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35 HVAC Trade Shows to Attend in 2019 to Find the Best Tools, Technology, and Supplies

March 13, 2019 • The Next HVAC Trade Show Is: Association of Energy Engineers Globalcon | March 20-21 For HVAC service professionals, it is important to keep sharpening your knowledge and building connections in the industry. There are numerous HVAC trade shows across the country where you can pick up the best tools, technology and supplies to make your HVAC business shine. No matter your schedule, there’s likely an event that will fit into it. With 35 trade shows to choose from, you have plenty of options in 2019. 1. Mastermind - a Housecall Pro Event Where: Nashville, TN + Other Cities When: April 6, 2019 What: A transformative full-day conference to learn the art of business mastery across marketing, operations, leadership, and customer experience. Hundreds of service professionals meet to learn from experts, network, and receive one-on-one coaching on using the Housecall Pro software to run their business. See What People Are Saying Mastermind is FANTASTIC!!! I have been to two in the past year and plan to go to several more this year. It is so insightful and totally realigns my thought process on how I do business and how I can do better. I have met so many AMAZING people at these events and have both had some that have become customers and I have used some on my own home! I love meeting in person and being able to HONESTLY refer them to my clients!! - Tabitha Velasquez 2. AHR Expo 2019 Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 14-16, 2019 What: Billed as “the world’s largest HVACR event,” this is a show where you’re sure to meet some of the foremost industry professionals. Image via http://www.iaqa.org/annual-meeting/ 3. Indoor Air Quality Association Annual Meeting Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 14-16, 2019 What: A combination of essential education sessions, networking with professionals across the industry and from all corners of the world, obtaining continuing education credits and a free visit to the AHR expo, this annual meeting has something to offer all HVAC professionals. 4. MCAA Advanced Institute for Project Management Class 15 Where: Austin, TX When: Jan 20-25, 2019 What: Five days of intensive, advanced study to take HVAC professionals to the next career level. 5. MCAA Technical Conference Where: Tampa, FL When: Jan 28-Feb. 1, 2019 What: Focusing on tech information that’s truly useful to MCAA members in construction, plumbing and service, the MCAA technical conference promises a wealth of important education for attendees. 6. CTI Annual Conference Where: New Orleans, LA When: Feb 10 – 14, 2019 What: CTI’s Annual Conference allows HVAC professionals to participate in ongoing work on industry standards and codes, and provides the education and information to ensure those standards and codes truly benefit the industry. 7. 2019 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Feb 19-21, 2019 What: The 2019 Builders' Show will bring together more than 1,500 top manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe in 600,000 net square feet of exhibit space, showcasing the latest and most in-demand products and services. 8. CampusEnergy2019: 32nd Annual Campus Energy Conference & Thermal Distribution Workshop Where: New Orleans, LA When: Feb 26 - Mar. 1, 2019 What: IDEA members are invited, alongside professionals in energy, CHP and microgrid industries, to work together, find new solutions to industry problems, and educate each other. 9. National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Mar 3-5, 2019 What: With a heavy focus on education, the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference helps professionals learn physics and theories they need to become better instructors in the industry. They will network with their peers to swap tips and approaches, learn about how to incorporate the newest technologies in their classrooms, use the latest educational methodologies, keep up with regulatory changes and more, all to improve student outcomes. 10. International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo Where: Phoenix, AZ When: Mar 3-6, 2019 What: What are the ideas and trends most likely to impact the natural refrigeration industry’s future? Attendees will learn about them here, as well as encounter a wide range of points of view about how to address them and adapt to what the future holds. 11. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Annual Convention Where: Phoenix, AZ When: Mar 3-7, 2019 What: 2019’s Mechanical Contractors Association of America Annual Convention promises world-class speakers (and some great entertainment), alongside educational industry seminars and workshops led by premiere professions. 12. Air Conditioning Contractors of America IE3 Show: Indoor Environment and Energy Expo Where: San Antonio, TX When: Mar 4-6, 2019 What: Next year’s event theme is “optimize” — optimizing the HVAC industry by focusing on what matters to professionals in their careers. 13.  Association of Energy Engineers Globalcon Where: Boston, MA When: Mar 20-21, 2018 What: With sessions led by leading industry experts and packed with useful, up-to-the-minute information, HVAC professionals will leave Globalcon inspired, renewed and ready to deliver excellent service. 14. Associated Builders and Contractors 2019 Convention Where: Long Beach, CA When: Mar 24-28, 2019 What: The ABC Convention relaunched in 2018, and is ready to come back in 2019 even bigger and better. This is an opportunity for HVAC professionals to attend a growing convention, where educational opportunities, workshops and more are smaller and more hands-on while still delivering an exceptional experience. 15. 2019 HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show Where: Chicago, IL When: Apr 1-4, 2019 What: 2018’s HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show attracted more than 1,400 attendees, 60 exhibitors, 200 presenters and more than a dozen tracks, providing learning opportunities for HVAC professionals from all over the world. 16. Associated General Contractors Annual Convention Where: Denver, CO When: Apr 1-4, 2019 What: For more than 100 years, the AGC Annual Convention has been educating HVAC professionals in business decisions, operations and more. This year’s conference will build on that history, offering one of the premier educational and networking experience for professionals in the contracting and home services industry. 17. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Institute for Project Management Class 73, Week 1 Where: Austin, TX When: Apr 7-11, 2019 What: If you’re a project manager (or an industry professional who works closely with project managers), this class will offer the intensive, in-depth training you need to master the fundamentals of your field. 18. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Institute for Project Management Class 74, Week 1 Where: Austin, TX When: Apr 8-12, 2019 What: If you’re a project manager (or an industry professional who works closely with project managers), this class will offer the intensive, in-depth training you need to master the fundamentals of your field. 19. International Facility Management Association Facility Fusion U.S. 2019 Conference and Expo Where: Atlanta, GA When: Apr 8-12, 2019 What: A premier leadership event featuring concentrated learning and networking for home services professionals. 20. 2019 Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Where: Cincinnati, OH When: Apr 10-12, 2019 What: Brings professionals together for three days of speakers, networking events and the latest industry trends about design-build in the water/wastewater sector. 21. Cx Energy Conference & Expo Where: Orlando, FL When: Apr 15-18, 2019 What: For professionals in building commissioning, energy management and test and balance, this conference is a must-see. It includes educational sessions on topics related to the industry, an exhibition hall featuring new technology and certification opportunities in ACG’s Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) and EMA’s Energy Management Professional (EMP). Image via https://www.mcaa.org/events/calendar/ncpwb-spring-technical-committee-meeting-4/ 22. National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau Technical Conference Where: Longboat Key, FL When: Apr 28-30, 2019 What: Highlights the latest in welding education and technology, including changes to codes and other technical information. 23. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Fabrication Conference Where: Los Angeles, CA When: May 1-3, 2019 What: Program focusing on cutting-edge fabrication applications and tours of MCAA member fabrication facilities. 24. Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Spring Meeting Where: Baltimore, MD When: May 6-8, 2019 What: For industry leaders seeking a meeting opportunity in the spring, ACHRI offers another opportunity to gather to work together on industry-wide issues. 25. Eastern Energy Expo Where: Hershey, PA When: May 19-22, 2019 What: A premiere show for business and technical education, including sessions for women in energy. 26. Lightfair International Where: Philadelphia, PA When: May 21-23, 2019 What: LIGHTFAIR offers attendees tracks in light, technology, knowledge and design connect in a convergence of global introductions, innovations and thought leadership at its annual conference, the world’s largest yearly meeting for architectural and commercial lighting professionals. 27. American Institute of Architects 2019 Conference on Architecture Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Jun 6-8, 2019 What: Three immersive days of what’s new and now in architecture and design. 28. 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Annual Conference Where: Kansas City, MO When: Jun 22-26, 2019 What: ASHRAE is one of the leading trade show organizations for HVAC professionals, and the annual conference is not to be missed. From the fundamentals of the industry to changes driven by environmental sustainability, there’s always something new to learn, and it can be learned here. Image via https://www.districtenergy.org/idea2019/home 29. International District Energy Association National Conference and Trade Show Where: Pittsburgh, PA When: Jun 24-27, 2019 What: IDEA members and professionals in the district energy, CHP and microgrid industries come together to share experiences, explore new solutions, and learn from each other. 30. The 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration Where: Montreal, Quebec When: Aug 24-30, 2019 What: 2019’s theme will be “Refrigeration for Human Health and Future Prosperity,” and attendees will focus on major issues relating to refrigeration and sustainability, like energy saving, efficiency, food supply, climate change reduction and more. 31. Building Simulation 2019 Where: Rome, Italy When: Sept 2-4, 2019 What: In the field of building performance simulation, this is the premiere event. The 2019 gathering provides an opportunity to trade information about simulation tools and apps, learn about the latest achievements in the field, explore new research, discuss case studies and share best practices, all while networking with professionals, students and practitioners. 32. ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource Where: Minneapolis, MN When: Oct 15-17, 2019 What: Since 2001, the EER Conference has attracted major stakeholders in utilities, regulatory commissions, state governments, consulting, manufacturing, environmental and research fields, allowing experts and consumers to work together and network. 33. 2019 SMACNA Annual Convention Where: Austin, TX When: Oct 20-23, 2019 What: SMACNA’s premiere annual even blends educational opportunities with top-notch networking for an event no HVAC professional wants to miss. 34. American Society of Plumbing Engineers Technical Symposium Where: Pittsburgh, PA When: Oct 24-27, 2019 What: A unique chance for attendees to get one-on-one face time with the manufacturers who make the products they specify. 35. HARDI Focus Conference Where: Fort Worth, TX When: Sept 11-13, 2019 What: Structured around sessions developed with and through HARDI’s Councils. Their format features a wide range of subject matter areas, to both deliver hard-hitting content specifically curated by members as well as provide an expansive networking opportunity at this event. Conference tracks will include: Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, HR, Analytics & Business Intelligence.

