Many industries have changed significantly since 2019, and the pool service industry is no different. What customers want, how they shop for it, the materials and chemicals available, and labor availability have all changed drastically. While challenges have arisen along the way, the good news is that most pool and spa businesses have seen upticks in revenue due to these changes.
While keeping up with the onslaught of new business seems to be one of the primary problems many business owners are dealing with, there’s a lot more to the story. Keep reading to learn about 2022’s pool service industry market trends and insights.
Pool Service Industry Market Trends
Unsurprisingly, the biggest story in the pool service industry is how the pandemic has shifted, evolved, and expanded the landscape for pool service professionals. As a result, pool and spa businesses are finding that they are experiencing brand new opportunities and challenges alike. Here are the most important things happening in the industry today:
Most pool and spa businesses are experiencing an overall positive impact.
PoolPro recently reported that most pool and spa businesses are seeing an overall positive impact, with 64% of those surveyed seeing an increase in revenue. The downside to all this growth is that some businesses — 22% of those surveyed — had to downsize their service areas to keep up with demand. Most (43%) have seen a major increase in service accounts in the past year. With all the new pool installations over the past couple of years, the need for service will continue to rise.
Labor is in short supply while demand is high.
While demand for pools and spas continues to rise, finding consistent and reliable workers has become an ongoing challenge for many, with 66% responding that they’ve added to their teams in the past year. PoolPro interviewed Jared Tomlin of Blue Envy Professional Pool Service in Grand Island, Florida, who explained:
“I believe the biggest challenge has been, and will continue to be, finding consistent, reliable help. Most service companies I’ve talked to are struggling to find the employees needed to keep up with the demand for their services. Our business has dealt with that issue firsthand for several months.”
The ‘new normal’ includes trichlor and polyethylene/plastics shortages.
As demand soared, a hurricane and some freezing winter weather in the southern US created shortages of trichlor chlorine, polyethylene, and plastics. These shortages have increased lead times for consumers waiting for chemicals or materials for their new pools. PoolPro’s survey found that supply chain shortages impacted 91% of pool service industry businesses surveyed.
Rising energy and material costs are requiring many to pass price increases on to the consumer.
With supply shortages and demand rising, price increases on materials and increases in the cost of energy have forced many pool service industry businesses to raise their prices. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many consumers are willing to spend more to create the backyard oasis of their dreams. Plus, savvy pool and spa businesses that have raised their prices will likely enjoy larger profit margins for years as shortages subside.
Pool Service Industry Consumer Insights
Consumers want to create a complete backyard oasis.
The last couple of years made it more important than ever for consumers to design beautiful and luxurious spaces in the home. Especially as more people have transitioned to permanently working from home, they want their homes to be where they look forward to spending time. This desire isn’t limited to the interior of the house. Many consumers envision outdoor spaces that function like indoor spaces — as areas for fun, relaxation, and family gatherings.
Consumers today don’t just want a barbecue pit, a swimming pool, or a patio — they want all three and more to create a complete backyard living experience. Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, pavilions, and ample seating areas are all gaining popularity. They are also willing to invest more to create these spaces using the money they’ve saved by staying home rather than traveling. This is creating a lot of new opportunities for pool service businesses that offer a variety of outdoor amenities and services.
Consumers are willing to invest in add-on features to bring their favorite vacation destinations home.
As they are traveling less often, consumers are beginning to think about how they can bring their favorite travel destinations home. Rather than going to a tropical resort, they want to incorporate amenities like waterfalls, slides, and tiki bars into the swimming pool area. They’re also willing to spend more on practical features like advanced debris removal systems, in-floor circulation, and better lighting.
Fiberglass pools are attractive to consumers who want to save money and time.
Fiberglass can be an attractive alternative to concrete or vinyl thanks to its price and availability. In addition, because the manufacturing process is faster and installation is easier, consumers can often get a fiberglass pool cheaper and quicker than other options. Those advantages are especially useful right now while supply chain shortages are creating longer lead times.
Hot tubs are in high demand.
Just like pools, hot tubs and spas are seeing much higher demand. Improvements in product design like the new plug-and-play style have interested consumers with easier installation and lower price points. In addition, with consumers more focused on spending time with their families, larger spas that can accommodate more people have also become more attractive.
Pools and spas are increasingly seen as opportunities for aquatic fitness.
A renewed focus on health and wellness has been trending for years, and consumers are beginning to see how pools and spas can play a role. Aquatic fitness offers several benefits: better sleep, stress relief, faster athletic recovery, and more. As a result, swim spas have been seeing very high demand among those who want to bring the benefits of the gym pool home to get their exercise in.
Whatever changes come your way, you need software that brings together all aspects of your pool and spa business. RB’s all-in-one pool service business software is packed with features designed specifically to boost the profitability, efficiency, and overall success of your pool service business. With our software, you and your employees can spend less time on basic work tasks and more time providing top-notch customer experiences. Contact us today for a demo.