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July R-Club Roofer of the Month - North American Roofing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

July 21 ROTM
July 20, 2021 at 11:34 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Brunno Batista from North American Roofing. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Speaker 1:
Hi, welcome to the RoofersCoffeeShop, R-Club roofer of the month podcast. This is where we highlight a contractor in our R-Club each month to celebrate their greatness in the roofing industry. Listen to hear more about a great contractor.

Megan Ellsworth:
Hello, my name's Megan and I am with RoofersCoffeeShop. Today we're doing a roofer of the month interview with Brunno Batista from North American Roofing and I am so happy to be chatting with you. Hello.

Brunno Batista:
Hi, how you doing. Yes, my name is Brunno Batista. Also known by Brunno No BS. That's what people call me on social media. But it is what it is.

Megan Ellsworth:
I love that.

Brunno Batista:
It's just because I'm truly honest with what I do and what I say, and sometimes it have people loving or people hate me, but by the end of the day I can care less. I do what I do best with making fun out of my job and be happy what I do. I love roofing, and it's in my blood. It's part of who I am. So I'm good with that.

Megan Ellsworth:
I love it. That is a great way to live.

Brunno Batista:
Absolutely.

Megan Ellsworth:
Let's start out by having you just tell us a little bit about North American Roofing and how you got into roofing. Tell us about your start.

Brunno Batista:
A little bit older, you know. My grandfather was a roofer back in Italy. He used to do slate work. All handcraft made it. And World War II started to he decide to go to Brazil. And when he went to Brazil, you know to skip the World War II and my father was actually first generation of my family from my father's side that were born in Brazil. So my grandfather moved from Italy to Brazil and he's starting like a waterproofing company. So at that time, all they do was waterproofing. Building envelope from the top of the building all the way to driveway pavement.
In Brazil, which is a third world country, when you go on roofs in Brazil, especially in a commercial roofing there's no such thing at least at that time back in the days there was no such thing as a membrane. When you go on the deck, which is concrete, that's the roof. So my father, that's what he used to do waterproofing, because the slate work you don't see that. It's predominant in Europe, not in Brazil, like third world countries like Brazil.
So it was very happy in what he was doing, but he had opportunity to move to New Jersey in 1970s and he opened a roofing company. Therefore, they were union. He opened the company with one of his cousins. The company was very successful and it was a commercial roofing company. A local union Newark, New Jersey, I believe it was 04, the union. It was a very successful roofing company, hot mop and torch. That's what they used to do all day long.
But then in the end of the 80s my grandfather was very sick. He had stage four cancer, so he called my father to take over the business. So my father moved in 1993, I moved in 1994 and that's when I start roofing. You know when it was summer school, which don't get me wrong I used to love to go out and play with my friends and go out with my buddies and all that. But I also I loved money. So I was the only kid that had money. So every time spring break or summer or in the weekend or even the holidays I would help my dad. So that's when I start roofing.
But then I hate it. There was one point that I did not like it. I end up getting a scholarship and I moved to Florida. Moved to Florida, went to college and I completely left the roofing industry and I was working for a banking company. I was working for Morgan Stanley. I was underwriter, but I hate my job. It was nine to five, and I couldn't stand that type of job.
And I had a buddy of mine, he was my neighbor, next to me. We were like a half mile away from each other. Probably even less than that, and he used to work, actually he still works for Tremco, which is a [inaudible 00:04:31] manufacturer. It's been there for almost 20 years. And he told me, "Brunno, why don't you come and work for us." So I came back, I start working for a big manufacturer from the roofing contractor side. I start working for a big manufacturer, and from there I learn coatings, I became an expert in coatings because that's my specialty. But I learned all types of systems too as well. But I wasn't very happy. Company's very great, but I didn't grow much in the ladder, I was kind of stuck on the ladder. So I decide to take up different opportunities.
So moving forward, I end up working for North American Roofing, I be with North American Roofing now for about four months. I'm fairly new with the company. Not new in the industry, I've been doing roofing since I was 14, so I'm 43 now, so you can say 27, 20 years old. 20 years doing this.
North American Roofing is a commercial roofing company. They were being established company doing roofing since 1979. It's a 47 plus year old company. With primary focus in commercial, that's all we do. And our main focus is on TPO single plies in general. But we install EPDM, PVC, you name it. We install all type since 1970s. It's a big name in our industry, North American Roofing, you know.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah. Yeah, that's super cool. So you predominately are commercial roofing, and you said you mostly work with singly ply, would you say that's your specialty there at North American?