Paul

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HVAC Price List Template: Advice on How to Price Your HVAC Services

March 22, 2019 • Regardless of your business’ size, age, or service niche, nailing down a solid price list for labor services is one of the most difficult parts of establishing a successful business. Within the HVAC industry, entrepreneurs like yourself went into the business to turn a proper profit. Unfortunately, more often than not, HVAC business owners find themselves building their HVAC price list template based on undercutting their local competitors. While this does effectively push bargain-hunters toward your undercut service prices, it doesn’t usually leave you with the most ideal profit margin There are a number of components that factor into constructing a smart pricing model. Between overpricing and underpricing your services, you could be risking your business’ success by implementing a poor HVAC pricing guide. Unlike pricing physical products, pricing your services takes a bit more research and consideration. This means that while there is no one-size-fits-all process to create your price list, there is more opportunity for you to calculate the value of your time. Housecall Pro can help you manage your HVAC business. Online booking. Communication. Invoicing. Marketing. Learn more. The following guide will walk you through how to create a smart pricing list template and how to keep your business booming while turning larger profits. Research your market Calculate your costs Establish a realistic profit margin Consider different pricing models Ask for feedback Research your market The first step to constructing an effective HVAC price list template is conducting a bit of market research. You’ll want to seek information about your local and regional HVAC market and see what those businesses offer for services and how much they are charging on average. Try to identify the closest competition by looking for a business that’s closest in size to your own operation. This will help give you a better idea of how those companies function and stay in business, ultimately giving you a reference for how to manage your own. Look to new businesses Despite popular belief, newer businesses will give you far more insight into how to price your services than long-standing establishments. Since new businesses don't yet have years of reputation history and client loyalty to back them up, they needed to figure out how to thrive and price HVAC services all on their own. In addition to pricing, additional items that you should uncover through your market research are: Who are your customers? What do your customers want most? What are their service request trends? What services are most common? What times of the year are significantly busier than others? What makes one HVAC business stand out from another? Having a solid answer to each of these questions will set you up for success when planning your HVAC price list template. Not only will you be able to determine your business potential, but you’ll get a realistic sense of how your business fits into your local HVAC scene. Calculate your costs Instead of randomly setting a price on your technicians’ labor, calculate the exact numerical cost of that labor. In order to set yourself up for success, you have to be sure that your service costs will cover the many expenses that are already attached to running an HVAC business. These costs can be broken down into three categories: material, labor, and overhead. Material costs Anything and everything spanning from ladders and face masks to valves and pumps all qualify as material costs. Just as an auto-repair business would charge the supply cost of brake pads or oil canisters, HVAC businesses need to track the total cost of supply items. This will ensure that item supply costs won’t put you into the negative. Labor costs According to Paycor, labor costs can account for as much as 70% of total business costs. This includes employee hourly wages, salaries, benefits, and payroll. If your business functions as a middleman for a service, you become responsible for hiring an HVAC technician and making sure they get paid out. Paycor also found that most business only spend 15% of their time managing labor costs, and since these costs vary from employee to employee based on experience and expertise, it is easy to fall into a hole where labor costs put you in the negative. Tracking your labor costs allows you to stay on top of your overall company deficit and give you a clear sense of a realistic profit goal. Overhead costs Overhead costs are all other costs that factor into running, marketing, and managing your business. Examples include office laborers who handle HVAC invoices , advertising, utilities, monthly rent, taxes, insurance, gas mileage, and outsourced labor costs. These indirect costs need to be covered by the prices offered on your HVAC price list template. Establish a realistic profit margin Once you have a comprehensive understanding of your monthly and yearly costs, you can begin to calculate how you will balance out your costs and turn a profit generous enough to keep your business booming. A business’ profit margin is the easiest and fastest way to determine the efficiency of a business’ financial spending. Every business aims to grow their profit margins, but you should be realistic in your goal setting and calculate achievable totals. To determine a fair profit margin we recommend following these three steps: Step 1: Calculate Your Net Income Calculate the total revenue earned by your business and subtract your total material, labor, and overhead costs. For example: Net Income = Total Revenue - Material Costs - Labor Costs - Overhead Costs This number will give you your net income. Divide your net income by the total revenue you previously calculated to determine your current profit margin. Profit Margin = Net Income / Total Revenue Step 2: Test out potential margin percentage goals Increasing your profit margin means upping your sales goals. If you calculated that your current profit margin is 15%, play around with the numbers to see what happens. What if you dropped overhead costs by $1,000? How high would your profit margin be? Set a goal and tweak your numbers until you get close to your target. When toying around with potential margin goals, be sure to keep in mind the overall costs on both ends. The end goal is to smoothly increase your profit, not overwhelm your business with over-ambitious targets. Step 3: Factor in consumer and competitor pricing It is incredibly important to keep consideration of your competitors and consumers in mind when adjusting your finances to a goal profit margin. While you do want to keep your prices high enough to turn a profit, you don’t want to scare away potential clients with prices surging higher than your local competitors. Keep your prices grounded in realism to keep your HVAC company growing. Consider different pricing models Now that you have a solid grasp on what research needs to be done to reach your target audience with service prices that make both parties happy, it’s time to pin down your pricing model. The two most popular pricing models for HVAC companies are flat rates and hourly rates. Each model comes with pros and cons worth examining. Charging hourly rates Pros: Most businesses prefer this model. Pricing by the hour means your rate of return actually correlates to the time and labor put in. Instead of pricing specific services—say, for example, replacing a filer—you are putting a price on the value of your service. Because what were to happen if you went to replace a filter and saw that it demanded much more effort than a standard job and took you a lot longer to finish? Unfortunately, unless you priced your HVAC service by the hour, you’d be locked into that one flat fee. Your hourly rate should be determined by you and your technicians level of expertise—seniority should be considered here. Cons: The only downside to hourly rates is that timekeeping can become a mess if done manually. Fortunately, HVAC software systems like Housecall Pro allow you and your technicians to track time from the moment they set off to the moment they complete the repair—all on one app. Charging flat fees Pros: Clients love knowing exactly what they’re paying for. Flat fees allow HVAC business owners to set the price (with justification behind the price) and give customers peace of mind that the job will be done at the cost originally stated. Cons: The most significant disadvantage of charging a flat fee is the possibility of a project taking far longer than expected. If an AC unit repair is slated to run about an hour but ends up taking your technician two hours, your deficit costs may ruin the projected profit from that job. Flat rates can sometimes end up being a risk for small business owners, especially during busy seasons. Housecall Pro can help you manage your HVAC business. Online booking. Communication. Invoicing. Marketing. Learn more. Ask for feedback A surefire way to know if your HVAC pricing guide is fair is to simply ask for feedback. This could be from your clients, your technicians, or fellow HVAC business owners. Receiving feedback about your pricing is just as important as receiving feedback about your service performance. All business owners like to think that they are delivering high-quality service for reasonable prices, but no one will confirm or deny those beliefs better than your clients. We suggest these four methods of collecting customer feedback: Send surveys attached to follow-up emails: In a follow-up email once service is complete, ask your customers to gauge their satisfaction. To keep things simple, ask them to indicate on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied they are with the professionalism, timeliness, and value provided by your service. Use social media to conduct polls: Power up those social media accounts and pose questions to your followers to generate noteworthy feedback. Incentivize reviews: Consider running a promotion that incentives reviews from happy customers. You could offer discounts on future services if someone mentions you on Yelp or Facebook for an instant win-win. Ask in person or over the phone: Brush shoulders with pros in your industry and ask them about their HVAC pricing strategy over the phone or in person. Bottom Line Creating an HVAC service price guide requires a great deal of extensive research, careful planning, and diligent construction. In order to keep your HVAC business thriving, you have to keep a watch on all your deficit expenses while monitoring your costs, making sure that they are all generously covered by your HVAC service income. Setting the right price leads to happy clients and happier business owners, keeping you well above your bottom line.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Creating a price list template for HVAC

SEO Tips for Plumbers: Skyrocket Your Plumbing Business' SEO

March 21, 2019 • Every plumber worth his salt knows that plumbing is an incredibly competitive industry. Many labor jobs are going to disappear in the near future due to the looming introduction of artificial intelligence and automation. Thankfully, plumbing isn't going to be one of those industries affected. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that between 2016 and 2026, the industry is projected to grow by 16%. This growth is mainly due to new building construction and building maintenance going forward. While this projection will help many plumbers sleep easier at night knowing that their job is safe going into the future, it does mean that the probability for competition within the industry will get heavier with more individuals and businesses entering the field. When competition stiffens, knowing how to set your business apart from the rest will put you at an advantage. Looking forward, the biggest advantage every plumbing enterprise should consider is investing in increasing your plumbing business' SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking on Google. Why invest in SEO? Overall investment in SEO is on the rise. According to media analysts , SEO annual spending is projected to reach $80 billion by 2020. The vast majority of businesses understand that when a prospective customer starts their search, they are going to use a search engine above all to initiate that search. If you aren't appearing on the first page of the generated search by the prospect, you are going to miss out on countless sales to a rival business. Consider the average homeowner and what they might do if they uncover a problem with their house's plumbing. More than likely, they'll: Reach into their purse or back pocket and pull out their smartphone and do a search of plumbers in their area Take into consideration the reviews of the various plumbers Check out the distances away from their residence Go onto the site and see what kinds of services they offer and their prices They'll do all of this within a matter of minutes, and if you're not one of the first few websites that they scan over, you might as well not exist at all in their eyes. So let's look at the various strategies associated with boosting your SEO strategy for your plumbing business. Keyword optimization Keyword optimization is the cornerstone strategy involved with SEO. Keyword optimization is essentially the art of matching what the customer is looking for during their search and communicating how you will appeal to that searcher with the search engine (primarily Google) . In this scenario, location-based keywords are what you want to use in order to bring the customers to your page. When a prospect conducts a search for "plumber near me" or "plumbing services in San Diego" you are using keyword optimization to try and become the first business the customer sees in their Google search. Pro Tip: If you haven't setup a Google Analytics account to track your site and what the visitors of your site are currently searching for when they've visited, it's highly advised you do so.   Building links Within Google's search algorithm, one key contributing factor remains the most influential above all other factors: the interlinking of other websites. When you offer up to the world valuable content that is then linked back from your site, Google sees this as adding credibility to your site and rewards the site with increased SEO. Now you might be thinking this might be hard within the plumbing industry. Not true at all. One of the surest ways of having your site interlinked with other credible sites is through review generation . Reviews--especially positive reviews help build credibility within the interlinking structure. Google trusts the customer and when the customer says something positive about your business you will see your SEO efforts start to pay off as a result. Pro Tip: Leverage Housecall Pro’s Review Booster to automate your review generation process and boost your SEO efforts. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial to boost your reviews. Increase the speed of your site Google is an extremely fast and efficient worker. It has the capabilities to scan, judge, and react to a site's performance within nanoseconds (ever see how many search results are made by Google within a fraction of a second whenever you perform a search?). Over 6.5 million results for the term plumber seo in just .43 seconds! Google wants its search to be fast, clean and without any hiccups. Making sure your site is firing at an optimal performance is also a contributing factor for ranking higher with SEO. Work to improve the speed of your site doing the following: Ensure the pictures you are using aren’t too large Keep JavaScript use to a minimum - yep, we are talking about all that moving and flashing stuff on your site Upgrade your hosting services - talk to your developer about other options you could be using Pro Tip: Use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to see how fast Google thinks your plumbing site is. The best part of this is, Google tells you how to improve the speed of your site for free! Plumbing SEO does not need to be overwhelming SEO strategy can be overwhelming for even the most savvy consultants. Google is constantly updating its algorithm and tweaking what is important in terms of SEO ranking. Understanding where you fall in the scope of SEO can often feel confusing. But it doesn't have to be. With Housecall Pro and SEO Audit , you can get a comprehensive report illustrating where you stand within SEO and what steps you need to take in order to reach skyrocketing performance. By simply putting in your website URL, SEO Audit provides suggestive action encompassing keyword improvements and comparing your score with your closest competition, giving you a competitive advantage to crush the local market. Housecall Pro is the all-in-one software for Plumbing businesses to track your employee routes, text directly with your customers and book more jobs. Sign up for a free 14-day trial . With the information you're now equipped with, the only choice you have is to see your site and business rise to the top of everyone's search for their next plumber.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Plumbing SEO

