English
English
Español
Français

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
SOPREMA - Sidebar Ad - The Right Coatings for the Right Roofs (RLW on-demand)
AEP Span - Sidebar - Rollformer -  March
Owens Corning - Sidebar Ad - Buesiness Accelerator Roundtables
Rocky Mountain Snow Guards - Sidebar Ad - Show Us Your Snow Guards Contest!
Bitec - StrongHold Sidebar Ad
NRCA - National Roofing Week 2024_04_09_2024
RoofersCoffeeShop - Where The Industry Meets!
English
English
Español
Français

Patrick Fingles - The Changes to In-Home Sales through Technology - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Leap - Patrick FIngles Transcription
August 4, 2021 at 11:49 a.m.

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Patrick Fingles. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today. Hello, this is Heidi Ellsworth with Roofers Coffee Shop, and this is a Roofing Road Trip. And we are virtually tripping across the country to meet with Patrick Fingles, the CEO of Leap. I'm telling you, I'm pretty excited about this today. This is such a great story, such an awesome contractor success story, and I see that you all are going to really like hearing this story to really show it. So Patrick, welcome to the show.

Patrick Fingles:
Thanks for having me, Heidi, and I love the energy it's awesome. I'm glad you're so excited, I'm excited too.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I am too. The thing is, I love hearing everybody's stories, that's the best part of my job. I get to sit here and I get to listen and hear about all the success and all the great things you're doing both on the contracting side and the technology side. So why don't you share a little bit about yourself and everything, and then let's get into that story because this is such the fun part?

Patrick Fingles:
All right. Well, I am 43 years young. I was born, and bred, and have lived my whole life in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. in suburbs. And I at a young age of about 22 or 23, I went to work for a window company, and we sold windows door to door. We knocked on the door and we went in and we did the tabletop demo and it just came really natural to me, I was really good at it. And it only took about a year and a half to figure out sales and marketing is the hardest part of really running these businesses. And I had the ability to do both. So we started, me and a business partner of mine, a lifelong friend, Tom Bury started Nu Look Home Design when we were about 23 years old. And we grew that company from 2003 to 2000 and now or 2016 really to about $30 million. We have 150 employees, operate in five states, and our core products is roofing. And then we do the bolt on windows, siding, gutters, and most recently solar.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh, excellent.

Patrick Fingles:
So where's Leap come in? In 2012, we had a brilliant young salesperson was working for us, just a great dude, and he was going and he was running two, three leads a day. And I think the thing was built out of laziness. He was tired of doing the same thing over and over again. We were a pretty buttoned-up company. We had the price guides and I mean, everything. We had measure sheets and we did all that. Not a lot of technology but we had a CRM and we were dispatching leads and all that, but he was looking for a way to really simplify it.
So he came to me and he started working on really what was an Excel Spreadsheet that blew into a full-fledged database that then turned into an iOS app. And over about a four-year period from 2012 to 2016, we built this product. And by the time 2016 hit, the whole organization is using it. We have 50 salespeople out in the five state regions that are all using this product. And it's like all great proprietary softwares, it's built out in need by people that are dealing with the challenge and there's no solution. And when it's done, it sounds cliche, but it's just too good to keep to yourself. I mean, you got to bring it to market. So in 2016-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Exactly.

Patrick Fingles:
In 2016, Leap was born and it's been a wild ride ever since.

Heidi Ellsworth:
To me, I have heard this story before, when you really see the need. I always say this, what we're talking about right now with labor shortages and what's happening I'm like just give it some American innovation and this is going to be taken care of because we're going to have robots or robotics on the roof. And that's exactly having ... Anybody who's listening to this, if you haven't listened to our podcast, Roofing Road Trips with Steve Stencil, he tells the same story. I mean, it's just so inspiring seeing something going we just can do this better even though it was already great processes in a company. Before we go on with some of those stories, Patrick, you said something that I just have to touch on, is that you started your business at 23.

Patrick Fingles:
Yes. 23.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. What a career path. And we are constantly trying to share that with young people and the next generation that roofing, home exteriors, windows, whatever they're doing in the trades can be such an amazing business. How do ... Looking back at your 23-year-old self, what do you ... How do you put all that together?

