. Call us today at 866-456-6977 to start receiving leads from homeowners in your area.

Why Use Social Media

If you’re not already using social media for your business, you’re missing out on leads in your area. Social media presents an opportunity for you to meet and connect with potential customers who are in need of your services.

If you already have your business on social media, that’s great! Make a new year’s resolution to make it even better. In 2017, we saw more businesses take advantage of live videos and find new ways to have conversations with customers. Here’s what’s trending in 2018:

  • Video Creation
  • Instagram & Facebook Stories
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Facebook Chat
  • Live Video
  • Shoppable Posts

Social Video Trends 2018

1. Video Creation

At the top of the list, video creation is key. According to Forbes, 80% of video traffic will be all consumer internet traffic in four years. So if you haven’t started creating videos yet, you may be falling behind.

Consider creating videos talking about a few tips for homeowners related to your trade. Or, maybe some testimonial videos from happy customers.

2. Instagram & Facebook Stories

If you use Facebook and Instagram, it’s likely you’ve seen the “stories” feature. At the top of your feed sits a row of people you follow who are posting photos, videos and announcements that disappear after 24 hours. These little snapshots are meant to give viewers a further glimpse into daily life, beyond just a photo. According to Tech Crunch, Instagram stories has more daily use than their competitor Snapchat.

Stories is a great tool for small business owners to use to tell the story of their business. Use them to show clips of your day or special promotions. It will give your customers and potential customers a behind the scenes look of your business and make them feel more connected to you.

Instagram Trends 2018

3. Influencer Marketing

A hot topic among social media marketers in 2018 is influencers. These are people or businesses that work with another business or service to promote them through their network. You’ve likely seen this before with high-profile celebrities, but you can use this as a tool to help move your business forward.

As customers turn to focus their spending and support on locally-owned businesses, you may want to consider collaborating with businesses in your area. Maybe do an exchange of services or simply offer to help promote their business on social media, in hopes they will do the same in return. Influencer marketing doesn’t have to be high profile; it just has to be effective within your customer base.

4. Social Media Messaging

You may not have considered messaging as a part of your social media strategy, but you might want to in 2018. According to Social Media Today, 1.3 billion users are active on Facebook Messenger with 2 billion messages being exchanged with businesses in a single month. This is a direct connection with potential customers that you don’t want to miss out on.

In your social media posts, encourage your users to direct message you with any questions or if they are interested in an estimate. This is a way to start instantly connecting with a potential lead!

Social Media Chat 2018 Trends

5. Live Video

While video is a must, creating live videos is fairly new but becoming more common for those who want to boost their business. This can be done through both Instagram and Facebook. According to LiveStream, 80% of people would rather watch a live video than read a blog from a business. The amount of people engaging with live video is only expected to grow.

For small business owners and contractors, it can be hard to decide what the best way is to use live video for your business. Before even determining what you will film, determine when you will film by looking at your analytics. Next, see what resonates most with your audience. Maybe a live Q&A where people can tune in and ask questions about their homes. Or, maybe a live tutorial specific to your trade. Keep in mind, Facebook live videos can stick around on your page while Instagram live videos will disappear.

6. Shoppable Posts

A newer feature slowly being released to businesses on Instagram is shoppable posts. Through setting up a “shop” on Facebook, you can add a button to your Instagram post showing the price of an item in the photo. It takes a bit of time to set up, but it can help connect users to a website or other feature.

Shoppable posts can be trickier for contractors to use, but it might come in handy if you want to try an average cost estimate of a job or promoting specific products.

Conclusion

It’s likely we’ll see many new social media features appear as the new year begins. See what you can use to better boost your business on social media and measure what works the best.

CraftJack Mobile App Is Live

CraftJack Releases Mobile App

Just this week, CraftJack released our FREE mobile app for all contractors in the CraftJack network. Whether you have an iPhone or Android phone, all CraftJack contractors can manage their quality leads through the newest and most sophisticated lead generation app on the market.

If you’re ready to start receiving the quality leads you deserve via a brand new mobile app, give us a call at 866-456-6977 or download the app via the following links:

Please note you must be signed up with CraftJack to use the new mobile application.

What the CraftJack App Can Do

This app is designed to help you connect and manage your leads quickly and efficiently right from your mobile device. Not only does this give you a better chance of winning the job, but it helps you to earn the 20% Speed-to-Call discount with all leads, a unique benefit for only CraftJack pros.

Here’s all you’ll you can do with the CraftJack app:

  • Easily contact leads through the app
  • Get custom alerts for new leads
  • Save money with alerts for your Speed-To-Call Discount
  • View lead details & contact information
  • Manage current & previous leads
  • Ask homeowners for reviews
  • Request a credit
  • Add notes for each lead received
  • See your billing & account info
  • Update your business contact information
  • Easily contact your account manager

As a friendly reminder, CraftJack offers leads for all 37 home improvement categories.

