Consider the pros and cons of working with service providers:
A great deal of time, effort, expertise and yes, money go into running your own contracting business on a day to day basis. Oftentimes, you have a lot of moving parts across several departments. It can be daunting to try and run all your services operations in house when you might not have the overhead, or the staff resources to manage them.
Contractor Service Providers can alleviate some of the stress and time constraints that come from certain processes. Even though you may have traditionally handled these services yourself, outsourcing these tasks to companies that specialize in one particular aspect of your business can provide relief, especially during times of high production.
Providing fast and accurate roofing measurements are are critical when you’re trying to get an estimate to a potential customer. Traditionally, a sales rep would see a roof and measure it by hand, but now, companies like EagleView or SkyMeasure can do this for you.
Pros: These measurements, taken by 3D imaging satellites are accurate and available for nearly any residential area on a map. Ordering a measurement is as easy as an address, and in some cases, integrations with these services can link up to your CRM and automatically populate your estimate fields with correct numbers, eliminating the human error of measuring and correctly transferring to a document.
These services are also highly preferred when working with insurance companies or adjusters, as oftentimes, aerial measurements are considered more accurate.
Most importantly, it increases the safety of your sales reps, who can keep their feet on the ground while still providing accurate estimates.
Cons: For Sales reps trying to get estimates out fast, having to wait for a third party report can slow down estimate production, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to keep up with a storm or high production times.
Additionally, the added costs of reports may not seem like an investment, but depending on how many estimates your entire sales team generates, accrued over a season, that number could potentially be significant.
Working with insurance companies and adjusters is just a part of working in the storm restoration industry. It’s always important for a project manager or other qualified team member to review the reports that they provide before getting started on any job, but in some cases, time, knowledge and skillsets may offset the costs of working with a specialized vendor.
Pros: A supplementing service provider knows the ins and the outs of the industry, as well as code-related issues, and can spot inaccuracies in reports quickly and efficiently before starting negotiations. Once they have all the necessary information from you about the job, they will take care of filing the paperwork and dealing with the many phone calls and negotiations that may otherwise take your team days or even weeks to sort through.
These negotiations end with your customer having their property repairs properly paid for, and you, the contractor receiving what you are owed. Oftentimes, these services are more successful at increasing the value of a claim than a busy sales rep.
Cons: An outside service provider is not the same thing as a trusted internal team member or even a sales rep who has visited the property, and spoken with the homeowner. Because they can only view the property through the photos you provide, they also may not be seeing additional projects or have access to historical work done previously, that might change the scope or scale of the overall project.
Sourcing leads can be a challenge for any business. Websites and word of mouth recommendations can only get you so far, but knowing when to bring in a third party to tip the scales can be difficult.
Pros: When lead generation works – it works. Lead generation that focuses on your unique industry can really help narrow down a large pool of property owners in a specific area to actual qualified leads that can potentially turn into business. These leads can help supplement the business you’re already doing in slow times and keep your business stream consistent.
Cons: The quality of these services can vary from business to business, and it can be hard to find one that fits your niche. Traditional means like telemarketing, retail or leads lists often don’t take your business into consideration and you can end up paying big money for only a few qualified leads.
Social Media & Websites:
In a digital society it’s incredibly important that potential clients can find you, and learn about you online. Having a website that is mobile friendly and that provides an easy way to contact you is key, as well as support from social media channels.
Pros: An updated website will take marketing and content into consideration so that search engines and potential customers can find you when they’re searching for a contractor. Having a website that is done right can be costly, but the return on investment makes your business look accessible, smart, and up to date with current technology.
Social media can also increase searches to your website, as well as provide another means of advertising and a way to contact you. Having your employees post and share on their own feeds can increase the likelihood of being seen by potential customers, and the interaction you generate by replying to comments or complaints makes your business more personable and approachable.
Simple, consistent and quality social media, and an updated website will go a long way to making your business reputable to online searches and potential clients.
Cons: Maintaining an up to date website and social media channels takes time, and a marketing skillset to make sure that images and content being shared is appropriate and professional. If you don’t have an employee with this skillset, hiring an outside vendor can solve your content problem, but you run the risk of making what you share less personalized, and less specific to your business, which can reflect in the way you’re viewed.
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