Plumbing, Business Tips, Technician Tips, Guides

Top 12 Plumbing Industry Trends for 2024

December 5th, 2023
17 Min Read

Since 2007, ServiceTitan’s comprehensive business and commercial contractor software has been monitoring the service industry and helping its plumbing customers stay ahead of new trends.

As people are becoming more environmentally conscious, the plumbing industry is being asked to provide green living products and find ways of minimizing water usage. Customers are also seeking innovative products (such as touchless plumbing fixtures). 

At the same time, a critical shortage in skilled labor calls for renewed focus on quality control and creativity in the workplace.

Below, we’ll discuss 12 trends we believe plumbing business owners and professionals should act on in 2024.

Plumbing Industry Trends

  1. Embrace smart technology

  2. Expand plumbing services to include new opportunities

  3. Educate customers about greywater plumbing trends

  4. Offer smart plumbing fixtures

  5. Learn about brain pipes and how they report their own leaks

  6. Use digital marketing to get a competitive edge

  7. Cultivate online reviews to build a strong customer base

  8. Provide customers with a personalized experience

  9. Offer easy payment options

  10. Overcome labor shortage challenges in a growing plumbing industry

  11. Break plumbing industry barriers for women with apprenticeships

  12. Focus on mobile-first communication

We'll also explain throughout how ServiceTitan's plumbing business software can help you keep up with the latest trends. Our software supports thousands of plumbing contractors in their efforts to streamline operations and build a successful business through automated processes.

Stay up to date with plumbing industry trends by implementing streamlined operations and automated service processes with ServiceTitan. Click here to request your free demo now.

1. Embrace Smart Technology

Consumers today use technology to control everything from their smartphones—from regulating their home's indoor air temperature to creating a grocery list based on their smart refrigerator's notifications.

Today's homebuyers—many of whom grew up with smartphones—are not only extremely tech savvy, but also environmentally conscious. They want to work with service providers who use high-tech solutions, such as water leak detection smart devices to prevent unexpected water damage.

Workers in the plumbing industry who are willing to adapt to modern technology can identify new streams of revenue and provide better service to their customers.

Keep Up with Smart Plumbing Business Trends with ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan provides all the tools you'll need to run your plumbing business smartly and efficiently—whether you are an office manager or a plumber in the field, and whether your clients are businesses or residential homeowners.

Specifically, our plumbing software helps you with the following business processes:

Our all-in-one software allows for direct and real-time communication between its features, eliminating the need to manually transfer information.

For example, call booking and scheduling with ServiceTitan transfers all customer information to the dispatch board, which can then be used to send customer notifications about arrival times and delays. Furthermore, after the job is completed, invoices are automatically created via email with payment options like credit card, check, or bank transfer already set up through the ServiceTitan platform.

By automating and streamlining these tasks, you can give your office staff and field technicians a structured process that they can use consistently. No more written invoices and estimates left in the back of a van, no more chaotic call booking, scheduling, and dispatch procedures—ServiceTitan’s software saves time and minimizes effort for everyone involved.

2. Expand Plumbing Services to Include New Opportunities

Today, homeowners rely on the plumbing industry for more than fixing aging pipes, unclogging a toilet, or installing a water heater.

Some companies in the plumbing industry also install HVAC units, water treatment systems, water conservation systems, landscape sprinkler systems, fire sprinkler systems, and waste management systems—all of which employ technology to maximize efficiency.

Use ServiceTitan for No-Hassle New Service Pricing

To help your plumbing business offer new services to customers, ServiceTitan provides easy-to-use tools to provide accurate quotes and create estimates quickly. This way, you get to offer new services more quickly, price them correctly, and protect your margins.

You can set up your pricebook in ServiceTitan in one of three ways:

  1. Subscribe to our add-on service Pricebook Pro, which offers a pre-built, flat-rate pricebook that is continually managed and updated by the ServiceTitan team, so you can sit back in the knowledge that your prices are accurate whenever you need to use them.

  2. Upload a pricebook that you’re already using, and use ServiceTitan to add additional product prices for your new services. So, if you already have a usable, efficient pricebook, you don’t have to build one from the ground up.

  3. Create a completely new pricebook from scratch within our core software. The ServiceTitan interface is designed to make it quick and simple to do, so it’s a practical and budget-friendly option for any plumbing business.

3. Educate Customers About Greywater Plumbing Trends

Today's environmentally conscious consumers want to reduce water consumption and save money on utility bills. They remain committed to water conservation and are willing to pay for it, giving plumbers who are specifically trained in greywater systems an opportunity to reap the benefits.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average American uses roughly 80-100 gallons of water every day, with showers and toilets consuming the most water. When customers complain about high water bills or ask about ways to save water, techs are trained to educate them about how greywater systems can reduce waste, benefit the environment, and save money.

