Industry Insider

phone calls

What problems do you get called about the most?

Running your own business comes with a lot of different elements to keep track of. One of the more annoying but necessary aspects is your phone. It’s your line to your customers, which makes it vital to your continued success, but sometimes it seems like it never rings for the right reasons, and we’re not talking about telemarketing. Clients often call for problems you can’t fix, or just to prod you for a price listing, which nobody likes. We asked our experts what their most common phone calls were, and what calls they’d like to get more often. They had …

unhappy clients

How do you handle an unhappy client?

Everybody has heard the old saying, “the customer is always right.” When you work in the service industry, your clients are your most important resource, and alienating them could mean disaster for your business. But customers are not always reasonable, and sometimes you come up against one who’s unhappy with you and your work, and not always for a good reason. How can you get out of a bad situation with a dissatisfied customer? We asked our experts for their advice on resolving client conflicts. They had a lot of great suggestions that you can implement in your company right …

Marketing tools

What are your favorite marketing tools?

Above all, marketing is supposed to help your business. Now, more than ever, an effective marketing campaign is vital to keep businesses afloat during the down economy. But many businesses struggle to know which direction(s) to take their marketing campaign. If you’re looking to improve your marketing strategy, make sure you take a look at these tips from our experts. Social Media Social media platforms are numerous and their reach is even greater. Businesses need to approach social media differently than private parties. It is important to create content that is useful to the public and your potential customers. Even …


What happens when designers and homeowners disagree?

Designers design, clients pay. Such a black and white viewpoint might help more design projects get completed, but it wouldn’t come close to honoring the work of a good interior designer, nor would it respect the wishes of hard-working clients. Design is rooted in collaboration and the sharing of ideas to create unique spaces that homeowners love to live in and designers love to show off. Expecting that process to always go smoothly is naïve. Designers and clients should have different ideas, that’s what makes the process fun and creative. The key is to avoid letting an exchange of ideas …


Building on Sustainability

On June 5, the United Nations Environment Programme will celebrate World Environment Day. Now in its 40th year, World Environment Day is a global initiative “for positive environmental action.” Worldwide, construction has enormous potential to affect the environment in positive and negative ways. Forests are harvested for wood, fossil fuels are burned for transportation and the earth is gutted for metals, all to create and move new building materials. One of the best ways to reduce environmental impact in the construction industry is to use sustainable materials, whether it’s giving new life to windows reclaimed from an abandoned building or …

project pride

Fueling Success with Pride and Passion

The eLocal Home Expert Network is an elite group of the nation’s top home improvement professionals. Their outstanding reputation was the inspiration for this week’s blog and our request for stories and pictures of the jobs they were most proud of. After a great response, we’re proud to showcase a few examples. The slideshow below highlights what our professionals are capable of. Each picture represents big challenges, creative solutions and an unwavering enthusiasm for home improvement. Below, check out a video from Dawn Ohnstad, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata MN which was produced when she ran into a particularly challenging listing …

happy customers

The Best Repeat Business Practices

Home improvement professionals are always looking for new business, and once a professional gets a new customer, it’s crucial that they create and maintain a good relationship. After all, long-term business contacts offer a laundry list of benefits including big savings on money and time for everyone involved. To get some insider tips on establishing repeat business, we talked with two experts in the field: Richard Shapiro, president of The Center for Client Retention and author of the new book The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and Samantha Landa from 1-800-Got-Junk?. Benefits Repeat customers allow professionals to …

home improvement technology

Uniting Home Improvement and New Technology

When we asked our expert panel about their favorite new technologies, we expected to hear about industry- specific implements and tools, but our experts surprised us. We were inundated with responses hailing the advent of new communication technologies. Smartphones, web applications, social media outlets and digital cameras were listed as favorites across the home improvement industry. These new tools are making it easier for professionals to connect and collaborate with their clients. Smartphones While the iPhone is the most versatile and common smartphone on the market, it’s smartphones in general are getting a big thumbs-up from home improvement professionals. Even …

confessions of professional

The Confessions of a Home Improvement Pro

We’re all sensitive when it comes to something as important as your home. And everyone finds it hard sometimes to relinquish control to even the most reputable of experts. But by and large, home improvement professionals have your back when it comes to getting you where you want to go with your home. So we wanted to reveal some insiders’ perspective on how the experts approach their services, and what that means for you.

home improvement career

Career Advice for the Home Improvement Industry

Every industry has its tried-and-true methods of jump-starting a career. From engineering to accounting and science to the legal space, there are countless resources for those looking for advice. However, what about the home improvement industry? It’s little talked about and a lot of home professions don’t require the same collegiate training path, so how do those interested in exploring this fulfilling and hands-on industry get advice? With the help of our Blog-Off experts, we break it down…