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Jack Gottesman, Quentan Tobolka & Michael Mooney - Multi-Family Roofing Tips - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

IKO - Jack Gottesman, Quentan Tobolka & Michael Mooney - Multi-Family Roofing Tips
August 23, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Jennifer Stone and Renae Bales, the co-chairs of National Women in Roofing. You can read the interview below, listen to the podcast.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a longterm professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews and exciting news in the roofing industry today.
Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips. This is Heidi Ellsworth with Roofers Coffee Shop and we are here today with really thought leaders, the type of roofing professionals who are making such a huge difference in the roofing industry. And we're here today to learn about how we can be the best at helping our multifamily owners, apartments, complexes, those big jobs that really take a specialty and a focus on quality. And so I'm very happy today to introduce our guests on this Roofing Road Trips and that is Quentan Tobolka, president of Paragon Multi Family Roofing, Jack Gottesman of IKO, he's the marketing services manager for the US residential and Mike Mooney, regional sales manager for the north region of IKO Roofing. Now that was a mouthful, I'm telling you to get all that out, but these gentlemen are leading the way in the industry to really help contractors and to help building owners. Thank you so much for being here.

Michael Mooney:
Thanks for having us.

Quentan Tobolka:
Thank you for having us.

Jack Gottesman:
This is awesome, Heidi. Thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh Jack, we're here again. I love it. You bring the best guests and the greatest topics.

Jack Gottesman:
Third time's the charm, Heidi. I'm hoping that this time I won't screw it up.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh, there's no screwing it up. This has been great. What we're going to do, because I kind of, all your titles and names and companies probably rolled off my tongue not quite a 100% right. But I'd like to have each of you introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about you. Quentan, let's start with you.

Quentan Tobolka:
Yes. Thank you, Heidi. My name is Quentan Tobolka and you labeled me as president of Paragon Multi Family Roofing, which is a company that is in partnership with Paragon Roofing. And with Paragon Roofing I am vice president of the residential and multifamily divisions, which looks like I wear a lot of hats. Manage project managers, manage a residential sales team, an office staff, while maintaining key relationships specifically in the multifamily realm. Yeah, that's basically what I do. I do a lot of stuff. I don't know what I do most days, at the end of the day I'm not sure where the hours go.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I'm just glad you have enough time with all of that to be with us today. Thank you very much for being here.

Quentan Tobolka:
No problem. Glad to be here.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Great. And Mike, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Michael Mooney:
Well, my name is Mike Mooney and I have been in the building products industry for 21 years now. The last 10 I've been with IKO. It's been a wonderful 10 years. It's a pleasure working for a family owned company like IKO. I'm the regional sales manager for the north region in the United States so I cover from Michigan kind of over to the Eastern Seaboard, down through Kentucky, Virginia. I've been in this role for five years. I started out in the field as a territory sales representative and then in 2016, I was brought into the regional position. Just like Quentan said, it's my pleasure to be here today and talk with everybody. Thank you very much for having me.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. Thank you. And I tell you what, this is a true Roofing Road Trip. We have the Pittsburgh, Texas and now we have Jack out of Seattle. Jack, introduce yourself.

Jack Gottesman:
Thanks, Heidi. Yes, I am the marketing services manager for the US, which means that it is my job to make sure that all of the sales reps in Mooney's area and throughout the rest of the country have the marketing materials that they need in order to enable them to best sell IKO's residential products. It's an exciting time to be in roofing. The industry is booming and from sea to shining sea, IKO is here growing and thriving.

Michael Mooney:
If I may add something, Heidi, it's been a pleasure to work with Jack. His energy and creativity has been second to none here with IKO. We really love Jack and what he's done for the sales team.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, I tell you what, we feel the same way at Roofers Coffee Shop. In fact, I think just right before this podcast, I may have tried to recruit him. I'm not sure, but we love working with you all. It's so much fun. Let's get down to it. Let's talk about multifamily. I'm just really interested Quentan, especially with your introduction, talking about Paragon Roofing, the overall company and then starting Paragon Multi Family. How did all that happen? And why did you make that decision to have the two companies?