Start the conversation about water usage and greywater recycling and make it a part of your plumbing company's revamped digital marketing strategy. You'll create a new pipeline for business and an entirely new revenue stream to help you grow your plumbing business.

4. Offer Increasingly Popular Smart Plumbing Fixtures

Simple flush toilets don't cut it anymore. Today's consumers expect more from plumbing technology.

No longer content with traditional water heaters and plumbing fixtures, they want new technology including Bluetooth shower heads, smart water heaters, sensors to detect leaking pipes, and touchless digital faucets that reduce water flow.

The plumbing market also offers smart toilets that conserve water, or come with seat warmers and night lights. Touchless plumbing fixtures, previously found only in commercial settings, are gaining in popularity for homes because they last longer and help to conserve water.

What's the most sought-after smart plumbing fixture by consumers? The tankless water heater. It’s energy efficient and offers a clear quality-of-life improvement to customers. Plumbing professionals should be trained to explain to customers how tankless water heaters increase comfort and save on energy costs, and always offer them to customers as an option to take advantage of explosive growth rates in smart technology demand.

On-the-Spot Product Demos and Quotes with ServiceTitan

Via ServiceTitan Mobile on their phones and tablets, your plumbers get on-the-go access to the entire range of services, products, and packages you offer. They can easily build plumbing estimates and proposals to provide the customer with a range of options and budgets and demonstrate them onsite in presentation mode on their device. 

Project managers and plumbers can use the mobile app on their tablet or phone (iOS or Android) at the job site, or another location, to input all information and notes specific to the job, such as: 

  • Measurements

  • Materials and equipment needed

  • Permits to be pulled

  • Details about the work to be done

They can even upload photos and videos from the job site to reference work that needs to be done (or to document work progress later on in the project).

Our integrated pricebooks and inventory management features also allow you to instantly check material pricing and availability, which is crucial to creating an accurate estimate.

Because the information is available to everyone across your organization in real time, your team back at the office can also provide required information or start creating required job documents, for example.

5. Brain Pipes Report Their Own Leaks

Ever heard of brain pipes technology? This revolutionary way of detecting leaks is taking the new construction market by storm, and is sure to make an impact on the plumbing industry as well.

Brain pipes technology detects leaks in your plumbing system and pinpoints the exact location of the leak before sending a text to the homeowner and shutting off the water supply. This helps prevent mold or water damage.

This technology also generates a monthly report on water consumption, so homeowners can determine where and when they're wasting the most water. If you're a plumber who installs systems in new construction, you need to learn more about brain pipes as part of the trend toward whole-house smart homes.

If you work with new construction projects as a plumber, you deal directly with contractors, so keeping projects on schedule is crucial. 

ServiceTitan’s new construction features give plumbing businesses the ability to:

  • Manage and track job costs, job progress, labor, and materials all in one place.

  • Keep costs down and drive higher profit margins with real-time cost visibility into all jobs.

  • Simplify the billing and payment processes, so you can easily bill for work completed as the project progresses.

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6. Digital Marketing Matters to Get a Competitive Edge

The plumbing industry remains very competitive throughout the nation, and not a single plumbing company claims more than 5% of the total market share. Plumbing industry statistics also indicate demand for plumbing services is projected to grow over the next five years.

With so many choices available for consumers, plumbing companies without solid digital marketing strategies, a social media presence, and positive online reviews become lost in the crowd.

To be competitive in a saturated market with historically low customer loyalty, your plumbing company needs to build brand awareness. Brand awareness starts by meeting your customers where they search for plumbers today: online.

Did you know that only 10% of millennials care whether they've used your service before when hiring a plumbing company—compared with more than 30% for previous generations?

Studies also show 70% of home services customers prefer email as the best communication tool to learn about deals, offers, and reminders. They also want to receive personalized emails, much like how Amazon remembers what customers searched for or bought previously.

Digital marketing tools—like ServiceTitan’s Marketing Pro—let you customize your professional marketing templates to create targeted email campaigns with just a few clicks.

ServiceTitan's Automated Marketing Features

ServiceTitan offers a range of marketing features to help plumbing businesses reach their goals. From automated customer communication to targeted campaigns and more, ServiceTitan provides a comprehensive suite of tools that can help plumbers increase their visibility and grow their business.

Automated Email Marketing Campaigns

ServiceTitan’s Marketing Pro helps plumbing businesses run email marketing campaigns easily and effectively, targeting existing customers based on a specific customer type or profile.

You can send out a bulk email to customers who have yet to reply to their plumbing estimates, reminding them of their estimate and providing a dedicated point of contact phone number. This reminder can help convert some of those leads into customers—and revenue for your business.

