Be the Roofing Industry Expert: How to Communicate Better with Homeowners

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For the average homeowner, a roof is just a roof – until it needs replacement or repairs. Suddenly, “just a roof” has become a complex, and expensive home repair that can leave many people frustrated when it comes to the process, details and cost justifications.

As a professional roofing contractor, field reps often need to play the role of educator, as well as salesman. It’s important to remember that most homeowners have never had to file a claim for their roof, or nail a shingle, which is why they look to you, as an expert, to guide them through the process. There are many qualities that make an excellent sales rep, but one of the most important, and easiest tactics to be successful is mastering the ability to help homeowners understand the complexities of roofing terminology, insurance processes, timelines and cost.  

As that industry expert, it’s important to provide easy-to-understand information regarding their roof. Explaining how their roof leaked, why their shingles are algae-filled, or even the difference between designer shingles, needs to be done in a way that is both informative and comprehensible, in order to establish trust and close the sale.

Consider these practices when explaining roofing terms, insurance, and other related topics to homeowners.

Use Communication Science to Establish Trust with Customers

For homeowners that want to make educated decisions, it’s important to make sure that you explain each step of the process in full detail, and let your customers know what you will be doing, and when. Approaching these communications in a way that sets the customer at ease can be as simple as actively listening to their concerns, demonstrating courtesy, and using positive statements in your responses [source].

Avoid using using hard-to-understand terminology that only a professional roofing contractor will understand.

“Using phrases such as “Turnover” or “the Desk” may seem obvious to any automotive professional, but to a customer, you may as well be speaking gibberish. In order to effectively communicate, you need to use words and phrases that the customer will easily understand.” [source]

It’s important to remember that “sheathing,” “louver,” and “rake” are probably terms your customer has never heard before. Instead, use roofing terminology that they will understand. Consider taking your customer outside and pointing to each specific part of the roof that needs work, explain what each piece is called and its main function. Using comparisons and metaphors to properly describe what each part of the roof is can also help them grasp more complicated roofing concepts.

Provide 3D Models or Images

65% of the population are visual learners, and are more likely to have a better understanding of new or complicated information through drawings, graphics, and models. It’s important for sales reps to keep in mind that the average homeowner most likely does not understand basic roofing terms such as “ridge,” “valley,” and “felt”. Roofers who take the time and effort to provide visual aides, such as 3D models, renderings, or aerial images during a sales presentation, or with contract documentation, have a higher likelihood of a ensuring a potential customer that the scope of work you provide is both necessary and cost effective.

If your roofing business does not subscribe or have access to 3D models or renderings, consider having a set of template documents that you can share to help illustrate your proposals.

Keep Your Paperwork Accurate and Accessible

Providing fast, clean, and most importantly – accurate – documents with potential customers establishes your company as highly professional – something homeowners are looking at very closely when dealing with contractors. When those documents are available electronically, with a digital back-up in your CRM, you prevent the potential loss of paperwork, in addition to the ability of your office staff to stay on top of the process and payments.

With easy access to their paperwork, your clients can sign, view and open their documents anywhere – including any updates, change orders, or photos you may choose to provide. Keeping your customers updated throughout the process is essential in optimizing your communication.

Learn More About SmartDocs from AccuLynx > 

Keeping Up Communications All the Way Through the Pipeline

Continuing communication throughout the process with your customers is critical to ensuring their satisfaction. At the end of a job, most roofing contractors provide a warranty and final sign-off. Go the extra mile – offer a sit-down final consultation, with before and after photos, and detailed descriptions of the job performed. Additionally, ask for feedback.

“7 out of 10 customers will leave a review if they are asked to,” [source] so take advantage!

You can use this to perfect your communication skills, and garner more referrals from your satisfied customers.

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12 Comments. Leave new

  • I love when you mentioned how communication can establish trust with customers. It is good to know that you can get the services you need from someone that talks to you. Personally, I would also want to take the time to read reviews to find the best roofer.

    Reply
  • Thank you for writing such a great article on communicating better with homeowners. It’s great that you state that as a roofing expert and contractor that you should provide easy-to-understand information to the client. My brother just had his roof done and wasn’t sure what was going on because there was no communication.

    Reply
  • Marcus Coons
    May 13, 2019 11:29 pm

    It helped when you mentioned how a good roofer should educate their customers on key terms they use in the industry. It is important to understand that choosing a roofer like this can help you rest assured they care about what you need. We need to replace the roof in our old house before we sell it this summer, so I’m glad I found your page.

    Reply
  • Thomas Jameson
    June 17, 2019 3:09 pm

    It’s good to know that roofing contractors can explain each part of the process to customers who want to make informed decisions. My wife and I need some work done on our roof, and we want to make sure that we make the most informed decision that we possibly can. We’ll be looking further into our roofing contractor options in the future so that we can get the best result possible for our roof.

    Reply
  • Daphne Gilpin
    June 26, 2019 3:16 pm

    Thanks for explaining that good roofers will use the science of communication to establish trust. My husband and I need to have our roof repaired soon. Your article should make it easier to identify good residential roofing companies.

    Reply
  • For any kind of transaction building rapport between you and the client is crucial, I know the feeling since it’s my daily job. Yet after reading this blog, it made all easy. All the tips and advice apply to everybody.

    Matthew Barrett

    Reply
  • Rochell Smith
    August 7, 2019 8:51 pm

    Really informative post. I enjoyed to reading this post.

    Reply
  • marlene marquez
    September 6, 2019 7:00 am

    This article was very much useful for the builder’s owners who want to choose better roofing contractors. And It also helps roofing contractors to be genuine and to give proper answers raised by the customers. Finally, it helps both to improve the transparency between each other.

    Reply
  • You made a great point about keeping your paperwork accurate and accessible and how it can help you deal with contractors best. My husband and I are looking for a roofing contractor that can help us with the roof on our new home. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.

    Reply
  • Access Doors and Panels
    May 19, 2020 5:22 am

    I am in search of the best roofing contractor, I learned a lot by reading your worthy words. Thanks a lot for helping us. I wish you the best of luck for more amazing work.

    Reply
  • Great topics here on helping convey the total project to customers. We’ve started using technology to show the “before” and “after” pictures of what the roof could look like. Obviously, it’s a model but it gives them a clearer picture of what’s happening. So that’s been great for my roofing company in the past few months

    Reply
  • I want to hire a roofer that will use terminology that I’ll understand and who will make 3D model or renderings. I struggled to learn new words and phrases in school. I want to understand what is going to happen to my home rather than just be confused and let them do it.

    Reply

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