When the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic last March, we entered a realm that no one could have imagined. As we maneuvered through it day by day, week by week, month by month, change was the one constant. Consumers and businesses alike faced enormous challenges while riding an economic rollercoaster that wasn’t fitted for seatbelts.
No one truly knew what to do. One way Foundation Finance found beneficial was to continue to connect with home improvement business owners through its weekly blog series. Providing helpful articles including COVID-19 Resources for the Home Improvement Industry, Doing Business In A Challenging Economy, Small Business Resources During COVID-19 and Business Strategy & Perseverance Amidst COVID-19, to name a few, became a supportive resource for dealers.
As companies found new ways to adapt their businesses, many embraced emerging digital tactics, transitioning business processes and methodologies online. Zoom showroom visits, online applications and electronic signatures were increasingly prevalent. We saw much of our network grow in ways that are strengthening their sales today.
Another unexpected yet welcome trend during the pandemic was an increased demand for home improvements. Mainly exterior additions or upgrades. Decks, outdoor kitchens, pools, and, more recently, fencing. Some remodeling contractors successfully expanded their business during the pandemic–with more employees and broader specialties. Staycations filled business pipelines and kept bottom lines healthy. That is, if supplies weren’t on backorder.
On the consumer side, homeowners were reluctant to spend their savings on improvements, but wanted them nonetheless. Affordable financing was an acceptable and often desired method of payment. Second look financing also grew in demand and need. Foundation Finance has a uniquely powerful second look program that doesn’t rely solely on credit score. This was beneficial as homeowners’ financial situations often fluctuated and dealers needed to close those sales.
Since March 2020, much has changed. As of March 2021, the path forward seems steadied. Foundation Finance is bringing new enhancements to its financing program with exciting developments soon to be unrolling. Let’s change our focus to a better year ahead!