Patrick Fingles:
I was not wise beyond my age but I was ... Man, I was ready to get to living. I had goals. I had things that I wanted to do. I had already ... I had children young. I had two children already. I was already married at the age of 23. I was moved out. The typical college course, I took I think one semester of college and I was just ... I was staring out the window the whole time. So for me, it was really about getting out to the world and just and beginning that path. And I fell into this.
I mean, I didn't know ... I always say sales ... If you're a brilliant salesperson it's like ... Take Michael Jordan. Let's just pretend he was walking around for 23 years and had no idea he could play basketball, right. I always tell this story. It's like I was walking around for 23 years, I had no idea what sales was. I had no idea that I would be good at it. And somebody saw something in me and said, "Hey, you got to come work at this place and give this a shot. You'd be good at it." I didn't see it in myself, but I took a shot, and man, I could knock on a door, get two people to let me into their home, and within two hours they were signing a contract for $18,000 worth of windows. So it just came naturally and easy to me. It changed overnight. So with that comes responsibility. So when I realized that I had the talent to be able to do that, that's when everything changed for me. And then I started looking bigger picture, bigger picture, bigger picture.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I think that's so interesting too, because not only did you not know for 23 years that you were just a phenomenal salesperson but ... And I'm a bit older than you are, but when I look at it really being a salesperson when I was 23, 20 was looked down on especially for women. And so I was always told, "Oh no, you don't want to do that." And now I see I'm like man, it's the best. It's the best career there is. And so it's really ... I love this part of it to be able to share that because a lot of people don't know. They haven't been encouraged to go into sales.

Patrick Fingles:
We do interviews all the time with young salespeople that don't know whether they'd be good at it or not and I say, "You're going to learn a lot about yourself." And just as I always say, "Look, you can go to ... You want to be an attorney, you want to be a lawyer, you want to be a doctor, these were the things that I wanted to be when I was a kid." These were my fairytale jobs because I knew big salaries were attached to them.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Exactly.

Patrick Fingles:
It's like what do you have to do? You got to go to school for eight to 12 years, you got to have 150,000, $200,000 worth of bills. I was like with sales, if you have that ability and you have that talent you can replicate that really quick. And you don't have to do that. Now, if you don't then you have to go the other way. But for me it was ... I had that so I think you can. I think there's the science of sales and then the art of sales. I think the science of sales can be taught, but the art of sales is something that I think people have in them. It's not that it's not learnable or coachable or that you can't teach it, but that-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
That one element is somewhat natural and organic in certain personas.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I agree. I can remember when I first started with EagleView and we had these discussions with the CEO talking about, is it an art or is it a science? And having that back and forth. And I was always like, it's both, it's really both. So thank you, you've just validated one of our ongoing arguments.

Patrick Fingles:
There you go. Of course.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay. I would really like to talk a little bit about as we're ... I'm going to stay on this theme of, the next generation and young people coming in, in sales, but also how that's correlating with the older generation, right, who still is probably set in more traditional older ways. Technology today is bridging that gap and making it so much more attainable. And with what we've gone over through the last 18 months with COVID, technology is more important than ever. How are you seeing that effect on the roofing industry? And then a little on the home exteriors overall. What is that technology, especially the lead technology? What has that done to bring more young people, but also just elevate the industry?

Patrick Fingles:
So I think it's a transition. I think it's going to be a debate of how fast it's going to move. Because if you look for somebody that doesn't appreciate the technology from a customer base or from a business owner base, you're going to find someone, right. And if you look for people that do appreciate the technology, you're going to find them too. So it's really about which direction you want to go. But I think ... My grandmother's 89 years old, she just got on Facebook, right, so Nan's on Facebook.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it.

