Technology is catapulting all industries forward at an incredible speed. Even in roofing and contract work, an industry that relies primarily on craft finds that technological advances create many opportunities to work smarter.
But what kind of technology is being introduced into the roofing world? What tech should professional roofing contractors get excited about and introduce into their work environments? We’ll give you the details on 6 advancements that can benefit roofing contractors and get you closer to a job well done faster than ever.
1. Storm Maps
You can place faith in your ability to judge a cloud all you want, but these days, the weather is nothing if not unpredictable. Unexpected storms can bring flooding, high winds, and hail, all of which can jeopardize your project and well-being.
Roofing contractors must stay vigilant and cautious when it comes to weather. And that’s where having a way to track storms comes in handy. But they’re not just handy for when you’re on-site.
Storm maps that detail hail activity are becoming increasingly popular in the roofing community as they allow contractors to see where hail is most likely to strike.
This scientific prediction of possible hail damage can benefit both the contractor and the customer. It reduces the wait time for homeowners who may incur damage from the storm and gives contractors the foresight to scout potential homeowners who may need roof repairs.
Many apps are now specifically catering to roofing contractors to help let them know where hail is likely to strike. And they’re getting down all of the nitty-gritty details, including the direction, speed, strength, and duration of the storm.
Some apps can even predict the size of the hail, which can help you be better prepared for the extent of the damage customers in that area might end up with.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a technology that both small and large businesses use to help facilitate better communication with customers and potential customers.
Word of mouth can be powerful, but gone are the days when you could rely on your company’s name traveling throughout the city like wildfire. The most effective way to build your relationship with your community is through CRM.
Many easy-to-use apps and software offer ways for you to organize and schedule your appointments, track your current and past jobs based on distance or materials you used, and even take photos of your projects and save them to a customer’s profile for you to reference later.
You can handle these tasks and more with even the most simple CRMs — there’s often no need for an intricate or involved system, especially when you start. But if you aren’t taking full advantage of everything a CRM suite offers, you’re leaving a lot of opportunities to save yourself time and improve customer retention on the table.
3. Online Ordering with Roof Hub
You can order anything imaginable online now. So make your life a little easier by ordering your roofing materials online.
Roof Hub is a fantastic resource for all professional roofing contractors to get any amount of materials delivered directly to them. The site also offers interactive storm maps that span the entire US and has seamless CRM integration. That makes Roof Hub a combination of the first three of our valuable tips for contractors.
If there were such a thing as a one-stop shop for roofing contractors, it would be Roof Hub. You can order on the go with Roof Hub’s mobile app or use the desktop version if you prefer.
There’s real-time GPS delivery tracking, invoice history to keep track of your purchases easily, and even training videos complete with tips to help you manage your business more effectively.
4. Estimation Software
Before you can even get to work, it’s your responsibility to offer your clients an estimate of how much the project will cost. It’s vital for your reputation as a business that the quote is fair and accurate, but even the most seasoned roofing contractors can slip up here and there when the number crunching starts.
Contractors can take advantage of online tools, many of which are entirely free, to help calculate a quote. These apps have unique functionality like incorporating labor costs and importing custom materials. Some will even offer presentation features so you can show rather than tell, which will help build trust between you and your customers.
Even if you’re feeling completely confident in your math, this software is an excellent failsafe to compare your estimate against.
5. Social Media
Social media’s impact on the world is immeasurable, and its reach has permeated everything from world politics to discovering humanity’s shared love of silly cat videos.
But does a roofing contractor have a place in the world of social media? If you’ve been relying on your company’s ever-reliable word of mouth, you can consider social media to be your megaphone.
Becoming tech-savvy is one thing, but being social media savvy is another. So compared to some of the other technologies on here, social media will take more of a time investment for you to get into the swing of things. But once you’ve established your presence, the difference will be noticeable.
Homeowners everywhere use various social media platforms, so sharing updates, pictures, and even fun anecdotes about your company can help boost awareness and engagement in your community. And keep in mind that social media is becoming more visual, so pictures or videos will almost always gain more traction than a lengthy post.
There are also websites that homeowners will use to recommend and share experiences they’ve had with home improvement contractors. You’ll want to make your presence known in these spaces as well — sharing a portfolio of your best work will entice prospective customers to give you a call.
Just make sure that you have the green light to share some of these pictures online, as doing so without permission from your customers isn’t a good business practice.
6. Innovation in Roofing Materials
It’s not all about what’s on your phone. Technology has also improved the materials you use on-site while you work. Take note of any new advancements in roofing materials that could help make your job a bit easier, such as shingles that have larger nailing areas or ones that have a tear-resistant band.
Keeping these materials in mind can also help you discuss options with your clients, especially regarding new materials designed to work with the environment, such as shingles with reflective granules.
These shingles protect the home from excess solar energy, which can help keep the roof’s temperature low and reduce the effort the homeowner’s HVAC needs to put out to cool the home.
Advancements like solar shingles can even generate electricity for the home, while synthetic slate shingles or other shingles made from recycled materials are perfect for clients and contractors who are conscious of their carbon footprint.
Technology makes our lives easier and better — because of it, we can get more done and accomplish our goals.
Being on the cutting edge of roofing technology shows that your company dedicates time and energy to growth and efficiency. You can empower and streamline your business in previously unimaginable ways through the types of technology we’ve showcased.