Who Are Our Customers?
Re-Bath faces minimal competition as it sets sights on the lucrative middle-class and upper-middle-class segments
As the world’s largest bathroom remodeling franchise, Re-Bath has remodeled millions of bathrooms since our founding in 1979 and can help owners looking for how to grow a bath remodeling business. As we’ve grown to nearly 150 locations open or in development around the United States, our commitment to innovation has kept us well ahead of market trends, winning us new Re-Bath customers and keeping the old ones coming back.
Re-Bath is ramping up for a rapid expansion; we plan to grow to 400 franchise locations in the coming years. The bathroom remodeling market has never been hotter, worth an estimated $15 billion, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Re-Bath has a plan to capture an outsized share of that revenue by squarely targeting the middle class.
“With the advent of our natural stone product, we’re moving upstream and into a market where there isn’t significant competition,” says Brad Hillier. “We’re targeting the middle class and upper-middle class and going after the $300,000-$400,000 homes, which is where our natural stone product belongs. Our franchisees are seeing our new product offerings really pay off — it used to be that our average ticket was about $7,500. Now we’re seeing tickets of $10,000 to $12,000.”
If we think about the market in three categories — low-income, middle/upper-middle income, and high-income — only the massive middle class segment has not yet been captured. That leaves the middle-class segment ripe for a nationally known brand like Re-Bath to dominate. In this segment, our only competition is small-time general contractors who do not have the name recognition, corporate infrastructure, and access to products to compete with Re-Bath.
Re-Bath wins business with ease
The bathroom remodeling industry is experiencing a boom caused by the abundance of aging homes in the marketplace, which is projected to extend the bathroom remodeling boom for decades to come. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, reports that an unprecedented number of American homes are either in or entering the apex of their remodeling years.
“Typical Re-Bath customers are college-educated women, ages 45 and up, with annual incomes averaging $75,000,” says Curtis Ray, Director of Production for Re-Bath. “We’re really appealing to the Baby Boomers and those who are in the ‘aging in place’ segment. They’re requiring assistance, and we have the product offering to make aging in place a reality.”
With a relationship with Home Depot, one of the largest home improvement retail chains, our franchise owners have kiosks in more than 900 Home Depot locations, which is a huge help for those looking at how to grow a bath remodeling business. Home Depot chose Re-Bath as its preferred brand for remodeling work, and this relationship affords our franchisees instant credibility and access to the high traffic that frequents Home Depot stores. Many of our franchisees generate 40 percent to 80 percent of their business from their kiosks in Home Depot locations.
“There is also a huge opportunity for repeat business,” Brad says. “Even if you buy a very expensive home, the products that general contractors are using are generally inexpensive, low-quality materials. Our customers typically remodel their guest bathroom first, as there is a sense of shame from keeping a bathroom designed for guests that isn’t as beautiful as it can be. Once they hire a Re-Bath bathroom remodel franchisee to do their guest bathroom, they hire us again to do their master bathroom and the other bathrooms in their house.”
Re-Bath is a best-bet investment in a booming industry
The remodeling industry is booming, and Re-Bath has benefited immensely from homeowners who are wisely reinvesting in their homes rather than participating in a housing market that is struggling to find its footing after the Great Recession. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University reports that homeowners spent $195 billion on home improvement projects in 2013, $15 billion of which was spent on bathroom remodeling projects. The center, which conducts unbiased and continual analysis of the industry, notes that the home improvement industry was largely unaffected by the Great Recession, and indeed, in some ways, benefitted from the economic downturn.
The JCHSHU makes the case that the construction industry and retail housing market took big blows during the Great Recession, and the two industries remain in a struggle to find their footing in 2015. The home improvement industry is seeing the opposite effect because many who might have otherwise bought new homes chose instead to reinvest in their current homes:
“And many households that might have traded up to more desirable homes during the downturn decided instead to make improvements to their current homes. Meanwhile, federal and state stimulus programs encouraged homeowners and rental property owners to invest in energy-efficient upgrades that they might otherwise have deferred. Finally, many rental property owners, responding to a surge in demand from households either facing foreclosure or nervous about buying amid the housing market uncertainty, reinvested in their units.” (JCHSHU, “Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market,” 2015, pg.1)
With the flood of people choosing to reinvest in their homes, the JCHSHU reports that “the home improvement industry could easily post record-level spending in 2015.”