Refinancing is booming right now. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows — but not for long. Meanwhile, solar energy is catching up in parts of the country that used to be sitting on the sidelines. Finally, many homeowners are looking for new ways to increase the value of their home and save money.
This trio of factors has created high demand for solar panel sales and installation, which means higher demand for solar leads.
If you’re in the solar energy sales business, read on to learn how the current mortgage refinance boom and a growing interest in energy alternatives make now a great time to be in business.
The Home Refi Clock is Ticking
For years since the housing bubble burst, interest rates have been at historic lows. The problem, however, was that prospects had no money to spare and credit was tight.
But what a difference a few years makes. The job market has rebounded, unemployment is down, and banks are lending again. Still, those Federal Reserve interest rates are near zero — but that’s going to change soon.
The Federal Reserve is set to begin raising interest rates in September, thanks to the positive news in the rest of the economy. That means many people are trying to refinance now, before rates go back up.
Relaxed lending rules are pushing up the percent of approved loan applications — 64% in May — and many borrowers are considering cash-out refinancing to pay for home improvements. Besides being great for borrowers, these are great developments for the solar energy industry, too.
Why Homeowners Want Solar Energy
Not only is it easier for homeowners to refinance, many are also choosing to put their financing into solar energy systems. There a number of reasons why.
Solar energy systems offset energy costs. Just because Americans have higher credit lines and better incomes doesn’t mean they want to spend it on utility bills. Heat waves and polar vortexes have plagued the country the last few years, meaning spikes in energy bills. Even though customers will have the upfront costs of installation, many are able to see how having a solar energy system will save thousands in the long term.
Solar installation costs are coming down. Like many technology products, solar costs have fallen as more customers sign up. “You used to have to be wealthy to afford solar,” one solar expert told a Maryland newspaper recently. Notice the phrase “used to.” With more affordable pricing, solar energy systems are available to millions of middle-class homeowners.
States are focusing on renewable energy incentives. New York is one state where government efforts are helping consumers become solar energy customers. Solar power generation has tripled over the last 4 years. But, other states are also waking up to the benefit for their energy grids, homeowners, and businesses.
Solar increases home value. A study from the Department of Energy showed buyers were willing to pay $15,000 more for a home with an average-size solar install. That shows the customer demand is real. And homeowners looking to sell in a few years would be very wise to make the investment.
Solar is good for the environment. All costs being equal, customers prefer solar energy to coal and nuclear energy options. They know it’s better for the environment, they know that climate change is a problem that’s not going away, and they’re often looking for what they can make a difference. Add in the other benefits above, and solar can be a very appealing option to many homeowners.
How to Make the Most of Solar Leads
So if now’s the time for homeowners to take advantage of solar energy and enjoy all those benefits, how does your business take advantage of this opportunity?
If your business isn’t booked to capacity, you could purchase a steady supply of leads to make the most of the current market.
Not just any leads will do, though. You don’t want to waste time working through low quality leads. Ideally, you want to to find prospects that are ready to buy.
Oversold leads are one of the classic problems with purchasing a pool of shared solar leads. You call your prospect and learn you’re the third salesperson to call about a quote this morning. Not only do you now have to compete with other solar installation businesses, you have to do it while the prospect is being bombarded with sales calls.
It’s enough to turn anyone off to buying. Shared leads are often sold several times, to you and to other businesses.
Aged solar leads can be a good solution to this problem. These are leads that are just a little bit older. If you can’t be first, a good second option is to wait everyone else out.
An amazing 95% of salespeople give up on a lead after the first week. If this was a prospect who wanted to buy but was turned off by sales pressure, you have a good chance to win the sale in a lower-pressure environment. If the prospect already bought, you just move on — aged leads are significantly cheaper than fresh leads.
Another familiar problem sales professionals run into when buying leads is low-intent leads. Maybe they were just looking, maybe you’re out of their price range, or maybe you’re too far from their zip code.
These can be frustrating problems. Not only do you miss out on a sale, you’ve lost money on a poor-quality lead.
Sortable and pre-qualified leads are a much better option for your lead purchases. It’s possible to get quite specific. The Aged Lead Store lets you filter leads by age, location, and a variety of other filters — before you buy.
Buying pre-qualified leads means you’re getting the most likely prospects you can. There’s a huge difference between Upstate New York and Long Island, New York, and a huge difference between a five- and six-digit budget.
Time wasted with the wrong lead is time you could have spent with a pre-qualified lead.
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Making Your Leads Work for You
Whatever kind of leads you decide to buy, make sure they work for you. There’s no better time than the present to take advantage of the current refinance boom. If your business isn’t already booming, consider adding to your sales pipeline with aged leads. It’s an economical option that lets you talk to high-quality prospects looking for a solar installation quote in your area.