Patrick Fingles:
Just got on. And you'd thought she never figured it out. She had a home phone. I called her on it for years and now she's got an iPhone and she's on Facebook, she's commenting on photos. Look, you can never say never when it comes to technology regardless of the age of the consumer base. I mean, we know it's going to go that way. Everybody's using technology in some capacity.
So I think from a homeowner perspective, I think that ... It's funny. Homeowners ... I find that homeowners aren't demanding technology, they're totally okay with the traditional estimating process, contracting process. They're still good with leaving a check under the doormat, right, for the contractor, for the deposit, or for the pickup. The problem you have is you're going to have businesses that are out there telling homeowners that's not okay. So if you're going up against one or two other estimates, they're going to start to learn the value of technology through the other estimates they got and you're going to start to lose on that. So it's going to start to ... Listen, homeowners always shop price a ton, we know that right. I tell them not to but they do, and it drives their decision.
Well, what's going to happen is as companies come in and they get three estimates and one company is massively adopting technology and providing that experience for the customer and the other company is not, that price variable or gap is going to have to get even bigger. So the companies that are using technology are increasing their prices and the companies that aren't using it are going to have to make the gap even bigger to justify hiring them because the experience is going to be so much better for the consumers. But the consumer is not ... We're so far away from a consumer calling and saying, "Hey, what's that ... Before I schedule my estimate, what type of technology do you use?"

Heidi Ellsworth:
No.

Patrick Fingles:
Contractors don't see it. They still get phone calls, they still get leads, and they can still go out and they could still give estimates. And those estimates, they still get sales. People still buy. So why do I need to spend the money on this technology? Why do I have to go through this transition? My grandmother's phone still rang. I mean, she could still speak to me, right, but she wanted to FaceTime. So now eventually, you start to feel left out. Eventually you start to feel left out. So I think the change is going to drive.
So I think it's going to eventually come through price compression and people aren't going to accept that you're going to walk into the house and they're going to ask you questions like, "Can I pay you with a credit card? Do you offer financing? Do you ... Can you mind showing me how you came up with the price? The other guy was talking about price transparency and showing me his detailed estimate, how did you come up with your price of $10,000?" And it's going to start to be pushed more. So I think it's ... I think you're going to have to get on board sooner or later.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I think too ... I love that direction and I love what you said at the very beginning is you need to understand your customers because there's going to be such a wide range of customers out there and how they want to consume the information or make the purchase. I'm probably just because I've been in roofing so long, but if someone shows up with a little book and wants to sit down at my coffee table with me and my husband for two hours, I'm like don't even bother because I want to be able to see it on their website, I want to have the technology, I want to have the good communications, and then I want them to come out and I want to see them up on ... Really looking at my roof. But not everybody has that much ... This next generation, and I also think all generations right now because of the access to the internet, are doing so much research ahead of time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And so for contractors to ... Especially contractors who haven't adopted it, and we see so many who have especially the younger companies starting out there, but what do you see as the biggest obstacle? I mean, in them being able to adopt the technology, but also the biggest obstacle to get to that next level of sales? I think a lot of contractors really struggle at that one to two million stage.

Patrick Fingles:
It's changed I think. It's just it's hard. You're called into business. I mean, you don't have a project manager you're on the roof. I mean, you had the plan. Because we see it. We see it in webinar registrations, right. we see it in trade show conferences. I mean, guys, and girls, and business owners are coming to these webinars because they want to learn. They listen to this podcast because they want to learn. But the fact is tomorrow you wake up and Mrs. Jones called and your guy did something wrong and the basement's flooding. And you're like well, I was planning on adapting technology into my business so I can grow. So it's like what comes first the chicken or the egg? Somehow you have to free up the time in order to be able to invest in. You just have to prioritize it or else it's insanity and you just chase your tail.
I don't think it comes down to economics. I think everybody's willing to pay the price for these softwares and these technologies, and I think everybody can do it. I mean, the technology nowadays. I mean, Leap, for instance, I mean, our support system is so strong. Shameless plug there. But our support system for our contractors is so strong to be able to help them along the way, but they still need the time. And it's our biggest commodity is ... Our most valuable asset for us as business owners is time and I just ... We do a ton of demos and a ton of webinars and people say they're interested but just don't have time to do it right now.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
So how do you make that time? How do you find it? You got to plug away on it on the weekends. You got to not schedule a job on Friday, which is tough, and you got to nail it on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you got to do that. It's a means to an end. It's a means to an end of giving yourself more time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I agree. It used to be in the good old days when I first started in roofing, is that you knew you'd have November through February maybe. Maybe a little bit October, to do that planning on your business, to really work on your business. Because unless you were in the Southern states, you had this where you didn't do as much. It doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It seems like its year around. And so even though they just ... Weather's still out there, you never know when it's going to hit, you never know when that first hail storm is going to hit. So I think finding the time. And I love what you say about your team helping because sometimes it's just that phone call that you need somebody on your side helping to push it to the next level.

