Hurricane Sandy, Building Durability, and Marketing Home Performance During Disasters.
Here in the Northeast, we’re getting hammered by Hurricane Sandy, the biggest storm to hit the region in years. As the storm rolls up towards Maine, we here in the Energy Circle office got to talking about how building durability is so closely related to disaster resilience, and how durability is one of the essential, if oft-overlooked, offerings of the home performance approach. So, naturally, we got to talk about how home performance companies can spread the word about their business during times of disaster.
Obviously, this isn't about making money, or profiting off the misfortune of others, but rather making sure that people who need your services can find your company quickly and easily.
Building Durability & Resilience: One of Our Key Offerings.
One of the key tenets of home performance is building durability. But, as important as building durability is, it’s one of the “pillars” of home performance that frequently gets overlooked. Energy auditors, contractors and homeowners alike often focus on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and improved comfort, because these are the more immediate benefits of Home Performance. Durability is a long-term thing, so it's prone to fall by the wayside, but it's just as critical as these other benefits.
Leading Up to the Event.
There are few times when people are thinking more about their home than in the days leading up to a predicted severe weather event, and it's up to you to get your services in front of their faces when they're doing so. It's a great time to write a blog post about, say, building durability and resilient design. Or moisture management, the whole-house approach, and keeping moisture out of your home before it gets in. Or drafty, leaky windows, and low-cost alternatives to purchasing energy efficient replacement windows. Be mindful that search volume will be spiking for certain terms -- how to prepare for power outages, etc.
Moisture, Storm Aftermath & Solutions.
In the aftermath of a hurricane or another big storm, it is likely that people will have some building problems. We can only hope that these problems won't be too serious, but issues like wet basements are common, and easily fixable. What's more, homeowners may have issues that they don't even know about. Doing a little outreach via your blog, social media, and maybe even some PPC advertising can help ensure that these types of problems are quickly identified and fixed.
You’re the Expert. Let People Know.
Perhaps the bigger point here is that most homeowners don't have a go-to, trustworthy source of information when it comes to their homes. They may have a contractor that they trust, they may have a plumber that they trust, they may have an HVAC company that they trust, but most of these professionals are specialists. The whole-house approach is compelling, and it's your territory. Whether it's a curious, proactive homeowner looking for information about how to incorporate elements of resilient design into their home, or improving their home's durability in the face of a storm, or a local reporter looking for a building science expert who can help explain the building science issues that rush to the forefront in the wake of disaster damage, you're the expert. You should be the one that people are turning to. It's good for your business, but more importantly it's good for people, for homes and for families.
Our thoughts are with all those being affected by Hurricane Sandy -- stay safe out there.