How are roofing contractors adapting to a "new normal"?

July 6, 2020

What is your position within your company?

Josh White: I am president of Hoosier Contractors, Indianapolis.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your company?

Like many other businesses, we’ve had to change our ways of interacting with our employees and customers to abide by social distancing guidelines. We’ve also had to shift our strategies and focuses due to a slow pace in business these past few months to operate in a “new normal.” Luckily, we have loyal and enthusiastic customers, and my team has been able to adapt to any curveballs the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown at us. Figuring out how to adapt to the “new normal” has been challenging for contractors nationwide, but it’s important to take things one day at a time.

Did your company implement new practices, adopt technologies or take other measures to support remote operations?

We have implemented several new practices. We’ve used video conference technology such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams for meetings with employees and customers to follow the advised guidelines and keep everyone safe. We’ve also started using drones to fly above customers’ roofs for inspections, which enhances our no-touch service capabilities.

What steps has your company taken to protect customers and employees as in-person business operations resume?

We’re making a conscious effort to keep our office as clean and sanitized as possible. In addition to our employees cleaning and sanitizing their workstations, cleaning professionals perform a deep clean twice a week. We also take temperatures of our employees and ask them health questions regularly. Our employees maintain a distance of at least 6 feet apart when talking to homeowners to ensure safety for both parties. We’ve also created a virtual way for clients to review and sign documents to ensure no contact is necessary.

What have you learned during the past few months?

Like many other business owners, whether in the roofing industry or not, it’s going to take some time to build ourselves back up. We have to be patient with our customers and clients as things are uncertain for them right now, and we must ensure their safety when they do business with us. It’s also important to be strong-minded during a situation like this. We’re all going through a tough time in different ways, but how we react is more important than what we initially face.

What advice would you offer to other roofing professionals adapting to a “new normal” during the pandemic?

I would say it’s extremely important to create and follow strategic plans for your business to weather the remainder of this pandemic and to be set up for long-term success. We must also understand what we can control and what we can’t. We can’t control the pandemic or how it affects our economy and the roofing industry. We can control how we respond and adapt to the changing times. Those who proactively and efficiently adapt will be able to get through the remainder of COVID-19 and be ready to take on the new business challenges after it.

Additionally, it’s vital to set reasonable expectations with the homeowners and business owners you work with. Be real with them. This helps you earn their trust and lays the groundwork for a successful partnership. Don’t forget to be involved in your community and support frontline responders—the more positivity you put out into your environment, the more you receive.