Patrick Fingles:
It's funny you say that because people on the roofing side, people always ask me, "How are you guys doing? Are you busy?" And I say, "Well, are you asking if I'm busy or are you asking if we're busy? Because no, it's July and we're slow as anything right now, right. We can't make the phone ring but I'm working overtime." Because I find that when we're the slowest that's when I'm the busiest, right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes, yes.

Patrick Fingles:
Because I work in the business different. Customers don't drive my behavior because you stop working in your business and you start working on it. And I think that's ... And I didn't invent that term by ... I mean, everybody says that, but it's finding the time to wearing both hats. Yes, I'm not saying you can't ... You can turn over the keys to the kingdom. You might not have the revenue to hire somebody, you might not have somebody that's capable, but you have to segment time. And yes, if you're in the Northern states, hey listen, December and January is a great time. When COVID shut the whole world down I mean, we saw huge spikes in Leap sales because people were in their basement and they were bored. And we said, "Hey listen, you might not be able to go to your customer's house, you might not have sales but you can still work on your business.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right. Right.

Patrick Fingles:
And so we saw big spikes in that. And I think that's real validation and that time is a contractor's biggest constraint. How do you time manage?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, and what we're doing today, right? We're talking cross country from each other. We're actually have some audio here so we're seeing each other and talking through that. I think that's going to be a bigger reality in sales. And I know everybody ... In fact, I'm probably right now have some people hissing at me, Patrick, because they're like no, you have to have the kitchen table, you have to have the kitchen table, but it's going to change. And so having things adapted to the Zoom, I don't see it going away just because COVID has lessened. Now we're fighting that too. But what do you see on hybrid selling? How can contractors incorporate it?

Patrick Fingles:
We do it. So that starts with a healthy tech stack because if you don't have the technology to deliver a solid virtual presentation you can't do it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
So I mean, that's where it starts. So if you're not in that game you're not selling remote. And I said, "Look, there's a difference between delivering a remote estimate and selling remotely." A lot of people would are like we're doing virtual sales and I'm like well, what are you doing? They're like well, we're going out to the house measuring everything or using an EagleView And we're mailing them the estimate. And I'm like well, that's a virtual estimate not virtually selling. Are you doing your presentation virtually or are they on a Zoom? Are you still taking them through the products?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
And I think it's really important for us not to sacrifice communication between the customer and simply just eliminate the on-site visit. You got to replicate the on-site visit in a virtual setting so I think it starts with a healthy tech stack. And then I think for a lot of people I don't think you jump off the deep end, I think you'd do a hybrid. What we do is we schedule what's called an estimate prep and we do ask that someone's home for the estimate prep, and we go out and we tell them they don't need to open their door or anything. We're just ... We'll honk, we'll wave, we're going to be on-site for about 20 minutes. So we do an estimate prep and we go out and then we can look for your unforeseen things, get a lay of the land, and it instills a little bit of confidence in the homeowner. They see you.
And we find that most of them are willing to open the door and this was in strict COVID times. Most of them were willing to open the door or they were willing to say, "How to do? You're not a big, scary COVID monster." And then what we do is we schedule a follow-up for an hour or so with the Zoom meeting where we're going to be reviewing all the information that we have and going over the estimate with them. So if you're a little scared to jump into one side, the hybrid is always good if you feel the need to go on-site for something. And some of them, we did 100% hybrid. We didn't need to do it.
So I think it's one, it's having the technology to do it. The basic blocking and tackling of that technology is some sort of virtual contract software. It's some sort of satellite communication software. It doesn't have to be Leap. Everybody will kill me for saying that, but you could do it with Zoom and a DocuSign. It won't be as good as if you do it through Leap. It won't be as easy, but nonetheless, it can be done. So I think those are the basic principles, the basic blocking, and tackling. If you layer in products like Leap and ENGAGE that have virtual presentation modes and things like that, I think you'll get a ... Then you're really doing a great virtual sales presentation.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, and anybody ... You can put anything together. Little pieces here pieces there, but when you're working with ... And I really want to put this out to the contractors. When you're working with experts who are ... I mean, you come from an exterior company, you've done windows, you've done roofing, you've tested this in the hybrid model, and I think that's important because it looks more professional and it doesn't take it ... We were just talking about how long it takes to adopt and to take the time to do the demo and to incorporate it. It's less time because a lot of the bugs have already been experienced.