Collecting From Your Customers: How to Handle a Delinquent Customer

March 20, 2019 • As a contractor, your goals are simple: Deliver quality work. Finish the job on time. Satisfy the client. In return, you expect payment in full and without delay. Of course, the above scenario is the one that usually plays out; however, this doesn’t always happen and non-payment from a customer can prove costly for your business. Let’s explore why there are times when a customer won’t pay for services, what to do when a customer doesn’t pay, and a few remedies in case non-payment goes well beyond a bill's due date. Why Customers Avoid Payment and What to Do About It So why would someone avoid paying a bill or invoice they owe? As a business owner, you understand the consequences for non-payment - late fees, legal fees, liens or worse. Aside from the added costs, avoiding a bill is a huge hassle for everyone involved. But it does happen. Usually, the reason for non-payment takes one of three forms: A problem with the invoice. A problem with the client. A problem with the work. Let’s define them and see what remedies are available to address each situation. Make it easier for your customers to pay. Send an estimate or invoice and take payment online and automatically create receipts. Learn more here . Problem with the Invoice Invoicing, as a general rule, should be extremely straightforward. You do the work, you send out the bill, the client pays it, thank you, good night. However, plenty of instances of non-payment revolve around the invoice. Commonly, it's merely misplaced or lost in the mail. In these cases, no harm, no foul. Just send a duplicate, and you’re good to go. What if the client has the invoice and still refuses payment due to something they don't like? Clients might call into question the charges, the work performed, or express surprise at the timing of the invoice. “I was expecting an invoice after one month, not two weeks,” is a common retort. Of course, the customer could be sincere. In other cases though, you might face the client from hell. The one who is happy with nothing, questions everything, and always angles for discounts or free services. In either scenario, best bet is to be upfront & transparent with your customers, before, during and after the job. Contracts Create a contract. Make sure it's legally binding, agreed upon and signed by all parties, and includes the following: Scope of Work: A clear outlay of the work to be completed. Make sure it's specific and detailed. Project Timeline: When the work starts, when it ends, and include any milestone dates. Payment Terms: Covers the payment due dates. For example, explicitly state if payment is due within 15, 30, 60 days of invoice date (if emailed) or 15, 30, 60 days after the invoice is received (if sent through traditional mail). Payment Schedule: When and how you send invoices . Again, be specific. If its every two weeks via email, notate it and make sure you send them on time. Fee Schedule: Clearly outline your late charges. Also, include lightly supply outlines for legal fees should you have to use other means to pursue lingering balances. Invoice Details When it comes to the invoice itself, there are a few best practices to follow here as well. Make sure to pay attention here, invoicing mistakes are more common than you think. Ensure your invoices include: Your company name and logo , physical address, phone number, and email address The name of the client and their physical address Any legal requirements, such as a Tax ID A date and invoice number The payment terms Late fees if the client doesn't meet payment terms Detail of the work completed and the itemized charges (the greater the detail, the better) Aside from the above, send invoices when the contract stipulates to ensure you maintain compliance with your contract terms. Adhering to the above protects you if a client questions their bill. You’ll have a clear paper trail to track every action and every charge. Problem with the Client We all like to believe that when we start a repair job or perform renovations everything will move like clockwork. Usually, that is not too far off from how most jobs go. Sure, you might have a few hiccups - troublesome subs, lousy weather, unexpected repairs - but overall it's nothing that you can’t handle. What if the hiccup turns out to be the owner? You know, the individual that agreed for you to work on their home, but then the customer won’t pay for your services. Problematic clients typically come in three varieties: They can’t pay They won’t pay They’ll get to it when they get to it Can’t pay Certainly, we don’t want to discount that hard times can hit anyone at any time. A homeowner can contract you for work under the best of circumstances, but find themselves on a downward trajectory in a matter of weeks. Lost employment, a rejected loan, or unforeseen financial hardship like a death in the family can all contribute to funding shortages. In other cases, a homeowner overestimates what they can afford at the outset of a project. Although these specific situations are tough to deal with, when all parties enter into a contract in good faith, they should be made to honor it. Won’t Pay This type of client is usually easy to spot after a few minutes in their presence. They either have zero clue as to what they want or know it a little too well. In either case, they’ll end up dissatisfied no matter what you do. They attempt to negotiate your non-negotiables, particularly when it comes to payment. You’ve probably been asked, “think we can move the payment terms out another week?,” on more than one occasion. They seem like they are holding something back, and the information they provide is suspiciously incomplete or severely lacking. However it may come across, the common theme is they’re looking for a reason not to pay you, or already have a scheme figured out to avoid payment. Will Pay When They Get Around To It “Thanks for the reminder. I’ll get that payment out today.” “Do you mind shooting me another invoice?” “I just need a few more [insert days, weeks, months here].” With this final group, it's likely you will eventually get paid - in nickels and dimes, over the course of a year, and only after you’ve had your lawyer, your mother, your kindergarten teacher, and your pet’s veterinarian call them. So, what can you do if a customer doesn’t pay? Pro Tip: Housecall Pro user Tracy Collins handles late-payments the following way: “One way I have used for residential, is to send a letter on company letterhead and giving them a time frame and then telling them there would be a lien filed on their home. The way I have done it with commercial is called the CEO or tracked a top official down on Twitter and asked for payment. I got a delinquent account that was past due almost a year paid in two days!” Similar to the invoice issue, it all starts with taking steps before the job even begins. Credit Checks Yes, contracts are significant but did you know you can check the credit of a potential client before anyone signs on the dotted line. Landlords do it on leases that might run less than $10,000 a year. Why wouldn’t you for a job that could cost twice as much? Deposits Once you complete the credit screen be sure to collect deposits. Whether it's a flat fee, a percentage of the total project estimate, or the first in a series of payments, collect some monetary figure up front. It proves a financial commitment on the part of the client and provides you funding to move forward with placing orders or hiring subs. Halt the Project Although it might be the last resort for some, never hesitate to halt work if the previously scheduled payments dry up. No pay, no play is a powerful motivator and is far easier to pull off if you bake it into your contracts. Improve Payment Structure Okay, so we’ve hammered home the shortcomings of the nightmare client, but as the provider, you can also assist some of the non-deadbeat late payers with a diverse and straightforward payment structure. From checks to credit cards and payment gateways like PayPal, having a wide array of avenues for payments, including deposits, leaves little excuse for a customer not to pay. You should also set up the ability to collect real-time payments in the field and facilitator tools like Housecall Pro’s payment feature can make this a reality. A Problem with the Work It’s the phrase any business owner dreads hearing from a client: “I’m not satisfied.” In some cases, you might see this coming - recall the clients that don’t know or know too much of what they want. In other scenarios, a dissatisfied client withholding payment can catch you off guard. Whether it be an expectation issue, or just a personality conflict, the truth is, not every customer may be right for your business. Unfortunately, many home services professionals find this out the hard way, with an unhappy client who either refuses to pay or leaves a bad review on a site like Yelp . However, there are steps to minimize client dissatisfaction and ensure payment in full after the final punch list. Communication From the first meeting to the final walkthrough, make communicating with your client a top priority. Get their phone number and email address and their preferred method of contact at that initial discussion. Touch base at regular intervals to keep the client apprised of what’s going on. Is it a week-long project? Provide updates on day one, day three, and day five. Is the renovation longer? Send weekly project recaps that detail what’s complete, what’s in progress and what’s up next. No matter how you communicate or how often, be sure to document all of it - from phone calls to emails to in-person discussions, take excellent notes and have a place set aside in a client's file to keep them handy. Does it seem like overkill? Absolutely. However, it certainly won’t when a client holds back funding over a dispute, and you can say “There’s no dispute and I have the 50 plus pages of communication to prove it.” Change Orders Sometimes in the course of a project, the scope of work requires adjustment. Timelines can change, estimates can go up, and clients can become frustrated. If not accurately accounted for, this can lead to disputes over who approved what and when, and lead to challenged invoices and withheld payments. To combat this, make sure you have a good change order. A change order, in simple terms, documents the need to modify the original scope of work. However, as this article from the American Bar Association points out, change orders carry some complexity. The critical factor in executing change orders is that they be in writing, are heavily detailed and agreed to by the client. Talk to the Client Face to Face If a client is adamant about an unfulfilled aspect of the work you performed, don’t get mad, get personal. Personal as in offer to meet with the client face to face and review any perceived shortcomings. If an issue exists, resolve to make it right. If it's feasible, extending a discount could loosen the client’s hold on their payment, with only a minor compromise on your end. Ultimately, a positive, good faith confrontation can result in both an outcome of payment and a customer won over by your willingness to meet them halfway. How to Address Clients That Do Not Pay While the understanding of why some clients neglect their bills and what to do to avoid them is helpful, inevitably, you’ll encounter your share of non-payers. So what to do then? Depending on the severity - or level of delinquency - of the balance owed, you may need to employ tough collection tactics. However, unless a client is operating in outright refusal to pay mode, it's always recommended to use escalating steps to collect what’s due. Keep Asking for Payment We previously mentioned communication in the course of a project, but when chasing down payments after the fact, the approach is a bit different. For many of your delinquent clients, a straightforward reminder via phone or email that payment is due is the only push they’ll ever need. With others though, your efforts to procure payment may require multiple attempts. Make sure to have a follow-up plan should payments fall behind. Don’t only use the clients preferred means of communication, but contact them at any other numbers they provided. Housecall Pro offers a free service that allows you to send your non-paying customer a collection letter in the mail . Simply give us a little information about the incident and off it will go. In the course of your pursuit, try to understand if there is a specific reason for non-payment and either work to remove the excuse (immediately send a new invoice to replace a lost copy for example) or offer to address a stated problem. When you reach a particular threshold, don’t be shy about providing a copy of the original contract, including all of the payment stipulations, and advising the client you plan to seek other remedies for payment if they continue their refusal to pay. Provide a Payment Plan Maybe not always ideal, based on your business model, giving a customer the option to pay their debt over time will ensure you are collecting some money, which is better than none at all. Payment intervals are beneficial towards those clients experiencing cash flow problems or ones that have to wait on funding. If a client is willing to act in good faith, showing flexibility in how they can resolve their debt will eliminate some pressure on your end. It will not only keep funds coming in on the outstanding balance, but you’ll also avoid having to take costlier measures to resolve it. The original contract you executed may also outline late fees or interest, so do not refrain from including those too. A payment plan does not release your client from their agreed upon terms. Should the customer miss a payment or back away from the plan, make it clear to them that you will escalate the collection efforts to other remedies, including a lien or a lawsuit. File a Lien When your initial collection efforts fail, the first step in legal recourse involves filing a lien. A lien is a filing that allows the filer, typically a contractor or sub, the right to secure payment on unpaid invoices. A highly useful collection tool , a lien can create plenty of headaches for homeowners. Also referred to as a mechanics lien, liens place a blemish on a title - a public property record - and can impede the ability of an owner to refinance or sell their home. Liens themselves are not difficult to file, but the process can be tedious. You’ll have to provide specifics as to the work performed, outstanding payment, and other details as outlined by your state’s lien laws. You might be at the mercy of the county clerk's office and their specific requirements for filing the lien, as any mistakes can render the claim useless, so be sure to be thorough here. For customers who hope to sell or refinance, a lien could quickly force their hand to pay their debt. If they do not, you can foreclose the lien, which is you taking direct action against them to settle the dispute. Make it easier for your customers to pay. Send an estimate or invoice and take payment online and automatically create receipts. Learn more here . Taking Legal Action For a Non-Payment If you’ve exhausted all previous collection methods and are still fighting to shake loose a payment, your final remedy is to file suit against the delinquent client. A suit can be brought against a client in small claims or civil court, depending on the amount of debt in question. Small claims amounts will vary from state to state. You can also bypass the lien process and file suit directly if you so choose, but beware that the lawsuit will be more involved and time-consuming. Should a lawsuit be necessary, documentation will include (but may not be limited to): The executed contract All invoices and change orders included in the job Documented communications including payment requests Proof of completed work such as pictures or signed off walkthroughs Although unpleasant, a lawsuit can jumpstart a collection if all other options fail.  Keep your files in order to ensure that if it gets this far, you can be successful in proving the client’s breach of contract so that you can finally be paid. Final Thoughts Non-payment is an inconvenience that all companies must face at one time or another. If you find yourself struggling with a situation where a customer won’t pay for services, the above strategies can help you avoid these types of clients in the future and collect on those you’re chasing for payment now. If you are consistent with your customer screening and collection methods, in the end, you’ll find yourself with a list of clients that appreciate the hard work you perform - who will also pay you for it.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