You can further enhance your campaigns by targeting emails to customers who have specific needs, like those who had a plumbing system installed. Sending them reminders that it is time for maintenance or servicing can improve the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

To get started quickly, select one of the pre-filled plumbing templates available in the ServiceTitan library, add your logo, and adapt the default text to the needs of your specific marketing campaign. These email templates have been professionally designed and save you the time and expense of finding and hiring designers to build new marketing emails.

ServiceTitan also offers a variety of features to measure ROI (a common marketing pain point) for each email or other marketing campaign, so you can identify exactly which campaigns are bringing in the most revenue.

Direct Mail Campaigns

In addition, ServiceTitan helps plumbing companies with their direct mail promotions. We provide resources to design, print, post, and track the success of each one of your direct mail campaigns. 

Simply select a postcard design from our comprehensive library of plumbing postcard templates and adapt the text to suit your specific advertising campaign and goals. You can then select the profile of the customers you want to send it to, approve it for printing, and mail it. 

ServiceTitan makes it easy to manage your direct mail campaigns with a flat-rate fee for each postcard, so you'll always know exactly what you're spending on your next mailing.

Just like our email marketing tool, you can assign a number to each direct mail campaign to monitor ROI and evaluate the success of your campaigns.

7. Cultivate Online Reviews to Build a Strong Customer Base

In today's digital world, your online reputation depends on getting great customer reviews.

Did you know that a whopping 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses before hiring? And 95% of those consumers are 18-34 years old. In fact, consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel like they can trust a company, and more than 40% only consider reviews posted within the previous two weeks.

Plumbing companies must constantly monitor their online reputations on every major platform: Google, Yelp, Houzz, and others. It's also important to respond when you get a bad review, because 89% of consumers look for the company's response.

To get a 5-star review, make sure your team is delivering a plumbing experience worthy of such glowing praise. Encourage regular, positive reviews from customers by including a polite request after every job with direct links to your Google business page or other online review platforms.

Make it easy for customers to do business with your company, and pay attention to online reviews to see what they think you're doing well and what needs improvement. Customers tend to remember service companies who respond in real time.

ServiceTitan's Review Management Features

ServiceTitan's customer experience software includes a notification tool that automatically sends out survey requests after each appointment. This allows customers to leave feedback on online review sites (Google, Yelp, etc.) while the appointment is still fresh in their minds, and helps you manage your online reviews.

ServiceTitan's reputation management tool allows you to monitor feedback quickly, providing appreciative responses to demonstrate your active, online presence. You can also study correlations between employees and customer service ratings to reward superior performances and offer guidance for less satisfactory ones.

8. Customers Expect a Personalized Experience

In our on-demand world, today's customers expect a custom-tailored experience with every purchasing decision—even plumbing services.

Turn your traditional customer service into an experience they'll remember, and customers will be telling all of their family and friends about your plumbing company.

Personalized Customer Service Powered by ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan's core platform offers features specifically designed to elevate your customers' experience. Here are some examples:

  • Customer service representatives (CSRs) recognize customers by name and have a good understanding of their background, age of the equipment they are using, etc., because all this information is accessible through an overview on their dashboard. Learn more about our call booking software here.

  • The two-way chat function enables your customer service team and customers to communicate with one another via SMS.

  • Customers can book appointments, download invoices, and pay online without needing to call or wait on the phone.

  • By leveraging GPS technology, customers can monitor the estimated time of arrival for their technician, and your CSRs can send the customer a photo and brief profile of the technician before they arrive.

9. Offer Easy Payment Options

Think of how you pay for things today: Apple Pay, Venmo, PayPal, Square. These easy, one-click purchasing solutions offer consumers convenience when purchasing goods and services. They also help mitigate any hesitation in the purchasing process.

ServiceTitan Payments and Financing Features

Adopting modern payment processing solutions makes it easy for plumbing techs to collect payments without messy paperwork. 

For instance, ServiceTitan Payments allows your techs to capture payment on the job via the ServiceTitan Mobile App or allows customers to pay through an online portal.

Reconcile payments faster and save time on calculating payroll, accounts receivable, and more by automating your company's finances with field management software for plumbers. 

With ServiceTitan Payments, reconciling bank statements and payments is simple. Our software automatically matches your electronic payments to your bank deposits, so you can create an easy-to-export batch report for your accounting software.

ServiceTitan also offers financing options to help customers pay for services. With ServiceTitan Financing, you can offer customers flexible payment plans on the spot. This makes it easier for customers to afford the plumbing services they need, and helps your business increase revenue. 

10. Labor Shortage Challenges a Growing Plumbing Industry

The plumbing job outlook remains promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported an average expected job growth of 14% over the next 10 years for plumbers and related occupations, compared with only 5% for other industries.