Patrick Fingles:
It's funny. I did a webinar a while back and I said, "Stop selling products, and materials, and labor, and service guarantees. Nobody cares." And because you have guys like me that go out and say, "Hey listen, suppose you ... Before you can even get your checkbook I can get you financed. Before you can get the check and write it, I'll have you approved in two seconds and I'm going to do it in a total compliance." You got guys like me saying, "Hey, I'm going to text you, you're going to get a link. You put your credit card number in that link on your phone and then it's PCI compliant level one against credit card fraud, and we'll go ahead and we'll tokenize your deposit." As opposed to, "Hey, you got a credit card number, write it down on this scrap piece of paper."
So when we go into the house and we're selling against the competition, if the competition isn't up to what we've being the standards of a modern digital contractor, that's where we go to war. We don't go to war against their price, we don't go to war against their products because everybody can sell the same products.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
That doesn't delineate you, right. I mean, so what delineates you? I'm like hey well, let me see their estimate, how broke? Oh, we're total price transparency. Let me show you how our hover converted into your estimate. I'm going to give it to you line by line, and then I'm also going to be able to get your financed in 30 seconds, and I'm going to give you a 3D rendering of your home with the new roofing color, and I'm going to take that put it all on our seven-page contract that has you totally covered, fully detailed, total communication, and it's going to be emailed up into your inbox with video testimonials from other customers, and all your warranties already attached, and our insurance certificate.
And it's like you can't ... And I'm like if you want to take the risk of the other guy said 10,000 bucks, wrote it on a carbon copy piece of paper, didn't show you at all how he came up with the price and asked you to leave a check under the door, that just doesn't feel safe. I don't care if we're selling the same products or not. So it's really it's that harsh delineation is that's how we go. And so it's like we ... Rewind 10 years ago, we weren't saying that. 10 years ago was well, what type of products are they using? What's their warranty?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
What's their commitment to service? And it was the problem with all three of those things is one, the products are commodities, they don't separate you they make you the same. And we all make the same service commitment. It's not like the other guys walking around with a t-shirt that says, "I'm going to do a terrible job for you." If they were it would make me a lot easier to win over their estimates, right. Well, for us it's ... I love I do, I love contractors but I'm just open the playbook. I mean, the larger companies I mean, that's what they're selling. They're not going in saying, "Hey, well, we're using this GAF shingle and they're using CertainTeed And here's the difference between the two." They're just going in and they're providing a reliable, transparent experience, right. Amazon is not cheaper it's just reliable, transparent, And you know what you're going to get and it makes you feel safe, right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
So it's like that's what the modern company is trying to do.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love that. I love that because I think that's the differentiator. That's the thing that makes the difference. I think ... And I do, I have to say I think your salespeople have to understand the products. They have to be able to sell the benefits because we just ... We've had all these things on ventilation. Some homeowners are not going to care less, but other ones are going to be like, "Hey, I got all this mold and stuff's going on." But hopefully, every roofing company is doing that and is educating their staff on that. But then when the technology comes in, that's the difference. But it just it looks so much more professional and you're right safe. I love that. I hadn't thought about that before.