what do you when a small business client does not pay

Are HVAC Marketing Postcards Still Effective? Here’s What the Data Says

March 19, 2019 • We live in an increasingly digital world. You’re more connected to your customers (and future customers) than ever, but it can still be tricky to cut through the noise to ensure your business stands out. That’s why it’s important to consider a range of marketing strategies, including more traditional methods like sending postcards out in the mail. Direct mail marketing like HVAC postcards delivered to your customers’ door might seem a bit old school – and it is – but there’s a reason this method has stuck around for so long. Sending postcards via old-fashioned snail mail can help your business stand out and build brand awareness over time. (Picture a postcard with your coupon stuck to a customer’s fridge vs. a promotional email that goes straight to junk mail). However, direct mail is only a good investment if you do it right. So, today we’ll compare the pros and cons of direct mail marketing and look at the potential impact of HVAC postcards. Plus, we’ll discuss tips to make your HVAC postcards as effective as possible. We created digital postcards like the one above available to anyone. Download the Free Template Now If you're a Housecall Pro customer, these postcards are already available in your account and can be delivered automatically to your customers' doorsteps. Not a customer? Try Free for 14-days and start managing your home service business in one-place , including direct mail marketing. The Pros and Cons of Direct Marketing As with any form of advertising, there are pros and cons to using direct mail to market your business. It’s important to have a solid understanding of both before diving in to create your own HVAC postcard marketing campaign. The Benefits of Sending HVAC Postcards Sending HVAC marketing postcards allows you to: Get Noticed: A recent Canada Post study found that more people notice and read direct mail (53%) than email messages (26%). A promotional email might end up in someone’s junk folder or get deleted before they even open it. Alternatively, with physical mail, the recipient must collect and sort each item by hand. Build Brand Awareness: How many times have you received a coupon or promo code in the mail and stuck it on your fridge? When potential customers get your postcard in the mail, there’s a good chance they’ll hang on to it for future reference – especially if it includes an attractive promotion. So, even if they don’t end up calling you right away, you’ve still made a lasting impression. Drum Up Repeat Business: HVAC postcards aren’t just something you should send to potential customers. By sending postcards directly to your existing customer base, you can encourage them to call you for seasonal maintenance. Building Stronger Customer Relationship: Postcard marketing can also help businesses build a stronger customer relationship. Even if the postcard is not promotional, it would still be helpful to send your customer a thank you note or to remind them for another service in the future. The Drawbacks of Using HVAC Postcards OK, we’ve seen that direct mail can be a powerful method for marketing your HVAC business. Now let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, so you can make an informed decision about whether HVAC postcards are a worthwhile investment for you. The drawbacks of marketing postcards include: Higher Cost than Email Marketing: Cost is probably the biggest reason business owners hesitate to experiment with direct mail marketing. You don’t need to spend a ton to run an HVAC postcard campaign, but there are a few extra costs involved. Namely, you need to design and print your cards – and pay for postage. Tracking Results Can Be Tricky: You need to get creative about how you track the impact of your HVAC postcards. Whereas email marketing allows you to see how many people receive, open, and click on links within your message, tracking with direct mail is a bit more complicated. However, you can combat this by including unique promotional codes that are associated with a specific postcard campaign. So, when someone calls and says they received a discount code in the mail, you’ll know exactly which postcard they’re talking about – which means you’ll know which pieces generate the most leads. Want Better Bang for Your Buck? Make Your HVAC Postcards as Effective as Possible On average, direct mail campaigns have a return rate between .5% to 2% . So, if you send out 100 postcards to local homeowners, you should get a response from up to two people. To maximize your potential ROI, follow these tips for creating impactful HVAC postcards. 1. Know Your Target Market Done right, direct mail allows you to decide exactly who sees your marketing (unlike many digital ads that are more loosely targeted). So, when building your mailing list, it’s important to only include people who are potential customers. For instance, you wouldn’t want to send postcards to people outside of your service area or renters without the power or need to hire you. You should also consider creating more than one list, so you can target different homeowners with different offers. As an example, an HVAC business might create separate lists for existing customers, new local housing developments, and homeowners in older neighborhoods who might need more in-depth services now or in the near future. 2. Keep Your Design Simple and Easy-to-Read Don’t try to squeeze too many visual elements onto a single postcard. After all, the point is to communicate value and build brand awareness at a glance. So, unless the recipient can look at your postcard and instantly know who you are and what you’re offering, your ad won’t be very effective. You should use color and font size to draw attention to key elements. This creates an information hierarchy that tells people what they should look at first. In most cases, you want to make sure your headline and call-to-action are larger than the details of your offering. 3. Include a Clear Call-to-Action To avoid information overload, focus on one promotion per postcard. Whether your goal is to drive people to visit your website, generate referrals, or simply build brand awareness, include a clear call-to-action to make it happen. For instance, if you want future customers to have your number handy when they need an HVAC pro, try out CTAs that encourage them to hang on to your postcard. Something as simple as “Save this card!” or “Keep this code to get 10% off in April” can help get your postcard pinned to the fridge. 4. Get the Timing Right Not sure when should you send out your HVAC postcards? The ideal timing for your campaign depends on your strategy. For targeting existing customers, for example, you could send out bi-annual postcards reminding them of the importance of seasonal maintenance. If they receive your postcard every spring and fall, it’ll become second nature for them to call you to help winterize their home. On the other hand, for targeting potential customers who have never hired you before, you can try sending postcards more frequently. Use different CTAs and deals for first-time customers until you find something that hooks them. 5. Remove Addresses from Your Mailing List If any of your postcards fail to deliver and are returned to you, that’s a sign you should clean up your mailing list. Remove old contacts from your list to avoid wasting future postcards (and postage) on outdated addresses. 6. Track Your Results Add a unique tracking number or promotional code to each run of postcards. This helps you determine which postcards are most effective at bringing in new customers. You can use this knowledge to make improvements and test different designs and messaging until you find the perfect formula. Receive free digital postcard templates to use for your own marketing. Download the Free Template Now If you're a Housecall Pro customer, these postcards are already available in your account and can be delivered automatically to your customers' doorsteps. Not a customer? Try Free for 14-days and start managing your home service business in one-place , including direct mail marketing.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

