Put yourself in a homeowner’s place and imagine that your roof is leaking or that a violent windstorm has swept through your neighborhood, ripping shingles off every home’s roof. Your main concern would be to protect your family and property.
In order to fix the problem before further damage can occur, you must act quickly. You may not have time to obtain at least three estimates or to properly vet a roofing contractor who just happens to turn up on your doorstep in the nick of time.
Once you can honestly feel for the homeowner in such a situation, think about the ways you, as a professional roofing contractor, can provide reassurance – not only for installing roof shingles promptly and correctly – but also for providing quality service and peace of mind at every stage of the process. What questions would you ask a contractor? What would be your expectations?
Whether it’s an emergency repair job or a roof replacement project that doesn’t need to start immediately, here are six questions we’ll answer to help you and your crews demonstrate your expertise, and present yourselves as trusted professionals.
To find a local roofing contractor, homeowners will typically search Google or a site, such as HomeAdvisor or HomeStars, then visit the company’s website and read the testimonials or reviews. They may also check to see if the company is listed – in a good way or bad – with the Better Business Bureau.
Never overlook the importance of making a good first impression. Clean, branded vehicles and uniforms, professionally produced marketing materials, a welcoming and orderly store space (if you have one), and friendly, courteous staff members work together to create and reflect your professional image.
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of unscrupulous storm-chasers and fly-by-night roofers. These people tend to show up in areas away from their own communities and operate out of their vehicles. They generally lack the necessary insurance and certifications. Their installers may be paid cash under the table in order to avoid paying employment taxes or benefits.
As a reputable roofing contractor, DO help educate your prospects by making them aware of these charlatans. Perhaps create a checklist of questions they should ask before engaging any roofer.
Many things can go wrong when installing roof shingles. Safety is always job one, and that’s why it’s so important for homeowners to make sure that the roofing contractor they hire is fully covered by the appropriate, up-to-date types of insurance.
Moreover, contractors should ensure that their crews receive adequate, regular training and use safety harnesses, roof ropes and other gear that’s frequently checked to be in good repair.
Insurance requirements vary widely. DO be sure that your roofing company complies with all federal, state or provincial and municipal laws. Here are some insurance types you may need.
Please note that while contractors should consider carrying all types of insurance, as listed below, homeowners will be most concerned that you have general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Always include proof of such insurance when you make your initial presentation to prospects.
Here are some types of insurance you should consider:
DO include the types of insurance coverage you have when you craft your proposals and contracts.
Installing roof shingles is a messy business as you remove the old shingles and it’s noisy as you nail down new ones. DO show consideration for your homeowner’s property and family. Doing so can further enhance your professional image. DO let them know what to expect in terms of disruption and explain how you and your crews will do your best to minimize it.
We recommend the following:
Ideally, you and the homeowner will have established a timetable in advance that works for both of you and you’ll be able to complete the job in the agreed-upon time. But be prepared for the unexpected. The family may be called away for some reason. An at-home worker might need quiet to take a business call.
Communication is key to solving these issues. DO encourage the homeowner to let you know of any circumstances that might affect your workday – and theirs – and plan accordingly. For example, if a homeowner needs quiet for a certain time, perhaps your crew could take its lunch break then.
Professional roofing contractors understand that installing asphalt shingles properly the first time means fewer call-backsto correct mistakes later. Roofers who cut corners to save time or money up front stand to lose both eventually, as well as harm their reputation and risk missing out on potential future sales.
We’ve compiled a brief list of some key items of what NOT to do, based on some real-life examples of corner-cutting roofers.
You can also benefit from reading these articles on six steps you can take to minimize call-backs after installing a shingle roof and how to respond to negative reviews.
We all make mistakes; it’s how we take ownership and correct them that counts. Whether you or your installers truly did make a mistake or the homeowner thinks that you did is irrelevant.
The most successful roofing contractors create a working environment of mutual trust and respect, where employees’ concerns can be aired without fear of reprisal and where their opinions, input and ideas are genuinely valued.
When people know that you have their back and best interests at heart, they will not be afraid to share when things go wrong or they make a mistake. You need them to tell you.
Always DO take the time to listen to both sides of an issue and focus on the behavior or problem, rather than on the person, then devise an effective solution.
Chances are that you will have developed a sense for the homeowner’s personality and attitude during your initial presentation. Difficult customers generally send up red flags early in the process, and you have every right not to accept a project if your intuition senses potential trouble.
If you or your installers do make a mistake, devise your best solution in correcting it and advise the homeowner immediately. Don’t tell the homeowner there’s a problem without being able to suggest a viable solution; but be open to considering other alternatives the homeowner might suggest as well.
Get more tips and information to help you and your crews install it right.
Professional Roofing Contractors!
IKO offers a benefit-rich loyalty program that includes getting leads sent directly to your desktop or mobile device in real time. There are three levels of membership in the IKO ROOFPROTM program:
Preferred, Select and Craftsman. Each offers you a special discount from HomeAdvisor/HomeStars to get, track and manage leads. Last year, HomeAdvisor received over 1.4 million roofing project requests.
Want in? Click here to register, find out more and see if you qualify.