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Roofing Relapse
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I would like to begin using my head and experience instead of my blood, sweat, back and yes sometimes tears.
Blood, sweat and tears is for the apprentices, as a journeyman you should begin figuring out easier ways of doing things and as we begin to think like managers we figure out the easiest way of doing this is to let someone else do it and just supervise.

We are working very hard. We are doing something not everyone CAN do and something not everyone wants to do. There is nothing wrong with making money and no reason anyone in any business should give away their experience for free.

VT really hit the nail on the head with his analogy about the fridge repair man, but it reminds me of an old joke. A roofer is called out to fix a leak. The property owner says he has truied to fix it but cant find the leak. The roofer climbs on the roof and pokes around for a few minutes, climbs back down and get his tool belt. Climbs back up pounds down a nail and caulks it, then climbs back down and gives the property owner the bill.

The property owner is shocked that the roofer wants $250 for the repair that only took 10 minutes and insists upon an itemized bill. The rofoer rewrites the bill and it now reads "pounding down the nail and caulking $10, knowing where the pound and caulk $240."


It's not really a joke, but I have told that to several customers over my career. I have been roofing now for 13 years, no not as long as some, but long enough to really get a pretty good understanding for what I am doing. I take pride in what I and my crew do and we usually do a very good job. The customer is not just paying for the time we spent doing it, they are also paying for the time we spent learning how to properly do what we did.

Another analogy, when you pay a doctor or lawyer $1-500 per hour for their services, you are not paying for their time doing it. You are paying for their time in school learning how to do it.


I think every roofing business owner should make friends with a successful plumber, electrician or other service contractor. They've really got the service side of the busines down to a science and we should learn from them.
 

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Roof Pro of Vermont
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Apprentices? Union terms. Ground guys, laborers, roofers, detail man, foreman.

If you need a Plumber you call a Plumber-
If you need a Electrician you call a Electrician-

But if you need a roofer- well you can call a Contractor, Handyman, Carpenter, ect. and with the economy in the toilet- everyone that was building is "adapting their trade" to include roofing.

Marketing as a Roof Repair Specialist, providing just repairs well that is speedy service demanding payment
upon completion as most repair guys you spoke of do- and often times more than one repair can be completed in a day.
 

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Roof Pro of Vermont
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I don't think I missed the point. Yes, they get their money and we could learn from them, but I carry a laptop and printer I can just as easy produce a Invoice repair complete. Trip charge,

Here in Vermont- anybody who knows how to roof- is roofing. No they are not "Roofers" but they got the basics down and realize that when roofs leak or need replacing the money is found somehow, before siding or windows or kitchens, decks, ect. ect.

That is where I see the difference between us "Roofers" and those other Service Guys- Plumbers, Electricians- maybe not in your town but in this one.
 

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Roofing Relapse
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No, I'm not sure you do see the difference. What I am saying they specialize in their particular trade, plumbing, electric, hvac what ever... but they also have the process and methodology of the service call down to a science. This includes from the initial phone call when the phone girl is answering the phone to the point of invoice. Everyone understands the system and works it from A to Z.

It doesn't often work like that in roofing. And admittedly I'm sure it also doesn't always work like that in the plumbing, electric etc... but there are far more service based M.E.P. contractors than service based roofing contractors. It seems like only the large commercial roofing companies have well organized service divisions.

I'm not suggesting we shoudl be come do it all repair men. What I am suggesting is that we copy their systems and methods for organizing our standard operating procedures in our own service calls.
 

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My most Profitable thing to do is NOT to charge customers to replace roof decking. I land more customers that way because most roofing companies charge $30-$50 a sheet. I also attract more sales reps to work for me because they also can land more customers with my company.
While that might be your best tactic, I doubt that is your most profitable thing to do. If you would remove and re-deck a completely rotten plywood deck for nothing, you will quickly cease to be a problem for your competitors. The way to out-compete companies with tactics like yours is to point out to the client just what your motivation clearly will be: not to replace roof decking that needs it. Sure, they like your price, but when you don't replace the 9 squares of sagging decking over an attic with completely blocked ventilation and two bath exhaust fans that dump into the attic (because you don't have it built into your job, and you still need to buy groceries) ... well, how long is that roof going to last? Lowballers cut corners, period, because they can't afford not to.

We include one sheet of plywood or 30 lf of deck board in every bid, but that's as much so that we can take care of a minor repair without having to nickel and dime the client after the job is done. After that its by the sheet or the foot.
 

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My most Profitable thing to do is NOT to charge customers to replace roof decking. I land more customers that way because most roofing companies charge $30-$50 a sheet. I also attract more sales reps to work for me because they also can land more customers with my company.
I highly doubt that. 30-50 a sheet is too cheep also. To tie in to the original topic. Repairs by far the most profitable for us. Also this leads to far more repeat customers then replacing a sheet of plywood. If you find a leak that others can't they will almost sign a contract for a new roof right then and there.
 

