Pool builders across the country are reporting new activity on the commercial front.
The final quarter of 2011 brought a slight uptick in calls and
closings compared with 2010, and traffic appears to be holding
steady throughout the first weeks of the new year, they said.
“I’ve had three new commercial leads in the past three
days,” said Jeff Robinson, sales manager at Dolphin Pools and
Spas in Salt Lake City. “Clients seem increasingly willing to
spend some of the money they’ve been sitting on for the past
few years. Their confidence is definitely up.”
Companies across the Sunbelt place the year-over-year increase in
the 15- to 20 percent range, with some even pushing that number
into the upper 20s. Though many agree that it’s still too
early to predict any overall seasonal trends, numbers such as these
already are generating considerable optimism.
“I feel like we’re getting off to a much better start
this year,” said Steve Santoro, sales manager at Adams Pool
Solutions in Pleasanton, Calif. “A lot of new apartment
complexes are going up in my area, and health clubs and hotels are
also showing a lot more interest in adding new pools. There’s
a lot more work going on in the public sector right
The tight credit that has complicated financing over the past few
years seems to be holding steady, but the recent freeze on spending
appears to be thawing nonetheless. Builders chalk this up to an
economic climate that, while it still may be somewhat tense, offers
more wiggle room for private developers with money in the
“Over the past few years, everybody seemed to have developed
this philosophy that they had to keep their hands in their
pockets,” Robinson said. “But lately, clients are
becoming more comfortable with the idea of spending the cash
they’ve been sitting on.”
Though not all those clients have signed on the dotted line yet,
builders agree that serious buyers, rather than tire-kickers,
represent the majority of these new leads. In fact, potential
clients have increasingly been initiating sales inquiries, over the
phones and on the Web. Many companies report that one or more
strong new leads are calling in every day, which is a significant
improvement from the trickle that many had grown accustomed to in
the past few years.
Residential construction also seems to be off to a stronger
Though this year’s credit situation is still unfolding, calls
for new residential construction are on increase nationwide.
“You can usually tell if somebody’s kind of ‘just
wondering’ or if they‘re actually ready to buy,”
said Dave Allen, owner of Erickson Pools in Clermont, Fla.
“And the people who’ve been calling us this week seem
to fall into that ‘ready to buy’ category.”
If these trends keep holding steady — and so far, all signs
are pointing that way — builders are looking to a stronger
quarter for new construction and remodels. No one’s expecting
a pot of gold yet, but there’s no question this year’s
mood is an upbeat one.