Painting Contractors: Here’s What You Need to Know About Medical Office Painting
I want to share a story with you.
About 7 years ago, I got called in to quote a medical office; 7 years later and we’ve worked for them every year.
In fact, in the last 2 years, we haven’t even provided a quote first to repaint the medical office. They know, like, and trust us. So before every 4th of July, they call me and say, “Don’t forget to put us on the calendar for the week of the 4th.”
We put them on the calendar and touch base 2-3 weeks ahead of time. Then we paint and bill them afterward.
Other medical offices call us and schedule ahead of time for Christmas week, because they are closed at this time, too.
We repaint these buildings year after year… and we don’t discount our prices. (Never discount your prices, but I will get into that in another blog post.)
This is a service we provide for them where they know they can count on us to do a great job, keep them in the loop, and provide the service at a time that is convenient for them, aka: when they are closed for holidays.
How do you get into such work? Who do you contact? Good questions.
Here’s what we are going to cover:
– who is the decision maker for medical office repaints
– how to tell if this is a good fit for your company
– how big is the market for medical office repaints
– some pros and
– some cons
– and 1 KEY QUESTION that will set you above the competition
So, who is the decision maker?
Many times, the office managers usually are the ones making the phone calls to get quotes and then making the decision on who is going to be hired. If not the office manager, they definitely have a lot of input on that decision.
Try this: Why not drop off a gift basket of 100 Grand Candy Bars (you can get them right on Amazon!) with a card that says, “I may not be able to give you a raise in salary, but here’s a basket full of 100 Grand bars to let you know our community is thankful to have your staff working to keep us healthy! Thank you for all that you do!” ~Sincerely, Ron of Ramsden Painting, sharing this great community with you
Tip: be thankful. Who else can you thank for being a great contributor in your community? Reach out and thank them. Look for nothing in return.
Okay, let’s move on to see how we can tell if medical office repaints is a good fit for you…
Good fit for you?
These might be a great addition to your current residential painting services if:
#1: It is very similar to your repaints – aka, you are a residential painter.
Medical offices are typically looking to have their walls and doors and sometimes trim painted fresh yearly. Very rarely is there a ceiling repaint requested. Hardly ever is there baseboard work because they typically have rubber base in medical offices.
You see, the jobs are very manual both in hours and cost and it is not a big risk of a change. As we said, you are used to doing this kind of work and it fits right in with the walls and trims, so it is actually a fairly easy job.
These might be a great addition to your current residential painting services if:
#2: Your Holidays are slower times for you.
Medical offices typically need their fresh coat of repaint done during holidays (when the offices are closed) and this happens to be most residential painting contractors slower times.
Wouldn’t you agree, most holiday weeks are hard to schedule work for?
It’s rare to find “Holly the Homeowner” jumping to have her home in disarray for repaint while she is hosting her family party.
I don’t know about you, but when we are about to host our family, cleaning can turn from a happy “whistle while you work” to hearing a blaring steam engine whistle coming out of mom’s ears, if it appears we aren’t all helping out to make the home spick and span for our family! I’m sure no one else can relate. 😉
So let’s move from complaining about the work slowing down and work being so cyclical to asking ourselves, “Who actually NEEDS to have work done at this time? Who would actually benefit most from us helping them repaint at this time?
Where the work is slowing down residentially, there is much work to be done in medical office buildings.
It could be the 4th of July week, the middle of winter, or Christmas week when these offices have to close and also have to have their office freshly repainted. We can be the hero and help others in their time of need. Homeowners when they are not having company and medical office buildings when they are closed for holidays.
How Big Is The Market?
Nationwide, there are approximately 230,187 doctor’s offices.
How many can you count that you typically drive by in a day? I’ll bet you can count 5 or 6 just on your commute from home to the Chamber of Commerce in your town. (You are a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, right? #NetworkingShouldBeFun)
There are around 186, 000 dental offices.
Have you noticed the urgent care facilities popping up all around? Last year, there were 7,100 of them in the United States.
I know where I live, they are building some more right now. That’s probably true for you, too.
The Traffic to These Medical Offices.
According to my sources, doctor’s offices had 883 million visits last year.
Dentist’s office, I don’t have a number, but they say 64%, all adult visits the dentist, so that’s a lot of adults and that’s a lot of visits and I know my doctor has us coming in twice a year.
Urgent care facilities, which is a new one on the block, had 160 million patients last year, that’s at least 160 million visits.
When you start thinking of this, what does that mean?
Wear and tear. With all the people walking in through the door, they are using the doors, bumping the trim, using the bathrooms, perhaps adjusting a chair and accidentally hitting the wall, etc.
Next time you visit the doctor, just take a look at the walls, trim, and doors.
You’ll notice there is a lot of wear and tear and those have to be repainted and kept fresh.
Pros and Cons of Doing Medical Office Repaints
• All surgical facilities go through yearly inspections, done by the state. The last thing they want to do during their inspection is failed because of dirt, chipped paint, and things like that –they want this facility to look fresh. And, really, so do us, consumers. Who wants to go to a doctor who has dirty floors and doesn’t keep the walls and doors clean and fresh? Yeah…no, thanks, for me.
