Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JUL 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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> by Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA Above Since many pool builders use 3D landscape design software, contractors can facilitate stronger partner- ships with them by doing the same. Use of this technology will also help contractors differentiate themselves from competitors and can be used as a marketing tool to custom- ers they deal with directly. Below Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA, has been a registered landscape architect for over 30 years. She is registered in both N.C. and S.C. and has her own private practice design firm in the Greensboro, N.C. area. I In the current highly competitive landscape industry, attracting new customers is always a challenge. Forming strategic partnerships with other professionals can create long-term com - pany growth, but are also a challenge. Land- scape architects and contractors are increasing- ly leveraging the power of technology to make their businesses more efficient and to tap into new markets. For instance, 3D landscape de - sign software will allow contractors to further differentiate themselves from their competitors and secure long-lasting partnerships with an - other industry partner – the pool builder. Currently, in the U.S., pool construction is a $9 billion industry employing approximately 48,000 people in over 13,000 businesses. In 2018, 19 million people in the U.S. reported owning a pool or spa. According to IBIS Re - search, although the pool construction indus- try was in decline during the economic recov- ery after the recession, demand for swimming pools is now trending upward. Further, their research showed that as market conditions in the residential construction industry rebound - ed, demand for new swimming pools by home- owners also increased. The rise in home val- ues during the recovery has also encouraged homeowners to further invest in their home's value by adding a swimming pool. The current status of the pool construction industry for 2018-2019 is strong. Many pool builders, who are also trying to streamline their processes and provide value to their customers, are turning to strategic partnerships to accomplish that goal. A recent survey from Aqua Magazine showed that 80% of pool builders who collaborate with other professionals do so with landscape contractors. It is to these professionals' benefit to create an environment that allows this collaboration to flourish. 3D landscape design software is one technol - ogy that could facilitate this partnership. Since this technology is used by most pool builders for pool design and construction drawings, it creates a unique opportunity. The use of this technology by landscape contractors creates a distinct selling proposition that allows them to form strategic partnerships with pool builders. "Pool Studio" by Structure Studios, is current - ly used by 48 out of the 50 top pool builders in the U.S. according to the company. Other landscape and pool design software includes Pro Contractor Studio by Software Republic, Realtime Landscaping Architect by Idea Spec - trum and PoolDraw by BHold- ings, LLC. There are many additional reasons that 3D imaging soft - ware can benefit the landscape contractor in their new part - nership with the pool builder: • 3D design software offers automated tools that stream - line the design process and speed up design time. Changes to designs can be made much easier and in much less time. 22 LC DBM Using 3D Design to Connect Landscape Contractors to Pool Builders

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