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Business Advice5 min

Preparing for the Main Selling Season

Coming off an unprecedented year, the busiest season for selling siding is almost underway! COVID-19 is still a significant consideration as you attempt to move forward with your siding business while taking learnings and challenges from the pandemic into consideration.

We talked with Erik Perkins of Perkins Builder Brothers to get insight straight from the jobsite about COVID-19’s impact, tips for prepping for a new season, and more. Read on to see how LP can support you with one of the most durable siding options out there as your business ramps up! 

A Season of Challenges 

Perkins wasn't alone when his business faced setbacks in the pandemic's early months. "We had some jobs that were set back six months or more," he remembers. "We weren't able to start those, so we had to find in-between jobs that would fit the time we had."

He also dealt with some labor losses and adjustments. Otherwise, with their industry deemed essential, the team found a way to stay safe and make it work with safety precautions.

Lumber prices also posed an issue. "We had to align with clients and make sure they were on board with rising prices," Perkins says. Windows were also hard to get, and the team had to source products through a variety of different avenues.

Learnings and New Beginnings 

"One thing we'll take into this season is a change of attitude," Perkins says. "We're super thankful for work." Realizing there were times he and his team took it for granted, Perkins says that the pandemic allowed him to appreciate the blessing that steady work was in and of itself.

"We also learned to realize how quickly things can change, and we started putting that knowledge into action with our contracts," he adds. This helps Perkins cover all possibilities with his clients and be more prepared no matter what comes their way.

Perkins and the team are also doubling down on recordkeeping. While previously they could rely on mentally noting a change here and there, the amount of change that came in during the pandemic led to more detailed records.

Tips for Preparing for the Selling Season

Perkins offered builders and other professionals a few quick tips for making the most of the building and selling season coming up. Here are his top recommendations:

  1. Get Ahead and Keep Pace: Any time you can, keep your jobs on track by getting all the basic work done before you start siding. “We try to get all the infrastructure work done so we’re ready as soon as possible for the next steps,” says Perkins. Choosing products designed for efficiency, like LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, can help in this area as well.
  2. Balancing Your Business: You may be on the jobsite one day, in the office the next, or even handling social media content along the way. “Sometimes balancing it all can slow us down,” Perkins warns. Planning your days and using your time well will go a long way toward a successful season.
  3. Get Familiar With the Product: You’ll be a better seller to your clients if you know your product like the back of your hand. “A lot of clients don’t know what many of their building products even are,” Perkins admits. To combat this he’s got the most important selling points memorized, ready to talk to clients at any time. The LP SkillBuilder Education and Resource Hub is also a great resource for keeping up with product knowledge.
  4. Hold to Your Business Model: “Our model is to build affordable homes that are high quality and to enjoy doing it,” Perkins says. By making sure every decision ladders up to this goal, he helps his team stay focused.

How LP SmartSide Trim & Siding Can Help Make This Season the Best Yet

As one of the most durable siding solutions on the market, LP SmartSide siding offers your clients an all-weather siding option. But the benefits extend far beyond the homeowners themselves: LP SmartSide products give you the ease and efficiency you need to make using them profitable.

The Perkins Brothers Install LP SmartSide Trim & Siding

Perkins loves that the product comes in 16-foot lengths. "There's also the ability to cut it with a regular saw, and it can be handled easily with a small crew," he adds. "Even when you notch windows, it doesn't snap under its own weight, which shows the strength of the material." This leads to less waste and greater jobsite efficiency.

When you’re talking to homeowners, “they’re concerned about the cost they’ll pay for what they get,” Perkins says, thinking back to his experience. This is where talking about the durability of LP SmartSide products comes in handy. Additionally, “homeowners latch onto the low maintenance factor,” he adds, remembering that they often want the look of wood without the maintenance of it.

LP also offers training and support through LP SkillBuilder, your LP SmartSide education and resource hub. It’s free to join and can help you boost your installation skills, learn more about selling to homeowners, and much more. Additionally, the LP BuildSmart Preferred Contractor Program offers marketing assistance, lead generation, rewards, and even more support.

With these tips as well as your own learnings from a tough season, let’s work together to move forward and make this the best siding season yet!

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