The Power of Building Long-term Relationships in Your Roofing Business
In his answers to the following four questions, Arry shares powerful insights about building relationships. A big part of this is keeping a long-term view and using the right tools for the job, whether building strategic partnerships or motivating employees with an incentive plan.
This is good stuff for anyone wanting to run their roofing business more efficiently, while boosting that bottom line in the process!
Emily: What mindset, idea, concept, or attitude keeps you going through the tough times, and increasing profitability rather than stagnating?
Arry: The primary reason that we grow even through the tough times, is that we believe in relationships, which often comes down to communicating with partners and customers.
Customers want to find something that’s trustworthy. In this industry, there will always be an element of doubt and fear economically and so forth, so people want something they can trust.
As an example, from 2008 to 2010 when things were terrible in the economy, we communicated with customers rather than giving in to fear. We asked customers to integrate a better roofing system. We incorporated an extended warranty to the labor side, and in order to do so, we had to slightly raise our prices. Talk about a tough move to make in a difficult economy! But it spoke for itself. Our partnership with manufacturer GAF made this very successful, even as so many other companies felt like they were scraping the bottom of the barrel to get by.
It’s also about building up others in the industry. I try to mentor younger companies who have the heart to improve. My door is always open, and I’ve made it my policy to do my best to “give, give, give”.
Emily: What do you consider your core processes, the ones your roofing business would not succeed without?
Arry: Processes and systems are something we feel strongly about. We’re currently going through a cultural change to grow even more.
Every component is important to question, but as an example, are your employees content working for you?
Monitor that on weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to pluck out the things that don’t fit your company culture. Replace them with something more innovative and profitable.
For example, if you’re not keeping your employees happy, what’s the point of growing?
It’s definitely essential for owners or managers to look through that glass door and see what your business is doing. Otherwise, you might even grow fast, but you’ll be soon be so disorganized, you can’t keep up! Step by step, look back, and what’s working. This is how Arry’s Roofing has expanded to 158 employees, and we’re still growing!
Also, our business is family owned and operated. That means we have four executive managers, so it’s very important to us to not run it like a “mom and pop store”, if you’ll excuse the expression. Instead, we want to maintain the professional vibe and culture, so employees know they’re building a career with us. So we have to be able to delegate and put certain people in place and have them be accountable to the four executives. That’s something we strive to execute. We can’t have eyes everywhere!
Emily: What have been your best tools for growing and scaling your business?
Arry: Administration-wise, it’s been powerful to work with CRMs and it’s been important to find the one that suits our company. That’s what JobNimbus has been for our company.
It’s been about finding the one that everyone can easily use to capture all the conversations, appointments, and information, so the entire departments sees the same thing, rather than one person knowing it all. That way, everyone can capitalize on the information and move things forward. So, nice job, JobNimbus! Thank you.
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Sales is a perfect example. Thank goodness we have so many sales leads, but they can get overwhelming. Simplify and go digital. My entire team is on their mobile devices, capturing pictures and using the cloud to expedite and get rid of the paperwork as opposed to handwritten records.
Also, incentive programs! Every person on a given crew, not just the foremen, should be incentivized. Everyone should share in the excitement so they can reach and grow. We run employee incentives that are based on budget and performance. If there’s a bonus, everyone on that crew will be rewarded.
It’s rare in our industry, but it has revolutionized our workforce.
Emily: When it comes to making more money in a roofing business, what unique opportunities do you see in the market today? Is it different from when you were starting out and building toward those first major milestones?
Arry: Not necessarily in size, but in practice. The industry is more complicated and involved now, but even beyond that, labor and customers are more demanding. Everything’s expected. That’s why it’s important to wow the customer.
One example is social media and reviews. Stay on cue with all that, times are changing, and otherwise you’ll be left behind.
Too many contractors want to hold a pistol to their partners and manufacturers. Same with distributors and vendors. That builds a bad dynamic. Instead, when it comes to our industry relationships, we make sure we work together regularly rather than being demanding.
For example, don’t always treat your distributors with ultimatums to lower their prices, and you’ll have more buying power and peace of mind than if you jump ship and go for the cheapest deal of the day. Roofers who do that for the short-term usually regret it, or should. It’s short-sighted, and frustrating for everyone. Not doing this has allowed us to grow and be on the cutting edge of our industry.
Everyone wants to ask, “Why is Arry busy?!” There’s no secret. It’s about relationships and having the right people do the right jobs. In fact, it’s about being smart enough to align with people who are smarter than us. That’s helped us build our brand, and the best part is growing to where we can give back to the industry.
You can see why it’s such a pleasure to have Arry Housh and his team as customers. We love hearing how well JobNimbus has worked for his initiatives, and hope it’s sparked some ideas for how you can supercharge your mindset, processes, tools, and decisions to make roofing more fun and profitable.
In particular, we also hope you’ll give us a chance to show you how JobNimbus can help you achieve and maybe even exceed your roofing business goals!
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