Editor's note: The following is the transcript of The Heidi and Vickie Show. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast here.
Heidi: Welcome to the Heidi and Vickie show. We are doing a podcast today because of everything that is going on in the world with coronavirus. And we wanted to just share our thoughts. Vickie, what do you think?
Vickie: Well, I'm hoping... Today is March 16th, and so I would like to pretend in my mind that it's going to be kind of messed up. We're supposed to hunker down as of this time, and stay home as much as possible. So I'm kind of mentally thinking of it as how it is during Christmas vacation. You know how some businesses operate, some are closed. So we're just down for the count for a while. And if that works the way it's supposed to, then we will have nipped this in the bud, and we can go on with our life as usual. If it doesn't, I just want to be prepared as possible for what's going to happen to us. In our industry it's different, thank goodness, because we can still work, but can we sell? And there's just so many unknowns. So you wrote a beautiful announcement. And I thought it would be fun if we could go over it right now, and elaborate a little more on what the Roofers Coffee Shop can do to help.
Heidi: You know what? I think that was perfect, because you know what? Before we even get into that, you and I talked a lot over the last couple of days about how this is going to be basically kind of a societal shift, to really making technology even more important than it already is. And that digital, and learning, and being able to have engagement and talk to each other online, and on the phone, and everywhere else, how important it is. So that's what kind of led to this letter that you and I wrote, because we really were like, we've got to keep the engagement. We've got to have everybody helping each other and talking together.
Vickie: When we had September 11th, which is the only thing in our lifetime that we can really equate a catastrophic event. And I felt insignificant with my little newspaper, because I used to do the Roofer's Exchange. I felt insignificant with all of the important things were happening in the world. And then I was reminded, or I reminded myself, that me going out and working, and doing the best job I can everyday, does make a difference. But this time, I really feel like the Roofers Coffee Shop could be such a help to everybody. I feel so... That it's really important just to reach out and go, "How can we help you?" Tell us, because we have an excellent communication hub. Everybody can talk to each other. You can get information. And so we are here to... And we don't know what they're going to need, but we can provide it, I think, better than anybody else. I mean, we don't know what information they need.
Heidi: Right. And we talked to a lot of really smart people, our influencers and other industry leaders everyday. Everybody's thinking, everybody's like, "Okay. How do we take care of each other? How do we take care of our families? How do we take care of our communities?" Because we still all need strong roofs over our heads, no matter what.
Vickie: Right. We can't really stop. Just think of all those poor people recently in Nashville, all those things. Mother Earth isn't going to stop. We just got to figure out the best way to get contractors the information they need, where they can go.
Heidi: I think, in one way, what the roofing industry can do to continue roofing, and continue protecting homes and businesses, is the fact that really it's outside. There can be good social distance between workers on the roof. It's probably, in some ways, one of the safest places to be working, because you can-
Vickie: Isn't it ironic?
Heidi: Yeah. I know. In a not-so-safe industry. It's probably one of the best places to be right now, except for at home by yourself, and so we just need to figure out how to help. I think you said it perfectly. How can contractors get the information they need to really be there to give continue the engagement and also the comfort level with their customers, the building owners, and the homeowners out there.
Vickie: Right. I feel like we're making a big deal out of something that might be nothing. But in the same respect. I hope we're laughing at how in dramatic this became because nothing came of it. That's the best case scenario. But I want to hedge my bets. I want to put stuff in place so that we will be able to still prosper and succeed.
Heidi: Exactly. So yeah, let's go over that letter, some of the things you and I have brainstormed and maybe if everyone out there hears kind of what we've been thinking, they'll think of other things and they'll tell us and we'll be able to continue just to grow this engagement and help support system of the Coffee Shop.
Vickie: Well, first of all, the most important... And I wrote the... Or you wrote the first and easiest communication vehicle is our roofer's forum. And so we put up, we have a forum called Roofers Talk. Now it is slowed down, social media has affected it over the years. But anybody that was an avid user of the forum in the past will tell you it really helped because it becomes a brotherhood of like minded people. It's not competitors and these guys go on and want to help other, if you have advice, if you have questions, it's time to really utilize the form, bring the forum back to life to help you. And we will make sure that we get it out every way we possibly can. If you have a question and ask our resources also. So if there's help you need or if you can give help.