spring clean is a great time for small businesses to do direct mail marketing

How to Get HVAC Leads: Strategies to Grow Your HVAC Business

March 18, 2019 • Everyone needs HVAC services, whether it's to warm up their homes or cool down their refrigerators. Finding customers should be easy, so why does it feel so hard? Unfortunately, the reality of owning an HVAC business means that you’ll always need more customers in order to grow. Sure, you can install an air conditioning unit and service it regularly, but that’s not enough to keep you floating above your bottom line. Maybe when summer hits, you get dozens of phone calls with the need for cold air ASAP but when that rush dies, the crickets start to chirp. Constant customer acquisition has to be the name of your game. You can’t wait around patiently for people to pick up the phone and give you a dial; you need to take action. Even if you’ve been in the HVAC business servicing your local area for decades, in the famous words, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”. Finding new customers can be tricky, but it’s all about strategizing new ways to land hot leads to increase your revenue. We’ll give you the rundown on our best tips and tricks to boost your business by generating leads that convert to customers. Best ways to get HVAC leads Boost your online presence Build your social media platforms Strategize your SEO Run paid advertisements Build your online review portfolio Offer referral incentivization Outsource the heavy lifting Create and plan for realistic goals Best Ways to Get HVAC Leads There are plenty of strategies you can use to increase the number of HVAC leads you receive. Check out our top seven tactics and get ready to start answering a lot of phone calls. Boost your online presence It’s no secret that the digital age has made us pretty dependent on the internet for finding information lightning fast. Keep this in mind, when it comes to accessing a larger market of HVAC customer leads. Building a stronger and more intentional online presence will benefit both you and your potential customers. Put yourself into their shoes: if you were on the hunt for specific information because you need to schedule service as soon as possible, you would probably do a quick Google search to see who’s available in the area. Become an online resource Being an online resource for immediate answers and service solutions will attract HVAC leads and enrich customer experience from the get-go. To make your business stand out, incorporate a blog section on your website and grab HVAC content marketing by the horns. Writing informative blog posts about common home HVAC issues and fixes will solve the needs of your readers, draw potential leads to your website, and boost the probability that they will contact your business for a consultation or repair. You’ll establish yourself as an expert in your industry and your clients will be far more trusting of your HVAC brand. Next time they need to get a job done, you’ll be the first one they call. Build your social media platforms An online presence is essential for generating HVAC leads, but go one step further by creating a presence on social media , too! Younger generations in particular (we’re looking at you, first-time home buyer) use social media platforms to get a feel for companies—whether they know it or not. A lot of it is actually subconscious with endless and mindless scrolling until users come across a post that catches their eye. And that’s why so many businesses use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share digestible content such as photos, statistics, and industry news with potential clients. Create profiles for free in just minutes Creating social media profiles are usually free of charge, plus you can get access to data that allows you to track who’s visiting your profile and the impact their traffic is having. If you shake your head at social media, think again. Research shows that 50% of business owners reported that they were able to grow sales through social media marketing. If you’re wondering how to get HVAC leads and aren’t already on social media, you’re not doing it right. Facebook is home to over 2 billion users, so it’s almost guaranteed that locals in your town and neighboring cities leverage this tool to find people, locate services, and read reviews. We recommend maintaining an active status on Facebook to interact with customers and answer questions. Setting up a free business page on Facebook can be done within minutes and the payoff can be pretty big. With this tool in your toolkit, you’ll be able to use Facebook’s analytical insights, reach your targeted audiences, and capture the desired HVAC lead sources you’re searching for. Strategize your SEO Search engine optimization (SEO) is probably a term you’ve heard thrown around in the business world. SEO is an essential piece to drawing in online traffic and nailing down how to get HVAC leads. When people search for information about a heating repair or a local HVAC servicer in their area, you want your site and company name to be one of the first results they see on Google. In order to capture one of those coveted top spots, you’ll need to optimize your website to strengthen your online authority. This means incorporating relevant keywords pertaining to your services, location, and various HVAC solutions. Some keywords related to your business that you might want to target include: “HVAC near me” “A/C repair” “How to fix thermostat” If you’re not sure which keywords to go after, there are plenty of free, online tools that can help you. Optimized content copy shows higher up in those search results, gives you greater visibility and draws more potential HVAC leads to your website. Run paid advertisements Adding paid advertisements to your HVAC content marketing strategy is another trick to boost online traffic to generate more leads. Whether you’re a new or a long-established business, running online ads is one of the best ways to get HVAC leads. Paid ads grab users attention quickly and give you the exposure and traffic needed to boost your business. Google and Facebook both offer paid search and paid social services that will ultimately maximize your business visibility and increase overall leads and sales. Build your online review portfolio There’s no doubt that many small businesses have love/hate relationships with online reviews. However, building a portfolio of glowing, happy testimonials can create a ton of HVAC leads. Ultimately, customers want a professional they know they can trust in their home who can get the job done quickly and without errors. Feedback from happy customers is your ticket to convincing them you’re the one who’s right for the job. How to improve your online reviews and get more jobs for your HVAC business? Housecall Pro has a solution . Make sure you ask for reviews After servicing a client, ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review on Facebook, Google, or Yelp (these three sites are some of the most frequented for business reviews). The more positive reviews, the better. But hey, you can’t please everyone. If you don’t get a 5-Star rating, it’s not the end of the world. You just have to learn how to respond to negative reviews to retain those leads. Get more 5-star reviews for your HVAC business with Housecall Pro. Learn more . Offer referral incentivization In addition to asking clients to leave reviews, you could also ask them to refer a friend . Referrals are one of the easiest methods of gaining new HVAC leads! People tend to trust their friends and family when it comes to business recommendations, so when you service one home, you could gain a whole community of loyal customers through word of mouth. Creating an incentivized program encourages clients to spread your company brand name. You can extend your network by offering discounted service rates to those who successfully refer a family member or friend. It’s a win-win for all parties. Outsource the heavy lifting Strategizing how to get HVAC leads and pinning down reliable HVAC lead sources takes a lot of planning, organizing, writing, and financing. If you and your small business would rather leave it in the hands of experts to boost your visibility and smooth out those painstaking kinks, outsourcing to a marketing team is an easy fix. Search for marketing companies online that specialize in your industry and look for successful case studies of businesses they’ve helped grow. You might have to pay anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, but you’ll be able to work with a team of experts who can make your marketing vision a reality. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to kick back and let the marketers do their thing while you take care of the rest of your business. Smart marketing companies might suggest utilizing HVAC software to better organize your business. From online booking to follow up email marketing, this specialized software presents a number of simplified advantages. Housecall Pro is the all-in-one software to run your HVAC business. From online booking, custom text, schedule & dispatch, invoicing, payment processing to follow up marketing, this service can help you grow revenue by 30% in your 1st year. Start your free 14 day trial with Housecall Pro today . Create and plan for realistic goals Running an HVAC business requires plenty of hard work, planning, and problem-solving. Running a successful HVAC business takes all of the same attention, but with a keener sense of target goals and a thorough understanding of your company’s position within the market Before tackling how to get HVAC leads, you should have a firm grasp on what your business is capable of and what your financial goals are. Consider the following: How many service calls will be needed to fulfill revenue goals? How many technicians will you employ? How many installers will you employ? How many salespeople will you employ? What adjustments must be made for the holiday season? Which months are your busiest? Which are your slowest? If at all, how will you modify your service price list? Planning with these questions in mind will give you a sharpened understanding of your labor requirements and expectations—making future planning less abstract and more rooted in bottom line costs. Once you have a sure grip on labor as well as your company blueprint expectations and expenses, you can launch your plan of action. The HVAC market is full of hungry entrepreneurs like yourself, but in order to nab new HVAC leads, research will go a long way when figuring out how to grow your HVAC business . Customers who have exceptional experiences with you, your technicians, or your company are far more likely to dial you up again the next time they're in need. Giving them a reason to believe in your company and have faith in your services is a marketing strategy within itself. A company that looks, feels, and performs as well as it promises is already on a clear pathway to success.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

