You already know that offering your customers a choice of payment options is essential to a successful business model. But you've probably also figured out that not all home improvement lenders are created equal. Does your top choice of lender offer your HVAC company the above-and-beyond extras that are the mark of a true service provider? Things like a dedicated person to answer your questions and develop a loan plan that's specific to your company? Or a role-specific training program that makes sure you're not left to figure it out as you go? Not to mention the things you can't put a price tag on, like the peace of mind and security that comes from working with a member-FDIC financial institution.
A dedicated relationship manager is a crucial part of ensuring that your experience working with your loan provider is smooth and trouble-free — or, at least, that any troubles you may encounter can be resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. The sign of a good match is a single point of contact who understands your business and can align the right payment options to meet your goals — a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Be sure to partner with a lender that gives you that one-on-one attention and not just a general, international 800-number to call for help.
Your home improvement lender should take the time to make sure you understand the loan programs and that you're well-versed in the best practices for offering payment options to your customers. Whether you're new to offering a choice of payment options, or just new to a specific lender's programs, it's important to get the training needed to be successful. As busy as you and your team are, it's beneficial to have a choice of on-demand training or live webinars. It's also a good idea to work with someone who offers more than a one-size-fits-all program, providing role-specific training that's tailored to meet the unique needs of owners, administrators, and sales professionals.
Actual Lender or Just a Middle-Man?
There are dozens of payment option partners out there, but few that actually fund and service their own loans — and even fewer that specialize exclusively in the home improvement market. Many companies just broker loan transactions, rather than back them. Be sure to gain the confidence of working with a member-FDIC institution that has been in business for a reasonable amount of time, rather than a fly-by-night outfit. A lender that services and funds all its own loans is a much more stable choice, and if you can find one that specializes in unsecured home improvement loans — rather than it just being one small part of what they do — all the better. Two huge benefits to working with a reputable lender: first, you can be sure you'll get paid — and paid in a timely manner; second, your customers will have a great experience, which will reflect well on your business.
In addition to these three must-haves, there are a number of other differentiators you should consider when selecting your payment options partner — such as access to customized marketing tools, user-friendly mobile application methods, and fast approvals. When you work with a lender that specializes in home improvement, you're more likely to find these value-adds because their whole focus is on developing the very best experience possible for contractors and their customers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EnerBank USA® has specialized in unsecured home improvement loans since 2002, offering several different loan products to meet the needs of a variety of customers. Your clients can easily apply using our Mobile Loan App in the comfort of their home, during the close of the sale. Once the concern over how to pay for the job is alleviated, your customers can focus on the excitement of getting the work done that they want without having to wait, and perhaps even getting a bigger job done, with upgraded materials.
If you’re ready to take the biggest objection to a sale out of your equation, increase leads, boost your close rate, and improve your cash flow, EGIA has a loan program through EnerBank for which your business may qualify. You can learn more at egia.org/geosmart-express-loan.