Home Service Economic Report

After months of volatility, home service business owners are catching their breath.

New data shows that cleaning, contracting, and green industry businesses are stabilizing. For some, growth has even exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

The data—collected from tens of thousands of home service professionals in the U.S.—also reveals changes to consumer behaviour and spending habits (think: more online payments.)

While there’s still uncertainty ahead, these findings are a reminder that home services is a resilient and winning industry.

We hope that this data can help you understand where the trends are headed, so you can make more informed decisions for the health and recovery of your business.

Read on for the data highlights and key findings.

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1. The home service industry continues to win 📈

At the beginning of the year, home service businesses were seeing positive revenue growth compared to the same timeframe the year before. Growth declined significantly in March and April—directly following the onset of the pandemic, shelter-in-place orders, and mandated business closures.

However, starting from June and continuing to September, the category has seen a spike in both revenue and new work scheduled.

Revenues haven’t quite reached pre-COVID levels yet, which is expected given that the economy overall is still fragile. However, new work scheduled has increased 11% compared to the same time last year. This is a positive indicator that new revenue is on its way.

Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth, All Home Service Businesses

Median Revenue YOY Home Service Businesses

Year-Over-Year New Work Scheduled, All Home Service Businesses

New Work Scheduled YOY Home Service Businesses

This revenue rebound is even more significant when compared to other business categories.

U.S. Census Bureau data shows that nearly every major category experienced the same revenue drop in April.

However, with the exception of grocery and general merchandise stores, home service was the most stable category through the peak of the pandemic, and has made one of the quickest recoveries.

Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth, All Business Categories

Category Revenue Comparison - YOY Change Home Service Businesses

2. Employment has rebounded quicker than most other major industries 👷

Thanks to the essential, stable, and meaningful nature of home service work, employment growth has rebounded from -13% in April, to -4% in September.

Compared to other business categories, home service businesses were once again impacted less.

Year-Over-Year Change in Employment, All Business Categories

YoY Change in Employment - Home Service Businesses

With fewer positions open, it’s crucial to get hiring and retaining your employees right. We spoke with Kory Ballard of Ballard Inc. to find out how:

3. Consumer spending on home services is back to pre-pandemic levels 🏠

Looking at consumer behaviour, spending on furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance has recovered from a -17% decline in April to 11% growth in September.

This rebound is in part due to the essential nature of home services work. It’s also influenced by homeowners choosing to invest in their homes and outdoor spaces rather than on vacations, new clothes, or other discretionary purchases.

Consumer Spending, Year-Over-Year Changes, All Business Categories

Consumer Spending Category Comparison - YoY Change - Home Service Businesses

4. Contactless service is the new normal 🤜  🤛

Throughout the pandemic, touchless technology has allowed service businesses to stay in business— safely.

These include online payments, virtual estimates, and customer messaging.

The best part is, along with keeping technicians and homeowners at a safe distance, these technologies often provide a more convenient customer experience and help with cash flow.

Our prediction is that this trend is here to stay.

“We always pushed for putting a CC on file, but people are way more receptive to the idea now. Before COVID, we always had a couple of thousand bucks in invoiced unpaid for 30-60 days. Now, almost 100% pay at the time of service.”

-Donovan Quesenberry, DIV Cleaning Service

Donovan Quesenberry, DIV Cleaning Service

E-Payment adoption has increased since January

Our data shows that payments being collected through e-payments (rather than other cheque, cash or ACH) has grown significantly since the start of the pandemic:

epayments increase in home service businesses

Customer Communications are up 150% compared to last year

Another shift in behaviour is how businesses and customers are communicating.

Without the ability to chat face-to-face or drop by for unscheduled visits, service businesses have taken advantage of online communications, including visit reminders and two-way text messaging, to stay in touch with their customers.

Our data shows that in September 2020, home service business saw around 40% growth in customer visits and a 150% growth in sent visit reminders, compared to the same time frame last year.

Year-Over-Year Growth in Visit Reminders Sent to Customers

YoY Growth In Visit Reminders sent to customers of home service businesses

The bottom line: We’re all being called to make work safer.

Implementing contactless service keeps your customers and technicians safe, so you can continue doing your work and getting paid.

Find out how you can offer contactless payments and communication

Learn More

5. Industry-specific findings 🔎

The full Home Service Economic Report shows key findings for specific industry segments, including cleaning, contracting, and green industry businesses:

 ✔️ Cleaning businesses took the hardest financial hit in April, but revenue is back to positive year-over-year growth.

✔️ Contracting businesses are seeing pre-pandemic revenue growth and a sharp increase in inspection and consultation work.

✔️ Green industries continue to see green. In addition to revenue showing positive growth, lawn care and landscaping customers are booking more recurring work instead of one-off jobs.

One Off vs. Recurring Jobs, Year-Over-Year Growth, Green Industry

YoY Growth _ - Lawn Care and Lawn Maintenance

For complete industry-specific data, visit the full report here.

Future Outlook

If there’s one thing our data shows, it’s that home service business owners are fighters.

Your resilience and resourcefulness has kept communities safe, businesses running, and millions of Americans employed.

We’ll continue to monitor and update the data as the year progresses.

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