How This Company is Transforming Home Improvement Financing with a Unique Approach
Considering 58% of homeowners took on a home improvement project in 2022, it’s no surprise to hear that most homeowners plan to stay put and do more home renovations. But with the economy in constant flux, affordability is pausing some larger projects. That’s where home improvement financing can save the day, but only if contractors and business owners choose the right lender. Enter: 1 & Fund, created by home improvement experts for home improvement experts. This team led by Jennifer Lau-Hatcher, Justin Hatcher and Rob Macklin is bringing a unique approach to the business and helping contractors close more deals in the process. Read on to learn how they do it.
Ingage: We know 1 & Fund recently rebranded from Simple Choice Lending, can you give us some background on your new transformation and how you work in the industry?
1&Fund: Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to expand the business by bringing in another partner and together we are able to offer a holistic approach to consumer financing for the home improvement industry. The three of us, Jennifer, Justin, and Rob, each bring a unique set of skills and background to the business that really sets us apart from other lenders on the market.
As for the company, 1 & Fund is built by home improvement experts for home improvement experts, meaning we intimately understand the front and back end challenges home improvement companies face today. We have built solutions to help contractors throughout the entire sales process - almost like a finance manager in your pocket. Whether it’s helping contractors acquire exclusive leads, train on how to frame the finance conversation during a presentation, or supporting their customers selecting the right plans, we’re right there to make sure more sales close and bigger projects are paid for. Because of this holistic view centered around our three core principles, authenticity, trust and innovation, we’re able to solve many of those common pain points contractors face during the sales and financing process.
Ingage: That holistic approach is definitely unique, what else do you feel sets you apart from other financial lenders for the home improvement industry?
1&Fund: One of our best assets is that all three partners are in the home improvement industry, which means we know exactly what concerns and hurdles they’re facing. That’s why 1 & Fund isn’t a lender, we offer a complete service that helps contractors discover the best programs for their company and customer needs. That typically involves curating lending programs leading to the highest approval rates and sales training on how and when to talk financing with homeowners. We’re even piloting some exciting new features with our contractors like exclusive, financially qualified leads.
It also helps that we have access to a large network of lending solutions across the home improvement industry from roofing to solar to landscaping and much more. We’ve built and managed consumer financing programs for some of the top brands, including Renewal by Anderson, Jacuzzi Bath Remodel and Tundraland Home Improvements. Our background means that we have the tools to help any contractor improve their business.
Ingage: Switching gears, can you share how 1 & Fund and Ingage work together and what kind of results are you looking forward to helping our customers achieve?
1&Fund: One of our partners, Justin Hatcher, started using Ingage a few years ago at Tundraland and knew that we needed to bring it over here when we started 1&Fund. Since then, we’ve been working together to help contractors and sales reps achieve success with financing options by presenting them on the Ingage platform. We’re currently building out some exciting presentations on Ingage and our goal is to provide content that helps reps master their pitch so they don’t have to become subject matter experts on financing options. With this content, we’re hoping to see that financing conversation flows a little easier so that reps can get a “yes” right at the kitchen table.
Ingage: We’re excited to have some more of your content on our Marketplace soon! In terms of some of those contractors you were talking about, we know some may be weary of adopting new finance options. What would you say to them?
1&Fund: When we look at the industry today, we can see that affordability matters more now than ever. People want to hold onto the cash they have which means that leads are lighter and close rates are getting lower. If a business owner or contractor comes in and is worried about financing, we have to remind them that this is truly a necessity now and you’re doing a disservice to homeowners - and yourself - by not helping them find a way to pay for their projects.
We have each seen multiple businesses go through this process of putting off financing options and he has seen first-hand how these companies lose money because of it. We have to remember that consumers have endless options for purchasing everything today, and home improvement projects are no different. It’s a critical part of growing and scaling your business.
Ingage: Finally, looking ahead, what are some trends you think contractors should be focusing on right now?
1&Fund: There are two things to watch out for right now, the first being lead gen. The salmon run isn’t what it was a few years ago, which isn’t to say it’s bad, but you need to make sure that your process is tight. It’s all about maximizing the tools you have and working smarter to go after these homeowners who are willing to put work into their homes as long as they have the financial support to do so. The second is to take things back to basics and really focus on your sales process. As our partner, Jennifer Lau-Hatcher likes to say “consistency + efficiency = growth,” and if the tools you’re using don’t support that, then you need to make a change. Of course, Ingage and 1 & Fund are perfect for any toolkit to ensure your team gets to where you want them to be so you can build growth!
Find out what 1 & Fund can do for your company by signing up for a demo today!
About 1 & Fund
1 & Fund is your finance manager in a Box! 1 & Fund was founded by home improvement experts who understand the front and back end of your business to make consumer financing work for you. You get expert passion, advocacy, and training for your business at no cost to you. New services include exclusive leads, CFO and collections resources, sales training and more helping grow the value of your business even faster! Open More Doors and Close More Sales with 1 & Fund!