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Total Roofing Systems - The Metal Roof Experts - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Total Roofing Systems - The Metal Roof Experts - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
December 26, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Kyle Nurminen from Total Roofing Systems - The Metal Roof Experts. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Megan Ellsworth: Hello everyone. My name is Megan Ellsworth here at rooferscoffeeshop.com, and I am back again for our Roofer of the Month. And this one's really special because it's January 2024, first month of the year and we're congratulating The Metal Roof Experts. And I have Kyle Nurminen here. Hi Kyle.

Kyle Nurminen: Hey Megan. Thanks for having me.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, we are so proud to give you the honor of our first Roofer of the Month of 2024, so congrats.

Kyle Nurminen: Thank you. Thank you. I look at it [inaudible 00:00:33] a different perspective. I think it's more like Roofer of the Year, '24, '23 though. It's kicking off the new year. We had a lot going on last year, didn't we?

Megan Ellsworth: We did. You've been on so many podcasts.

Kyle Nurminen: Yeah. So I appreciate you. Thank you very much.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, of course. So let's dive right in and have you just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about The Metal Roof Experts.

Kyle Nurminen: Well, Total Roofing Systems took on the name... We added "Metal Roof Experts" to our name officially in 2018, but it started like 25 years ago. Richard McEwen had originally founded Total Roofing. His father who had a roofing company, had retired his. So Richard started his own, specialized in commercial, government, schools. A lot of schools in the Treasure Coast area of Florida still have FiberTite roofs on them from the days of Richard McEwen. 30, 40 year roofs. It's crazy.

Megan Ellsworth: Wow.

Kyle Nurminen: And then he was getting into metal roof applications way back, and Jesus Lara, our now CEO of both Total Roofing and Dynamic Metals actually came to Richard McEwen as an installer, a crew leader. And he had an amazing resource with family and friends and in the industry and a lot of knowledge as far as getting labor, getting good crews. Actually Richard played a big part in making sure that he was doing it correctly. He wanted it done a certain way, and so he mentored Jesus into correct details. Richard has a knack for being able to design any type of a metal detail for any situation.

So Jesus came up under that and basically after Dynamic Metal started taking off, he needed a resource for installing metal roofs as well. And he bought Total Roofing from Richard McEwen. So the amazing thing is, back in the last year, we just brought Richard McEwen right back out of retirement. He's with us now as they're headed... Yeah, he's with us now. He brought FiberTite back to us as well because the years of Jesus was primarily high-end residential, new construction, anything metal.

But because the market down here is so extensive in tile, we are just as good at tile. We've done some major, major projects in tile in the area, in the West Palm Beach area. Well-known projects. So tile and metal are our areas of expertise. And now we are even getting, because of the commercial aspect and our ability to handle large projects so efficiently... That's actually Jesus's passion. It's just production. He's just likes the streamline processes. And now we do it on a grander level. So we're doing entire communities. We're doing hybrid retrofits and hybrid roof solutions all across the state of Michigan. Grew up in Ohio, Michigan. Orlando. That was only 20 years ago. I'm losing it. I'm losing it, Megan.

Megan Ellsworth: I was going to say, I thought you guys were based in Florida.

Kyle Nurminen: I'm losing it. I'm losing it.

Megan Ellsworth: It's almost the holidays. Then we have a couple days off.

Kyle Nurminen: Yeah, pretty close. I need a break. Absolutely.

Megan Ellsworth: So, you talked about you do lot tile, you do metal. Would you say that y'all have a specialty?

Kyle Nurminen: Our specialty really, I got to tell you, it's custom solutions. Because we're well-versed and well-skilled in all aspects of roofing, we really... Now, I'll be honest, we're not really a service orientated company. We don't have a big service division. We have two service crews that maintain our customers, our warranties and they're really good. And so on occasion, I get a customer that's not really a customer come at me for a leak, and it's always impressive. We're on it. Most service companies are so drawn out when they're doing their services. We're able to get on it, make an exception for that customer, do a really good job no matter what the roof system is.

