USA most popular home services

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Private home ownership is viewed by many Americans as a rite of passage. The stats bear this out – according to the Census Bureau, 64.5% of Americans, or over 210 million people, owned property in 2014.

This makes the American housing market one that is rife with opportunity. For example, a quick look at the numbers reveals how lucrative the home services industry is – according to market research firm IBISWorld, its value was estimated to be around $400 billion last year.

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From landscaping to home cleaning, there are a lot of firms making money in this industry. In this article, we’ll break down five home service market segments – we’ll talk about what each niche does, their biggest companies, and the revenue they generate annually.

Landscaping

A buyer’s first impression of a property is determined by its curb appeal. Despite this important fact, homeowners have gotten progressively busier in recent decades, leaving little time for yard work.

Increasingly, this responsibility has been picked up by landscaping companies. These firms offer a variety of services that contribute to the upkeep of properties – these include lawn maintenance, tree & bush pruning, planting, and the installation of centerpiece features. In winter, some firms offer snow removal and sidewalk maintenance.

Who are the biggest players in the American landscaping industry? In general, thousands of small businesses – over 72% of the market is held by these companies. These firms have built a loyal client base through hard work and referrals, making them a hard nut for medium/big businesses to crack.

Nonetheless, they have chipped away at that number – currently, bigger firms control 28% of the market. Leading firms include BrightView Landscapes, TruGreen, and Davey Tree Expert Company – while they do take on residential jobs, B2B contracts make up a considerable portion of the nearly $5 billion dollars in revenue they earn each year.

Taken together as a whole, landscaping companies big and small brought in roughly $93 billion during 2018 – this makes this market segment one of the most lucrative home service industries in America.

Cleaning

Juggling a career, family, and a social life can be obnoxiously hard. Somewhere along the way, many fall behind on household chores. To cope, a considerable number of households contract the services of a cleaning company.

These firms handle a wide array of tasks – these include vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, and emptying waste bins. However, most firms don’t handle intense cleaning tasks or any job that requires heavy lifting.

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As of 2018, the largest residential cleaning firms included ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Service Brands International, and The Maids. ServiceMaster is the undisputed leader in this space, commanding a 44% market share of the residential cleaning industry in 2016.

Collectively, cleaning firms are forecast to gross $65 billion in revenue in 2019, making them another home service industry with considerable liquidity.

Home warranties

The first time their roof springs a leak is usually when homeowners find out their insurance isn’t as comprehensive as they thought. Not wanting to be left in a tough spot, more than four million Americans have signed service contracts with a home warranty company.

In return for a monthly premium, these firms foot the majority of the bill for household repairs. They cover two main areas – appliance and system repairs. Appliances that are serviced by home warranty companies usually include refrigerators, stove/ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, washers, dryers, and others. They also fix systems like air conditioning, heating, electrical, plumbing, and water heaters.

Who leads the home warranty industry? American Home Shield holds a dominating 42% share of the market, with First American and Old Republic trailing at 11% and 9% respectively. A wide range of companies, like Select Home Warranty, LLC, are strong in specific regions of the country – these firms collectively make up 23% of the market.

As a whole, the home warranty industry generates $2 billion in revenue annually. While American household budgets are tight (40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency, according to the Federal Reserve), this bodes well for future growth. Given the choice between paying a $40 per month premium or going into debt to cover a $1,000+ repair bill, most would choose the former.

Home security

An unequal society is an insecure society. The states that ranked #1-3 in burglary rates (New Mexico, Mississippi, and Louisiana) all have high Gini (a measure of inequality) coefficient rates (#34, #44, and #49 respectively). While this isn’t a perfect correlation (New York State, a state with a low burglary rate, ranks #50), it underlines a central point – in societies where fewer people control more wealth, property crime tends to be higher.

We aren’t pointing a finger at the fortunate – this is simply meant to illustrate the need for home security in an increasingly unequal society. Additionally, media coverage of crime has exploded over recent decades, rising 600% from 1998 to 2008 – this has led to a heightened awareness of property crime.

Accordingly, an increasing number of Americans have installed security systems at home. According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, 17% of households had one in 2017. In 2017, ADT, Johnson Controls, and Vivint were the top home security companies in America. ADT controls nearly half the market in the USA, with Johnson Controls and Vivint having 16% and 10% respectively.

As an industry, home security companies took in an estimated $45 billion in revenue in 2017. This number is expected to surge to nearly $75 billion by 2023. Much of this growth is attributed to ongoing uncertainty surrounding the economy – this is expected to fuel fears of increasing property crime rates.

Moving

Every year, approximately 35.5 million Americans change their address. Whether they do so for work, to move into a purchased home, or to a better apartment, many require professional help to transfer their stuff to their new place.

These full-service firms take care of everything from heavy lifting to inventory. Even with short-distance moves, they save their customers from the physical toll of this task, as well as the disruption it can cause to their schedules.

The largest moving companies in America include United Van Lines, ABF U-Pac, and Atlas Van Lines. While market share information was not readily available, truck counts were – as of 2017, 1 in 4 moving trucks on American roads belonged to United, ABF accounted for just under 13%, while Atlas had 12.5%.

As an industry, moving firms racked up approximately $18 billion in revenues in 2018. If the economy continues to surge, this figure is expected to increase through 2019.

The expenses of homeownership create opportunities

Maintaining a home is not a cheap endeavour. It is estimated Americans spend up to 4% of the value of their home on maintenance every year. The median home value in the United States is $193,000 – that means about $7,720 is spent by the median homeowner on maintenance annually.

Multiply that by about 77 million owner-occupied homes, and it’s easy to see how the home services industry has done well in recent years. If you are an entrepreneur looking to get into this niche, there is plenty of revenue available for companies willing to innovate.