The 21st Century Painter

By brandonpaas,

  Filed under: Feature

Consumer Marketing Manager,
Intertape Polymer Group


Help your contractors turn into…

The 21st Century Painter

The recovery of the real estate market has considerably increased demand for the U.S. painting industry. From 2013-2018, the industry grew at an annual rate of 4.9%, reaching $40.3 billion in total revenue for 2018. Over the next five years to 2023, the industry is expected to have annual growth of 1.6%. General residential painting is the largest segment, accounting for 39.5% of industry revenue. General non-residential painting comes in at 20% and non-building painting slightly higher at 22.4%. (Source: IBISWorld Industry report 23832 Painters in the U.S.)

The U.S. painting industry is made up of nearly 305,510 businesses. With all the competition out there, how can you set yourself apart? It’s time to evolve!

I had the opportunity to listen to a panel of painting professionals talk about all things paint—including how the industry is changing and some of the things contractors can do to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on opportunities. Feel free to share this with them!


Get Online

As consumers are researching and continuously becoming more educated, it’s critical to have an online presence to showcase and market your work. Start with joining a professional trade association to increase your audience and give you an extra level of credibility. Create a website that shows prospective customers some of your past work. Highlight some of your best finished jobs by presenting before and after images. Upload videos of you and your crew on the jobsite, showing your prep work, painting, and the finished product.

This will allow potential customers to get comfortable with your work and instill a level of confidence that the same quality prep and craftsmanship will be done at their residence. Post up positive customer testimonials and build a review section where past clients can rate your work. Blog helpful tips and techniques on social media demonstrating your level of expertise and further building trust for future clients.


The “Do it all” Contractor

It used to be a paint contractor was just a paint contractor. Today, paint contractors need to be much more. The days of painting only walls and trim are over. Complement your skills and abilities by expanding into more technical applications—faux finishes, texturing, staining decks, dyeing concrete, sealing walkways, etc. There are endless opportunities to expand into broader areas, increasing your value and generating more business. In the ever increasing world of decorative finishes, the ability to bundle your services will surely set you apart from your competition.


“Time is Money” Redefined

We’ve all heard the old adage “Time is Money,” get in, get out, and cash that check! While listening to the panel of professional contractors, I heard that phrase a lot. But after a while, I got a different sense of what it actually means. You may be the best painter in the world—no need to tape off baseboards or put down floor protection because you’re a pro and have been doing this for years. You can cut corners with the best of ’em (pun intended!).

Here’s my takeaway from the session: take the time to sit down with the customer and explain what you’ll be doing, showing examples of your past work, answering questions and addressing their concerns. Take the time to prep the area before you start. Be sure to tape off the baseboards, or around kitchen cabinets, and apply floor protection. Ease the customer’s mind by being diligent in your preparation efforts. This is what they want to see. From there, job well done—more pictures, more testimonials, more word of mouth, more customers. That’s where the real money is!

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