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Profits.

One of the most profitable things for me was investing in a solid roofing estimation software program. There are many of them out there; including EstimationPro, Acculinx, Roofing Estimator Pro and many more. You have to find one that best fits your company. If you want any more information on different ones and what they offer feel free to ask. I have researched many different ones. The organization it provides and time saved is very nice.
 

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Do those roofing estimators save time? In my head I feel as though it would take twice as long than doing it the old fashioned way. But from a presentation point of view I could see the benefit. But come spring, summer, and fall I have to do anywhere from 2 to 10 quotes on any given day, as well as all the other managerial stuff that goes along with being self employed. Maybe I will check out some of the their websites but again time is one thing I do not have a lot of.
Thanks for getting me thinking about it again!
 

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Do those roofing estimators save time? In my head I feel as though it would take twice as long than doing it the old fashioned way. But from a presentation point of view I could see the benefit. But come spring, summer, and fall I have to do anywhere from 2 to 10 quotes on any given day, as well as all the other managerial stuff that goes along with being self employed. Maybe I will check out some of the their websites but again time is one thing I do not have a lot of.
Thanks for getting me thinking about it again!

It depends on what you are really looking for them to do. Yes, they do give you basic roof measurements but details such as amount of PVC pipes, bathroom vents, correct roof pitch are all left out. They try to estimate the pitch, but are often wrong.

If you are doing anywhere from 2-10 quotes a day, that would be around 40 leads to 200 leads a month. In that case, I would be shocked if you don't have a salesman or two to help with all those leads. You must have more than one crew or at least one massive sized crew.

There is ALWAYS time to make your business better and more efficient.
 

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Johnny Roofer

Software programs are going to allow you to save immense time. The one thing that I have realized is that I can do twice to three times the estimates daily. There are different demos out there for free trial. You should definitely try some out. If you would be interested in chatting about a couple different ones over email feel free to let me know, I am still in the process of finding which one I think will fit me best. The benefits your company will see are going to be great. I am pretty new to roofing, but it is the wave the industry is going towards in my opinion. Nice to chat with you.
 

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Slate and Metal Roofer
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Johnny Roofer

Software programs are going to allow you to save immense time. The one thing that I have realized is that I can do twice to three times the estimates daily. There are different demos out there for free trial. You should definitely try some out. If you would be interested in chatting about a couple different ones over email feel free to let me know, I am still in the process of finding which one I think will fit me best. The benefits your company will see are going to be great. I am pretty new to roofing, but it is the wave the industry is going towards in my opinion. Nice to chat with you.
Interesting. Your software must be made by Bell. To do 20 proposals in one day, that breaks down to exactly 24 minutes each. Travel time, and face time included in the 24 minutes, of course. Not bad. Is it Bell? Do I win?
 

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Yes, I have a supervisor/estimator guy that goes and does all the measuring for the quotes, and back at the office I do all the pricing and quote preparation. We run 2 or 3 crews depending on the size of the jobs. We are generally booked 8 to 10 weeks at any given time.
 

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Do those roofing estimators save time? In my head I feel as though it would take twice as long than doing it the old fashioned way. But from a presentation point of view I could see the benefit. But come spring, summer, and fall I have to do anywhere from 2 to 10 quotes on any given day, as well as all the other managerial stuff that goes along with being self employed. Maybe I will check out some of the their websites but again time is one thing I do not have a lot of.
Thanks for getting me thinking about it again!
Johnny, those lead figures are impressive.
 

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Yes, I have a supervisor/estimator guy that goes and does all the measuring for the quotes, and back at the office I do all the pricing and quote preparation. We run 2 or 3 crews depending on the size of the jobs. We are generally booked 8 to 10 weeks at any given time.
Johnny roofer,
Your system no doubt is working for you, how do you get the quote back out to the customer? What software do you use?
Do you have a job sup that watches the crews?
Sorry for all the questions, just curious,
Thanks
 

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Yes, I have a supervisor/estimator guy that goes and does all the measuring for the quotes, and back at the office I do all the pricing and quote preparation. We run 2 or 3 crews depending on the size of the jobs. We are generally booked 8 to 10 weeks at any given time.
I am surprised that you wouldn't already have a salesmen. I have one crew for roofing and one for siding. I already have a salesmen to help run 15-20 leads a week.
 

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We knock on the door and hand deliver a typed out quote (I use Excel) with all manufacturers literature. Explain the quote and answer any questions. We have a 'job sheet' for each job with all the information pertaining to that job that is given to an assigned supervisor with a list of all crew members for that job. If there is any issues with that job in the future I can pull the invoice with the job sheet and hold that supervisor accountable for any problems. I have had all my guys for years and they take pride in what they do. My 'issues' with jobs are almost nil.
 
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