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COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Need for Tradesmen

COVID-19 has caused many of us to turn our homes into offices. National Tradesmen Day is a reminder to thank the individuals who are available to provide home repairs and services so that our new home offices can remain comfortable and functional. 

This global health crisis has shown how essential the modern home has become. And Jeanne Sahadi of CNN reported, “From an economic standpoint, that means greater demand for in-home service providers, like house cleaners, plumbers, repairmen, handymen, babysitters and nannies.”

Mike Bidwell – President and CEO of Neighborly, the world’s largest franchisor of home service brands – reiterated the results of the increased amount of time we’re spending in our homes: “Our A/C is running on full-blast. We’re utilizing our home plumbing during times when we’d normally be at the office or in public.”

Because of this increased need, Bidwell deems the home services industry as resistant to the recession caused by the pandemic.

Among Neighborly’s brands that have benefited from their recession-resistant nature are Aire Serv, Rainbow International Restoration, Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Mr. Electric, Mr. Appliance and Mr. Handyman.The increased demand these brands are experiencing from consumers has simultaneously led to an increase in interest from franchise prospects who are looking to invest in an industry they can count on, even in times of economic downturn. 

The rapid growth of home service franchising

Home service franchise opportunities have been more popular than ever since the beginning of the pandemic. Franchise Insights pointed out that in the second quarter of 2020, the home service category controlled 21.1% of total shares, compared to 16.1% in the first quarter.

While the home services space was the second-most popular investment category the prior quarter, a 31.2% spike in investment inquiries moved it to the number one spot. Why? Because whether we are in our homes 24/7 or not, there will always be a need for a repair service of some sort.

Brad Stevenson, the chief development officer at Neighborly, said that some homeowners are willing to pay for the convenience of home repair services so that they don’t have to take on household projects.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Neighborly brands have been busier than ever,” Stevenson said in his LinkedIn article. “While many people are looking to get into business for themselves in an industry they can feel confident in for years to come, despite what unexpected challenges may arise.”

While so many brick-and-mortar-reliant franchise brands are struggling to attract prospects during this time, Neighborly’s essential brands are experiencing the opposite. Here are just some of the many highlights Neighborly brands experienced in terms of franchise development, all in the first half of this year: 

Rainbow International Restoration

  • Opened almost 20 new locations as of July 2020.

  • Signed 15 new franchise agreements as of July 2020. 

Mr. Rooter Plumbing

  • Opened five new locations as of July 2020.

  • Signed five new franchise agreements as of July 2020.

  • Celebrated the brand’s 50th anniversary of providing plumbing services.

Aire Serv

  • Opened 15 new locations as of July 2020.

  • Signed 10 new franchise agreements as of July 2020, and signed another nine in July alone.

Rapid franchise growth also calls for more tradesmen

Trades have always had good job security and are not subjected to significant disruption. The recent growth of the home service franchise is followed by a growing need for more tradesmen to start their career. 

All of Neighborly’s tradesmen brands have been updating their policies for keeping customers and employees safe during the pandemic. The rapid growth backs up that this is the year of tradesmen.

Whether it’s fixing the plumbing, electric or installing a new appliance, Neighborly’s franchise brands will be there to provide a platform for home owners to get rapid service. Home service trades will continue to have skyrocketing demand and job opportunities.

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