Quentan Tobolka:
Well, so it started, so I've been in the industry for 13 years now. And after a couple years of being in the residential business, I started this partnership with Paragon Roofing, which had established itself as a large, mainly educational and industrial flat roofing contractor. Had gotten completely out of anything steep slope. And so we started in the residential game and back in, this is 2009 in North Texas. This is kind of when the saturation of roofers began and everybody became a roofer. When I first started, it was still relatively easy to get business. Not everybody knew a roofer back then and it slowly changed as I was in the career where we have a lot of contractors in Texas. We have a lot of hailstorms. And so what ended up happening is I was like, there's got to be a better way, a more efficient way to generate business.
And so I really looked at relationships and just kind of doubled down on key relationships. And so multifamily is obviously an exciting way to do a lot of shingles and large projects in one clean swoop and just started developing relationships in that industry where just treated individuals within different multifamily organizations as I would my uncle, if he had a property and wanted to know what to do with his house. And that sometimes looked like going out and not getting to charge to go help them resolve a leak that was reoccurring to be able to get them a price and spend a lot of legwork just helping them solve their issues. And that wasn't initially getting my foot in the door and being handed half a million dollar projects. It was a lot of just the initial groundwork that developed relationships and treated them like I would treat my own family and not trying to necessarily sell them, but solve their problems.
And through that, you end up developing relationships where you get opportunities at the bigger work and you become trusted. And so that was kind of how I got into it and the way that I got into it. And then since then, I know I wouldn't change it. I love the multifamily game. It's just so much easier dealing with people that are more focused with solutions and everything's a business decision, rather than there's less emotions involved to when they're making a decision, they want to know how fast you can do it. What's it going to cost? What are the different options? And it's just much more factual. And so if you can present those facts in a way to help an owner make a good decision, it just things go really smooth and it makes my job a little bit easier.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. When you think about the challenges of that, it's so different from residential in that you have one family who may be is a little inconvenienced with a new roof and stuff but when you're doing multifamily, you have all these tenants, all of these apartments, all of these different people who want to watch, give feedback. There's a lot of challenges and I love what you said about productivity and efficiencies and making sure that the building owners really, or property managers really understand. As you were putting all this together, I love how you talked about putting the facts together for them and to make it a good business decision. How have the materials and kind of deciding on the roofing systems, how has that worked as you've kind of built this business?

Quentan Tobolka:
Well, that's kind of been more of an internal backend discussion as much initially than it was a discussion with the building owners. And so, in our market IKO came down and probably, I don't know, Jack can probably speak, I know I started getting exposed to 2015 and 2016, which was a time where we had huge material shortages, issues with getting product. Different manufacturers were shipping in products from all over the country. You couldn't blend products and you were having to organize pallets on job sites based upon different plants that they came from. And it was a challenge. And so we were introduced to IKO then, as basically single source across the board. We wouldn't have to be as focused on where the product came from. That solved one of our issues with initially when we were doing projects, we would have to basically take a site that has 20 buildings and each building we would have to basically create its own house package or building package.
And so it was a little bit challenging because I'd have to make sure if I got a truckload from some plant that was different from a different plant, I couldn't blend those on the same building. And so it logistically it made things a little bit challenging because I'm then having to have a guy on the ground. And if a crew needs a few bundles and they just go grab it from a pallet and they're not paying attention, all of a sudden we have blending issues. And so IKO was presented to us as you're not going to have to worry about that anymore. You can blend our product. It's tested. We have single, granule sourcing. We have our own mines. We turnkey everything from start to finish is all done with our own mines, our own plants.
And so obviously that was a huge benefit because it solved this issue we had in 2015 and 2016, where a product was coming from all over the country. And so I remember the first project that we did, I literally bringing in truckloads and just how much easier it was to manage the ground. And my project manager could deal with kind of what you talked about. You've got so many people living in these buildings. Well, sure enough, you're blocking someone. Someone's may drive right through my caution tape, get a nail in the tire. And if I have my project manager over there, fumbling with pallets and making sure that the guys aren't grabbing from the wrong stack, they're not able to direct traffic and kind of keep the residents at bay as we're just trying to get our job done. That internal discussion with our distributor is how we initially started choosing IKO.
And then I can talk about there's several other reasons, which I'm sure we'll probably get into, the True Square and the money cost savings which IKO I'm sure we can speak on that, that we learned as we started diving into using this product is that it was saving us time. It was saving us money. And also the product it was actually outperforming our competitors' products.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Nice.

