By Karen Edwards, RCS Editor.
We love meeting our contractors in person at events and shows throughout the year and we really like getting to know them better. Jim and Linda Eastman, owners of San Jose, California-based Eastman Roofing & Waterproofing, Inc., stopped to visit us at the International Roofing Expo earlier this year and ended up being selected as the winner of the Apple watch.
We spoke with Jim and Linda on the phone recently to find out how they like the watch and to learn more about them. They were a delight to get to know better.
Starting their roofing business Jim began his career as a general contractor building condos and doing remodeling work. After a few years, he began to become more interested in roofing. His thinking was that not everyone will need or want to remodel but eventually everyone will need a new roof. So, 38 years ago they started Eastman Roofing & Waterproofing, Inc.
Linda said the two of them work together, she handles administrative functions and Jim reviews paperwork. Although when asked what he does each day, Jim’s answer was that he probably gets in the way more than anything, which resulted in some laughter from Linda. A sense of humor is obviously one of the keys to their 42-year marriage.
The most valuable lesson they have learned about roofing When this question was asked, Jim’s sense of humor was evident in his immediate answer: “Do not put a pneumatic fastener in your knee.” Trust him on that one. He knows from experience.
Jim did continue and explained that the most valuable thing they have learned is the importance of knowing your numbers. He and Linda both couldn’t stress enough how important this is. In the early 2000’s they joined Certified Contractor’s Network and attended a business planning boot camp where they spent three days analyzing their business, their numbers and really understanding exactly what their costs were.
Asking the right questions is key to your business being successful according to Jim. He says to ask yourself, ‘what should I charge in order to make a profit on the job;’ not ‘what number do I need to bid to get this job?’
Linda and Jim both agreed that having standard operating procedures in place was also invaluable for their business. Especially when it comes to safety. Jim and Linda said safety is their primary concern and they have invested in all the latest and best equipment available. They hold regular safety meetings and ensure that all their safety procedures are being followed.
What makes them smile When thinking about their roofing business, Jim says that he is so appreciative of all the great customers that have hired them over the years. They have made many strong relationships and have customers tell them they aren’t even going to get other bids because they know and trust the workmanship provided by Eastman.
Linda added that they are also thankful for their valuable employees. She says that spending so much time with their team has helped everyone to understand their vision for the business and she sees the team working hard every day to achieve the goals.
What they like about RCS When we asked Linda what she likes about Roofers Coffee Shop she told us that she loves the weekly emails and looks forward to receiving them each week. She’s also a fan of the classified ad section and has used it in the past.
They both think the Coffee Shop is a great resource and really enjoy all the photos we share. (We’re so happy to hear this!)
What about her Apple watch? Linda was so excited to win the watch but admits she was a little nervous about figuring out how to use it. She said that her daughter told her she was going to love it and that turned out to be the case. Linda said it’s taken her some time to learn what it can do and she “absolutely loves it.” In fact, she told us she just used the heart rate feature the other day at the gym.
We ended our phone call taking about their family and interests outside of the business – definitely two topics that make them smile. Jim and Linda have five children – two girls and three boys – and four grandchildren. Their grandchildren are two sets of twins, one is two girls and the other set a boy and a girl.
When they aren’t working or spending time with family, you might spot Linda and Jim at the Mountain Winery listening to music, see them in a restaurant enjoying a dinner out but the most likely place you’ll see them is anywhere near the beach.