Heidi: And it's also, Vickie, I think you got to point out, is that right now I don't know about you but looking on social media, it's just exploding with so much stuff that's not pertinent to my everyday business or my everyday life. And by coming to the forum on Roofer's Coffee Shop, you're just going to talk roofing and you're going to talk with roofing contractors from all over the country who are helping to give advice and support and also manufacturers and distributors. Because we've really invited everybody into this coronavirus forum to help so that the industry can pull together and help each other.
Vickie: Right. So the second thing we thought about was our newsroom. So we put up a special page, called coronavirus updates because there's constantly updates now. Everybody's putting something out. And so what we're going to do besides posting it in the newsroom immediately, we're going to get the word out and then we post it across social media. But it's a good place and it's accurate for our industry. Because it's known sources that are putting this information out. And Trent [Cotney 00:07:32] has put out some amazing, I mean, very important information for people regarding the contracts and, because what if you can't get your material and finish the job? What if... So he put a thing that we posted this morning. I mean this is valuable information, and he just posted it and give it to everybody for them to protect themselves. And I admire him for that.
Heidi: Me, too.
Vickie: And then we have, even though I'll mention the influencers later, we had one of our roofing influencers, Rudy Gutierrez, write some stuff about what he's doing immediately to keep his guys safe and working. And so that's an important read. So all this is up in our newsroom. So that's why it's a huge help for everybody.
Heidi: And it's easy and fast. You can go in there, you can go to the coronavirus page to see the updates, just like that quick every... Anytime during the day. But there's also going to be tons of other stuff on the newsroom too. So yeah, and it's all pertinent to business. That's the part I love.
Vickie: Yeah. So it's a good place. So you can get news, you can have a discussion, what's up here, you can read what we have. We also have, I mentioned our read, listen, watch section. So a lot of things are getting canceled, trainings, any RCA has been postponed. The IIBEC which used to be the RCI show has been postponed. We're waiting for word on other things that we think may be, that were not for sure yet but pretty much any gathering. And so that's a little training sessions. So the RLW section is devoted to opportunities to learn. And that's free to use any time. So you can go on if your guys... You want a pay them but there's, you've already done detailed the cars or the trucks and the warehouse is clean and you still feel you want to help some of your people out. It's a good opportunity for training and we have some resources there.
Heidi: I think that is so important because there is going to be some downtime, and I know, I've heard from some roofing companies and also other groups where they're actually kind of doing shifts of having so many people work, out in public and they're keeping other ones home safe. And so then they can switch so that if people get it, they don't all get it at the same time. And everyone for the most part has internet at home. So this is a great way to do training. Even if they're not in the office, just say, "Okay, this is what we're going to do." And send them here because there's some great information on our read, listen, watch, great podcasts, webinars, things to read. I mean, there's just so much.
Vickie: Heidi, until you just said that, I'm thinking they're calling the guys into a room and they get them... Oh, oh, that's right. They can learn from the home. They're supposed to be home. I'm such a silly...
Heidi: well, we don't have to think now that it's ten people can be in a room. As of today. You're kind of like, okay, ten people at six feet apart. Okay. Yeah. A lot of training rooms can do that, but a lot of them are going to have to be, just like the kids are doing online classes at home. That's what workers are going to have to do too.
Vickie: A lot of training rooms. If they have a conference room, that's all it is. Or it's the warehouse. So, but anyway, Heidi, I thought you were so smart for saying that. That's the whole purpose of what we have this for. Isn't that funny?
Heidi: We aren't there yet. We're still trying to figure, we're still thinking through this. This is so different and weird.
Vickie: Yeah. Sometimes I still don't feel scared. I just feel like that we've gone over the top. Just so you know, I never got any toilet paper or anything because I was out of town. So I probably wouldn't have done it anyway. But still because those people must be pretty selfish.
Heidi: Well and we're going to get through this. I mean I just got to say, we know we're going to get through this, it's going to... People are going to get sick, they're going to get better. We're going to go back to work. It's just-
Heidi: But it is going to be a bump. And so we just like they're trying to lessen, what do they call that?
Speaker 3: Flatten the curve.
Heidi: They're trying to flatten the curve.
Vickie: Yeah. Flatten the curve.
Vickie: And that's a very interesting... I told my husband about that graph and then, I saw it online. Because of course we're all inundated with stuff. And then I saw it on TV too. And so that's the purpose of being so strict now. And if we can get people to stay out of the bars.