Brunno Batista:
Believe it or not I got hired to working for, they start to integrate a coatings division, because coating, which I've been preaching for several years now, coating's going to be the new future of industry. Especially now with the shortage of raw materials. People try to save more money. They thought that as another option to offer to our customers, because we have customers nationwide. We have license in 50 states, we have a billion squares installed all over the nation. We are 581 and DB rating, which is the highest possible you can get on the commercial side. So we've been roofing like I say for a long time, and as a smart company they decide, hey wait a minute, we want a piece of that cake too. And coating is the new go-to. Let's do this, and technology change too. If you look back, everyone used to do built up systems, and the torch, and don't get me wrong those roofs last forever, but the reality is they are very expensive, it's a lot of risk, hazards, risk of fire, and I say it's an old dinosaur, you know?

Megan Ellsworth:
Right.

Brunno Batista:
Because we've been doing it for the last 40, 50 years, but technology change. There are things that you probably know better than me now because you younger than me. Same thing with my kids. There's things that my kids sometimes I have to ask, "Hey, what is this?" Because I don't understand. But I'm always trying to keep it up with technology, so North American Roofing by hiring young talents, people with the expertise like myself. So I think that's the way to go. But my specialty working in the roofing industry is coatings, restorations. So that's my specialty.

Megan Ellsworth:
I love that. You're getting a piece of that pie, a piece of that cake.

Brunno Batista:
Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Megan Ellsworth:
So what is something that North American Roofing celebrates? And that can be an actual weird holiday that you guys celebrate, or more specifically maybe something that you like to celebrate your employees or your employees families or whatnot. What do you guys like to cherish?

Brunno Batista:
Well, we do have an internal employee of the month, which-

Megan Ellsworth:
Oh cool.

Brunno Batista:
We have an incredible woman, her name is Tiffany, she created this segment, it's internal, which we recognize every month in new employees, employees that became a star in our industry, at least with our company. So it's incredible to next thing you know you look in the email, I mean on the website of the company and you see your picture there. So it's very funny, and then they talk a little bit about themselves. So it's good. But we really celebrate, right now I'm celebrating me and my friend Lee, he's also [inaudible 00:09:37] with me at the coatings division and that's what I'm celebrating right now, that we now have a coating division. Because North American Roofing they didn't have a coating's division, and now we have that. So there's something to celebrate, a new division that is focused primary in coatings, restoration, instead of put all that roof in the landfill that will last years and years and hundred and hundred years, now we have a chance to restore the roof. So that's I think one of the good things to celebrate, you know?

Megan Ellsworth:
I couldn't agree more. That's great. I love employee of the month as well. That's just so fun and something to look forward to for everybody every month being like, "Ooh, is it going to be me?" Or maybe it's your friend or whatever. But that's really cool that you guys started the coating's division and you do the employee of the month. I think that's really special. How do you define superior customer service?

Brunno Batista:
For me, superior customer service, the most important thing is listen to your customer and relationship is the key. Like what we're doing right now. What we're doing right now is social media, it's you and the others hundreds and hundreds of miles away, which is fine, but nothing is better than that personal touch. Feeling, shaking hands. And I still believe in that. I still believe relationships are the key, to listen to them and provide a solution. And that's what we believe in. I think North American Roofing too as well.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah, that's fabulous.

