Plumbing, Business Tips

Plumbing Financing for Customers: Maximize Sales to Boost Revenue

Joanne Bratton
November 23rd, 2021
9 Min Read

As a plumbing company, you're in the business of solving customers' plumbing problems. A leaky faucet? Clogged drain? Broken pipes? You're on it. But when it comes to offering customers plumbing financing options, your techs may become tongue-tied.

Offering financing for plumbing work doesn't need to be awkward or difficult. Providing homeowners with options to painlessly pay for their plumbing projects is a proven strategy to boost sales, expand ticket sizes, increase customer satisfaction, and grow your company's overall revenue.

With today's average cost of plumbing repairs, customers may find themselves in a difficult position when facing a plumbing emergency. Plumbers who take payments or offer financing can maximize profit by providing customers options to afford their repairs, or pay for the most efficient upgrade or add-on product.

» Want to grow your plumbing business? Click here to get a demo.

"If you walk into any sales opportunity and you have multiple different options, it's an absolute game-changer," says Carly Armstrong, National Account Manager at ServiceTitan. "Offer these each and every time, and you're going to see a huge impact on the bottom line of the business."

ServiceTitan Mobile's integrated customer financing removes the guesswork, and awkwardness, for techs who hesitate to mention financing to customers.

ServiceTitan's partnerships with top providers GreenSky, Service Finance, Turns, and Financeit streamline the process so plumbing companies can easily offer customers financing solutions. Businesses customize their own plumbing financing plans, so all financed jobs, even at the lowest rate, remain profitable.

Here's a breakdown of how customer financing benefits your plumbing service company:

  • Improve plumbing sales in the field

  • Grow average ticket sizes

  • Provide seamless customer experiences

  • Streamline invoicing and payments

  • Boost your company's bottom line

How does plumbing customer financing work?

Integrated technology makes financing hassle-free for plumbing companies. A company utilizing ServiceTitan's integrated customer financing works with a partnered industry leader to offer customers tiered payment options for higher-ticket jobs, ensuring they get paid in full. 

For instance, a plumbing company chooses three monthly payment plans or reduced-rate APR plans to list as good-better-and-best options, and three promotional plans, such as 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month same-as-cash, all with prices set to protect the company's margin.

When a plumbing business integrates their customized plans into ServiceTitan, customers choose whether to apply for financing, select their desired plan, enter their desired loan amount, complete a short loan application process, and instantly find out approval status. The ServiceTitan financial partner handles the loan particulars, including the borrowers' payments. 

Customer financing programs help your plumbing customers because they work in the same way as credit cards, personal loans, home improvement loans, home equity loans, or lines of credit work for a remodel or plumbing system home repair, giving customers flexibility in when they pay it back.

ServiceTitan's integrated financing provides:

  • Multiple industry-leading financing partners

  • Customized parameters to protect business profit

  • Flexible payment options for customers

  • In-app application process, resulting in zero paperwork

  • Instant customer credit decision, so jobs continue uninterrupted

Improve plumbing sales in the field

  • Automate financing options

  • Empower customers with options

Statistics show customer financing is a proven way to improve sales in the field, increasing revenue by more than 17%, according to results from ServiceTitan customer data.

One plumbing company saw a jump in its average standard and tankless water heater conversion rate, from 50% to 60%, after implementing better training and integrated financing. The company installs about 20 water heaters a day, which means 5,000 water heaters in a year.

“You start to think about 10% on 5,000 water heaters, what that conversion means,” says Mike Barnhart, Chief Financial Officer at The Eco Plumbers in Columbus, Ohio. “An extra 500 water heaters a year, from traditional to tankless being $2,000 to $4,500, it ends up being a pretty staggering number. Going up 10% could be as much as $1.5 million to $2 million in revenue.”

So, why don't all plumbing service companies offer customer financing? Professional plumbers may assume customers don't need, or want, payment options. But ServiceTitan Mobile removes the difficulty of mentioning financing, because the techs’ mobile tablet automatically displays available financing options when they show customers any good-better-and-best options.

"It's showing them what their low monthly payment can be, if they're approved, and we're taking those hard conversations away," Armstrong says. "That's the first thing customers see, and they're going to ask the technician, 'Well, how do I get this $197 a month?' And that's an easy conversation."

Offering plumbing financing becomes a win-win situation for both the customer and the company.

"By giving them the option to choose, you're just opening the door for the customer to feel like they're in control of the sale," Armstrong says. "They have the option to choose what makes most sense for them without having an intimidating conversation."

