Fiberglass Pools Gain More Market Share with Educated Consumers
Having been in this business for almost 10 years now, it's absolutely unbelievable just how much the inground swimming pool market has changed during this time. This trend was made even more evident to me when I recently sat down with a customer in Baltimore Maryland, who, by all intents and purposes, was a self-taught fiberglass pool expert.
For the sake of privacy, I'll refer to the lady as ‘Renee' in this article.
For many months now, Renee has been scouring the internet doing research on swimming pools. Recently, when her and her husband finally decided it was time to actually have a pool installed, they focused even further on what type of pool to choose and with whom they wanted to entrust their backyard. And with such an outstanding amount of research, Renee knew that a fiberglass pool would clearly be her choice for this important investment. And what brought her to this conclusion? Well she thoroughly understood her goals for this swimming pool project would be as follows:
- A pool that would last forever without big expenses down the road
- As little maintenance as possible
- A visual enhancement to her backyard that would be consistent with her home's aesthetics
And because she was looking for a small to medium size, Renee understood overwhelmingly that fiber glass was going to be her choice. At that point, it was just a matter of choosing the right manufacturer and the right builder.
More Consumer Tools
In the past, most consumers didn't necessarily know how to research fiberglass pool manufacturers as well as builders. But today, with more and more educational consumer blogs popping up all over the internet, as well as a significant amount of pool/spa forums designed to promote conversation on the product, consumers are now light years ahead of where they were just a few years ago.
In the past, I would meet with a homeowner and spend most of my time teaching them the differences between Vinyl, Fiberglass, and Concrete Pools. Now, instead of teaching, I'm listening to them tell me what they want, why they want it, and how they want it to be done. And let me tell you, this type of informed consumer really, really gets me excited.
For example, my friend Renee not only knew she wanted a fiberglass pool, but she also knew that she wanted it to be backfilled with gravel, not sand. (In fact, she finds it hilarious that some slower-minded individuals in the pool industry still subscribe to a sand base and backfill). Renee was quite aware of the differences in pool color finishes, materials, and patio options. And finally, Renee was well cognoscente of what manufacturers have shown financial stability, as well as the ones that have experienced financial disaster due to poor business models and management practices.
Seeing the Big Picture
All this being said, Renee was really the exact type of customer I get excited to work with when it comes to a swimming pool project-informed, able to see the big picture, and concerned enough to do all the necessary leg work (research).
But getting back to my original point, the experience with Renee was perfectly analogous to the great movement that is happening within the swimming pool industry. No longer do consumers simply base their decisions on initial price, what their neighbor has, or what their parents had growing up. Yep, today's swimming pool consumer chooses their own path through diligent research and an understanding of the good, the bad, and the ugly of all their possible choices. And by so doing, they are able to, just as Renee did, make a decision that will bring them joy and happiness for many years to come.