Patrick Fingles:
I got a thing I say at Leap. It says stop using Leap to sell and start using Leap to sell. And what I mean by that is don't use it, it's not ... It's more than just ... And this isn't a shameless plug. And I did this on a webinar. I was like stop using your technology to sell and start using it to sell. And what I mean by that is if you're using an EagleView report, don't just use it as a commodity that helps you get the estimate. The homeowners see value in reviewing the EagleView report. It makes you look reliable and buttoned-up. So if you're buying the EagleView report and simply using it to come up with an estimate and not using it as part of your sales presentation, well then you're not using it.
So when I advocate for Leap users, I'm like make it ... Put it on your website. Not because I want Leap's brand out there, but because when people are coming to your website and they're exploring your website versus the competition's website and we're like, "Hey, we use this digital selling software to make sure that your credit card information is safe, to make sure that every one of our estimates is accurate, and to make sure that our contracts are clearly written in clear communication and no details are left out." That's what people want to make their buying decisions on.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes.

Patrick Fingles:
So it's like stop using it to sell and start using it to sell, right. Don't just use it as a tool, use it as a selling tool, right. We're all about it. If we do something, that's what we're talking about in the house. I mean, we take them into our CRM and we show them the 13 step selling process that we use, and our production cycles, and we're like do you think the other is doing this or it's just next sell.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
Because you have to sell them.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Exactly.

Patrick Fingles:
What are his tools? So I'm a big advocate for that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love that. I have to tell you, when ... As part of the EagleView startup we had ... You can imagine the first time we came out and said, "Hey, you can get your roof ... You can measure your roofs from the air, from this aerial image, right." And they're like, "Heidi, you're nuts. You are whacked. Go find a different job." And now today to hear you say how that technology is being used, we preach that over and over again. This is a sales and marketing tool. Having technology is a sales and marketing tool. If you don't use it in your marketing you're missing half the whole equation. And so I love that. Love it.

Patrick Fingles:
We're a big partner with HOVER too and we actually, we use HOVER and EagleView, we use them both depending on the scenario. HOVER they always have pushed the 3D rendering. Use your 3D rendering. And I'm like well, you're missing out by not pushing the measure reports so it's pushed measure report because the homeowners ... Listen, man, homeowners don't trust contractors. And how you create trust, you create through transparency, right. Seeing is believing. So you've come up with your price it's 12,500 and it's like ... And then the contractors are like, "Don't ever make it a round number. Make it 12,152 so it's more believable." And I'm like that doesn't work either. Show them the line item pricing of how you got to $11,839.27. All of those ... Almost all of our contractors come in with ... All of our contracts come in with change on them and I just love seeing that because that's a contractor that's transparent.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's really doing it. Well, and-

Patrick Fingles:
Change in the contract.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I know because we have ... HOVER is part of the Roofers Coffee Shop community too and we ... I'm doing ... We're doing videos with them on contractor success stories. And I agree, that is they're using that technology in a way that is differentiating them. And as a homeowner, of course, I want to sit down and I want to look at my house. I want to see ... There's a level of pride. I can remember looking at the aerial imagery and like ... So the fact that all goes right into Leap, that it integrates in easily, that again, let's go back to adoption which is what's hard for everybody on time. If it already is integrating and already working, that's a huge bonus.

Patrick Fingles:
That's all ... Those integrations are all there and set up and really that's ... For us, that's what Leap did. I mean, when we built it, it was really ... I mean, HOVER, and EagleView, and MarketSharp, and i360, and JobNimbus, I mean, there's all of these great partners out there, right. But it all felt a little bit siloed and Leap really just brings that all together, and puts it in the salespeople's hands, and it makes it more customer-facing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes.

Patrick Fingles:
So it brings all that transactional process together and it gives you those controls. And God, it makes training so much easier. I mean, it's sad but our guys don't know how to measure a roof.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
And that's sad but how long does it teach somebody how to measure and price a roof? I mean, you can spend a month teaching somebody to do that effectively. And then they mismeasure and they start you out below minimum or they price gouge for the next six months while they try to figure it out. So listen, our guys, we don't train that anymore. We train them how to order the measure report and import it, and that takes all of two hours.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
The estimates are accurate and we control price gouging because it does the calculation, it does the mathematics for them. And so you don't have two neighbors same house, one of them got an estimate for 12 from us and one of them got an estimate for 14. It cleans that all up.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It shows huge responsibility to the consumer. I mean, that you really care enough to do it the right way. And I think that's the way technology should be used. On that point, I want to just real quick talk about the millennials who are buying homes. I'm seeing it all the time. They are buying homes, they're in it. They're a totally different mindset of how they do it and they want this technology. What are you seeing from that side, from the homeowner? In your business millennial homeowners.

