COVID-19 has turned the world upside down this year, now Australians have a higher priority on home lifestyle and protecting their biggest investment – their home.
The past 6 months proving to be devastating for small and big businesses across the globe, the spread of the virus has seen highs and lows for businesses across Australia with online businesses and trades thriving and cafes and restaurant owners closing their doors.
The termite control industry has always been a busy business for professional pest control firms and has its highs and lows depending on seasons and rainfalls etc.
Since COVID-19 Pest-Ex has seen a large growth in the termite division of the business, we’ve been in the pest and termite control business for over 12 years and have an advanced CRM system that provides market trends from all our enquiries.
In 2020 from March to October we have seen a 30% increase in our termite division with increases across all termite services.
Termite Inspections – Up 33%
Termite Control– Up 21%
Termite Treatments (Termite baiting systems or barriers)- Up 34%
As the owner of the business I could clearly see an increase and was keen to see exactly why?
Why has COVID-19 had such an increase on our termite control services? I began to dive deep into the analytics side of the customer data and get a further understanding on why the reason for the increase.
There have been no climatic or abnormally wet seasons that would explain the high reasons for increase in termite services as in the past these climatic conditions have shown slight increases in the pest control business.
Our recent 3-month investigation has shown us some amazing results on why the increase on termite control services has occurred with homeowners.
Approximately 50% of our new clients requiring termite services including termite inspections or treatments where homeowners that were a “At home” during the pandemic. Most homeowners have been placed on job keeper and at home with a whole lot of extra time on their hands than in the past.
20% of new clients had found active termites in their home during DIY renovations or clean-ups around the home, most of these clients had never considered investing in a termite inspection before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
20% of new clients invested in a termite inspection or termite treatment on their property as they were aware of the risk of termites in the home but never got the time or money to spend on getting the service done, most homeowners dont even know how much does termite control cost. “Job keeper payments averaged $750 per week per person” Most couples at home during the pandemic now had a combined income of $1,500.00 per week with little to spend the new income on.
10% of clients had considered selling their property’s and a termite inspection was top priority for homeowners considering selling. An unknown housing marked caused slight panic and uncertainty on the home market with homeowners that had their jobs affected by the pandemic.
So… Has COVID-19 Really increased termite attacks?
We believe no, termites have always been a serious threat for homes and structures across Queensland for many years, our recent in depth research into the sudden growth of our termite side of the company has proven to be due to the following reasons.
- Homeowners are spending more time at home and around the gardens resulting in more termite attacks being found at earlier stages, the average damage bill for most clients was $7,000 or under, had COVID-19 not struck its assumed these clients would have not came across termites or considered a termite inspection therefore found the termites at a later stage with a lot more damage costs
- Homeowners are investing in small renovations or additions to their homes finding evidence of termites they would never know about previously.
- People in general have had the extra time and money on hand to invest in the protection or inspections of their home, after all their home is their castle and we have found more and more homeowners are investing in their homes
Is termite control a future proof business?
Yes, without a doubt pest control and termite control services are becoming top priority for homeowners in 2020, buyers nowadays are even well educated on the importance on pre purchase pest/termite inspections before they purchase a home, with housing pre purchase inspections also on the rise during the pandemic.
Going into 2021 we are predicting a 20% growth in the company with this rise in the termite division of Pest-Ex,
What have we learnt in our business from COVID-19 and how can we lead into the future post COVID-19.
- paperless reporting and digital solutions for clients are preferred now
- email conversations/live chat during bookings are on the rise by 18%
- the demand for electronic payments has increased 40% since 2019
- Cash payments are declining
We look forward to the new normal when the pandemic has passed, we feel the pandemic will never be completely gone as Australia’s small businesses will need to make changes to future proof of their business, after all were all on the journey into a new normal in 2021.