Roofing companies are using drones for many reasons; they are efficient for gathering roof system information and help workers stay safe by remaining on the ground. Thanks to drone technology, roofing contractors can inspect, estimate, bid, sell and plan roofing work without stepping onto a property.
An evolving industry
Many roofing contractors say they have plenty of work but finding experienced labor is a challenge. To keep up with roofing projects, you need ways to help your workers be more productive. Drones can help by streamlining tedious tasks such as finding roof system damage and taking roof measurements.
Property owners also are more demanding than ever. According to Microsoft Corp.’s 2019 State of Global Customer Service Report, 95% of people say customer service is essential to brand loyalty and 61% of people never will do business with a company after a single bad experience. When it comes to winning business and retaining customers, you have to get everything right the first time. Drones help you provide customers with the accurate data they expect from a roofing professional.
In addition, climate change means more storms and more work are coming. According to NASA: “The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s.”
To keep up with storm claims, insurance companies already are adopting drones. Travelers’ Claim University has estimated 550 certified pilots fly drones to estimate claims. And large insurance carriers such as State Farm® deployed drone technologies to handle claims demand following 2017 and 2018 storms and will continue to do so. Insurance carriers are advancing their technologies, and they expect companies that work with them to do the same.
With industry challenges compounding competitive pressures in your market, the effectiveness of your sales process matters. Bidding and selling without using drones only will get you so far. When you use a drone solution, the following are possible to amplify your sales process.
Produce more bids
Many roofing contractors canvass areas following storms and weather events or in neighborhoods with older homes that need roof systems replaced. These processes require quick inspections and quality information to provide homeowners. According to a 2018 case study, How Elevated and IMGING Bring Roofing Into the Digital World, conducted by my company, Loveland Innovations, when you adopt a drone solution, you can produce two to three times as many bids using the same number of employees.
Cavnass more affordably
Some drones make it possible for anyone to gather information on a job site. Instead of hiring a seasoned estimator, a drone makes it possible for your workers who may not have drone experience to canvass homes and create polished, effective bids. Some roofing contractors have a dedicated drone estimator; others hire a college student part-time to canvass as commercial drone work has become a popular source of income for hobbyists. The point is a drone creates more flexibility in terms of who you send to visit homeowners as you generate leads and make sales.
Provide higher-quality data
Your bids are only as good as your data. Homeowners and building owners (and often insurance carriers) need to see what caused roof system damage, the extent of the damage and the costs to repair it. Drones gather incredibly high-quality data and never get tired or frustrated. After a quick drone flight, your salespeople can view and share measurements and imagery detection. This information arms your sales team with all the information they need to help homeowners and building owners understand the conditions of their roof systems so they can move forward with repairs. With detailed drone imagery, your customers will know they’re trusting a market leader.
When drones get everything a roofing contractor needs from the sky, there’s no need for estimators to get on a roof, which reduces safety risks for employees and financial risks for employers. Depending on your workers’ compensation classifications, it may be possible to move your estimators from the roofing classification to the sales classification. This could save your company thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation premiums.
Before you can reap the benefits of a drone solution, you will need the following:
In general, there are two ways to get started with drones. You can do it yourself, or you can work with a vendor.
Do it yourself
If you go out on your own, you’ll essentially be buying a drone off the shelf to fly manually. It’s affordable but limited. Do you want a flying camera, or do you want something more advanced? Following are some things to consider if you opt to DIY:
Work with a vendor
If you want more value from a drone platform, work with a partner. A software provider can turn an off-the-shelf drone into a platform for gathering imagery and measurements. You can expect the following from a vendor partnership:
Learning to fly
Nearly all roofing companies can benefit from drone technology. To adapt in a changing industry, consider adding a drone solution to your sales process. You’ll reach more neighborhoods, produce more bids and close more sales.