• It’s a non-emotional service purchase. This is huge. Unlike a residential repaint where they are emotionally involved with color, will your crew be courteous, will you keep their dog, Fluffy, inside and not let him escape, does it fit their budget? This is usually a checkmark on their to-do-list.
• Faster payment than commercial painting –which is important to avoid cash-flow issues.
• Often, the owner of these medical offices has not just one, but they might have multiple offices in nearby towns as well.
• You have to get in touch with the office manager, through the gatekeeper.
• Your crew is working off-hours –like during holiday weeks, the actual holiday itself, or nights and weekends.
How Do You Stand Out?
Offer unique paint options. Be familiar with the new anti-bacterial paints out there and be ready to educate the office manager on how it can promote health to the actual staff, not just the patients.
What we find is a lot of these office managers have never heard about this, so educate yourself and then be ready to educate your clients.
Be available and flexible
One of the other ways to sell ourselves is our availability and our flexibility to work around their schedule.
In fact, one of our latest offices, we did some off-hours, but most of the time we were willing to work with them in their schedule. They shut down certain offices and sections of offices, so the only time we had to work off-hours was when we re-painted the waiting room.
Keep Track of Their Paints and Colors
Another way to stand out is to bring in a consultant for the paint color and also keep track of their paints. No one wants to keep track of all the details for repainting once a year. Be the solution. Keep track of this for them and make sure you let them know that you are providing this for them – proving added value built in if they go with your company.
What I find is a lot of these office managers call me up and they say, “…the same colors as last year.”
If you have a shop, you can just keep the extra paint at your shop, because they won’t know where it is the next time you go over there. Again, let this build value into your proposal and let them know how you’ve “got their back” by keeping their extra paint for them.
Observe Your Timelines
Another way to stand out is to guarantee them that when they open up the next morning, they are not going to see that you were even there. Let them know it’s going to be clean –use a paper floor coverings, vacuum up after yourself – make it beautiful and let them know they can expect this from your company. Again, this adds value into your proposal and helps make the decision to hire you an easy one.
Additional Work Opportunities with Medical Painting
Once the painting is completed, let them know if they ever need a touch-up, you offer this great service called “Painter for the Day” and it will be especially easy since you are keeping the paint colors and any left over paint. Inform them of the great value for this handy service for them.
After you have done the initial painting, and they are raving fans, you can offer them a yearly contract.
Set a price ahead of time. You can use the same price as you have done or do a monthly price. Either way, let them know the options and the price and value you bring, so they can actually plan ahead of time what it is going to cost for their budget.
As I mentioned before, generally, these doctors own multiple locations, in different cities, and all the cities are fairly close. They don’t go very far, but they want to make sure that they can cover a larger area than just one office. You can make sure that their offices look congruent. Same color, same style, etc.
How to Take Advantage of These Opportunities
- Who is going to do the cold call?
- Are you going to do it in-house?
- Are you going to do it yourself?
- Are you going to have one of your sales people do it?
- Or you are going to have an outside service do it?
This is something you have to think about.
If you are going to write the script, it might include questions like:
- What is the current process for selecting a maintenance contractor?
- Who would be responsible to oversee this process?
- Who is the person you need to talk to?
- When was the last time it was painted?
It’s kind of funny, sometimes the office manager would say, “We don’t remember, it has been this color ever since we moved in…”
Also, make sure you ask this KEY QUESTION:
Do you have any current needs at this time?
They might be looking for an estimate right now on something small. Perhaps a “Painter for a Day” would really be beneficial to them and they will remember your kindness in getting this situation taken care of for them so quickly.
Then, ask them if you could email them a list of maintenance tips you have put together that others find really helpful. Put them on a separate listing in your database, so you can send them industry-specific items.
You want to follow-up, of course, with a phone call. Make sure you ask them if it is okay to follow up on _______(name a specific date and time!!)___. Then follow up as promised.
If the cold calling isn’t for you, have a salesperson do it or outsource it to a virtual assistant.
Create a postcard targeted to that service industry in your area.
Put a budget together for this. It is going to take some time, so block out some time, and invest some money on direct mail.
You can use in-house labor or use a virtual assistant. So, there’s a little additional cost there.
Just make sure you are always, always, always, tracking the ROI of ANY marketing you do.
How Do You Develop Your List?
You are going to have to determine the target market that you want to go after, the targets being: dentists, urgent care facility, eye doctors, chiropractors, hospitals, etc.
For hospitals, just remember that you are going to need a larger crew and they are a little slower to pay than the dentists, eye doctors, and such.
What I found with this list, the ones who require painting more often are the dentists, the eye doctors, and the urgent care facilities.
You can always do a Google search, and you can always put a list together that way.
Now, it is in your hands, give these tips a try.
Also, please share with us your journey, we would love to hear from you.