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HPM December 2013

COVERPROMOTION Water bills are a bathing matter Bathrooms can play a big part in selling houses, explains Julie McLean, head of marketing at Plumb and Parts Center... Arefurbished bathroom can be the difference between selling a house or not. It’s not just how a bathroom looks, it is also how it performs that adds value to property. This is worth bearing in mind, because the housing market is predicted to kick-start the first increase in DIY sales since 2007, with the Financial Times reporting that revenues are expected to rise from £12 billion in 2013 to £13 billion in 2014. This kick-start will come from the second phase of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which enables borrowers to apply for a mortgage with a five per cent deposit on homes worth up to £600,000. People want bathroom products that use water more efficiently. This results in less money spent on water bills, which are on the rise. OFWAT (The Water Services Regulation Authority) estimates they will rise a further 3.5% over the next year - at a time when we’ve never used so much water in the bath and shower. The Energy Saving Trust says 25% of the nine billion litres of water used by UK households every day is now used on showering and bathing. You can help your customers by refurbishing their bathrooms with water efficient products. They can be retrofitted into bathrooms, saving water and money in the process - a good selling point for anyone looking to move house. Many property buyers are more reluctant to buy houses that need a lot of work done. The National Association of Estate Agents has seen a definite trend towards buyers looking for properties that don’t need anything doing. In the past, it wasn’t such a big issue for buyers to save up or get a loan in order to carry out refurbishment work. Nowadays, if the work needed has been done it makes people more likely to buy. You might worry that suggesting bathroom refurbishments to your customers will make them think you’re trying to make money out of them. If that’s the case your customers can get an estate agent in to value their home. They will be able to clarify exactly which sort of buyer the customer should be targeting and give them a steer as to what they might need to replace or improve. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS So what products to suggest? The Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme helps identify products that, when installed and used correctly, use less water than other products on the market. When designing or assessing a bathroom it’s important to factor in how it is used. Is it the only bathroom in the house? How many people use it? The answers to which may well determine the products you decide to offer and install. There are an array of products that can make a big difference - from water saving and low volume baths, aerated shower heads, flow limiting devices to digital shower systems that allow water flow to be controlled and run for set amounts of time, mini-mixer showers and water efficient electric showers. Not to mention water efficient single flush and dual flush cisterns, delayed flush cisterns, water displacement devices, and electronic flushing systems. This choice of products is able to satisfy the needs of a variety of different properties. Whether a property is a bachelor pad, a family home, or needs to take account of the needs of a less able person, there is a bathroom for everyone and at a price to suit. Refurbishing a bathroom is such a big decision for a householder, there is no substitute for being able to touch the product and see it in an installed, close to life-like setting. That’s where we can help you find the right solutions for your customer. Many of our branches have showrooms that you can take homeowners to so they can get a good idea of what the different products look like in real life. The message for your customers is that refurbished bathrooms can go a long way to adding value to properties, provide some insurance against opportunistic bargaining, and ultimately help to sell the house. Replacing an out-dated bathroom suite and updating it with a contemporary, water efficient product is a win/win scenario for you and your customer. Giving advice to customers and helping them to make more money is a great way to build trust and create a long-term relationship. When they do move into that new house, you can guarantee it will be you they turn to when they need further work doing. 14 DECEMBER 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 109 Plumb Center Nabis Centersuite A refurbished bathroom could be a good selling point


HPM December 2013
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