Brunno Batista:
If you maintain a relationship, and be loyal to whoever you are, you're going to be very successful in what you do. I tend to listen to people. Yeah, I speak a lot, I talk a lot, but at the same time I like to listen too, because it's important for you to listen to the customer, because they'll tell you what problem they have. And you just by listen to them, you'll be able to find a solution. Whatever solution will be, whether it's tearing off, put a new roof or a restoration with coatings. That will be the perfect thing is always maintain a good relationship and be very on time, be cordial, followup with your customer with leads, whatever you have to maintain that relationship. They want the single best top commercial roofing solution for service, we roof nationwide. We have a license in 50 states, we've been doing this for 47 plus years. So we are one of the top dogs when it comes to the roofing commercial side. Everyone knows North American Roofing. And even the name says North American Roofing, it's fantastic. Their stock here is a resource for our customers to extend the life of their current system and plan for upcoming projects.

Megan Ellsworth:
Cool.

Brunno Batista:
Because here's the thing, if you don't do preventative maintenance, I don't care how much the manufacturer give the warranty, if you don't maintain the roof realistically it will last probably eight years. Why? Because weathering is one of the main factors. My state is brutal. The rain, sun, sun, rain, so it create a lot of you got to remember you have pounding water sitting on your roof. All the water does not evaporate, next thing you know it creates the sun hits that the water is going to create almost like a magnify glass that will eat the membrane, so we need the coatings and you're done. That roof is going to be gone, and I see many case that people who bill the owners, they don't notice until it's too late. It's like the old saying, out of sight, out of mind.

Megan Ellsworth:
Right.

Brunno Batista:
So it's not leaking, it's good, and then six, even years later it start leaking and they give you a call, "Hey, I got a 15 year warranty let me check your roof." The next thing you know, you go on the roof, the roof is a jungle. There's trees come out of the drains, and you're like, "What the?" People from other trades dropped two screws and you see a mess on that roof, and sometimes when you let it go, it's too late there's not much you can do. So that's the reason us having the preventative maintenance program called StarCare. That's just something very good for our customers to preserve and restore the roof, you know?

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah, that's brilliant. And you're also educating the building owner, and helping them stay on top of their roof maintenance, as well as continuing the relationship with your customers. That's great. Anything you'd like to say about being roofer of the month?

Brunno Batista:
I don't believe in competition. And don't get me wrong, I think it's very nice you had competitors, because if you don't have competitors, you can never improve yourself, because you always want to do better than the other person. I believe that the competition has to be a healthy one. The ones that everyone respect each other. So that's what I believe. I believe there's no competition, but at the same time because I'm not here to compete with anybody because this roofing industry is so big. But that's the reason when I bring people, when I interview people, sometimes I interview people from other companies they are competitors. But I don't see that as my competitor, I see that as someone that work in the same industry that I work. So that's what I like to do. And North American Roofing, they not upset with that. I guess they're very happy. And I'm very happy now they believe in coatings.
It's hard sometimes to change a company that has been doing single plies for over 40 something years, 30 years on the single ply industry. But little by little, because we have a great people in our company, but little by little I'm convincing everyone coating is the new solution, coating is the new solution. Restoration fully applied system is the new solution for the roofing industry. And finally they listen to me.

Megan Ellsworth:
Yay, yes. I love it. Well, we at RoofersCoffeeShop are super honored to celebrate you, Brunno, as well as North American Roofing as the July roofer of the month. So we're so happy to have you and this was a great conversation. So thank you for your time.

Brunno Batista:
All right, so let me do a little bit of dance, right?

Megan Ellsworth:
Yeah.

Brunno Batista:
Go Brunno.

Megan Ellsworth:
Go Brunno. Perfect.

Brunno Batista:
All right, so nice talking to you.

Speaker 1:
For more, go to RoofersCoffeeShop.com and become an R-Club Member. If you're a contractor in the roofing industry, we want to hear from you. Join our forums and connect with other contractors near you.



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