Quentan Tobolka:
And I'll tell this one story and then let somebody else talk so it's not just me speaking the whole time. Is I remember in 2016, this is when material was really challenging and there was two projects that were about a mile apart from each other and we replaced both of them. One was with a competitor's product, one was with an IKO product. And the next year, hailstorm came through that exact same area and we're talking golf ball and larger size hail and there was absolutely no damage on the IKO product. And then the other product had damage. However, it was the damage that as contractors we hate. It's the intermittent damage. It's not a total new roof. It has maybe three hits per test square. The vents are dented and it's just a bunch of repair work. And so not only as a building owner, do I not want to have to go to a bunch of repairs on my roof, but as a contractor, that's not my favorite either. I either want, I want to do an all new roof and not have to do those repairs.
I was kind of left with the worst situation and this other product ended up having all this partial damage that we ended up having to go and repair where the IKO product had withstood it better. And so I think that was the year that probably my biggest multifamily client became 100% sold and said, "If possible, we're always going to use IKO on our products." And so they actually request it. Which was kind of frustrating because we learned we were saving money because of the True Square advantage. And so now all of a sudden, whenever we would had to bid to get somebody, they were having to bid the same system. That secret kind of that we had where we were saving money and being able to come in a little bit lower and make more money, All of a sudden the playing field got leveled. But it's still all right, we still get plenty of work. I'm not complaining, but that was the year that we kind of started everybody kind of understanding and realizing the benefits of IKO Cambridge specifically.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Jack, I saw, and Quentan kind of said that, when IKO came into Texas and started really working with the contractors, understanding their needs and then meeting them, I love the story, Quentan. It's so great. Jack, how was all that with you?

Jack Gottesman:
First of all, Quentan, thank you for the kind words. And we love working with Quentan and we love working in Texas, to be honest. We have been working in Texas for a while and we officially opened the doors to our plant in Hillsboro, Texas so that we can have an officially made in Texas shingles in 2018. And then since then it's just been great being able to support not only Texas, but the surrounding states as well with the product that's coming out of that facility. But my favorite part about going down to visit the Hillsboro plant is having the opportunity to meet with Texans. There's nothing quite like a Texas contractor. I will tell you that. And working, it's been great working with Quentan also.
Like I said before, we're doing marketing projects throughout the country. We recently did and I hope that we can link to it in the show notes, a project on a multifamily. We recently did a video projects, that's the wrong word. We recently did a video testimonial with Quentan on a multifamily site to hear him talk a little bit about Paragon, talk a little bit about why he uses IKO and to really highlight his business because we view the business that he gives us, we value that very much and we wanted to share his story.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. You know what? And I love, Jack, I love the part that as Quentan has really taking the product. And again, going back to what you said at first, Quentan, I think it's so cool is that really explaining it to the building owner or property manager so that they really understand the value they're getting. And now they're specifying it. This is what we want. That's huge for IKO. And maybe Mike, can you kind of talk a little bit, I know you are the expert on this and I'm really excited to hear you kind of walk through this, but Quentan mentioned True Square and also just really being able to lay it out. Can you talk about that and how you've really kind of brought this forward in the industry?

Michael Mooney:
Sure. Sure, I'd be glad to. When I first started with IKO back in 2011, I was looking for an advantage as a salesperson out in the field and looked through all the literature. I looked at all the competitive products. And the one thing I honed in on was the True Square advantage. And I started to say, "This has to add up to savings for our contractors." And so I developed a system I used to do. I used to take contractors out to lunch and over lunch on a napkin, I would show him or her the savings they could incur using the IKO shingle over the current shingle that they were using. And so kind of come up with a name of IKOnomics and I kind of defined it as the science that includes cost, time, labor, material savings for a roofing contractor that ultimately leads to increased profits.
And again, that was all spawned from IKO's True Square advantage, which means when you buy three bundles of IKO's product, it covers a full square roof, 100 square feet. Competitive products can cover anywhere from 97 to 98 and a half square feet when you purchase three bundles. I said, "There has to be," I'm a mathematical guy. My brain is always thinking numbers. I just sat down one day and I started to think about this and how this would lead to savings because all contractors want to make more money and save money. That's just the way business is done. I just sat down and I started to go through this with contractors. And basically what I wanted to do here today was to give kind of a quick example of a multifamily project and the savings that could be incurred. With your permission, I'd like to start in on that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I would love it. This would be great.