At the same time, 75% of tradespeople are expected to retire in the next 10 years, and younger workers seem less interested in skilled trades, so retirees won't be easily replaced.

To compete for top talent, companies need to build a strong company culture to attract and retain their best hires.

Using ServiceTitan to Attract the Best Techs

By investing in software tools that automate busywork, plumbing companies demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and to improving company culture. This is an essential, yet often overlooked, part of maximizing efficiency and reducing work-related stress.

When you implement ServiceTitan's plumbing service software, you demonstrate to potential hires that your business is run efficiently and with modern technology. This helps maximize each plumber's skill set and keeps them focused on more profitable work. 

Plumbers who are expected to rely on manual processes, such as creating their own estimates, or dealing with notifying customers of delays without real-time messaging tools, may be discouraged from taking the job in the first place.

ServiceTitan gives you, your techs, and office staff tools to:

  • Track key performance indicators, identify top performers, and pinpoint those who need added training.

  • Train plumbers to sell on-site with mobile tools to simplify the sales process and offer customers “good, better, best” choices. ServiceTitan's plumbing proposal software enables techs to generate customized estimates and close deals in the field. You can find our free plumbing proposal template here.

  • Set up automatic customer and dispatch notifications to eliminate the need for office staff and techs to spend time on phone calls or sending multiple emails.

  • Maximize profits by dispatching the most qualified plumber for each job. ServiceTitan's service scheduling software can help optimize your team's schedule for complex installations or repair jobs. It provides an at-a-glance overview of who is available for what job, and always knows when techs have free time.

  • Keep track of hours worked, salaries, and performance bonuses.

By replacing manual processes or old software with ServiceTitan's modern solutions, plumbers can eliminate a lot of their daily annoyances and increase their job satisfaction (which leads to better profits for everyone).

Further reading: Plumbing Recruitment Tips to Find Talent in 2024

11. Apprenticeships Help Break Plumbing Industry Barriers for Women

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded nearly $1.5 million in grant funding through the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) program to recruit, mentor, train, and retain more women in quality apprenticeship programs such as those offered in the plumbing industry.

In an industry dominated by a male workforce, this national investment indicates a larger trend of more women choosing to become licensed plumbers. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the percentage of women plumbers was only about 2.5% nationwide.

As this massive pool of untapped potential continues to soar below the radar of many employers in the trades, business owners can confidently look at female plumbers as a viable solution to the skilled labor shortage.

Further reading: Women in Plumbing: Finding Their Place in a Male-Dominated Trade 

12. Focus on Mobile-First Communication

Remember those tech-savvy millennials we talked about earlier? They're expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they prefer to communicate digitally.

Business owners who focus on mobile-first communication, such as text messaging, work-based social media, or communicating through the ServiceTitan dashboard, will keep employees happy and boost productivity. Instant messaging saves time, decreases miscommunication, and leaves a time-stamped record, if questions arise.

Manage Schedules, Communicate with Staff, and Keep Customers Posted with ServiceTitan

The ServiceTitan dispatch board is user-friendly, enabling dispatchers to easily monitor and communicate with plumbers in the field—without needing to interrupt them via phone calls.

Dispatchers can access information such as:

  • Alerts

  • Unassigned jobs

  • Scheduled jobs

  • Unconfirmed jobs

  • Dispatched jobs

  • And jobs that are Working, Paused, Done, Canceled, or On Hold.

Dispatchers have a clear view of the tasks assigned to plumbers, as well as those yet to be assigned. They can quickly assign jobs and make timely schedule adjustments.

Dispatchers can use the activity feed to follow the progress of plumbers throughout the day. It will show when techs leave for a job, arrive at a job, and finish a job. Additionally, dispatchers can make use of GPS tracking to monitor the location of plumbers while they travel between appointments.

Considering mobile-first communication, dispatchers can easily message plumbers through the dispatch board while providing streamlined communication with plumbers in the field. They can also send out group messages to their tech team, as needed.

Additionally, with ServiceTitan, customer communication is made even easier with a focus on mobile devices.

Automatic customer notifications for a range of job-status updates include:

  • Appointment reminders and job confirmation requests.

  • Changes to appointment times.

  • Notifications that their tech is due to arrive soon.

  • And more…

ServiceTitan: Back up the Basics of a Great Plumbing Service with Powerful Software

Even though smart technology rules plumbing industry trends for 2023, plumbers still need to focus on the basics:

  • Providing great customer service.

  • Performing quality work.

  • Educating consumers about the benefits of new products on the market.

Implementing powerful field management software lets you harness the power of technology to retain great employees, boost productivity, make more revenue, and give customers the kind of experience they'll tell their friends about.

Stay up to date with plumbing industry trends by implementing streamlined operations and automated service processes with ServiceTitan. Click here to request your free demo now.

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.

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