Like all industries, the home improvement sector sometimes experiences labor shortages. Labor shortages in this sector trickle down to affect sales in the tile and stone industry. With a lack of labor comes extended wait times for installation, which means delayed or terminated sales.
While the market should eventually rebound, this doesn’t mean that dealers can afford to wait. Instead, consider marketing your tile and stone veneer products directly to customers for DIY installation.
While some materials may require in-depth knowledge and a variety of special tools for installation, stone veneer often does not. Many types of stone veneer are easy to install, don’t require a lot of special sealers or treatments, and some do not even need grout.
All of these attributes make the material easier to install for the DIY homeowner. The key to success for a dealer is to make sure that customers consider these products as DIY.
Some of the hesitation that DIY homeowners may have concerning an installation may stem from lack of knowledge surrounding tools and setting materials. Putting together DIY kits designed to have everything the homeowner may need can be a great way to assist as well as bring in incremental sales.
Setting materials, correctly-sized trowels, buckets and cutting tools can be packaged together with the intent of making the installation easier for homeowners. Kits can be modified or created with specific types of stone or tile in mind. For example, if a tile requires grout, the correct grout, along with a sponge and float, can be added to the kit. Or, if a light colored stone is being used, white setting material can be substituted for gray.
DIY stone veneer kits can take a lot of the hesitation and guesswork out of the process. This, in turn, makes customers feel more confident and encourages them to buy.
Easy to Access Information
An alternative to a DIY kit would be a simple pamphlet or PDF with DIY information. Having this information readily available on your website or in your showroom near the stone veneer can help let customers know that DIY installation is a possibility.
The pamphlet should include substrate information, setting information, and a list of tools and necessary materials. If you sell these items, include the cost and where to find them. This not only creates upselling opportunities, it also helps customers feel more confident in their purchase.
Many homeowners want to take on projects quickly. They have guests coming or have suddenly found the time and motivation to complete something they’ve wanted for years. Being advised that it may take weeks to months to have their new project installed could derail things entirely.
Offering DIY information that is easily displayed near the stone veneer means that they may not need to wait after all. This can make the difference between a quick sale, and one that may not happen at all.
If you have an installer on staff, consider offering DIY workshops for homeowners. Quick evening workshops that let a homeowner see how easy the material is to work with can also encourage DIY installation and more sales.
Workshops can take the form of a demonstration or of hands on application. You can also tailor them to your most popular stone veneer types. Offering workshops is also a great way to get people in your doors, and you can offer DIY packages for sale at the same time.
Invest in the DIY Market
The DIY market is growing. As information becomes easier to access, more homeowners are taking the plunge and taking on their own projects. This is especially true in the face of labor shortages.
Invest in the DIY market in your area by catering to their needs. You’ll find that doing so may increase sales while you wait for labor to rebound.