Sharon: Good morning, everyone, this is Sharon with Network in Action, and I'm here this morning with Nick Englert with Rowan Construction. Good morning, Nick.
Nick: Hello, how are you today?
Sharon: I'm good. Thanks for joining me today.
Nick: Absolutely, absolutely.
Sharon: Good. Well, let's start off with how did you get into the roofing industry and what do you love about the work that you do?
Nick: Well, I think I got into it initially because I, my father owns a landscaping company. And so I tried the corporate route, tried to be in an office, and it drove me nuts. So, I just I like to be outdoors all the time. I mean, that's half the reason I live in Colorado. But yeah, I got into it. Just kind of happenstance, took it, took a random job and said, Hey, I'll give this a shot and found out I loved it. Get a lot of time off in the winters for skiing, which is great here. And I mean, you can't complain about the weather. So as often as I can be outside, the better it is. So...
Sharon: Yeah, I'm with you. And so I'm just kind of throw kind of a wild card question at you. But the roofing industry kind of has a bad rap, I would say, in terms of customer service. And, you know, I've heard people make these nuances, you know, you know, those roofing guys. So, what has you approach your work differently than maybe other roofing companies out there?
Nick: Yeah, great question, and it's kind of, I think, is a word you can remove from that question, we definitely have a stigma. The roofing guys, I've experienced it plenty of times actually had one homeowner that had it loaded on her roof, and she paid the contractor and they skipped town before any of the work was done. We ended up going in as the good guys saving the day. We did the work for free and got on the news and whatnot, but it happens all the time. I don't know why. If I were to guess, it's not very difficult to get into the roofing industry. You know, you don't. It doesn't require a big, huge building and, you know, skid loaders and trucks and, you know, all sorts of stuff. It's all you really need is your truck, and most of our meetings are conducted at the homeowner's house. So I think it's a fairly easy industry to get into, but it's not real easy to succeed and be successful long term. So, yeah, for us, I work directly off referrals. I don't have a sales team, so I think homeowners enjoy that. They know when, when they call it going to be me, that that makes the decision. So, I think the biggest way to get around that is just overcommunicate, constantly talking to the homeowner on this and that and this and that. It's I mean, I get 10 or 15 customers every year that already had a roofer that missed the first appointment and then didn't call the follow up and things like that. So I just really try and overcommunicate the process because once, once you understand the process, it's it's not real difficult. You know, it's just move on from step A to step B to step C step and say, Yeah, that's my biggest goal is to try and just overcommunicate.
Sharon: Yeah, and on the customer side of things, that communication is so appreciative and I think not so expected within the, you know, construction industry. We just assume that we're not going to be communicated to so right.
Nick: I think we've got a few Google reviews up that are definitely where we're the homeowner is just like, you guys are contractors, you know, just didn't really expect that. So, we always just kind of joke around, you know, lawyers and doctors ask a bajillion questions at the beginning of the process, but they're my favorite customers because as soon as I answer all their questions, they say, Cool, when do we build? When do you need a cheque? Good to go. So, yeah,
Sharon: Yeah, great. So other than people reach out to you and they need a roof, right? That that's a problem that I'm sure all of your customers have in common and...
Nick: ...less than you would think. Some of them think they have a problem, and I get out there. They don't. So, yeah...
Sharon: Well, that's a good non-problem to have
Sharon: But what are some of the challenges that your your customers face in the process of working with you and getting a roof either replaced or repaired?
Nick: Yeah, I think it starts mostly with just understanding the products in each roof. They're not the same. You know, it's not apples to apples. You can put on a whole different array of different types of shingles and underlayment and value materials and ridge caps and things like that. I know a lot of roofing companies don't even check ventilation, which I think is really, really a bad idea, but just trying to get them to understand all the components that go into it so that they can make it the right decision on what type of materials and things that they want. Another thing that we get out here in Colorado a ton is hail, obviously on the front range. It seems like Aurora Highlands Ranch, those areas get hit with hail almost every year. And so those homeowners are a little bit, you know, more educated on that topic, but still just navigating the insurance claim process and just realizing, you know, what kind of policy do you have when you when you first get homeowner's insurance, you get a stack of papers this thick, you know, and somewhere hidden in there is your wind and hail. You know, it's your claim information, whether it's your deductible amount, whether it's a recoverable depreciation, not recoverable things like that, and just getting them to kind of get on board and trust that, Hey, I've got your best interest. You know, my number one goal when it's an insurance claim is to first and foremost, make sure you're properly indemnified. You know, if you've got broken windows and siding and gutters and things like that, all items that I don't do, it's still my job to represent you when the adjuster is there and make sure that they see those items.
