Note from the hosts: I first discovered remodeling industry icon David Lupberger a few years back. As the face of the then rapidly growing contractor referral site ServiceMagic.com, he would walk out onto my (and your) computer screen. Now, a few years later, and as he has moved on to develop the Home Asset Management Plan, we had the opportunity to have him submit to us here.  

As David and I discussed it, I suggested that he tell us more about “the Plan” and how it speaks more specifically to developing “a home plan.”  For me, the fundamental thinking found in it just makes practical sense.  But see for yourself below, and thanks for the submission David.  Best of luck, and enjoy all. ~jb


David Lupberger on Building MoxieWhen it comes to working in today’s residential remodeling industry, you need to have a plan of action if you want to experience success.

Times have changed for general contractors, and if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to change, too. Now changing can be a scary prospect, especially if you’ve been in the business for several years, but with the Home Asset Management Plan, it certainly doesn’t have to be.

Keep your employees, keep your supplies, keep your location–this change is a strategic change, not a physical one. You don’t have to worry about turning your world upside down. In fact, that’s the opposite of the point–you want to straighten your world out. And that means creating a plan for the future.

Developing the Home Plan | Looking Back, Looking Forward

In the past–and not too far in the past, either–folks in our business were experiencing a good deal of success. Clients, who had developed disposable incomes in the highly rewarding first years of the digital revolution, were beating down our doors asking for additions, expansions, restorations, and major repairs to their homes. It was a profitable time in the industry.

But in 2007, the real estate market took a staggering nose dive and a fresh recession hit the economy. The disposable income disappeared. The clients stopped beating on our doors. The prospect of large projects dried up faster than a raindrop in the Sahara.

We were, in the views of many, sunk.

Many companies simply closed their doors and folded during these hard times. Others stuck it out for longer, but eventually succumbed to the same fate.

Why did they fail? Was it because the economy took a hit? Was it because clients didn’t need their help anymore?

Not at all. They failed because they couldn’t see that the industry was merely shifting shapes, transforming, changing into something new. And because they didn’t know how to change with it, they were busy trying to sell and outdated, obsolete product.

In order to become a success in the construction world today, you need to be willing to shift gears. Advertising for contractors no longer operates in the same way it used to.

But remember, success is very much attainable. All you have to do is open your eyes to a brand new plan of action.

The Home Asset Management Plan

The strategy that I’ve devised to help you realize success in today’s soft economy is called the Home Asset Management Plan. When put in place, the HAMP will help you:

  • Create life-long clients
  • Develop years of job security
  • Enjoy a continual cash flow

The basic idea of the Home Asset Management Plan is that you need to start focusing on the client instead of on the project. You need to invest in people if you want to create a lifetime of work.

First, this involves the shucking of the time-worn, project-driven business model in favor of the more honest relationship-centered one.

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Next, it asks that you reconnect with old clients–what’s the point in cruising for home improvement leads when you can get all the work you can handle from your own rolodex?

And then comes the big change: You will become a home asset manager, instead of simply a single-project coordinator.

Focusing on the Household

In order to realize success in this industry today, you need to become the go-to guy or gal for all of your client’s household needs. Every project, big or small, will go through you, and since houses will ALWAYS need to be maintained, if you develop a good enough relationship with your client, you can have work lined up for years to come.

As the home asset manager, you will work with the client to:

  • Develop a schedule of projects that spans 3-5 years, allowing the homeowner to raise necessary funds and you to create excellent job security
  • Determine which projects need to be done first and which can wait
  • Become the one-stop-shopping destination for all repair, remodeling, and restoration needs

The Home Asset Management Plan will teach you how to cultivate this new client relationship, ensuring it will last for many, many years. Success in the remodeling business is still possible. You just need to learn how to change alongside an ever-changing industry.