Vickie: No, I'm just kidding. So the other thing is, is that to get help or ask questions. Contractors can connect with roofing experts in our directory. So see, we have a directory of some amazing people, and amazing companies. So where the resource is there for them to speak with them directly. And I'm not trying to let the cat out of the bag, but we are working on it. I think I can announce this, because it is going to happen is that we're going to put a live chat in the directory. So you're going to go to a directory and you're going to look up a customer or a Roofing Coffee S partner and we will have the ability for you to communicate with them directly through that. We're just implementing it right now, so we just, I can't tell you exactly how it's going to work, but I think it's going to be very valuable for those of us that can't meet. And so we will have a direct, live communication tool within each customer. Each partner that we have in the directory will be able to utilize this.
Heidi: And we're also talking about the potential of maybe having a video chat too where people could actually knock and say, "Hey do you want to talk."
Vickie: That's what it might look like when it's finally done. Because people say, "Well, why can't you just pick up the phone?" Well we can do that, but this will give an opportunity for one person to reach a... One manufacturer, one business service company to reach a larger audience at one time.
Heidi: And I think that's really important. You and I do this every single day. We talk on the phone all day long. Sometimes we do a video chat, not that often, but I do a lot of video chats with a lot of other people too. And really once you get that mentality for... The contractor's teams who are at home, we've now established, they can pick up the phones, but they could also do group video chats, right? They can do things to maintain. We don't want to lose the engagement and the relationship even though we're socially distant for the next couple-
Heidi: And so we're trying to, you and I are trying to facilitate that on the site, which is what they do all the time on classified and forum anyway. We're just adding to it.
Vickie: Right, right. The last thing that we have is learn from and reach out to our RCS influencers. We really have the greatest... I'm telling you, if you listening ever got the opportunity to meet these people. We are completely blessed and honored to be associated with these people, that love the roofing industry like we do. And they're different size. They're contractor, big, small, commercial residential. We try to cover all the bases of people that are willing to give back and so they're there to support us. If you have questions, if you want to read what they're saying. And if you, they're willing to talk to you personally if you wanted to call any of them. And so please look at our roofing influencers directory and see if they have a business type that's similar to yours. Or just, they'll have pearls of wisdom no matter what size business.
Heidi: Yeah. And reach out to them because they're so awesome.
Vickie: So giving, awesome people.
Vickie: Well there's no really bad people in the roofing industry. It's the greatest. That's why you and I've been in the roofing industry. What am I on 40 some years now? And you're right behind me.
Vickie: You can't, there's too many nice people. It's a great industry with, with terrific people and one knucklehead. And we'll all be wondering who the knucklehead is now.
Heidi: Some days it's me. But you know...
Vickie: No. It's never you.
Heidi: [inaudible 00:16:29]
Vickie: Heidi, you said you've talked to contractors, you've been on the phone for days.
Vickie: And I basically am behind the scenes and I'm the one trying to make sure that things are spelled right or-
Heidi: [crosstalk 00:16:43].
Vickie: So what have you heard out there?
Heidi: So what I'm hearing right now is I have.. and talking to Trent Cotney and that team, I just, I know you said this earlier, but they are just amazing. I mean to be that fast on talking about contract negotiations during this. And so they've been, they have seen some contractors who are having jobs delayed, who have jobs rescheduled. And so that, we are hearing that is happening a little bit out there. And so understanding your contracts for the contractors. And also having good relationships with those building owners or GCs or whoever they're working with are super important. Because it's not just about the next eight weeks, it's about that longterm relationship and hopefully you can work together to make it a win win. And that's really what Trent focuses on. But at the end of the day, Trent and also make sure that the roofing contractors are protected, and which is what you got to do for your business. I'm hearing some other contractors, like I said, who are doing split shifts, trying to minimize exposure as much as possible. I can tell you that there's a number of large roofing manufacturers and corporations that I know are now all working at home. So they're taking this serious and they're really... They care about their employees and they're doing the right thing. So how great would it be if really at the end of this, a quarter of the people actually get it and it's all flattened out and we can keep our economy and everything going just because of two weeks. I loved your example of Christmas. I told somebody, we were talking about the other day and I said it's like a snow storm. Everything shuts down in a snow storm and then everything comes back up. And so hopefully it's going to be somewhat like that.
Vickie: Well, yeah, we just don't want everybody to panic and cancel their roofing jobs.
