Since March 2020, many of us have been working from home. As a result, they’ve probably become more familiar with the positive and negative aspects of home a lot. This is important to keep in mind since it affects residential sales.
Think of all of these potential customers who are becoming more acutely aware of their thermal comfort during a cold winter. Things are different now that they can’t escape to their office job with a well-maintained, commercial-grade heating system. What’s more, they weren’t paying for its energy use or maintenance and now they are!
Bottom line, many people who are working from home are having a rude awakening. Their energy bills are noticeably higher than they used to be. For one thing, both their household and office-related electronics are being put to more use. There are statistics that the home energy demand increased 22% since Covid-19. There has also been an uptick in water bills and other amenities. And of course, since they’re using their mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems more frequently, they shouldn’t be surprised to see a need for more maintenance of those systems.
Here’s a prime example. Imagine that a prospect’s heating system has failed. This is a more serious problem than usual, especially during the winter months. Before the pandemic they might suffer a few cold and sleepless nights until a HVAC contractor would come and fix it. Now they’re freezing through their days as well, so now it’s affecting their work and home life.
Imagine if a contractor understood that particular problem and brought it into the discussion: “Listen, I can fix your heating system now that you’re working from home. Being comfortable is critical to being productive.” Insights like these that can have huge impacts in selling energy maintenance and upgrades to a homeowner or even a landlord.
I heard one contractor use the analogy of “flattening the curve” – you know, keeping folks masked and socially distanced so that hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed with incoming COVID patients and have to deal with a shortage of ventilators and other life-saving equipment. His comparison: “You might want to get your home’s HVAC system replaced immediately instead of just letting it go until it fails, because once it fails, there might not be enough HVAC field techs available to come and fix it in a timely manner – especially considering how many of your neighbors are in your same situation, pressing their HVAC systems to the max and courting disaster if their systems suddenly fail right in the middle of a busy week (or weekend!) working from home.”