HVAC leads reviews yelp

6 Steps to a Memorable HVAC Customer Service Experience

March 15, 2019 • Life is very much about experiences. From an incredible meal at a much-loved restaurant to a perfect vacation spot nestled in the rugged mountains or along a sandy coastline, we strive for moments that stand out. It should come as no surprise those seeking help with their heating and cooling needs would want the same thing from their HVAC company. Okay, maybe a condensing unit repair isn't exactly sipping an umbrellaed drink somewhere on a beach. The experience for the client, however, can mean just as much. After all, you are addressing issues that directly affect a vital everyday concern of theirs - how comfortable they are in their home. Resolving the problems quickly and professionally will make you a hero. It can also create a long term client and plenty of future referrals. What does an amazing customer experience look like? More importantly, how do you provide that experience to your customers consistently? From the first call for service to the final follow-up and beyond, these are the six critical steps to make your customer's journey a rewarding one, even if it doesn't end at the base of a snow covered mountain. 1. Make Every Call Count The first impression is one that lasts. That very first call, email or other inquiry you receive from a prospect sets the tone for the relationship the customer has with your company. So make it count. You rarely get an opportunity to correct a poor first impression. The best way to avoid a bad initial encounter is to make sure you have a great one. Pro Tip: Don’t immediately place new callers on hold, even in the midst of a chaotic part of the day. Make the time to speak with and understand a caller's concerns; don’t rush them off the phone. If you or your team are overwhelmed, that demand might be justification for more help (with the costs more than covered by all of the new business). Answer emails within 12 business hours. If that proves a struggle, common responses to common inquiries are okay as long as the reply is personalized. Sometimes, the most straightforward need of the customer is just to be acknowledged. Monitor social channels: if you utilize online chat or social media as a means for consumers to interact with your company, monitor those channels regularly. Pro Tip: Regardless of how you structure your first line of contact, the key to growing your business is the ability to respond to it. 2. Customers Value Their Time - You Should Too Few if any individuals enjoy waiting around for nothing to happen. You don’t like it. Your team doesn’t like it. Most of all your customers don’t like it. Internally, a well-run operation dedicates itself to managing a tight and efficient schedule. You have your service area mapped, your techs accounted for, assigned and en route, and an understanding of the day's workload. Wonder how you can manage your HVAC business schedule and dispatch more efficiently? Housecall Pro has a solution . Take it further and make certain that all of the appointments during that day understand all of the information as well. When scheduling a call-up front, give the customer an accurate window of when a tech will arrive. If you want to rise above all other providers, make the window as small as possible - two hours, instead of four or, if you're ambitious, try for one hour, instead of two. On your way? Let the individual know when you're coming. If a job takes longer than anticipated, let the next appointment know. A lot of overheated clients can be cooled off if someone keeps them aware of their place in line. Even better is that many individuals are satisfied with a text. When you get there, don’t waste time at the job either. At that moment, the customer is the focus - not a personal phone call, not a break for a snack, not a back and forth with dispatch on non-related concerns. Yes, your company's time is valuable. The client's time, however, is even more so. Don’t take that for granted at any point in the relationship. 3. Don’t Undervalue the Many Forms of Communication If making repairs to heating and air conditioning systems were easy, everyone would do it, right? For many homeowners, the ins and outs of HVAC are indeed a foreign language. They understand the basics - hot, cold, and some of what’s in between - but that knowledge is lacking should a minor concern become a major repair. Employ appointment schedulers to help clients get to the heart of their concern. Train techs to aptly explain to homeowners the steps being taken to resolve their problem. Pro Tip: Never let a tech leave a job without walking through the final repairs with the customer. Communication isn’t limited only to the service call, repair job, or follow-up (which we cover below). Engaging with customers - both current and future - means developing an ongoing relationship. Your website is the perfect medium for this. With informative blog posts about all things HVAC and videos that present heating and cooling how-tos or product demonstrations, you can extend your brand beyond its primary service function. Not only will this shine a spotlight on your company’s expertise, but it will also inform consumers that you’re more than just basic service. Yours is a base of knowledge, dedicated to educating owners about one of the most vital systems in their home.   4. Would You Do Business With Your Business? It's a good question that many companies do not ask enough. If you were someone in need of a system tune-up or replacement of a major component, would you hire you? Is your office and sales team friendly and informative, and quick to respond to clients? Are your service technicians professional and courteous with clean, crisp uniforms and trucks that are kept equally immaculate? Do you ensure that all information and promotional materials - website, brochures, newsletters, mailers - are polished, error-free and convey positive messaging? When thinking about how your HVAC company presents itself to clients, understand the positive message you want to convey is a collective one. To achieve that cohesive image, everyone must be on the same page. Make sure your office team (and your field team, too) are friendly and informative and know where to get answers for customers when issues come up. Your techs often have to work outdoors or in hot, dirty attics or crawl spaces. Have them keep extra shirts handy, so they can show up to each job as if it were their first of the day. Of course, along with the uniforms, the tools your company use should also be kept clean and are in working order ready for any job. Your equipment may not be new, but there’s no reason for it not to look and perform that way. Customers notice that kind of thing. More importantly, those are the companies they want to do business with. 5. Make Doing Business Easy So when people do decide to use your heating or cooling services, do you make that engagement easy for them? Technology has simplified our lives beyond measure. How we do business is perhaps one of the most profound areas of innovation. Everything is designed to make life easier. If you hope to generate and convert leads or keep customers coming back, you must offer tools that uncomplicate how they engage your company. Appeal to mobile users by allowing them to set appointments from their phone. Streamline your estimating and invoicing processes by going paperless. Enable field techs to accept payments via tablet or smartphone. All of the above functions can be achieved faster and easier with Housecall Pro. Try Free for 14-days . Yes, there will be a segment of client angling for old school methods. More and more though, if your company isn’t looking towards the future and employing new and more advanced efficiencies, it will be left behind. 6. Follow-Up When you finish a job, it's easy to forget it and move on to the next one. Don’t. Happy, satisfied clients are your greatest resource, so stay connected to them. Whether it be a call or an email, touch base with the client between 24 and 48 hours after service (never let it linger more than that). Housecall Pro helps facilitate this with automated postcards and emails. If a client had a great experience with your HVAC team, a timely follow-up would put them further over the top. Aside from checking in on them, it’s also a good idea to mention referral rewards, should they know anyone else requiring service. More than just an immediate after service check-in, keep touch with your clients throughout the year. Information-packed newsletters and promotional mailers (with discounts for valued clients) keep your company and the homeowner’s needs front and center. Final Thoughts It doesn’t take as much as you’d think to separate yourself from other HVAC competitors. Much like those vacations we mentioned in the opening, customers are looking for reasons to love your service. They don’t just want their heating or cooling problems solved, they want to be wowed and impressed, and tell others about their remarkable experience. Being good at what you do no doubt helps. However, being great with those you do help is what will make your business shine above all others. It will also provide your valued clients with more than just a service, but an experience.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

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35 HVAC Trade Shows to Attend in 2019 to Find the Best Tools, Technology, and Supplies

