Solar Builder

MAR-APR 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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SOLARBUILDERMAG.COM | 27 so helps ensure that we have a greater likelihood of a high quality pool of customers on behalf of our capital providers." But wait, there is more to a financial provid- er's value than just loan terms. Each of the lend- ers mentioned here have added value services for approved solar contractors in their network. Spruce offers a cool value-added service called SourceDirect. Through SourceDirect, Spruce supports the working capital needs of solar contractors by offering discounted equip- ment that is drop-shipped to installation sites. This program provides a savings opportunity on equipment, shipping and inventory costs. Solar contractors that can successfully offer a variety of flexible payment terms are going to be able to sell more systems to more customer seg- ments. "Removing friction," is how Fawcett termed it, and just as key as the number of easy- to-understand financing options is the speed from application to approval. Part of this is each lender's application approval process but also the software platform that supports the application. Whether over the phone or inside the cus- tomer's home using a tablet or smartphone, a sales person can walk a buyer through the Mosaic platform portal and move from applica- tion to approval in seconds, essentially. "If things don't happen instantaneously and in electronic fashion, there's an opportunity for the customer to shop around or change their mind," Fawcett says. "We're transparent and upfront about what our product does and what it costs. By providing a better solar sales rep and homeowner experience through our technology platform, contractors utilizing Mosaic financing will often see as much as a 30 percent increase in conversion, which leads to more sales and lower customer acquisition costs." EnerBank offers the same streamlined mobile flexibility with its products. "Information can be entered quickly by scanning any state issued ID," Harris says. "The customer can receive a credit decision on the app, or if they prefer, they always have the option to transfer their application to a live lending specialist. Either way, the homeowner receives a credit decision within minutes." In summation: Rising tides lift all boats for sure, but the boats with holes in the bottom will still sink. Strengthening your solar installation business with the services and networks available in the market today will only help solidify your business and the solar industry as a whole. Chris Crowell is the managing editor of Solar Builder.

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