Just one year ago, Alair had recently crossed the U.S. border, aiming to leverage its booming growth in its native Canada and take advantage of the expansion opportunities presented by the fragmented U.S. housing market. One year later, those efforts in America are already paying big dividends.
Since implementing aggressive American development plans in late 2015, Alair has quickly added to the success it built in its initial U.S. foray in the Phoenix market last year, adding offices in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and additional offices in Arizona in just the last 12 months. The brand also recently launched a new recruiting team focused on using Alair’s proprietary Client Control™ method to convert already successful local contractors to join the brand.
“We have seen great success by focusing on those conversions with those who already have established themselves as successful quality contractors in the markets they serve, and we think that’s the most effective way Alair should be growing,” said the brand’s chief development officer Rob Cecil. Combining that experience with the credibility of Alair and the proven success of our business model is a winning combination that is helping us to reach our development goals going into 2017.”
If 2016 is any indication, it’s clear that Alair is well on its way to not only hitting that goal, but surpassing it, too. Alair closed out last year by opening eight new regional territories in seven new sites. Combined, these new regions are scheduled to add more than 132 offices in the next six years. Additionally, system-wide, Alair’s contracting volume in 2016 over 2015 increased by 72 percent in Canada and over 234 percent in the U.S. System-wide revenue saw a significant increase, too—well over 100 percent for the third straight year.
“That’s aggressive for a brand that has 90 offices open now, but that’s how much we’re seeing demand for our services,” Cecil said. “We are seeing extremely rapid growth on both sides of the border driving this. This year, we’re already expecting our unit count and system revenue to, once again, increase substantially. During the first quarter alone, we secured five new regional territories.”
In the summer of 2016, for example, Alair made its debut in Charlotte, North Carolina with the help local owners Duane Johns and Roger Ketchum—a region that was in need of a trusted innovator in home and construction design.
“Simply put, Alair is doing something no one else in the industry is doing—combining the shared knowledge and experience of the top contractors in North America with a unique system of transparency for customers. As we learned more about the value this system would bring to both my existing project managers and our customers, the choice to become Alair’s newest partner became an easy one,” Johns said. “Our drive to provide outstanding experiences for every client and the determination to improve the overall construction process led us to join Alair, a team that offers a higher level of transparency and unparalleled customer satisfaction. With the support of Alair’s national team of experts, we’re ready to take the next step, expand our business model and help even more homeowners in Charlotte to realize their dreams.”
Johns, Ketchum and countless other Alair partners all agree that the brand’s Client Control method remains one of its biggest differentiation point. Through a combination of transparency, proprietary design software and unparalleled communication, the brand empowers clients to control each and every stage of the construction process, providing data down to the cost mark-up level that competitors simply choose not to share.
“We have seen the proof that putting the power into the hands of our clients ultimately makes for a stronger brand connection. Those connections are critical, because the reality is: there is pent up demand for housing across the country. Millennials are buying and building much more than people predicted they would. They’re buying old and immediately renovating, so that’s providing a huge opportunity for growth in the renovation market. It’s supply and demand, particularly in urban markets, and we are tapping into that massive growth in a way no one else is,” stated Adam McCaa, Alair’s chief communications officer.
Alair also points to a recovering U.S. housing market as reason for even stronger optimism for the year ahead.
The S&P Homebuilders ETF has been on a steady rise since a mid-November report showed U.S. housing starts surged to a nine-year high in October. Housing starts, which measure the number of new residential construction projects in a reported month, are a leading indicator of strength in the housing sector, and October estimates thoroughly beat expectations, landing more than 25 percent above the September measurement and 23 percent above October 2015's rate.
“The market itself is growing, and those who are ready to take advantage of that are primed for quick success,” McCaa said. “Alair is in the perfect position to grab new market share, and make 2017 the best year yet in our push to build new growth.”