Pool/spa service franchiser Pool Scouts has rolled out an initiative to enter the construction market.
It joined fellow service franchiser America’s Swimming Pool Company, which made a similar announcement last month as well.
Pool Scouts' new construction services, collectively marketed as PoolCare+, will include renovations, as well as installation of vinyl liners and safety covers.
With the new-pool market slowing, Pool Scouts is banking on an uptick in renovations.
"It looks like it’s going to be a good, strong renovation market, and we also are experiencing strong growth, so this strategically makes a lot of sense for us," said Pool Scouts President Michael Wagner.
The company largely made this move to take advantage of its brand recognition and considerable customer list and perform more like turn-key operations.
“We have a large base of recurring customers, and we’re in their backyards every single week,” Wagner said. “I think the market for pool renovations is going to be robust for the next couple years, so this is a good opportunity to leverage these customer relationships.”
Renovations combined with vinyl-liner and safety-cover installation will be provided under the new PoolCare+ brand offered by Pool Scouts.
"It’s an opportunity for our franchisees to expand their service offerings and a way to continue to own the relationship with the customer by working with great partners and creating a win/win opportunity for these referral partners," Wagner said.
While some locations will sell and even construct their own renovation projects, most will either sell the jobs then subcontract the work, or form referral agreements with local contractors to handle both the management and site work. Some of these partners work across several states, such as Pearl Pool Plastering, which operates under several brands across seven states. Pool Scouts has partnered with another contractor that will handle its Texas customers. All partners are vetted by Pool Scouts’ corporate team to ensure the subs make a good fit for the whole company.
On the other hand, liner and cover installations will be performed both by PoolScouts franchisees and referred subcontractors.
“It depends on the desire of the franchisee and their skill set,” Wagner said.
The company has offered one training so far on these skills, and plans more in the future. Those who want to handle liner replacements on their own, for instance, are being trained on measuring and replacing liners, as well as refinishing the surface under them and performing any prep work that might be needed on the panels. Franchisees who plan to install covers in-house are being trained on measurement and installation. Pool Scouts expects six of its franchisees to offer these services by year’s end.
The franchiser expects to offer training for performing certain renovations in the future, Wagner said.
While the company is researching other backyard-related services to offer, Wagner said, it does not expect to enter new-pool construction.
Pool Scouts currently has 78 locations owned and operated by 47 unique franchisees across 16 states. It expects to have worked on approximately 15,000 pools by year's end.