2020 is upon us and we are officially in the next decade and before I share what tools you need to have to maximize this new decade, let’s look back at how fast the Roofing industry changed during the last one. The 2010’s were an incredibly prosperous decade, many companies who have been in business for some time climbed out of the difficulty of the 2008 recession and new businesses sprouted up across the nation. Hailstorms and hurricanes catapulted roofing entrepreneurs into business and although some didn’t survive, many have created wonderful companies that are thriving.
As we reflect on what marked the last decade, we can see the power of social media the profound impact, innovators who solved their own business problems with roofing specific technology programs, and the maturity of business best practice sharing with live industry events – all of which changed the landscape for how the roofing industry game is played. We saw things change very quickly as resources and solutions are more readily available than ever before, which is exactly why you need to be paying attention as to what’s next for 2020 and beyond.
I’ve boiled down what to look for into to 5 tools. I share the consequence of not using these tools, why to use them and where to get them.
Tool #1: Business Acumen
Roofing is special, yes, and many have said “once you’re in this industry, you don’t want to leave.” However, this big ‘ole family is getting smarter, sharper and more aware of the fundamentals of business in this generation. The Roofing Industry has a new generation of entrepreneur who realize that there is an open playing field, with only a handful of serious businesspeople in each metropolitan market innovating on all cylinders. Successful transitions of generational ownership and succession planning is happening, allowing the momentum and reputation of a brand to live on versus die out. Brand positioning and marketing expertise is something of huge value in this decade. Sales Leadership and team development is being implemented on a regular basis by market leaders who are professionalizing their talent and providing great career opportunities. Service and Operational Management is being developed, along with a keen awareness of Accounting principles and asset management. Strategic Partnerships are being formed with Suppliers, Manufacturers and National networks more than ever. If you know the fundamentals of business first and roofing second, then you’re just like the next breed of Roofing Owner and Executive. If not, you need to get with it!
Tool #2: Knowledge Exchange Platforms
Peer groups, coaching and best practice sharing are becoming major difference maker in the industry today. Afterall, you are who you surround yourself with and in order to exchange mistakes, successes, best practices and new trends, then you need to take advantage of all that is available to us today in this industry. Platforms are available to us – like the NRCA’s FEI (Future Executives Institute), Manufacturer Resource Portals, Live Events, Online Webinars, Podcasts, Mastermind Groups, Online Group Coaching Programs, Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) Panels and Solution Directories abound. The Roofing industry really is becoming a place to learn, where two decades ago there were only a few professionals who would share anything. However, everyone is catching on, if we all grow then it’s better for everyone in the industry. If you aren’t engaged in a knowledge exchange platform, ask around and you’ll find one quickly.
Tool #3: Brand Strategy and Community Engagement
Company Identity and use of video and social media isn’t just a trend today, it’s here to stay. Because of technology and social media, consumers can research who they’d like to work with well before they even contact a roofing company. With that said, larger consumers like to work with more professional companies who appear to have happy employees and a soul. With a few clicks of a button, consumers can find out if you solve their roofing problem first, which is “what” you do. Consumers looking to get the job done right the first time can find out at which level of quality you solve the problem, which is “how” you do it. But what is beginning to motivate consumers is to have a great experience that will last. Doing the job, the right way the first time isn’t good enough anymore to the average consumer because they expect it. They expect good communication and for you to show up on time and be honest. They want to know “who” the company is and “why” you do what you do before they even contact your company because this helps them understand if you’re real or a fly by night scam. When Roofing brands have a deep sense of why they exist, this becomes clear through the entire process of the customer experience from beginning the end. Market leading companies are seeing how powerful it is to brand yourself in a way that makes people feel good about a roofer. They see that we are more than meets the eye and that we really care about more than our next boat purchase or hunting trip. In the 2020’s, roofing needs to become more socially responsible than ever and change the perception that consumers have of us. Utilizing video, social media, humanization of the brand and non-profit partnerships are going to be common methods for everyone.
Tool #4: Software and Technology
Ariel Imaging, CRM, Proposal Beautification, Funnel Pages, Appointment Booking, Auto-mated prospecting, Zapier Integrations, Paperless Management and Native Software Integrations are being used by almost everyone who is playing a competitive level in the market. CRM was the new three-letter acronym of the 2000’s and 2010’s, but the next three-letter acronym that will be a true differentiator and will be adopted early by innovators is LMS, short for Learning Management System. You might have noticed that many coaches and trainers are utilizing LMS technology to translate information to a roofing business. However, what the innovators are doing is leveraging commercially available LMS programs to create in-house training that is unique to the way a roofing company operates. The days of ride-a longs and months of field time in order to get someone up to speed are over. With LMS technology, you can take new talent and not only teach them “your way” but create quizzes, include pinups and worksheets to anchor the learning. This solution is making it attractive for someone to come in a work at a roofing company, because they’re going to be trained and have an opportunity to grow. This might take a while for the industry to catch on, but in ten years it will be very common. Trainual is a great option for this.
Tool #5: Premier Claims – National Public Adjusting Firm
Even Roofing companies who do all of the above should still make sure they’re focusing on what they do best – sell roofs. For Roofing companies who take clients with insurance claims pending, it’s important to get experts involved. Insurance regulations make it illegal in many states for contractors and roofers to adjust or revise claims, and especially in those situations, it’s important to work with a Public Adjuster who can negotiate the claim on behalf of you and your customer. Regardless, Premier Claims is a handy resource for a Roofing company in any state. Premier Claims offers complimentary policy and claim reviews and has multiple case studies available showing increases over 1000% on claims they’ve negotiated. Reach out to them today or use their website tools to get in touch with them to learn more about the services they provide.
In conclusion, Roofing is moving in an awesome direction! If you’re a Young Leader in the industry, take full advantage of the fantastic groups, coaching programs, partners, service providers and peer groups available in the industry today.
Founder, Sales Transformation Group