A homeowner’s guide is a complimentary booklet, which a plumbing showroom can produce and give to homeowners in their area. This booklet can offer helpful advice on regular home maintenance. It's also a great way to promote your showroom, plus it is a good public relations tool.

This booklet can be considered educational marketing — it serves a purpose to educate a homeowner while at the same time markets your services to them. In the homeowner’s guide you can include a helpful table of contents, a checklist of home maintenance tasks to be performed throughout the year, a letter to the homeowner from your company stating what services the company offers along with anything else you feel would be useful for the homeowner to know.

A great reason to include a home maintenance checklist is to give you a reason to follow up with the homeowner to remind them when their home is due for maintenance. This is one more way to increase sales without the customer having to call you. It's a way to work within your community and show you care about the upkeep of its homes — that sort of community spirit and caring will pay you dividends down the road.

In your homeowner’s guide you can have a blank page labeled “Home Repairs Made.” The homeowner and yourself can write down what tasks were performed and when. On this page you can add a sprinkle of testimonials from previous customers and your guarantee to the homeowners to build up the bond of trust they will have with you.

Also consider having a pocket in the back of the guide, so that the homeowner can store warranties and any paperwork from a remodeling project. The booklet itself can be 10 pages or less, or more, depending on what information you envision would be useful to your prospective clients.

The homeowner’s guide is for the client, so when you first meet a client to discuss remodeling their bathroom or kitchen is the time to give the guide to them, so they can use it as reference and save all information in it.

Besides having a nice quality homeowner’s guide printed up, to hand to your customers, you can also make an electronic guide for customers that do not want a paper trail. By having an electronic guide, you can offer your potential clients that visit your showroom website a complimentary homeowner’s guide when they fill out the submit form and provide you with their contact information.  

As far as the printing costs goes for the physical homeowner’s guide, it is recommended that you do not skimp on the cost too much. Have a professional graphic designer produce this piece. After all, it will represent your company and you want it to be high quality.  

The homeowner’s guide will separate you from the competition in a truly positive way. It serves as a reminder of your showroom and the services offered, plus, it sets you apart as an expert in your field. The benefits that can come from producing a simple 10-page homeowner’s guide can greatly outweigh the costs and time designing it.

Of course, it needs to be said that home maintenance services in themselves are not high yield returns right off the bat. You will likely be draining water heaters and performing other simple maintenance tasks to keep plumbing systems in order. But, such work gives a homeowner a chance to experience your services, and it also gives you a chance to view their home and see where major repairs may be warranted in the future. A homeowner’s guide is also a great way to build a relationship with a customer, so that when they need a larger repair down the road you will be top of mind.    

Stephen Constable is an experienced home remodeling expert who studied marketing and business training at Indiana University Bloomington and graduated in 1999. Steve operates his own company, Chicago Kitchen Remodeling, Inc. You can contact him at sconstable11@hotmail.com.