Start receiving quality leads from real homeowners by giving us a call at 866-456-6977.

Industry News: November 2017

Industry News

As the new year quickly approaches, trends for 2018 become more apparent. Based on the last few months, there’s been an increased demand in first-first time home buying and the skilled-labor shortage is still impacting the construction industry.

As November continues, headlines are showing trends in various trades that will likely carry into 2018. Now’s the time to keep an eye on the latest news. To help, here are some of the highlights.

Looking to receive new leads and help your business grow? Give us a call at 866-456-6977 to start receiving leads in your area.

Homeownership Rises In Q3

Homeownership has been on the rise since 2016. According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate rose slightly from this time last year, from 63.5% to 63.9% in the third quarter.

Notably, those in Generation X who were hit hard by the housing crisis are steadily buying more homes. As MarketWatch reports, this generation’s homeownership is up year over year and quarter over quarter. This is an important trend to continue watching as it continues to signal a strong housing market.

Homebuilding in Q3

Remodeling Market Remains Strong In Q3

Good news for remodeling pros! The National Association of Home Builders reports that the remodeling market is growing, up two points on their index since Q2. Specifically, in major additions, the NAHB has seen improvements.

The NAHB also reported that remodelers are struggling to find labor for necessary trades such as electrical and carpentry. According to the report, 66% of remodelers reported labor shortages compared to last year. The skilled labor shortage is an issue that continues to impact various trades in construction and remodeling.

Skilled Labor Shortage Impacts Trades

As we continue to talk about the skilled labor shortage, we must try to understand why. According to Builder Online, there could be various reasons that this is making an impact on the industry. Some include not enough opportunities for teenagers to learn in school, while other reasons include a lack of motivation to get into the field. These skilled labor shortages are hitting some areas harder than others, such as the Southeast and West Coast.

CNN reports that 900,000 construction workers have left their field since 2006, leaving a large gap that must be filled. With disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, demand has grown for skilled workers to help rebuilding areas.

Skilled Labor Shortage In USA

New Opportunities In Solar Technology

If you’ve been following solar trends, you know that there’s new innovations that’s helping to grow the industry quickly. In a recent report from The Independent, solar energy might be coming to the window industry. Researchers and scientists at the University of Michigan have been working to create transparent solar cells that can be used within windows to help harvest the energy.

While it isn’t on the market yet, it’s something solar pros should be paying attention to, as it could be a big benefit to their customers. Additionally, it can help to open more opportunities for homeowners and business owners to incorporate solar into their remodeling plans.

Dark Paint Colors Trending In Late 2017

For interior designers, you’re likely seeing décor trends that will be big in 2018. Currently, trends are pointing to darker paint colors as what will be hot in the new year.

As the New York Times reported in October, companies such as Sherwin-Williams, Glidden Paint and Benjamin Moore have chosen their colors of the year. All are darker hues that make a statement in any room. As white has been the hot choice the last few years, this is a dramatic shift. Colors like “Oceanside” by Sherwin-Williams or Olympic Paint’s “Black Magic” are examples of the latest trends. Of course, each dark color is complimented by a lighter color pallet, designed to make the accents of a room pop.

Conclusion

The end of the year is shaping up to be good for many pros. Keep an eye on trends and headlines in your area to see what the new year might have in store.

Turn On Or Off Leads Instantly

We all want more leads and more work, but sometimes, there’s just not enough time in the day to take on one more job. Whether it’s a weekend, Thanksgiving, vacation or you’re just too busy, CraftJack makes it easy to pause your leads and save money on our lead generation service. See how easy it is to pause and activate your account whenever you wish.

If you’re ready to take advantage of this unique CraftJack feature, give us a call at 866-456-6977.

CraftJack Lead Manager

Once you sign up with CraftJack, you get personal access to our CraftJack Lead Manager. In this password-protected website, you can manage your leads, adjust your service areas, request reviews, pause or activate your account and do much, much more.

In this video, Noah shows you everything you can do in the CraftJack Lead Manager. However, since the Thanksgiving is coming up, below, we will show you how you can pause your account instantly when you sign up with CraftJack.

Step 1: Log Into Lead Manager

As soon as you sign up with CraftJack, you’ll be asked to choose a username and password. The username is typically your email address. The password can be whatever you wish.

Step 2: Review Your Dashboard

The first page you see after you log in is your dashboard. This page shows you all recent leads, account alerts and CraftJack updates. Reviewing your dashboard daily will go a long way in closing more leads.

Step 3: Click the “My Account” Tab

Towards the top of the page, you will see multiple tabs such as “Dashboard,” “Leads,” “Reports,” “Calendar,” “ROI Calculator,” “Profile” and “My Account.”

Click “My Account.”