March 13, 2019 • The Next HVAC Trade Show Is: Association of Energy Engineers Globalcon | March 20-21 For HVAC service professionals, it is important to keep sharpening your knowledge and building connections in the industry. There are numerous HVAC trade shows across the country where you can pick up the best tools, technology and supplies to make your HVAC business shine. No matter your schedule, there’s likely an event that will fit into it. With 35 trade shows to choose from, you have plenty of options in 2019. 1. Mastermind - a Housecall Pro Event Where: Nashville, TN + Other Cities When: April 6, 2019 What: A transformative full-day conference to learn the art of business mastery across marketing, operations, leadership, and customer experience. Hundreds of service professionals meet to learn from experts, network, and receive one-on-one coaching on using the Housecall Pro software to run their business. See What People Are Saying Mastermind is FANTASTIC!!! I have been to two in the past year and plan to go to several more this year. It is so insightful and totally realigns my thought process on how I do business and how I can do better. I have met so many AMAZING people at these events and have both had some that have become customers and I have used some on my own home! I love meeting in person and being able to HONESTLY refer them to my clients!! - Tabitha Velasquez 2. AHR Expo 2019 Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 14-16, 2019 What: Billed as “the world’s largest HVACR event,” this is a show where you’re sure to meet some of the foremost industry professionals. Image via http://www.iaqa.org/annual-meeting/ 3. Indoor Air Quality Association Annual Meeting Where: Atlanta, GA When: Jan 14-16, 2019 What: A combination of essential education sessions, networking with professionals across the industry and from all corners of the world, obtaining continuing education credits and a free visit to the AHR expo, this annual meeting has something to offer all HVAC professionals. 4. MCAA Advanced Institute for Project Management Class 15 Where: Austin, TX When: Jan 20-25, 2019 What: Five days of intensive, advanced study to take HVAC professionals to the next career level. 5. MCAA Technical Conference Where: Tampa, FL When: Jan 28-Feb. 1, 2019 What: Focusing on tech information that’s truly useful to MCAA members in construction, plumbing and service, the MCAA technical conference promises a wealth of important education for attendees. 6. CTI Annual Conference Where: New Orleans, LA When: Feb 10 – 14, 2019 What: CTI’s Annual Conference allows HVAC professionals to participate in ongoing work on industry standards and codes, and provides the education and information to ensure those standards and codes truly benefit the industry. 7. 2019 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Feb 19-21, 2019 What: The 2019 Builders' Show will bring together more than 1,500 top manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe in 600,000 net square feet of exhibit space, showcasing the latest and most in-demand products and services. 8. CampusEnergy2019: 32nd Annual Campus Energy Conference & Thermal Distribution Workshop Where: New Orleans, LA When: Feb 26 - Mar. 1, 2019 What: IDEA members are invited, alongside professionals in energy, CHP and microgrid industries, to work together, find new solutions to industry problems, and educate each other. 9. National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Mar 3-5, 2019 What: With a heavy focus on education, the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference helps professionals learn physics and theories they need to become better instructors in the industry. They will network with their peers to swap tips and approaches, learn about how to incorporate the newest technologies in their classrooms, use the latest educational methodologies, keep up with regulatory changes and more, all to improve student outcomes. 10. International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo Where: Phoenix, AZ When: Mar 3-6, 2019 What: What are the ideas and trends most likely to impact the natural refrigeration industry’s future? Attendees will learn about them here, as well as encounter a wide range of points of view about how to address them and adapt to what the future holds. 11. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Annual Convention Where: Phoenix, AZ When: Mar 3-7, 2019 What: 2019’s Mechanical Contractors Association of America Annual Convention promises world-class speakers (and some great entertainment), alongside educational industry seminars and workshops led by premiere professions. 12. Air Conditioning Contractors of America IE3 Show: Indoor Environment and Energy Expo Where: San Antonio, TX When: Mar 4-6, 2019 What: Next year’s event theme is “optimize” — optimizing the HVAC industry by focusing on what matters to professionals in their careers. 13.  Association of Energy Engineers Globalcon Where: Boston, MA When: Mar 20-21, 2018 What: With sessions led by leading industry experts and packed with useful, up-to-the-minute information, HVAC professionals will leave Globalcon inspired, renewed and ready to deliver excellent service. 14. Associated Builders and Contractors 2019 Convention Where: Long Beach, CA When: Mar 24-28, 2019 What: The ABC Convention relaunched in 2018, and is ready to come back in 2019 even bigger and better. This is an opportunity for HVAC professionals to attend a growing convention, where educational opportunities, workshops and more are smaller and more hands-on while still delivering an exceptional experience. 15. 2019 HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show Where: Chicago, IL When: Apr 1-4, 2019 What: 2018’s HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show attracted more than 1,400 attendees, 60 exhibitors, 200 presenters and more than a dozen tracks, providing learning opportunities for HVAC professionals from all over the world. 16. Associated General Contractors Annual Convention Where: Denver, CO When: Apr 1-4, 2019 What: For more than 100 years, the AGC Annual Convention has been educating HVAC professionals in business decisions, operations and more. This year’s conference will build on that history, offering one of the premier educational and networking experience for professionals in the contracting and home services industry. 17. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Institute for Project Management Class 73, Week 1 Where: Austin, TX When: Apr 7-11, 2019 What: If you’re a project manager (or an industry professional who works closely with project managers), this class will offer the intensive, in-depth training you need to master the fundamentals of your field. 18. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Institute for Project Management Class 74, Week 1 Where: Austin, TX When: Apr 8-12, 2019 What: If you’re a project manager (or an industry professional who works closely with project managers), this class will offer the intensive, in-depth training you need to master the fundamentals of your field. 19. International Facility Management Association Facility Fusion U.S. 2019 Conference and Expo Where: Atlanta, GA When: Apr 8-12, 2019 What: A premier leadership event featuring concentrated learning and networking for home services professionals. 20. 2019 Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Where: Cincinnati, OH When: Apr 10-12, 2019 What: Brings professionals together for three days of speakers, networking events and the latest industry trends about design-build in the water/wastewater sector. 21. Cx Energy Conference & Expo Where: Orlando, FL When: Apr 15-18, 2019 What: For professionals in building commissioning, energy management and test and balance, this conference is a must-see. It includes educational sessions on topics related to the industry, an exhibition hall featuring new technology and certification opportunities in ACG’s Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) and EMA’s Energy Management Professional (EMP). Image via https://www.mcaa.org/events/calendar/ncpwb-spring-technical-committee-meeting-4/ 22. National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau Technical Conference Where: Longboat Key, FL When: Apr 28-30, 2019 What: Highlights the latest in welding education and technology, including changes to codes and other technical information. 23. Mechanical Contractors Association of America Fabrication Conference Where: Los Angeles, CA When: May 1-3, 2019 What: Program focusing on cutting-edge fabrication applications and tours of MCAA member fabrication facilities. 24. Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Spring Meeting Where: Baltimore, MD When: May 6-8, 2019 What: For industry leaders seeking a meeting opportunity in the spring, ACHRI offers another opportunity to gather to work together on industry-wide issues. 25. Eastern Energy Expo Where: Hershey, PA When: May 19-22, 2019 What: A premiere show for business and technical education, including sessions for women in energy. 26. Lightfair International Where: Philadelphia, PA When: May 21-23, 2019 What: LIGHTFAIR offers attendees tracks in light, technology, knowledge and design connect in a convergence of global introductions, innovations and thought leadership at its annual conference, the world’s largest yearly meeting for architectural and commercial lighting professionals. 27. American Institute of Architects 2019 Conference on Architecture Where: Las Vegas, NV When: Jun 6-8, 2019 What: Three immersive days of what’s new and now in architecture and design. 28. 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Annual Conference Where: Kansas City, MO When: Jun 22-26, 2019 What: ASHRAE is one of the leading trade show organizations for HVAC professionals, and the annual conference is not to be missed. From the fundamentals of the industry to changes driven by environmental sustainability, there’s always something new to learn, and it can be learned here. Image via https://www.districtenergy.org/idea2019/home 29. International District Energy Association National Conference and Trade Show Where: Pittsburgh, PA When: Jun 24-27, 2019 What: IDEA members and professionals in the district energy, CHP and microgrid industries come together to share experiences, explore new solutions, and learn from each other. 30. The 25th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration Where: Montreal, Quebec When: Aug 24-30, 2019 What: 2019’s theme will be “Refrigeration for Human Health and Future Prosperity,” and attendees will focus on major issues relating to refrigeration and sustainability, like energy saving, efficiency, food supply, climate change reduction and more. 31. Building Simulation 2019 Where: Rome, Italy When: Sept 2-4, 2019 What: In the field of building performance simulation, this is the premiere event. The 2019 gathering provides an opportunity to trade information about simulation tools and apps, learn about the latest achievements in the field, explore new research, discuss case studies and share best practices, all while networking with professionals, students and practitioners. 32. ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource Where: Minneapolis, MN When: Oct 15-17, 2019 What: Since 2001, the EER Conference has attracted major stakeholders in utilities, regulatory commissions, state governments, consulting, manufacturing, environmental and research fields, allowing experts and consumers to work together and network. 33. 2019 SMACNA Annual Convention Where: Austin, TX When: Oct 20-23, 2019 What: SMACNA’s premiere annual even blends educational opportunities with top-notch networking for an event no HVAC professional wants to miss. 34. American Society of Plumbing Engineers Technical Symposium Where: Pittsburgh, PA When: Oct 24-27, 2019 What: A unique chance for attendees to get one-on-one face time with the manufacturers who make the products they specify. 35. HARDI Focus Conference Where: Fort Worth, TX When: Sept 11-13, 2019 What: Structured around sessions developed with and through HARDI’s Councils. Their format features a wide range of subject matter areas, to both deliver hard-hitting content specifically curated by members as well as provide an expansive networking opportunity at this event. Conference tracks will include: Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, HR, Analytics & Business Intelligence.

Paul

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HVAC Books: The Best Books for HVAC Beginners & Experts

