As we approach the half way mark of 2014 I think most of us will agree that the extended period of warm and sunny weather into April assisted greatly with new client enquiries. As I reflect on the same period 12 months before, it is apparent that there is much more confidence in the general public. Factors such as the change of government, rising house prices creating increased home equity, and the longer and hotter summer have contributed to improved buyer behaviour. The Melbourne SPASA pool and spa show in February had a higher turnout than previous years, and the enquiry rate was excellent according to exhibitors.
Additionally, the complexity of pools in recent years has increased, so less rectangle pools and more negative edges, pool windows, load bearing pool walls, and pool covers. This has created increased investment from clients in their outdoor entertainment area, but care needs to be taken to ensure we keep our clients fully informed. New pool accessories such as sunken automated pool covers can add to costs by creating a 600 to 800 deeper excavation point on site. This is one good example where a pool wall is now required to retain 2500 mm depth of water and soil instead of (for example) 1800mm depth of water – additional steel, concrete and engineering time is creating a higher hidden cost of the actual item. Windows in pools anecdotally add $5000 to $7000 beyond the priced of “window + installation” in additional steel fixing, forming up of channels, thickening of concrete, and higher client-care issues.
As we enter the traditional quieter winter months and many take holidays, it is a good idea to formulate your strategy for the coming six to 18 months. As increased competition affects price and sales, work on your competitive advantage and what makes you unique. Our team look forward to working with you on your future projects.