Michael Mooney:
Sounds good. I get excited talking economics, right Jack?

Jack Gottesman:
Yes.

Michael Mooney:
Basically let's talk about a project that is 3,000 squares and this particular multifamily project has 10 buildings. Each of them are 300 squares. You're looking at the IKO product and a competitive product. Now the IKO product, when you buy three bundles again, it covers a full square. There are 20 shingles in each bundle so 60 shingles covers a full square for IKO. The competitive products usually package 64 shingles in three bundles, but it takes 65 shingles to cover a full square. Basically if you can imagine this three bundles with 21 shingles, 21 shingles and 22 shingles, that's the competitor's, how they lay it out. You take one of those bundles of 21 shingles and you send it to the side is a roofer and you take three bundles of your product and you install it and you've got to pull one shingle out of the bundle you have aside to complete a full square.
If you think of it that way, every 21 squares of roofing, that contractor has to use an additional bundle of the competitive product, where they don't have to use it with IKO because at 21 squares, you're using 63 bundles of IKO to cover that 21 squares. If you use that, that every 21 squares you need to buy and install because we're going to talk about labor here in a minute. It breaks out like this. Each building is 300 squares, which means you have to purchase and install an additional 15 bundles per building. Let's talk about, let's use the cost of $90 a square for a laminate shingle, both IKO and the competitor. You can buy them at the same price. Competitor X will cost you 90, IKO will cost you 90, just to use a nice round number here.
15 bundles times 30 is $450. That's how much extra you'd have to pay using competitor X to cover this building. You're saving that by using the IKO shingle. Now most contractors pay their installers by the bundle to install a bundle. It can go anywhere from 25 to $35, sometimes a little higher. We're going to use $30 in this example. The extra 15 bundles they had to install on that building, they're going to have to pay the labor of $30 per bundle. That's an additional $450. And then the extra nails. 60 shingles for IKO to cover a full square, 65 for competitor X, that's five extra shingles per square. On the building of 300 squares, that's 1,500 extra shingles you have to install.

Heidi Ellsworth:
1,500 fasteners.

Michael Mooney:
No, shingles.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Shingles, okay.

Michael Mooney:
And then fasteners per shingle, you're talking 90,000 extra nails per building. Or excuse me, 9,000.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Sorry, I was trying to track you, Mike. Sorry. Keep going.

Michael Mooney:
I know I'm talking a lot of numbers here. I apologize. My brain just goes fast. No, it's 9,000 extra nails per building times the 10 buildings. You're actually using 90,000 additional nails.

Jack Gottesman:
Which are high price, if I'm not mistaken.

Michael Mooney:
Yes, they are.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow.

Michael Mooney:
Nails, and Quentan can attest to this, nails continue to rise in price due to the pandemic and whatnot. If you really take all this into account, on 10 buildings while paying the same price for competitor X and IKO, you're going to save $4,500 in material, $4,500 on the project and labor and about $500 in nails. That's a total of $9,500 you're saving on this project. Let's divide that by 3,000 squares, you have a savings. You're paying the same price at distribution for IKO and competitor X but you're actually saving $3.16 a square just by using an IKO Dynasty with ArmourZone or an IKO Cambridge for that project. It adds up and that doesn't even include and Quentan can really attest to this, I'm sure, the time savings. You get done with the projects quicker, which may enable you to do three to four to five to six more projects during the year, which is going to be more profit dollars for your company. The True Square advantage is real. It has got some greenback to it. There's money savings just by using the IKO laminate shingles.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Quentan talk to that. And you even said that the secret got out and you weren't real wild about that, but on the True Square advantage how have you seen this makes such a difference for you?