March 11, 2019 • Regardless of industry, maintaining and growing a business means keeping up with the latest technologies, research, and product innovation. How does one do that? It’s as simple as opening a book. As an HVAC professional, you know the importance of staying on top of what’s happening in your field. The heating and cooling industry seems to change every year, thanks to a constant stream of new technologies and shifting HVAC business trends. This all boils down to one truth: the moment you stop learning, your business will stop growing. Reading HVAC-focused books can help you keep tabs on the latest strategies, tools, and research in order to keep up with (and beat out) the competition. Luckily, you won’t be hard-pressed to find great HVAC books. There are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the United States alone, with plenty of HVAC–focused options among them. Unfortunately, even with so many books available, many of us fail to take advantage of this amazing resource. According to SmithsonianMag 27% of U.S. adults didn't read a single book within the last 12 months. Run an HVAC business? Learn how Housecall Pro can be a game changer for you and your team. Don’t become a part of this statistic—make a commitment to reading several HVAC books this year, and you’ll see rewards sooner than you think. The more you know about HVAC services, specialties, and advancements, the more successful your HVAC business will be. With these HVAC books in your arsenal, you can stay up to date with the industry, optimize your services, and grow your business—all with the turn of a page. Click on a section to jump to a particular category, or check out the post in full to read up (no pun intended) on the books you need in your business library. Best HVAC Training Books Best HVAC Technician Books Best HVAC Certification Books Best HVAC Troubleshooting Books Best HVAC Business Books More Resources to Continue Your Learning Best HVAC Training Books If you’re at the beginning of your HVAC career, or want to learn more about what this job requires, these HVAC training books are a great starting point: Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Best For : “HVAC Fundamentals” This is a classic and a must-have for any tech’s HVAC book collection. Currently, this HVAC book has 20 editions under its belt and contains information about business fundamentals, service techniques, and tips for diagnosing HVAC problems. Learn important skills and gain more insight into the theory behind some of the HVAC industry’s guiding principles. Consider this to be your essential foundation book—great for HVAC newbies, but also a fantastic resource for seasoned professionals that want to brush up on HVAC fundamentals. Each chapter contains specific modules to help you zone in on particular topics, with clear and concise explanations. You’ll start with basic principles and slowly advance into more complex theories, all laid out in an easy-to-read format. Check out the latest information and guidelines put forth by the EPA, and browse the most recent methods of sizing, installing, and maintaining refrigeration systems and air conditioning units. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology Best For : “HVAC troubleshooting & diagnosing” With over 1,600 pages designed to help HVAC professionals troubleshoot, diagnose, and maintain heating and cooling systems, you’ll find Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology a valuable resource. This HVAC book contains hands-on guidance, practical applications, and a comprehensive look at some of the most common issues HVAC technicians face. Not sold? This HVAC book has been helping industry professionals for over 25 years. Now in its 8th edition, you can read about all the latest industry advances, plus dive into the soft skills and customer service problems that can affect your business’s success. Gain insight into common issues with industry examples, detailed photos, and Service Call features you won’t find in other HVAC reads. 101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Technician Best For : “A laugh & what NOT to do as an HVAC technician” Think HVAC books are boring? Think again. 101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Technician is guaranteed to make you laugh—and make you think about your future service calls a bit differently. Bring some fun into your HVAC library. In this HVAC book, you can read stories about hilarious technicians mishaps and mistakes. While meant to entertain, these anecdotes can actually teach you a thing or two about what to do and what NOT to do in the field. Building Environments: HVAC Systems Best For : “An inside look into the mechanical workings of an HVAC system” As an HVAC technician, you’ll be tasked with creating a healthy indoor environment—not always as easy as it sounds. This text can help you understand the basics of HVAC systems and their controls. With 270 illustrations, you’ll read and see exactly what goes into these complex systems—and learn without being overwhelmed. Study easy-to-read explanations that show how mechanical and control systems work together to create high-quality building environments. Best HVAC Technician Books Perhaps you’re already deep into your HVAC career. If you’re a practicing technician, you know first-hand the challenges that different jobs can present. Make sure you’re ready for anything that comes your way in the field by brushing up on the following HVAC tech books: HVAC Equations, Data, and Rules of Thumb Best For : “Keeping up with HVAC codes, standards & equations” This handbook is an industry standard, and for good reason. In its 600 pages, you can read up on a wide array of HVAC design information. As its title suggests, this book is filled to the brim with field-tested equations, rules of thumb that have saved many techs from embarrassing mistakes, and up-to-date data on the latest building materials and components. Learn how to read and interpret all codes and standards used in the HVAC industry, including NFPA, ICC, NEC, and ASHRAE. Go over definitions and find in-depth teachings about: HVAC System Selection Criteria Design Conditions Energy Conservation Cooling and Heating Load Factors Air Distribution Systems Piping Systems, Including Plastic Piping Central Plant Equipment Automatic Temperature Controls/Building Automation Systems Noise and Vibration Control Architectural, Structural, and Electrical Considerations Properties of Air and Water Auxiliary Equipment Sustainability Guidelines HVAC Controls Manual Best For : “Understanding fundamental HVAC concepts” A quick but helpful read, this reference manual breaks down pneumatic controls and goes into fundamental HVAC concepts, including auxiliary devices, master and submaster theory, as well as the basic components of a control system. Use the exam at the back of the book to test your knowledge and spot any areas you need to brush up on. ACCA Technical Manuals Best For : “An in-depth understanding of HVAC” The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a great resource that can help you gain a better understanding of HVAC systems. The ACCA offers several technical manuals that cover a wide variety of design, install, and repair topics, including: Residential Load Calculation Residential Duct Design Residential Equipment Selection Commercial Load Calculation Commercial Duct Design Commercial Systems Overview Balancing & Testing Air & Hydronics Systems Residential Zoning Systems Residential Systems Overview Air Distribution Basics Heat Pump Systems Swimming Pools & Spas Psychrometrics Most ACCA technical manuals follow ANSI standards and come with training spreadsheets. These HVAC books are a benchmark in the industry; many of ACCA’s technical manuals are actually used as references in building codes across the United States—talk about a mark of approval. Best HVAC Certification Books Looking to get your next HVAC certification? Before signing up for your exam, make sure you study from the following prep books: The Guide to the NATE-ICE Certification Exams Best For : “HVAC/R NATE and ICE preparation” If you want to pass the HVAC/R NATE and ICE certification examinations, this review tool is a must-have. This HVAC book features two sections: the first is a comprehensive study guide that reviews a wide array of procedures and concepts. Move onto the second part and test yourself with 2,400 questions, covering topics such as electrical theory, indoor air quality and safety, EPA certification, system components, tool requirements, duct fabrication, and plenty more. Take practice tests, and use the answer key to check your work. With a few quizzes, you can determine how ready you are for the actual exam. ESCO Institute Section 608 Certification Exam Preparatory Manual for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians Best For : “EPA exam preparation” If you want to prep for an upcoming Certification exam, this manual is a great resource. The ESCO Institute Section 608 EPA Preparatory Manual (what a mouthful) includes all of the questions found within the EPA exam and has been a staple exam prep tool for many HVAC students. Step by Step to Passing the EPA 608 Certification Exam Best For : “Questions previously used on the EPA exam” Need an EPA prep book that takes you through all your paces? Study the Core, Type I, Type II, Type III, and universal exams for a well-rounded study experience. You’ll also see practice questions that have been previously included on the test. HVAC Licensing Study Guide, Third Edition Best For : “Preparing for all major HVAC licensing exams” Don’t pass up the HVAC Licensing Study Guide, because this third edition prep book won’t leave you wanting. Study more than 800 practice questions and answers and increase your chances of passing all major HVAC licensing exams—on your first attempt. This comprehensive resource features troubleshooting tips, detailed illustrations, and updated codes and standards you’ll need to comply with in the field. Best HVAC Troubleshooting Books HVAC Troubleshooting Guide Best For : “In-depth HVAC troubleshooting tips” Whether you’re working industrial, residential, or commercial jobs, this HVAC Troubleshooting Guide is a must-have. Containing information about how to read and prepare electrical schematics and mechanical plans, you can use this guide to brush up on important HVAC facts and figures. With detailed illustrations, informative charts, and in-depth troubleshooting tips, you’ll be better prepared to tackle any job if you’ve got this guide in your back pocket. With the HVAC Troubleshooting Guide, you can learn more about: Identifying and safely using new and old equipment/tools Using heat pumps and hot air furnaces Calculating ventilation requirements Working with refrigeration equipment Operating and repairing electric motors Programming thermostats Insulating System Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Procedures Best For : “Troubleshooting a variety of HVAC problems” You can never have too many troubleshooting resources—after all, you want to prove to customers there’s no HVAC problem you or your team can’t fix. This HVAC book provides essential information today’s techs need to diagnose (and solve) many of the major air conditioning and refrigeration system issues. In this guide’s pages, you can read up on troubleshooting a variety of problems, including: Airflow problems Refrigerant cycle malfunctions Suction and liquid line restrictions Oil logged evaporators Undercharge and overcharge issues Compressor inefficiencies Restricted metering devices ….and plenty more. If there’s a problem, this book will help you solve it. Best HVAC Business Books Improving your HVAC services is about more than brushing up on the latest technical reads. If you own an HVAC company, you need to consider books that cover pricing models, business best practices, and much more. Make sure you put these HVAC business books on your reading list: HVAC Spells Wealth Best For : “A comprehensive guide to running your HVAC business Every self-respecting HVAC business owner should put this book on their reading list. Pegged as the most comprehensive and best-selling “how to” HVAC book available, this book has made its way into the hands of HVAC contractors, vendors, associations, and manufacturers across the world. Learn how to build, manage, and maintain residential retail HVAC businesses, and decimate the competition with important education, tools, and anecdotes. In “THE” book of the HVAC industry, you’ll find tips and strategies about: Basic business fundamentals How to handle customers Best practices for dealing with coworkers and employees Marketing and sales Processes and systems Industry commentary The Power of Positive Pricing Best For : “Pricing your HVAC services” Pricing can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a successful service business. Are you charging enough? Too little? What’s the sweet spot? Learn the answers to these questions and more in The Power of Positive Pricing. This book was written for all service company owners, and designed to help you strategically price your offerings. Learn how to price your HVAC installations and project work, create service agreement prices, and properly present prices to customers—plus a whole lot more. With details on discounts, margin pricing, and overhead costs, you can help position your business to be more profitable with the tips contained in these pages. HVAC Business: A Detailed Business and Marketing Plan Best For : “Developing a plan for your HVAC business” Learn how to get new clients—and keep them. This ebook provides details on writing an HVAC business plan and includes pro tips and examples. Whether you’re thinking about starting your own HVAC business or you’re already the proud owner of an established HVAC company, “HVAC Business: A Detailed Business and Marketing Plan” contains important insights you can use to make more money and keep business coming back. Resources to Continue your HVAC Learning Already read your way through our list of the best HVAC books for today’s HVAC students, techs, and business owners? The learning doesn’t have to stop there. There are plenty of resources you can use to continue your learning, from online publications to podcasts. Run an HVAC business? Learn how Housecall Pro can be a game changer for you and your team. Use online resources There’s no limit to the number of online resources that you can use to continue your HVAC education. Service industries must evolve to meet the modern consumer’s needs, and using online resources is one way to accomplish that. From HVAC software to Youtube tutorials, there are plenty of ways to use the world wide web to your business advantage - and reach new clients in the process. Analyze case studies Looking at large-scale case studies from some of the world’s most successful HVAC manufacturers and service groups is a great way to continue your learning. Here are just a few samples of case studies you can read up on: Lakos Case Studies Johnson Controls Case Studies Piedmont Service Group Case Studies Krueger Case Studies Star Service, Inc. Case Studies Take a look at what the major players are doing, and translate their success into your own. Subscribe to HVAC-specific publications Taking the time to read industry publications is one of the best ways to learn more about the HVAC field as a whole. Turn your email inbox into a treasure trove of new HVAC information. Subscribe to HVAC publications and keep up with their content. Digital editions make it easy to access the latest HVAC information, and tracking these types of publications can help you learn about upcoming webinars, conferences, new products, and even job openings in your area. These publications also give you the opportunity to network - and maybe somewhere down the line publish your own thoughts on industry challenges and strategies. Check out the following HVAC publications as a starting point: HVAC Insider : This digital trade publication can keep you updated on conferences, competitions, and expositions. Check out news articles, keep tabs on market trends, and browse product showcases to see the latest and greatest to hit the field. The ACHR News : This publication offers helpful articles, educational webinars, and comes out weekly in both print and digital editions. HVACR Business : Want to learn more about business best practices? This publication should be your go-to. Check out their “Business Advice” section and read about legal issues, HVAC training, strategy, and plenty more. Contractor Magazine : While not solely focused on heating and cooling, Contractor Magazine still offers plenty of helpful articles for the HVAC technician. Read about technology, tools, and green energy efforts happening in and out of the HVAC industry. Grow your network Speaking of networking, are you putting effort into meeting other service professionals in your industry? Growing your network is a stepping stone to expanding your business, and can actually be a lot of fun, too! Meet Business Owners, Technicians & Students There’s a huge community of HVAC business owners, technicians, and students out there that can help you expand your own professional horizons—you’ve just got to find them. Beyond checking into online forums and reaching out to local professionals near you, you can utilize Housecall Pro’s network of 20,000+ home service professionals. Take advantage of https://www.facebook.com/groups/HousecallPros/">exclusive Facebook groups and https://www.housecallpro.com/mastermind">mastermind events to learn what you might be missing in your service business. Like-minded business owners and techs can help you learn more about your own trade, and teach you how to bring in even more customers. Home service professionals across industries face many of the same challenges. Gaining insight from people who’ve been through it before can provide the support and knowledge you need to overcome any obstacles you encounter. Attend HVAC events The daily hustle and bustle of HVAC service work can make it hard to focus on anything other than what’s happening in the now. However, it’s important to step back and take a look at the bigger picture every now and again. Keep up with current HVAC trends Attending training events, conferences, seminars, and trade shows can help you gain a wider view of industry happenings. Checking in at these events can help you learn the latest on technology and HVAC trends, and help you build connections in your industry. Additionally, if you live in a state that requires continuing education (CE) hours for certification, some of these events may count towards your required quota. Listen to podcasts It’s 2019 and it’s high time to join the podcast bandwagon if you haven’t already. This popular form of media has taken the digital world by storm the past few years, and there are plenty of HVAC resources you can listen to. Check out some of these titles on your favorite streaming service, and tune in during your next drive to a job: HVAC 360 HVAC School HVAC Expert! David’s HVAC CHILLCAST HVAC Control Talk Final Thoughts If you want to grow your business, challenge yourself to keep learning. Read about what’s trending in the industry, take notes on new strategies for technical jobs, and gain insight into the business acumen needed to increase your bottom line. If you fill your reference library with the above HVAC book titles, you can’t go wrong. With these books in your arsenal, you’ll be well prepared to take your business to new heights.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Best HVAC Books for Beginners and Experts