6 Strategies for Handling Roofing Material Shortages
Material delays, shortages, and surging prices have frustrated many roofing contractors and these headaches aren’t expected to end soon. In fact, SRS Distribution, one the fastest growing building products distributors in the US recently shared, “Ongoing production shortfalls are projected through 3rd or 4th quarter 2021.”
Given these delays and associated cost increases, what can roofing contractors do to regain control? These 6 strategies will help you successfully navigate rising costs and limited materials so that you can continue to satisfy customers.
Here are the top 6 strategies for dealing with roofing material shortages that we’ve identified
Material Tip #1: Use real time pricing to provide customers with accurate numbers
There’s nothing worse than finalizing a customer estimate only to realize that your prices have changed. So what do you do? No matter what, the customer isn’t going to be happy and you’re not going to benefit from spending extra time making it right.
A roofing software system that offers real time pricing can help you prevent this from happening. For example, AccuLynx seamlessly integrates with SRS Distribution, Beacon Building Products, and ABC Supply. Material prices are updated almost instantaneously so that you have the most up to date costs. Plus, you can save even more time by creating your estimates directly from AccuLynx.
Material Tip #2: Offer potential upgrades with available materials
With shortages, some roofing materials just might not be available. Instead of pushing back a project, use this time to present your customer with potential upgrade options that better fit their style or timeline. Present this as an opportunity as opposed to an unexpected hurdle. Be sure to share photos of what the finished product will look like as well as the value it will bring.
This is a great time to present financing options that your company may offer, but we’ll talk more about that below.
Material Tip #3: Offer financing options
Cost is typically the #1 homeowner objection, and this can be even more true as material prices skyrocket. Even when the repairs or replacements are necessary, homeowners may still turn down your business because they simply can’t afford it. In this situation, the ability to offer financing options to your customers is key to helping them agree to the work.
Tools like AccuFi provide customers with multiple competitive loans that break down the overall project cost into low, monthly payments. It also allows you to track financing for all your jobs in one place, and receive updates by email when there is a change in a customer’s loan status.
Material Tip #4: Optimize all other parts of your sales & production process
From unexpected storms to ongoing material delays, there are factors on every job that are outside your control. But, by optimizing your internal workflows, you can free up time to tackle unforeseen problems.
Start by focusing on your sales and production processes, and by investing in some sort of business management software like AccuLynx. With AccuLynx, you can:
- Track your sales pipeline
- Create estimates and contracts
- Order materials and aerial roof measurements
- Manage production
- Report on sales performance
Once you streamline your sales and production processes with technology, you’ll have more time to focus on sales, meet with customers, and handle potential problems that arise.
Material Tip #5: Increase communication so homeowners aren’t left in the dark
Like we’ve mentioned, you can’t control material delays and shortages. But, you can control how you handle communication surrounding these issues. Sending text updates, for example, can help keep customers updated. Customers are much more likely to be understanding of any delays if they have a clear understanding of what is happening and when. In fact, 69% of all customers would like to contact a business via text.
Business Management Software like AccuLynx can help you automate this process. Within the system you can send text messages, like appointment reminders or delivery updates. This will help you stay organized, save time, and communicate more efficiently. Plus all messages are saved in the system so you’ll always have a record of your conversations.
Material Tip #6: Add in price acceleration and material availability clauses to bids and contracts
Ensure that you’re not eating the cost for rising materials by adding in price acceleration and material availability clauses to your bids. When presenting an estimate to your customer, provide them with some background about what is happening with the shortage and why these clauses are in place. By covering yourself for future price increases and delays, you’re ensuring that things outside of your control won’t eat into your profits.
Software with built in estimating tools, like AccuLynx, allows you to easily adjust and edit templates so that clauses like this are included on every estimate. You can adjust cost, level, and profit margin to create a professional-looking estimate that’s ready to be sent to the customer.