Vickie: But, I mean, I understand, but this, it's going to be interesting to see how we're going to... We can't do any estimates. It's just two weeks. If we could make it through this two weeks, I think we'll be okay and not really question it. Maybe you and I will talk again in two weeks and do another little podcast going, okay, this is what we've learned. This is the best way to make in home sales now. This is the best way to... If it gets that point, but it's not.
Heidi: Right. And you know what, we might want to do this weekly at this point just to... Because everything's changing and moving so fast. And I do think one of the things that you talked about that I'm hearing now is on the contractors. I just saw this today from some contractors who were talking about how to work with homeowners on digitally, and over the phone and not go into their houses. So we can still be roofing outside it's just, we got to be quarantine... They don't want people inside the house. So how do you sell that way? How do you sell online virtual meetings, talking over the phone, how do you keep those kinds of things going? So I am hearing contractors and there's some webinars coming out on that too RT3 has a webinar this week. Ken Kelly, he's just, he was our influencer last year, brilliant. I think, who else is on that one? Ryan? There's a couple of different... Oh, Steve Little from KPOST. He's on it from the commercial side. So there's some... And we're going to have that. We're going to have that link on our site so people can find it.
Vickie: Good, good. And then after the webinar, hopefully they'd be able to listen to it later.
Heidi: Right. And the same thing with Trent's webinar. Trent's going to be doing weekly webinars also on all of this. And he's going to share with us on RCS.
Vickie: And so what's good is he can share the questions he's been asked.
Vickie: Not just... But that thing they wrote today. I thought that was a gift. About, okay you guys, this is going to come on contracts. This is what you need to be aware of and what your rights are. I just loved that. And so yeah, we just all got to huddle, is that what we called it? Not huddle.
Heidi: Hunker down.
Vickie: That's our new word.
Heidi: Hunker down. Yeah. That's an old term I grew up with that term. We don't hear it too often, but boy, it's popular now.
Vickie: Well, I'm really proud that we have the Roofer's Coffee Shop set up so that we can so easily help.
Vickie: It wasn't supposed to be used like this, but it can be, and now we can be a great vehicle. I've always said, we are the conduit in between the contractors and the manufacturers. But basically to each other. And so this is a vehicle we encourage you to use it. Use the Coffee Shop. It's here for you.
Heidi: It's interesting, Vickie, because I was talking to somebody today about the Coffee Shop and I think everyone who's listening to this and all of our roofing professionals who we love really need to think of this as just that online community. And you and I were lucky enough this year to have the site recognized as best of class with the Folio awards as the best website and an honorable mention with our online community. And so there's so many ways that people can keep... It is a community on, come to the website. Our social media, the Facebook is amazing, the week in review comes out every week. So it's this community of people who love roofing, who are going to make things happen.
Vickie: Yeah. Yeah. It's pretty exciting, exciting times. Not... It's just different. It's our abundant life, it's abundant full of so many interesting things.
Heidi: Yeah. I got to share on some folks listening to this may know it or not, but you know, James, our oldest son. Tim and I's son is in politics. And he is going to be turning 29 he's a millennial through and through. And it was really interesting because he says there is going to be... This is... Through this, just like we saw with 9/11 we saw with the recession, there was fundamental shifts. And he is like, "There will be fundamental shifts." And I really truly believe that one of those shifts is this growing online community, this growing digital community that no matter what happens, we're still in touch. And that is a shift and it's just, I feel so blessed to be with you Vickie and doing this and having this for all of our friends in the roofing industry.
Vickie: Back at you, baby.
Heidi: It's good.
Vickie: Yeah. So I guess we should sign off now because we've... But we hope you feel our passion to this. And whoever's listening, that we are here to help and we're glad we have a tool that you can use. And I'm honored to let you use it. So please give us a call if you need to. We can put you in touch with somebody, an expert in your field. And so signing off, how do we end this, Heidi?
Heidi: What we're going to do is we're going to say, if there's anything out there that you need that we haven't covered or that you don't see on the Coffee Shop, please tell us. Just come on, Vickie at Roofer's Coffee Shop, Heidi at Roofer's Coffee Shop. Tell us what you need. And with that, we're going to end this segment of The Heidi and Vicki Show. Thank you for listening and be sure to listen to all the podcasts on our read, listen, watch segment of our site. Thanks.
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