And tying metal roofs and tile roofs into flat roofs and the compatibility of those materials and the overall roof design of the big picture is really what we're getting good at. That's why we're starting to do more communities, because communities are built in a certain way and some roofs have been done by some owners before and now they're trying to do one all-inclusive solution. And we're the best at trying to figure out... We're not limited to just what we do. We don't just say, "Oh, it has to be this," because that's all we know how to do, which is what a lot of these communities get. One-sided points of views. We can go look at it on every single angle, break it out to them, talk about all the advantages and disadvantages, and really make the best decision that's the best decision for them.

Megan Ellsworth: That's great. Yeah. What a specialty that is.

Kyle Nurminen: It is. It is. It takes a long process. It takes a lot of... It's not just, "Okay, what do you want?" Email you a proposal and then win a bid. It's nothing like that. We really get into the surveying and the analysis and the consulting.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, absolutely. So going off of that, more into the culture of Metal Roof Experts, what's something that you all celebrate? And that can be actual birthdays or it can be holidays or customer service. What do you celebrate over there?

Kyle Nurminen: We really celebrate our crews. We celebrate our guys. We had a whole separate Christmas party just for our crews this year, aside from the office, and any subcontractors that we work with closely. I mean, our CEO, Jesus, we spend a lot of time celebrating him. It's crazy. And near and dear to him are the ground level guys. So it goes hand in hand. We celebrate the high end and the low end, consistently. Everybody in between is just part of it, part of the journey. And it's really exciting, and really see Jesus be so hands-on. Whether they're welding FiberTite or doing some training, he's out there right next to the guys. He's out there learning how to do it himself. I mean, he's welded plenty in his career, but he needs to get used to the FiberTite. Right there next to his guys. He's out there hacking up meat for the Christmas party with a Sawzall. With the guy that's-

Megan Ellsworth: That's amazing.

Kyle Nurminen: ...stirring the pot. Doing it hardcore, that style. It's a really great family. He's not into titles. We're not a real title orientated company. Everybody really just plays on their strengths. So our sales team is very diverse. Our internal crew is very diverse and it's really just a matter of who's best at doing this, and let's let that person do that, let them spread their wings and just do what they're happy doing.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, absolutely. That's great. And that's what makes people stay and that's what builds the family and community culture of a company is celebrating everyone being together and cutting up meat with a Sawzall and celebrating the top down.

Kyle Nurminen: My son just turned 11 and he wasn't raised with a very diverse palette, but we come to a couple of company events, and street tacos, real Mexican street tacos, he's like, "Yeah, give me more of those, Dad. That's awesome."

Megan Ellsworth: I love it. Me too. Now I know what I'm having for lunch. So how would you define superior customer service?

Kyle Nurminen: You know what? I think that's a tougher question than most people readily rattle off. A lot of what people emphasize for customer service is just a coin phrase or something like that. I think the key aspect of customer service is to always make it right.

Roofing, especially in southeast Florida with the weather and the [inaudible 00:08:48] and the climate, it's always going to be something. Something's going to pop up. And then people wait and wait and wait, and then when they get contracted, they want it done yesterday. And you always ship priorities around weather and on people's priorities and requests and things are going to go wrong.

And you can do acres and acres of a single ply product. I always tell people straight up, "Hey, we just did a single ply. We just fixed a leak." I told them at the board meeting and I told them that it's a single ply and we're doing thousands of lineal feet of heat welding. If a roofer's telling you it's not going to leak after that, there are so many... You could miss one little seam, just to get [inaudible 00:09:26], it's going to be a leak. Good thing it... Whatever.

But it's being upfront, having integrity and not necessarily about doing everything, but just making everything right.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, really caring deeply about your customers and the people that you work with. Well said.

Kyle Nurminen: Thank you.

Megan Ellsworth: So, building off of that, your expertise, customer service, why should home or building owners work with your company?

