Consumer Home & Garden Survey: Homeowners ready to spend on needs, waiting for deals on wants


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As everyone is still navigating the complexities of inflation hot on the heels of rising mortgage rates and home prices, the question still weighs heavy on minds: When will things truly turn around and ease up?

We recently gathered data from over 200 home improvement business owners to better understand their concerns, like rising costs, customer retention, and growth. After reviewing the results, one thing has stayed constant: advertising is imperative to success. So, we flipped the script to ask over 1,000 homeowners about their spending on home services and what motivates them to open their wallets.

Key findings:

  • 81% of homeowners prefer to receive ads that contain an incentive or offer
  • 27% budget up to $250 annually on home maintenance and 49% over $750
  • House owners want services more than once—they want the full-season discount
  • More than half would like to receive home & lawn offers in the mail
  • 53% would switch service providers for a lower cost & 42% would from a coupon / offer

All growing lawns need care

“I usually go with companies that I research and speak to someone who comes to do a free estimate or someone I have had a long business relationship with.”

Homeowners may need a little more incentive to get them to pick up the phone and call or scan a QR code to learn more details about a particular lawn care company they’re interested in.

graph of top reasons that would motivate consumers to try or switch lawn service providers

Now we know there is money on the table, and homeowners are more willing to part with it if offered an incentive. 27% of respondents are in it for the long haul, choosing 25% off a full lawn care season as the top offer they want.

Graph of top lawn service offers people would like to receive

We also asked respondents in our survey to choose between lawn care ad designs featuring a family in the yard or a beautiful lawn. 6 out of 10 chose to see the finished lawn in all its glory, which lines up with our experience in the field (pun intended).

Graphic of types of ad images consumers react to better
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There is no shortage of big pest locations

Now we know that if you live in Florida vs. a different, perennially cooler area in the United States, your pest situation might be a constant battle for peace—that doesn’t mean homes from California to New York don’t have their fair share of creepy-crawlies to tend with. While 46% of homeowners pay up to $50 a month for pest control services (19% pay up to $100 or more).

Like lawn care, low cost took the top spot for reasons consumers would  try or switch pest control services at 48%.

Graph of top reasons that would motivate consumers to try or switch pest control services
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Home is where the heart of the budget is spent

“I spend more on home maintenance to avoid costly repairs and to give myself a break. When I find a provider I like, it takes a lot for me to be ‘disloyal’ to them. I would only consider leaving if the price increased too much or the quality of work decreased too much.”

There is just no getting around it as a homeowner: homes need regular maintenance and upgrades—it is what it is. And our respondents have sought a wide range of services. Maintaining that HVAC (heat and air conditioning) system is most popular at 62%. Plumbing took the next spot (58%).

Graph of the top home maintenance and repair services consumers have used

Homebuyers are taking on more and more costs beyond a mortgage these days so are planting roots and sticking around longer. Meaning, the right offer to the right target audience at the right time might just land a contract that lasts for years. When we asked, on average, how much our respondents spend on home maintenance from housekeeping to carpet and window cleaning to power washing, etc., in a year, and 27% spend up to $250, and 49% spend $250+ up to over $750+ per year.

With many homeowners cutting insurance in many parts of the country due to impossibly high premiums, the writing on the wall says they’re biding their time and savings because they know they’ll have to pay to repair those surprise incidents (fire, flood, hurricane, and more) on their own not if, but when they occur. When asked, on average, how much they spend on home repairs (i.e., electric, flooring, painting, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) in a year, 55% spend up to $1,000, with 24% going as high as $3000+ annually on said repairs.

Graph of home services consumers would most like to recieve

Note: 81% of homeowners prefer to receive ads with an incentive or offer, and 89% of respondents chose the same option when viewing two separate ads.

Advertisement comparison graphic offer or no offer in ad
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My castle; my preference

“I flip through your mailings and keep flyers of interest for reference. Never know when the need will arise!”

68% of survey-takers said they prefer to receive home & lawn offers in the mail (tactile, unchanging coupon with the headline and offer strategically placed so as not to be missed is as good as currency). Email at 39% (both of which are more than social, websites, mobile ads, etc. combined), in its own way, is a static image that is yours and will not change once opened and saved from your inbox.

Graph of home and lawn offers consumers would like to receive

Creepy? Not creepy? But effective!

There are various personalized advertisement options to reach existing and potential customers. From new home buyers to birthdays to anniversaries, it doesn’t hurt to add a little bit of personalization on a postcard that arrives at the same time as coupons.

Ad image of woman cleaning a house

Regarding personalized offers and what homebuyers would like to receive, the engagement and high percentages from our respondents’ replies are pretty telling. Yes, consumers like to be reminded that service providers appreciate them and value their business. And, hey, an easy one is the birthday message—no matter whom it comes from, when somebody says, “Happy birthday!” it always feels good—it just does.

Graph of top 5 personalized offers homeowners would like to receive

“Trust” is a powerful word

“Unfortunately – In today’s crazy world, I’ve come to believe that EVERYTHING IS A SCAM.”

More than ever, deciding to spend money on home improvement / lawn care it is a major decision for most Americans right now. So, we asked our survey respondents to choose from a list of advertising brands they consider “trustworthy.” One brand that took the top spot is a constant reminder of the relationship between advertiser and consumer because, after years of existing together, the one who earned the highest honor exemplifies this idea—HGTV still holds the trust reigns when it comes to home improvement brand promotions with 40%. Maybe it’s the excellent return policies or the incredible catalog mixed with impeccable customer experience and service. Amazon holds the second position with 38%.

Graph image of top 10 advertising brands considered trustworthy

While the survey is no obligation, and homeowners can choose the direct mail brands that they believe to be considered “trustworthy,” Valpak is happy to be still ranked as the most trustworthy direct mail brand:

Graph image of top 5 direct mail brands considered trustworthy

Listen. It’s on the table; the money is talking

Yes, even with inflation and hidden home buyer fees, there is still money on the table. As many homeowners know what it takes to maintain a happy home, business owners are all seeking success, staying, + growing power. Are you spending enough on your advertising efforts and with enough reach and frequency to make a real impact with your target audience? Are you using the channels your audience prefers and looks to when searching for your type of service? Are you incentivizing sales and rewarding loyalty to returning customers? Knowing how to read the writing on the wall is just as important as the writing when driving your company to the next level. Proven advertising solutions, data-driven insights, and a local marketing expert who lives and works in your neighborhood—there’s every reason to partner with Valpak on marketing!