Quentan Tobolka:
Yeah, no, everything he said is a 100% accurate in terms of material savings, labor savings, nail savings. One thing that he didn't really go into is also lift equipment. Most of these complexes were going to have two lifts that are going to run at somewhere between 4,000, $4,500 a month. And so if we have a project that's about two and a half weeks long and we can get that down to two weeks, all of a sudden we're paying two weekly rentals rather than a month rental and that could save us, that costs us $1,300 a week versus having to pay $4,500 for a month. And so there's also savings with equipment. Your toilet rentals. In Texas, we don't actually rent our dumpsters. Most of our dumpsters are trailers, but in other markets, I'm sure you'd save on dumpster rentals, fencing.
And then honestly, I pay a salary for a project manager to sit on a job and that's at a weekly rate that gets applied to the job that he's working. If he's out there a shorter amount of time, I'm saving money in supervision costs as well. It absolutely saves us money. There's no doubt that if I use a competitor's product that it's going to cost me more money. And the video piece that Jack was talking about, I think that particular product or that project was 2,400 squares. I think when I did the math, we saved somewhere around $10,000 of just profit back in your pocket.

Jack Gottesman:
Yes, exactly.

Quentan Tobolka:
And that's happening on every job. If I'm using the IKO product, I'm saving money. And one of the ways that I talked about how we do the building packages that we had to, how we used to have to do that, now I'm just doing it by the truckload. And I look at a job and say it's 2,000 squares without any waste. And I'm like, ah, it's pretty cut up. I think I'm going to waste about 10%. And I know in the back of my mind that 10% factor is kind of the industry standard based upon the shingles that don't even cover a 100 square feet. When we're estimating it just the way I've done it since I've been in the career, everything is based on a waste factor of a shingle that doesn't actually cover a 100 square feet. When I look at a project that's 2,000 squares and I'm like, okay, so 10% waste that put me at 2,200 squares, I will order the job and say, "I'm going to do this at 2,050 squares." And kind of see how that gets me throughout the job.
And at the end of the job, I'll find that half the time when I do that or more than half the time, I'm not having to buy any more shingles. That's kind of where that savings come into, where it's just costing me a ton of less product. And if I'm able to, and I'm not having to worry about mix matching pallets and truckloads, it never seems to fail that I have two bundles left because this installer was a little sloppier with his cuts or there was more damage on that pallet. I'm also having a little extra waste when I can't just go ahead and just blend all the product together. And so there was also finding that we're saving money that way as well.

Jack Gottesman:
For sure.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That blending thing. Go ahead, Jack.

Jack Gottesman:
Oh no. I was going to say, that's why with our competitors, they refer to it as estimates and we refer to it as exactimates.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. Really when you put those two together, that's the part that I get. Because I've been on jobs and I've watched and seen when you have spots or it's not blended and it just doesn't look good. And again, that comes back to a customer service. Being able to know exactly what you have, but then also being able to mix and match the bundles and not worrying about that. Jack talk just a little bit about that. I don't know if everyone knows that IKO has their own granules, that everything is true sourced or into the plants. Maybe talk just a tad about that.

Jack Gottesman:
For sure. Absolutely. And I'll even take it a step further. You mentioned customer service, but it's also about customer satisfaction and that within this really plays to two things. Number one and Quentan brought this up, that Quentan hinted to this a little bit earlier, if you're on that multifamily side, it's chaos there. Reroofing a multifamily project is nuts. But if you can get off that job site a couple days quicker and a couple days earlier than you otherwise would have if you were installing more shingles and bringing more products up the roof, that True Square advantage also helps with customer satisfaction so that know a person can stroll on over to the pool without being worried about getting all dusty.
And the other place where it comes into customer satisfaction, you see this on the True Square advantage on both single-family and multifamily is that part of what goes into the True Square advantages is a bit larger exposure. We have a five and seven eighth century exposure. And so the shingles, which come in beautiful colors our Dynasty and Nordic lines coming in high definition colors with a four color drop on the granules that we'll mention in a moment, you can just see more of them and it looks beautiful and that helps your curb appeal. And that's something that you can notice from the curb also. When you're standing at the curb, kind of looking up at the houses is that's something that's quickly noticeable and another real advantage of using IKO shingles. But Heidi you're exactly right. We try to be as vertically integrated as possible, which means that we like to make and source just about all of the materials that go into our asphalt shingles. We are mining our own granules. We are making the fiberglass mat that goes into it.