The #1 newsletter for the trades.

Grow average ticket sizes

  • Strengthen your company's sales strategy

  • Make upgrades affordable to customers

Plumber financing pumps up your company's sales strategy. By strategizing customer financing options, you're equipping your techs to convert plumbing leads into more on-site sales, because all of the options become affordable.

Just picture your tech showing a customer good, better, and best options, with your company's "best" option only a few dollars more with a financing plan and interest rate promotion.

"It's kind of like, 'Oh wow, if I go for the best option, then I can take advantage of that 48-months, zero-interest loan that I'm not going to get for going with the good option,'" Armstrong explains of a customer's reasoning.

Plumbing customers who applied for a $10,000 minimum loan amount might see they're approved for $15,000, and then decide to add on another plumbing product.

Darius Lyvers, Chief Operating Officer at F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical in Northern Virginia, trains plumbing, HVAC and electrical techs to approach three types of buyers—low interest, no interest, or low payment. He uses custom rules to provide an option for each type into ServiceTitan.

“When you talk about integrated financing, it’s not just whether they finance or not,” Lyvers says. “It opens the door for the customer to afford all your products, and they may buy something they otherwise wouldn’t have if you hadn’t presented financing options.

Provide seamless customer experiences

  • Simplify the financing application process

  • Offer flexible solutions for every customer 

Plumbers who offer financing options provide immediate solutions for their customers, especially if their plumbing systems require a big-ticket repair.

“A water heater is 15 years old, a furnace is 20 years old, that should be expected," Barnhart says. "Sewer is a different story.”

For that kind of repair, many customers find paying upfront isn't a feasible option.

“Typically over 50% of sewers are financed,” Barnhart says. “It’s really expensive, and they weren’t planning on it. Financing helps because it gives the customer more flexibility. You don’t have to come up with all this money today or tomorrow, or even a year from now, given the different flexibility on different plans these days."

Integrated customer financing makes a difficult situation easier on the customer. ServiceTitan speeds up the application process by automatically filling in customer information. Depending on the financing company, customers with less-than-stellar credit scores may obtain a loan.

GreenSky and Service Finance offer unsecured installment loans, which means customers can submit the total household income, without digging up tax forms or homeownership paperwork for credit approval. Once customers enter information in just a few fields, they find out within seconds if they're approved for the loan, with no need to wait until the next day.

"You're providing a solution for that customer to get their problem solved instantly, and provide them with options to choose how they're going to be able to pay for it, which will create a long-term relationship with that customer," Armstrong says. "It's good business practice. You're helping a customer in need."

When your plumbing company provides superior customer experiences and offers competitive financing, your customers will be more likely to give top reviews and word-of-mouth referrals, resulting in new customers.

Streamline invoicing and payments

  • Centralize customer information

  • Increase efficiency with an all-in-one platform

Plumbing companies can simplify their invoicing and payment processes by keeping everything in one place, on one platform.

Train your team on invoicing software, which makes it easy for techs to convert estimates to invoices and immediately send it to customers. It lightens work on the back office, too, by increasing billing efficiency and ensuring faster payments. Techs can securely capture credit cards or checks in the field, or customers can opt for a link to a personalized online payment portal.

Companies who utilize integrated financing don't need to stress about the details, such as customer loan terms, because the finance company partners manage the process. All your customer data remains in one location, so your entire team has access to the information it needs.

"We want to provide our contractors in the trades with an all-in-one platform that is going to be a solution for you and your business," Armstrong says.

Boost your company's bottom line

  • Track real-time data

  • Measure growth and success

When sales flow in from the field, your company revenue also rises. 

Track the numbers to see where your company truly stands, and where you need to focus. With ServiceTitan's reporting software, you can instantly see which financing plans customers choose, and the percentage of financed jobs, down to each technician.

Mark Stepowoy, who started with a single Roto-Rooter franchise and now manages 30 franchise agreements in a dozen businesses in six states, says it's important to measure year-over-year growth, whether for job count, revenue, cash flow, expansion or additional service lines.

Those in the industry who have seen service businesses succeed over and over again emphasize the value of customer financing.

"I've seen businesses take off; I've had sales reps call me two years down the road to say, 'Hey, because you taught me this little trick, I now have turned my 33% close rate into 79%,'" Armstrong says. "The companies good at offering payment options to their customers are extremely successful businesses today."

ServiceTitan Plumbing Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive plumbing business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

Learn More

Related posts