Water Fed Pole Trends

This report is written to identify water fed pole trends and highlight the key indicators of major growth in industry. It also examines the relationship between water fed poles and the growth of the window cleaning services. Heads up, the majority of this information was found through Google Trends*.

The first indicator of increased demand (across the entire window cleaning industry) comes from the following image.

Water Fed Pole Canadian TrendsThe first thing that jumps off the page is the growth of overall searches. From 2004 to 2020 (Canada) we see the total searches relating to window cleaner/cleaning increasing dramatically. In fact, there is over 100% growth, visible on both the peaks and troughs.

Beyond this, we see that it still follows a seasonal peak and trough pattern. The peaks and troughs have both increased over this time. This indicates healthy industry growth across the board.

Then we add in a comparison term “house cleaning” and see the home services industry as a whole is experiencing growth.

Water Fed Pole Trends in CanadaWe also see that house cleaning is more consistent throughout the year. However, the window cleaning growth substantially surpasses the growth of house cleaning. This indicates that both services exist in a growing market, with window cleaning growing at a faster rate. Consider window cleaning search volumes will now consistently outnumber house cleaning searches in peak season, even though the total number of window cleaning searches is only 66% of house cleaning.

As a company that has been operating in the home services industry in Ontario since 2012, our anecdotal evidence supports these trends. We have seen an increase in the number of home service companies, and this trend has continued every year we have been in operation.

USA Window Cleaning Trends

We also see that this trend exists across Canadian and US markets without much variance.

Water Fed Pole Trends USAIn the US market, the biggest difference is the relative search volume of “house cleaning”. It dwarfs comparative searches in Canada. This is true even after equalizing relative size differences of the populations (see below).

Water Fed Pole Trends USAThe growth in these areas indicates to our company the significant opportunity in the market. This is because we have identified multiple revenue streams to grow.

Water Fed Pole Opportunities Available

The first revenue stream comes from providing the window cleaning/house cleaning service. This is something we already operate and grow every year. We have franchise opportunities available.

The second revenue stream comes from offering homeowners a product to conduct the cleaning themselves. It comes in the form of a consumer-grade water fed pole. Currently, there is no consumer-grade water fed pole. The closest you can get on the market are 15ft poles (USD $215337) and 20ft poles (USD $383).

The average homeowner will require a pole with a reach of 25-30ft to clean the outside of their home. The cheapest options available at this length are USD $500

There is no water fed pole product offering for homeowners. Currently, professional window cleaners are the market.

You can be successful just selling to window cleaners. The largest supplier/manufacturer of water fed poles in the United States generates estimated yearly revenue of $22M (Tucker). However, Tucker is not looking at their biggest opportunity – homeowners in the United States.

For instance, when we were looking at “house cleaning” in the United States, the number of searches was staggeringly large. There is demand for a homeowner water fed pole – it just doesn’t exist at the right price point currently.

Commercial Water Fed Poles 

Water fed pole technology was created in the UK after they outlawed the use of ladders. Water fed pole is the industry standard in the UK now. Similarly, the transition to this technology has started to occur in our market, but it has not become the industry standard in North America, yet. Given the long-run cost savings it provides to businesses, it is only a matter of time. I can speak from personal experience with cost reduction strategies for our company Elite Window Cleaning. Water fed pole continues to be a major reason the Elite Window Cleaning brand is been successful. This is true from the perspective of marketing, operations and bottom-line.
 
The high initial cost of switching to water fed pole for businesses is a hurdle in this transition. It can cost thousands to set up a system as opposed to hundreds for a squeegee, bucket and ladder. Assuming continued growth and saturation in the industry, competition will increase and profits will begin the shrink as prices become more competitive. This will push service providers to reduce their cost or close shop. The survivors will have to use water fed pole to maintain healthy margins. These are all anecdotal trends that we have observed first hand through the owning and operating of window cleaning businesses across Ontario and Florida (closed due to Covid).
 
The third and final revenue stream comes from offering a competitively priced commercial water fed pole. The products on the commercial market currently are overpriced, under delivering and lacking variety. We believe 3-4 strategically positioned water fed poles (mix of professional and consumer) could dramatically shift the market.
 

Water Fed Pole Trends Final Thoughts

By pushing a water fed pole on the homeowner market, one is able to accelerate the rate of change in the window cleaning industry over the same area. This is done by creating a consumer demand for water fed pole where the current demand is just for “clean windows”. By pushing water fed pole from both ends of the industry, we believe the industry can be grown larger than the scope of current offerings.
 
This trend will occur “naturally” in the market over the coming years, but we believe it can be accelerated by addressing the discussion points in this report.
 
Notes: *(Google Trends has to be one of the most interesting services Google offers for free. I recommend it wholeheartedly to any curious mind.)

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