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The Top 6 HVAC Industry Trends to Know for 2018

If there is one common theme we’re seeing for the HVAC industry in 2018, it’s that technology is influencing the industry and customer expectations. If you haven’t already, 2018 is the year to look at ways technology can help your HVAC business with marketing, business operations, and making data-driven decisions.

We reached out to business owners, industry experts, and marketing and finance pros to get their take on what the HVAC industry can expect in 2018. Here’s what they had to say:

1. The highest paid technicians will have both people and technical skills

“Technician pay will continue to increase for true professionals who have communication and technical skills, making in the low to mid six figures as a rule.

Those who have better people skills and less mechanical skill will earn well but will switch jobs more as their mechanical lack becomes evident. The technical employee with poor people skills will have a lower earning potential.”
– Bryan Orr, Founder, HVAC School

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If there were to be one major theme for the products in the industry, it would be a growing focus on energy use. That is high efficiency equipment, energy (heat) reclaiming, waste heat use, limiting heat loss, renewable energy sources, controls and methods that lead to efficient operation…etc.

Clay Stevens, AHR Expo Show Manager Quote

2. Products in the industry are focusing on energy use

“Products that have been well represented in the industry and on the AHR Expo Show floor in the recent past will continue to have strong representation in 2018. This includes products such as Indoor Air Quality and Building Automation & Control. In addition, two other product categories that appear to have a growing presence are Low GWP Refrigerants and medical facility applications.

If there were to be one major theme for the products in the industry, it would be a growing focus on energy use. That is high efficiency equipment, energy (heat) reclaiming, waste heat use, limiting heat loss, renewable energy sources, controls and methods that lead to efficient operation…etc.”
– Clay Stevens, AHR Expo Show Manager

3. HVAC businesses are looking at real time data and metrics to make business decisions

“Businesses will look more and more to quantifiable metrics for decision making instead of using ‘gut’ feel. This will have huge impact technician and installer compensation as well as dispatching.”
– Bryan Orr, Founder, HVAC School

“If your accounting isn’t in the cloud yet, you should seriously look at this opportunity. Cloud accounting and real time bank feeds are giving clients the ability to see almost real time financial results for their business. Getting information more quickly allows you to recognize and respond to trends sooner.”
– Julie Babcock-Hyde, President, Spark Accounting Solutions

“Whichever technology platform you use to run your business, QuickBooks Online or something else, just make sure it’s as mobile and reliable as you are. You can maybe forget a wrench, or a gauge, when you leave the house in the morning and still get through your day all right, but if one of my clients forgets their phone, they’ll turn their truck around and go right back to the house to get it.”
– Jennie Moore, Owner, Moore Details Bookkeeping

4. Today’s customer is reviewing you and your competitors online

“I think customer expectations have changed a lot. The post-recession customer is more technology-driven, they will go online, get 2-3 quotes, and check reviews. In 2018, focus on building your online reputation, online reviews, and connect with younger customers on social media.”
– Van Wu, Owner, Trust Home Comfort

“In 2018, make sure you are taking advantage of the power of customer reviews. The power of great reviews on Google, Yelp and the likes for attracting new customers can’t be denied. Our clients are using the Jobber follow up emails to not only ensure that their clients were 100% satisfied with their work, but also to request and provide direct links to leaving positive review.”
– Julie Babcock-Hyde, President, Spark Accounting Solutions

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Tech companies entering the residential service arena like Amazon and Google will create a wider gap between lower quality commodity service and true experts. There will be a greater gap in costs between unlicensed contractors, the commodity middle tier and the high end, service-driven contractor.

Bryan Orr, Founder, HVAC School Quote

5. Tech companies are influencing the industry and customer expectations

“Tech companies entering the residential service arena like Amazon and Google will create a wider gap between lower quality commodity service and true experts. There will be a greater gap in costs between unlicensed contractors, the commodity middle tier and the high end, service-driven contractor.”
– Bryan Orr, Founder, HVAC School

“The gig economy will ultimately take hold of the home-services industry in the coming years. As more and more millennials purchase their first homes, the expectation Uber has set for on-demand services is permeating all aspects of day-to-day life. Next day service is the new norm. If Amazon can deliver a package within 24hrs or the same day, why can’t home service businesses deliver on the same time frame? This is the mindset the home-service industry will need to take.”
– Matthew Kanas, Partner Marketing and Developer Relations Leader, Intuit Canada

6. Your online marketing should be focused on mobile users

“I see small business sites continuing to simplify and tailor their experiences to mobile users. Google has been pushing this charge for several years now encouraging sites to be more mobile friendly for a world that is increasingly on the go. Sites will continue to streamline, paring down the amount of content on initial pages to increase speed and accessibility.”
– Micah Slavens, Principal, Lift Interactive

“Almost all of Facebook’s users are accessing Facebook via their mobile device today (in fact, over 90%). Mobile speed will become more important. No slow and complex sites! In 2018, mobile speed will become even more important. Facebook will prefer mobile pages that load fast and where users can easily find what they are looking for. If you plan to get on Facebook next year, make sure your mobile website is performing well and loads fast!”
– Adam Risbridger, Director, Client Success, Abacus

 

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