People are very deal-conscious, and that has definitely enhanced our off-season programs more than ever. Very early in the year or late in the year, a lot of people want to know what our off-season programs are going to be. It used to be that a customer would say, “I’m not going to swim in the fall, so I don’t want to buy it then.” Now they are saying, “If that’s when I get the deal, that’s when I want to do it.”
Last year, it was around a 15-percent increase in off-season sales compared with the year before. It was a big notch. So we stayed busy through the fall and all the way through winter. But we don’t know how much of it was demand and how much was the weather, because the weather was so much better.
We will do even more deals than ever in the fall. We’re going to do everything we can in our dead time. We try to give them things that would enhance their pool and make them more valuable, but still give us the base price for what we need to make on our margins.
We try to work with our subcontractors so it’s not just us sacrificing. If they want to stay busy with us, we will discount things that aren’t as difficult for them. For example, stamped concrete: It doesn’t take a lot more time to stamp a deck than to broom it off, but it’s perceived as a lot of value. So the sub will up part of his money on it. So we give, the subcontractor gives, and there’s a lot of value to the customer. We’ve taken off the extra, so it doesn’t cost us as much as if we just discounted the pool itself. We’re not going to compromise the quality of the pool in any way.