Kyle Nurminen: Why should building owners and owners... Like I said, I don't want to sound arrogant. We're not your cheapest roofing company. We don't do things like everybody else, but if you're really into a longer decision making process to make sure that you make the best decision that's right for you and your overall situation, not what's best for me as a contractor, what makes me the most amount of money... I want to know every single thing about your building, everything about your life significant to that building. There's so many factors that come into your roof. And if you're that type of person, and it really means that to you, if your home is really where you hang your hat, where you're raising your kids and when you're gone, you're passing that on to your family, I mean, come to us. We're going to look at it that way, whether it's your commercial asset investment or whether it's your own private home.

Megan Ellsworth: That's great. All right, homeowners and building owners out there, you know who to go to if you're in Southeast Florida. So I just have two questions left for you. And one of them is why are you an R-Club member and what's your favorite thing about Roofers Coffee Shop?

Kyle Nurminen: Well, my favorite thing about the Roofers Coffee Shop is the multitude of platforms that are exposure you give your club members. Roofers Coffee Shop is educating not just the contractor, but everybody in the market. Anything that has to do with roofing in any way. So whether you're a homeowner or whether you're a teenager trying to figure out what you want to do for a career in skilled trades, college, or anything like that, or what have you, you're in an HOA or in the community... I mean, you give us the voice that give them the platform to learn from. So that's why I'm a member. So I'm running these two questions together.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, that's great.

Kyle Nurminen: Just as a Christian, I'm always involved in discipleship to take care of myself and fuel my soul and constantly improve. If you are really a career expert in this industry, you need to continue feeding yourself as well. So Roofers Coffee Shop gives us that platform and that voice that we would've never [inaudible 00:12:19] had.

Megan Ellsworth: Oh, thank you. I'm so glad. That's amazing. So glad to hear that. And I know our club coordinator, Alex, will love to hear this too. And she loves working with all of the R-Club members and all of you great contractors out there that are doing really amazing work, keeping people dry and safe and protecting people's homes and assets.

Kyle Nurminen: And you connect it all in a way that we learned from each other. I can learn from a guy up in Montana just as much as he can learn from me down here. And also, when we're really professionals in what we do and we're in this network, we're R-Club members. I mean, there are people in Montana that have investors that have properties in Florida and vice versa. We need to know each other and who's capable of doing what and there's no better referral platform than R-Club itself.

Megan Ellsworth: That's so true. That is so true. And we're happy to provide that. So glad you're here.

Kyle Nurminen: All right.

Megan Ellsworth: Okay, lastly, last question. This is the big question. What would your walk-up song be?

Kyle Nurminen: Oh, my walk-up song. So much has changed in my recent life. I did mention I'm a born-again Christian. It's very important at this point in my career to mix my spiritual mission with my professional mission. People think, "Christian rap, what's that?" And there's a Christian rapper out there named Rare of Breed, and he read this song called Souled Out, like "I sold out." If you call it a sold song, I guess I did. I sold out. But it's sold like S-O-U-L-D.

Megan Ellsworth: Oh yeah, yeah.

Kyle Nurminen: I think Rare of Breed's Souled Out. You should play it sometime on lead up next time. That’s a good song.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. Oh my God. Okay, so that's your walk-up song.

Kyle Nurminen: Yeah, I'm a 50-year-old guy listening to Christian rap, so I can't sound the coolest, but it's pretty cool.

Megan Ellsworth: No, that's sick. That's super cool. I love it. I love hearing people... This is my favorite question because it's such a diverse...

Kyle Nurminen: I bet. I bet.

Megan Ellsworth: I've gotten all genres.

Kyle Nurminen: I bet. I bet. I like all kinds of music's. A walk-up? Come on. That's got to be like a walk-up song.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah.

Kyle Nurminen: Classical stuff.

Megan Ellsworth: Triumphant. Well, Kyle, congrats. Congrats to The Metal Roof Experts for being January 2024, end of 2023 Roofer of the Month, Roofer of the Year. So thank you so much. This has been a blast and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your new year.

Kyle Nurminen: I'm sure we will. It's just going to be another one. We got a lot to look forward to this year, and we'll be keeping you posted all along the way. You know it.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome. Well, congrats again and we'll be seeing you on the coffee break.

Kyle Nurminen: Great. See you there.

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