Patrick Fingles:
It's all about payment because millennials are work less play more, right. They're more about caring what they do then ... They're not ... There's not as much capitalism in homeownership anymore, right, so it's all about ease of paying. Hey, my roof is leaking, I need to get this done how can I pay for it, we're on a fixed income? so it's so funny to me ... In our business, 70% of the homeowners we work with finance.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay.

Patrick Fingles:
But there's this statistic out there that only 10% of companies offer financing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Jeez. I had not heard that.

Patrick Fingles:
So if you think about that, the consumer ... If the consumer had it their way, if it was offered to them, 70% of them would use financing. And that make sense because what's the average roof price? 10, 12, 13, $14,000, right. People don't buy that in cash, they finance that, right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes.

Patrick Fingles:
Yet only 10% of contractors offer financing. And I'm sure a GreenSky, or Service, or PowerPay, or one of those partners might be able to speak better to those metrics, but it's a very small percentage of people financing. And so it's not the long-winded question, but it's ... So it's that type of financing. Nobody wants to get three estimates on anything. You want to go to three grocery stores to get a dozen eggs?

Heidi Ellsworth:
No.

Patrick Fingles:
It's the most ludicrous thing in the whole world. The only reason I don't get three estimates ... The only reason I have to get three estimates from contractors is so I can figure out who I trust because from out of the gate I don't trust any of them. So technology is going to win the war on that. I don't want to go to three stores to get a pair of pants. I hope that I walk in and sitting there right there on the rack on the very first store is a pair of pants that fits me like a glove that in my price.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes.

Patrick Fingles:
And they take credit cards. And they take credit cards because that's how I'm going to win because I don't have cash. I didn't bring my checkbook, right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Patrick Fingles:
So it's those basic principles. I mean, you'll see it. There's only two industries. I was just talking about this. People always ask in contracting business it's hey, will you give me your best price? It's only an us and car sales. Where else do you do that? Do you go to the restaurant and sit down at the table and say, "Hey listen, before we order do you think I could get your best price?" There's two industries in which that is present, and you got your Carvana, and your Teslas, and your CarMax, and they're just pounding that drum and it's going to happen in home improvements too. I am busy.
I want to do my research on what car I want, and then know where I'm going to buy it, and trust that I'm getting taken care of. I want it ... I do want to do my research on what contractor I want to hire and then I'm to call that contractor. I'm going to hire them. The other two guys aren't even going to have a chance because I'm not even getting estimates from them because I'm too busy. It's not ... It's crazy at three estimates. Who invented that? Who made that rule up? Go back to the 1950s, you didn't get three estimates you just called Herb and he came out, right. Sorry, I'm on a tirade but it's like who gets three estimates on anything.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh my ... I love ... You are so funny. [crosstalk 00:33:44].

Patrick Fingles:
Homeowners say they want to do it. They're so brain warped that you sit there and you give them your price and they're like, "Well, appreciate you coming down. And here's the thing we really want to get two more estimates." I'm like, "You want to get two more estimates or you have to," because I can take [inaudible 00:34:01]. I will not accept one, two. Nobody wants to do that. Anyway, it's like I went to the doctors three times, he didn't show up all three times.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh my gosh. I tell you ... We are coming to the end of our time and I have to say, I just want to end it on that because that is priceless. And it's so true it's so obvious and we don't even think about it. Where else do we do that? Nowhere.

Patrick Fingles:
Nowhere. I'm going to go to the roofing store and I want to pick my roof up on my way home from work.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Exactly.

Patrick Fingles:
Or oh, I got to stop on my way home and buy a roof real quick. Well, I'm leaving here at 5:00 so I should be home at 6:30. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it. Well, for everyone who's out there listening, I have to tell you this is going to be one of my top ones. This is so much fun, Patrick. I'm loving this conversation. We're going to have to do it again because there's so much happening out there with these changes that are going on, and how much the contractors have to deal with not only from where we've been but where we're going with the next generation of homeowners and contractors and how they're coming in. So real quick. Just last question of our podcast is, what are you hearing right now from contractors? What are you hearing from your Leap contractors on the ... On how they're dealing with all this and all of the pressures that are out there?

