Opportunities for Commercial Roofing Contractors
“The building owner is the most likely person to make the decision about the materials used for roof replacement projects (42 percent), while facility managers are most likely to make the call on the materials used for repairs (40 percent).”
Roofing Contractor teamed up with BNP Media Market Research and GAF to conduct a study of building owners to gauge their perceptions of the roofing industry. Specific goals of the research study included determining who evaluates and recommends the types and brands of roofing material chosen for a project, as well as the key factors they consider when selecting a roofing contractor. The survey was limited to respondents who were actively involved in purchasing decisions for roof repair, roof replacement and/or roof maintenance for the buildings their companies owned and/or managed.
“When choosing a contractor, more than half of the respondents (53 percent) rated being able to research a contractor online as highly important.”
The survey asked respondents to cite the primary reason for selecting a roofing contractor besides the price; this was an open-ended question, and respondents were able to write in their own response.
-The contractor’s experience/knowledge was cited by 13 percent of respondents, references/referrals by 7 percent, and past personal experience with the contractor by 7 percent.
-Other mentions included the recommendation report (10 percent), condition report on the existing roof (10 percent), safety (7 percent), references (6 percent), and repair and maintenance (4 percent).
-Sixty-three percent of respondents also agreed that the contractor who handles their roof repairs is more likely to get upcoming re-roofing projects.
“Sixty-three percent of the time, an owner is likely to select the contractor who does their maintenance for their re-roofing project,” said Brian Impellizeri, senior program manager, commercial marketing.
-Scheduled roofing maintenance was conducted by professional roofing contractors 43 percent of the time, and internal facility employees handled it 36 percent of the time.
-Roofing contractors were far more likely to handle unscheduled maintenance, accounting for 60 percent of this type of work.
-Budgeted roof replacements accounted for a quarter of the total, and budgeted repairs and maintenance accounted for 3 percent.
-Unbudgeted repair and maintenance accounted for 22 percent of the annual total, and unbudgeted roof replacements 7 percent.
Key Takeaways for Contractors
The survey was conducted in conjunction with GAF, and Roofing Contractor asked a panel of experts from GAF to share their insights on the findings. Several panelists pointed to the importance of building relationships with key decision makers, especially during repair projects and maintenance visits. “Sixty-three percent of the time, an owner is likely to select the contractor who does their maintenance for their re-roofing project,” said Brian Impellizeri, senior program manager, commercial marketing. He noted that excelling on emergency repair calls can make a good impression on building owners — and help make a case for a preventive maintenance program if there is not one in place. “Setting up a preventive maintenance program extends their guarantee and overall lifespan of the roof,” he said. “Teach the owner about his roof, etc., so the owner not only relies on him but makes him part of his decision-making process.”
Gerry Messina, executive director, commercial marketing, noted that contractors have many tools at their disposal to help educate building owners, including industry reports, code updates, and data from manufacturers. “The more informed the owner/facility manager is, via the contractor, the more they will look to said contractor to do the work when the time comes,” he said. “But realize it could be a longer-term effort; it won’t happen overnight.”
Paul Bromfield, senior vice president, marketing, pointed to the high percentage of unbudgeted repairs in the survey as compelling evidence of the value of preventive maintenance. “Twenty-two percent of repairs and maintenance are unbudgeted,” he noted. “This fact in itself is worth quoting by roofing contractors who are trying to set up a maintenance program, something that GAF has seen over the last few years from the growth of its Certified Maintenance Professional (CMP) program.”
“Talk about the return on investment (ROI) of having a professional maintenance program in place that is proactive vs. simply reacting to issues as they occur,” Impellizeri advised. “There is a significant cost savings with a proactive program and having one in place extends the life of their roof, thus improving their ROI.”
Chris Yeatts, vice president, strategic accounts, said busy property managers should be receptive to the message. “Contractors need to establish a value proposition for property managers,” he said. “Because they wear so many hats, they are looking for process improvements. Targeted programs, a single point of contact — assisting them with this process is key. Once you become their trusted resource, they are more inclined to turn over more roofing needs so they can focus their time elsewhere.”
Read the full article here.
Research Study Reveals Opportunities for Commercial Roofing Contractors:
by Chris King of Roofing Contractor