Michael Mooney:
We oxidize our own asphalt.

Jack Gottesman:
With oxidize our own asphalt. We don't make the asphalt, but we oxidize our own asphalt. We can cut this part out. We're mining our own. Three, two, one. We mine our own granules, we oxidize our own asphalt and we are also making that fiberglass mat, which really helps with the process. The more control we have over the supply chain, we're less effected by things that happen outside of us and especially during the pandemic, it was very helpful to really have ownership on that. And I'm sure Mike can expand on this point a little bit also.

Michael Mooney:
Sure. Yeah, Jack's exactly right. We have a fiberglass strand plant. We then send those strands to our fiberglass mat plant. We make our own strands and our own mat. We also make our own wrappers for our products, which is another thing. The only thing we have to purchase is raw asphalt. And again, we store it in a huge tanks at our plants. The fluctuation up and down of asphalt doesn't always affect us. It does at times, but it usually doesn't. Mining, color our own granules, setting a gold standard for each color shingle that we have. Sending it to all the plants so they match so we don't have do not mix situations, has all been to our advantage over the years. And contractors really like that as Quentan said earlier. Again, being vertically integrated is a big advantage for our company.

Jack Gottesman:
And that's my next goal, to be honest, is that after Quentan has done these two projects with us, my thank you to him is that once the Canadian border opens up, we're going to take a trip to one of our granule facilities in Canada and watch them blow up a mountain. It's the coolest thing ever.

Quentan Tobolka:
That's amazing. I will say if a contractor is listening to this, one of the ways before the Hillsboro plant was open, I was taken to, is it the Alabama, Sylacauga? Is that the right?

Jack Gottesman:
Yeah, Sylacauga, Alabama, exactly. In the southeast.

Quentan Tobolka:
You took my team up to that plant to actually watch how it was done and we've since got to watch in Hillsboro. But it's really beneficial when you're talking to a property owner and be like, yeah, I've actually toured their plant. And you're explaining how you've seen how they do their testing of the granule drop. And you've seen the bulk oil tanks and the train cars that are coming in with the bulk granules. And it really kind of helps when you're trying to explain the facts. Which is try not to necessarily be the salesman when I'm talking to those clients, but to just explained the facts, that is what they do and these competitors do not do that. And so it really helps you kind of sell the whole package.

Jack Gottesman:
But Quentan, it's about having a relationship and we value our relationship with you, which is why it's important for us to bring you into our facilities, to show you how it's done.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And that relationship then goes, like you said, at the very beginning of this podcast, that goes to the relationships you've built with the property managers and the building owners who trust you. And even more now that you've brought IKO into their world and that they understand what's going on. That's what we all want.

Quentan Tobolka:
This comes to mind the Chris Farley skit, where he's selling the brake pads and he talks about the butcher. And he's like, you don't do so much with the butcher. You take the butcher's word for it. And so when I'm talking to a client, I'm like, yeah, I've actually been to their tour. My client doesn't want to necessarily, he doesn't have the time to go tour a plant, but he takes my word for it because he knows I've done it. And so, I don't know, that's what came to mind when you were talking about it is taking the butcher's word for it.

Jack Gottesman:
I got to say, Heidi, when I was prepping for the call, I did not anticipate this road trip taking a stop in Sandusky, Ohio for a Tommy boy reference.

Michael Mooney:
I love it. I love it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it too. And I think it's so true because you know what? There have even been, we've had a couple of studies come through recently and I kind of think, well, yeah, of course, but it's showing that homeowners, building owners, everybody, they trust the contractor. They trust the contractor. Trust the butcher. Why wouldn't they? What you're bringing is just that truth and transparency that is so amazing. To kind of bring that back around, Quentan, and you just said, like you said, if any contractors are listening and I bet there's a lot of roofing contractors listening to this, what is your advice to them as they get into the multifamily world? What are some nuggets that they can take to kind of help them make that expansion?