Patrick Fingles:
Right now it's inventory, its prices. I mean, lumber's at an all-time high. It's hard to get product. And so it's hard to look past any of that. If I call our contractor and say, "Hey, what's your biggest challenge right now?" They're going to be like "Backlog." Labor is really lean and mean. You're going to start to see a shortage in labor and only the good contractors are going to win. That means the guys that can keep the labor, keep them busy, pay them the most. We had a question we didn't get to it is, what's the biggest challenge that a business owner faces? And for me, it's one that probably nobody will answer. They'll probably say things like leads or personnel. It's margin.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh, yes. Yes.

Patrick Fingles:
It's margin, man. I mean, I got to win in the price game I got to cut and then I can't pay my labor a lot, I can't pay my employees a lot so I can't hire the best employees, I can't get the best mechanic. So I think the biggest challenge upcoming is probably going to be labor shortages, and it's going to be hard for even big companies.
So I think the way you're going to win in that is you're going to pay because there are ... There's a pool of contractors out there, 80% of them are laborers, right. 80 ... 70% of them are the ... There's like the ... You'll put them in quartiles. You got your top 30, your mid-50, and then your bottom 30. And those top 30s they're going to work for places that pay them the absolute most, and that can deliver their job every single day, and their check is ready on Friday and it doesn't bail ... It doesn't bounce, it didn't get lost in the mail, and treats them like gold. So it's about ... I think that that's going to be the big trend moving forward. And you hear our country talking about that, investing in both tech schools and things like that because American's labor force is struggling.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. And I ... But I truly believe technology is the answer there too because it goes right back to what you said earlier, that if the contractor is estimating correctly if they're selling correctly, if they are transparent to the homeowner, then that all trickles down to the culture of the company and the ability to retain and keep the retention of employees.

Patrick Fingles:
It does. It does. And it expedites jobs, you can do more with less, and you can ... Like I said, and you can provide a better experience for your labor force because if they're not feeling good about working for you I've try ... I promise somebody else will hire them especially if they're in that top quartile.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Exactly. Right now they'll move. Everybody knows they can move. And so culture, technology, those are the things, Patrick, I have a feeling the culture of Leap, if it's like ... We always say it always starts at the top. Awesome culture. Thank you. I love your energy, I love your sense of humor, and I love your tirades. I think that's pretty awesome.

Patrick Fingles:
Thanks for having me, Heidi, I appreciate it. And I always like to just end with look, it's nothing is fact. Nobody speaks in facts, everybody speaks in opinion and mine's just an opinion. I think there's a lot of room out there for your small contractors that do it the old-fashioned way and there's nothing wrong with doing that. But when asked my opinion, my opinion is, the virtual tech-savvy contractor will be able to drive higher margins, buy better labor, and deliver a better customer experience.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I agree 100%. Thank you. A great way to end it. Thank you so much for being with me today and thank you all for listening. I hope you picked up on the great energy from this podcast, but listen to all of our podcasts, they're all on Roofers Coffee Shop under the read, listen, watch initiative, or go to your favorite podcast channel and subscribe. In fact, a lot of this you can also find on YouTube. So please subscribe to all of our channels because you don't want to miss any of these especially when you have a gem like the one we had today. 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.



Recommended For You


Comments

There are currently no comments here.

Leave a Reply

Commenting is only accessible to RCS users.

Have an account? Login to leave a comment!


Sign In
EagleView Assess -  Banner Ad - Visualizer
English
English
Español
Français

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
Quarrix - Sidebar - SmartPlug Free Sample - April 2024
SRS TopShield - Sidebar Ad - CraftGrade Independence
Equipter - Sidebar - $200 Rebate 2
GCMC-Podcast-WinTraining-Sidebar-2
Georgia-Pacific - Sidebar Ad - DensDeck StormX eBook
AEP Span - Sidebar - Rollformer -  March