Step 4: Pause or Activate Your Account

On the right-hand side of this page, you will two sections called “Monthly Budget” and “Account Status.” If you’d like to edit your monthly budget, hit the edit button under your total.

If you like to pause or activate your account, just hit the button under you current status.

Step 5: Choose How Long You’d Like to Pause

If you’re pausing your account, you can choose how long you’d like to pause it for. You can pause for one day, two days (great for weekends), five days, one week, two weeks or more depending on your schedule and time of year.

In the days leading up to the automatic activation, you will receive alerts via the CraftJack Lead Manager letting you know that your account will be un-paused soon.

Watch below as Noah shows you exactly how to pause your account.

Ready to Sign Up

CraftJack makes it as easy as possible to pause or activate your account instantly. If you’d like this power and start receiving the homeowner leads you deserve, give us a call at 866-456-6977.

Communication Tips To Remember On The Job

Communication Tips To Remember On The Job

The way you carry yourself on the job speaks volumes about your business. That’s why it’s so important to have clear communication skills. While much of it seems inherent, there are plenty of us that could use a refresher on what great communication really looks like.

For contractors, you’re already wearing many hats and delegating tasks. Communication between you and your employees, as well as you and the homeowner, can lead to a more successful job. Here are a few communication tips that can help.

Communication is a key skill to have when talking to new leads. Sign up with CraftJack today by calling us at 866-456-6977 to get more new leads!

Keys To Good Communication

If you’re a business owner or an independent contractor, you’ll likely run into situations where you need to communicate clearly in order to get the job done. Poor communication can lead to mistakes and frustration. While some of these tips might seem basic, you’d be surprised at how often they’re forgotten. Here’s an easy list of communication tips you should know:

  • Active listening will help you retain what you’ve heard.
  • Planning ahead can help you avoid potential confusion.
  • Taking detailed notes when someone is talking or contacts you is helpful.
  • Nodding your head and making eye contact lets people know you’re listening.
  • Practicing good communication tips off the job will help on the job.
  • In heated situations, step back and take a breath before speaking.

Keys To Good Communication

Listen Carefully

One of the most important keys to communicating effectively is with great listening skills. Active listening is a technique that can help you retain what you’ve heard as well as assure the person you’re speaking with that you’re attentive to their needs. Here are some ways you can become a better active listener:

  • Showing non-verbal signs, such as eye contact and facial expressions
  • Avoiding distractions such as phone calls or text messages
  • Repeating back to the speaker what they have said, in your own words
  • Asking questions to clarify what the speaker is saying
  • Don’t propose solutions until the speaker is done talking

Plan Ahead

Last-minute plans are bound to come up, but should be avoided at all costs. Know how long the project will take and communicate the timeline with the homeowner and your employees. On bigger projects, such as remodeling, you may need to plan for different services and subcontractors in advance. By planning ahead, you can easily communicate with all involved what needs to be done. Not only will this help the job go smoothly for you, but customers will appreciate it too!

Take Detailed Notes

If you’re practicing active listening, note taking is a habit you should form. Note taking requires you to listen carefully, taking what you hear and putting it in writing. This helps you retain the information better. It’s even more helpful if there’s a detail you’re unclear about, so you can refer to your notes as an aid or for clarification.

Take Detailed Notes

Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, it’s not likely you’ll be an expert at listening and communication right away. This is a skill that must be practiced both on and off the job. When speaking with friends and family, practice a few of these techniques such as non-verbal signs and summarizing what they say. It might feel strange at first, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, it could really help you grow relationships with those you love and improve your business!

Be Respectful

Communication tends to be easier when things are going well. Even if you’ve taken all the steps to properly relay information to others, it may have been received differently than intended. This can lead to frustration, which I’m sure you’ve experienced before. Frustration and anger can cloud our ability to communicate effectively, not to mention hurt or confuse others. If you find yourself in a situation like this, here are a few steps you can try:

  1. Take a step back from the situation.
  2. Deep breaths can help control emotions.
  3. Avoid yelling or using strong language.
  4. Ask questions to get to the root of the problem.
  5. Brainstorm different solutions to best understand a resolution.

When The Job Is Done

After you’ve completed your work, review what changes you’ve made with the homeowner. You may want to present them with a summary, both verbal and written, that best explains the work. This gives them a better understanding of your work. It’s likely they’ll have questions as you wrap things up. Answer them to the best of your ability. If you don’t know the answer, simply state that you’ll find out more and get back to them. Then, be sure to do so! Customers appreciate a contractor that follows up promptly once the work is complete.

Conclusion

Communication is extremely important for contractors in any area of work. Improving your communication skills can help your business thrive as well as boost your relationships with others. Examine some areas where communication can be improved on and practice when you’re able.

To get a little more practice, and more homeowner leads, give us a call at 866-456-6977.