Quentan Tobolka:
It's terrible. Don't do it. We don't need any more contractors in the multifamily industry. It's just too way too hard and it's not great.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay. Outside of Texas.

Quentan Tobolka:
Okay. Outside of Texas, I don't really care because we just stay in Texas. The multifamily game is not like roofing a house. And so you really have to have a setup full-time supervision. You can't just send a crew and expect them to treat that property in a way that is going to get you more projects. And so when you're trying to get in the multifamily game, one of the main things is just, is making sure you have proper management. And then that being said, it's solving problems. It's not trying to sell them as much as it is, it's solving problems. We've been talking a lot about IKO. That's solved a lot of our problems in terms of logistics, cost savings, which is then, that helps the client itself. When you're trying to get into multifamily, don't necessarily try to upsell them on things that you might do to a homeowner, but rather try to solve their issues.
And one of the issues when you're talking to one of those regional maintenance directors or property managers is man, when the roofers come, everybody's yelling at the people in the leasing office. How can you solve that problem? Well get in and out of the project faster. Be on a building a shorter amount of time, have better management. And so look at the issues that they have kind of be from their perspective of what they don't like about roofing contractors or roofing projects and try to solve them. Obviously we've talked a lot about how IKO solves one aspect of it, but proper supervision and clear communication is paramount in them trusting you with their projects.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. I love it. Those are the nuggets everyone outside of Texas should take home with them after listening to this. Mike, just to kind of, as we kind of come to the end of this podcast, I would love to have some of your insights on what's your advice? Again, some nuggets to contractors on how to really work well with their manufacturers. How can they work with IKO to get, much like the relationship you all have with Quentan, how can they do that better to get the most for their business?

Michael Mooney:
Well, I think first and foremost to work with IKO is to look into our ROOFPRO program. I think that's a good place to start. We have a wonderful ROOFPRO program for contractors that can really help them in their business.

Jack Gottesman:
It's our loyalty program.

Michael Mooney:
It's our loyalty program. We have very good TSRs that are out there working every single day for contractors and we have great product. I think that an open, honest relationship with contractors with your IKO rep is very important and just believe in what you're doing because we're making, I think the best shingles that are being made and we're providing the contractor with a lot of solutions and ways to be more profitable. That's what I would say.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Yeah, and one of the things I always recommend too, and then maybe Jack, we can have you kind of finish up on this is the fact that get to know other IKO contractors. Get to know Quentan, get to know contractors around the country. And IKO reps can do that, introduce you to other folks who are using IKO and who really are seeing those benefits because hearing it contractor to contractor makes such a difference. And that's where you find that network and all those mentors.

Jack Gottesman:
Correct.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Jack, so talk about that.

Jack Gottesman:
I'm still hoping that in person events actually do take place this year. They're saying that they will. And I guess we'll have to just kind of wait and see, but if they do, swing by the IKO booth, meet other people who are just as passionate about roofing and about the IKO product as you. And I think, Mike said two things there that are really true. It is a great product. Our residential single line, be it our architectural shingles, Cambridge, which we were talking about earlier. Very popular on multifamily projects, but also our Dynasty and Nordic line also offer the True Square advantage. I was just talking to a multifamily contractor who actually put Dynasty on a multifamily job, which is great. And also our designer line of shingles. Which kind of gives you the beauty of slate or real wood shakes, but at the price of asphalt.
And it's about having that great product. And it's really also about honesty. I think Mike really hit the nail on the head there, which is that sometimes there are going to be tough conversations, especially in this business climate and especially with the pandemic. But we like to think that you can rely on IKO to give you a straightforward answer. Even if there have been times over the past year plus when everyone in the industry has struggled to have enough product in order to meet the demand or if a plant needed to shut down because of COVID, be it us or our competitors. You can always rely on us for an honest and straightforward conversation.
And we're in it for the longterm. That's part of why, that's one of the benefits of us being a family business. We're in the fourth generation of the family that owns and operates this business, which means that we've been doing this for a long time. We're in our 70th year of business and we leverage that experience. And by leveraging that experience, that means we have our finger on the pulse of the industry and we've seen a thing or two over the years and we'd like to think that we can, for the most part anticipate what's going to come. We didn't anticipate COVID, I'll tell you that much.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I don't think anyone did. No. I tell you what, I think, and in our description of this podcast we said, take away some tips, some tricks, some nuggets. And I tell you what, the one that I'm going to take away most of all is building that relationship. Building a relationship with your building owners, with your property managers, with your manufacturers, because then you can have real conversations. Thank you. Thank you all so much. Quentan, any last words?

