SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

Yellow Pages Association

April 27, 2009 09:37 ET

Consumers Think Yellow for Greening the Lawn

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - Homeowners begin thinking more about landscaping each spring, but their lawn isn't the only green they're considering.

In addition to beautifying a yard, landscaping also can reduce energy consumption and increase property value. All of these reasons contribute to the May spike the Yellow Pages Association sees in usage of the "Lawn Maintenance," "Nurseries-Plants-Trees," "Landscape Contractors," and "Fence Contractors" headings (1).

Each of these headings draws in a different group of homeowners. But no matter what specific landscaping service the consumers are searching for, they are looking for local contractors (1) with the best reputation (2).

"Lawn care is a $40 billion industry and it is booming, even in this economy," said Vicki Bendure, spokeswoman for the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). "Consumers are forgoing travel and spending more on their homes and lawns."

Lawn Maintenance

The "Lawn Maintenance" heading receives more than 42 million references per year, and it ranks as the 54th most referenced heading out of over 4,000 (1). Usage peaks in the spring as keeping up the lawn becomes a priority for homeowners who feel a growing need to spend time outdoors relaxing.

"The best thing for homeowners to do at this time of year is to take inventory of their lawns, assess where improvements are needed, and then call a licensed professional to make those improvements," Bendure said.

Nurseries-Plants-Trees

Installing strategic landscaping can reduce a homeowner's annual heating and cooling costs by absorbing the sun's heat in summer and providing protection from the wind in the winter. This heading annually sees more than 27 million users, some of whom are seeking shade plants, which can reduce a home's air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent (2).

"To protect your home from winter winds, plant evergreens where the wind is strongest," Bendure said. "And any plants or trees added around the home will absorb heat and keep homes cool."

Landscape Contractors

Landscaping can pad a homeowner's pocket another way -- by improving a property's resale value. A landscaping investment can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200 percent when a home is sold, and it can add anywhere from 7 to 15 percent to a home's value (2). Each year, more than 68 million customers use the "Landscape Contractors" heading, which ranks as the 29th most referenced Yellow Pages heading (1). Young couples who have owned their home for fewer than three years are the most common users (1).

"Home sellers need good curb appeal," Bendure said. "Spend money landscaping the front of the home for a good first impression. For an easy and inexpensive option, go to your local garden center and buy container gardens to set out and add color."

Fence Contractors

The final step in creating a perfectly manicured lawn is to frame it with an attractive fence. Annually 24 million consumers, often young couples who've owned their home less than a year, reference this heading for outdoor fencing installation (1).

"Adding a fence to a yard adds beauty, privacy and safety," said Norm Legare, president of the American Fence Association. "It's important that a trained fence contractor from AFA is involved in the fence construction. Look for the AFA affiliation in the Yellow Pages and by visiting www.americanfenceassociation.com."

According to Larry Small, director of research for the Yellow Pages Association, "The Yellow Pages is the dominant advertising medium for local lawn care companies (3). Local advertising carries these categories, and for good reason -- most consumers are looking for neighborhood lawn care establishments when referencing these headings (1)."

For more information on Yellow Pages headings, visit http://www.ypassociation.org.

(1) Knowledge Networks/SRI, May 2008

(2) American Nursery & Landscape Association (2008)

(3) CRM Associates 2008

About The Yellow Pages Association

The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $31 billion worldwide ($14 billion in the U.S.). Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs) and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

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