Solara can fit many applications, installs easily
By Seraine Page
Solara Adjustable Patio Cover has been tested in all types of terrains — from the tops of the Swiss Alps to the middle of the windy Caribbean — to help prove its value in the outdoor retailer market.
For customers looking to enhance their hot tub area, the three-in-one Solara Adjustable Patio Cover’s roof louvers can be opened to allow more sun in, tilted to let less sunshine and a breeze in, or completely closed.
“For the most part, they sell themselves,” admits Debi Skains, vice president of All About Spas and Leisure Living. “It gives an aesthetic that you don’t get with a normal patio.”
Since 2007, Skains has carried the product in her Roswell, New Mexico, store.
When closed, the patio cover can protect everything from patio furniture to children playing on the back deck to the bubbling hot tub. If opened, it directs a nice breeze or allows a smoky grill to air out. Hot tub soakers can adjust the louvers to see a starry night sky above.
Letting the customers dream big is part of a successful sale, Skains says.
“The customers [also] invariably need something to put under it,” she explains. “When they buy these [outdoor] products, they need something to cover it. So it’s a win-win situation.”
The roof louvers are made from high-quality recycled aluminum, making the product eco-friendly as well as easy to clean; a little soap and water is all that’s needed.
The cover’s opening and closing louvered system is the ideal product for hot tub retailers to have in store because of its versatility, says Rick Leff, Solara’s national sales manager.
Leff says the three-in-one aspect is the best selling point because retailers don’t have to carry multiple patio covers if they have Solara’s product. “They add usable, year-round square footage to your home,” Leff says of the covers.
The Phoenix-based company — founded 25 years ago — has customer pricing between $18 and $32 per square foot. While the motorized option is the most popular, a manual crank is also available at a lower price point.
The best way to sell the product, Leff says, is for people to see it on display. Solara offers a display model for retailers to present at trade shows and customer homes.
For All About Spas and Leisure Living, the display is a much better option than a video playing on repeat, Skains says. It allows customers to experience the product and ask questions. Additionally, having a demo kit to take out to a customer’s home maximizes the chance for a sale, something Skains says her staff does. “We kind of help them dream it up and what goes under it,” she says.
As for construction, it’s relatively easy because it comes in a pre-cut DIY kit. All Solara Adjustable Patio Covers are customizable — from the size to the shape, even down to the louver color. As a retailer of the product, Skains does advise that someone on staff have “a little bit of mechanical ability” for the assembly portion.
Retailers that work with Solara also receive a sales presentation and training, patio-cover installation training, brochures, marketing support, home show training and more. A free design meeting offers retailers an opportunity to learn more about the patio covers in detail.
“They are exceptional to work with; it’s a very good company,” Skains says. “It’s just a really great system.”