Quentan Tobolka:
Yeah. There's one thing I was thinking about it. Hopefully I don't get IKO too upset with this comment, but when I first started with IKO, it was kind of new and competitors wanted to kind of find any reason to tell me that it was not good. And there was a lot of just kind of stuff would try to differentiate to kind of throw me out of the loop. And one of the things was blending was a big fear is like, oh, they can't do it. They can't blend from plant to plant. It doesn't work. And so I just in speaking on that, because I feel like that that is discussed, I feel as a contractor, that it gets thrown up by other contractors a lot. I have had blending claims with every manufacturer. When you do 20, 25,000 squares annually of multifamily, I've had, I don't know whether it's GAF, TAMKO, CertainTeed, Atlas, IKO. I have had a blending claim with every one of those manufacturers.
A couple of those manufacturers took me 60 days to get resolved. A couple of those manufacturers, IKO being one of them, when that issue came up, it was resolved before the project was over. And a little bit about blending issues is this is not necessarily always because of granule sourcing or plant allocation. It's maybe Michael, you can speak on it. I think it has something to do with the oil oxidation.

Michael Mooney:
Asphalt.

Quentan Tobolka:
And every once in a while we get a little too much. Yeah, you can get a little too much water in the asphalt. And so those blending issues, they have come up, it's usually something going on with the raw goods of the oil. It has nothing to do with the plant or the granule necessarily. But what makes the difference is the manufacturer that you're working with, the distributor that you're working for, are they going to step up and make it right? And so my experience is that IKO has been one to step up and make it right. I think I've only had one, if I remember and shout out to my territory manager, which I think she's now since been promoted, but Laura Yarrington and her showing up on the project same day and saying, "Yeah, this isn't right. We're going to fix it."
And so I haven't had that same level of service with some of the other manufacturers. And so just kind of wanted to hit on that because I feel like that that has always been the thing that I have heard when I started doing IKO is everybody trying to throw stones at the single source granules, which in reality, I don't even think the blending had anything to do with that. I think it was more of a raw good issue that I've seen with every manufacturer.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I think you've just spoken to every single roofing contractor out there, because all they want is their manufacturers to stand behind them and be their partner. I think that's excellent. What a great testimonial. Mike, want to finish up with last words on that and any comments?

Michael Mooney:
Yeah. I just think that IKO has many things to offer both the contractor and the homeowner. We talked about IKOnomics and the True Square advantage today for the contractor, but for the homeowner, IKO shingles are unique. When you see a home with IKO shingles on them, you know it's an IKO roof because it has the larger exposure. It has the strike cut tabs. Beautiful color blends. And to quote one of my favorite people in this company, Jeff Williams, shout out to Jeff. IKO has a beauty you can see, quality you can feel and performance you can trust. And those three things right there, hit both with the homeowner and with the contractor. You're installing a great quality shingle that looks beautiful for your customers and it should get you many, many more referrals, as well as the savings you are experiencing with the True Square advantage and IKOnomics. I encourage all contractors out there listening, to find out who your local IKO rep is, reach out to him or her and have a meeting and talk about IKO because you're not going to regret it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is awesome. I love it. Cost savings and customer satisfaction. What more do you want? Jack, last words.

Jack Gottesman:
I can't do better than that. Thanks for the ride, Heidi. Was fun joining the road trip.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. Thank you for being part of the road trip, gentlemen, across the country. Thank you so much. And thank you to everybody who's listened. These are the kind of things that we continue to bring on Roofers Coffee Shop through our read, listen, watch. You can read about it, you can listen to it, you can watch it all on Roofers Coffee Shop and your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and join us again for the next Roofing Road Trips. Thank you everybody.
Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.



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