Nick: I always liken it. It's kind of like going to court without a lawyer. You know, I would never do that just because I don't know the legal jargon that they would say, but it's the same thing with any sort of home improvement project. You know, it's if you've got a dent in the lid on your grill they owe you for it is covered on your homeowners insurance policy. So yeah, just making sure that the homeowners understand the process of insurance, and it can get tricky too. One of the obstacles that we're dealing with right now with a ton of customers, obviously supply chain issues with COVID, Hurricane Ida did not help with anything at all, because a lot of supplies are going down there and just kind of walking them through that and just saying, Hey, you know, maybe, maybe now's not the time to build your roof because prices of wood are absolutely extreme right now. You know, if you can wait till next spring, you're going to save yourself thousands of dollars. So yeah, there's a lot of moving parts. I think in any construction industry, but especially when you throw in the insurance side of things, there's just a lot of things to juggle to make sure that, you know, the project is still moving along in a timely manner.
Sharon: So important. Well, talk to me a little bit about what the process is like. If, let's say I have a damaged roof, how would I walk through the process with you?
Nick: Sure, sure. First thing, always, always, I cannot stress this enough, make sure that you have someone come out and look at your roof. If you've got somebody that you trust, fantastic. If not, I would get a few people out there. A lot of roofing companies have just a ton of salespeople that they just show up, they in their first season,they don't really know how roofs work or how they're put together, and they're just looking for anything and everything that says, "Yeah, this is hail damage. You need a new roof quick." I've been on countless roofs where I show up and you know, they say, "Oh yeah, the last roofer said this was damaged. I need to file a claim." I said, This roof is fine. You have 15 years left on it. Just relax. It happens more than you think. I mean, literally almost every week I have one of those. But yeah, the process is then first, have somebody inspect it and then if it is an insurance...
Sharon: Somebody credible, Right?
Nick: Somebody credible. Yes, they should have pictures. They should have references. They should be able to answer every single question you have immediately without having to consult with something someone else. Or as I like to call it, the YouTube contractor, I just seem to think they can do anything if they research it. But yeah, once once we find out, yes, maybe we do need to look at replacement. Then you start to talk about components.
Nick: You know, how do you like the aesthetic look of it right now? One thing that I'm a huge advocate of and I think we're trying to base the business model off of this is just giving upgrades in terms of materials. So we automatically put on what's called the synthetic felt. I think most people are used to the black tar paper that you see rolled out on the roofs. The synthetic felt allows your roof to breathe much better, which gives a lot longer. Lifespan on your shingles gives a little bit better ventilation for your attics, so you're not super cold in the winter and super hot in the summer, we automatically upgrade to a Class Four impact resistant shingle. And again, these aren't huge dollar amount upgrades. But like I said, I don't have to pay a sales team to come ring your doorbell every day, so I'm able to put those dollars into the products. And where it really pays off is, you know, in 2,018,I know almost all of Denver got hit, but I did a lot of work in Lafayette because I lived there for a couple of years and they actually got hit again in 2019. And so all of the homeowners that didn't have those upgraded shingles have to go through the whole process again. They've got to get a new roof, they've got to pay another deductible file, another claim. And all of my homeowners that went with the impact resistant shingle didn't have to do that.
Nick: And so that's a lot of times where I make a lot of new sales is when the other neighbors go, "Wait a minute, why do I have to do this again?" Because you didn't pick the right guy the first time. So yeah, but long story short to get through it as once you've got materials ordered, then it's pretty easy. A lot of times we're just at the mercy of when materials can get delivered, and then obviously permitting is a side note. If you ever find a contractor that's not getting a permit, that is a huge, huge, huge red flag. There's there's a lot of states where you don't have to even be a certified general contractor or licensed contractor. Colorado, you've got to take a not so fun test to pass that. They ask you a lot of questions and then you've got to do continuing education as well. So, that that's an obstacle that gets in the way of a lot of contractors that maybe do know how to do roofing, but you know, should there be a problem if somebody falls through your roof, for example, during construction or somebody falls off your roof, for example, if you're not a licensed contractor, you can't get insurance and then now the property owner is liable for that. And so, yeah, permits are not fun, but you have to do them.
Sharon: Yeah. And how would somebody get in touch with you? Maybe they're watching this video and they're thinking, Oh gosh, I'm not feeling so good about, you know, the last process I went through and they want to reach out to you. What's the best way for them to do that?
Nick: A couple of different ways you can. Check our website. It's just rowinconstruction.com. I'm best by phone because as you can imagine, there's a lot of times where I'm on a roof. A lot of times where I've got generators in the background for our nail guns and I can't hear anything. So I'm best by voicemail. I'm not near the computer very frequently, so you can always email, but I like a phone call because it's easy just to talk through it, you know, ask the right questions and keep it moving forward.
Sharon: Great. So what's the best number to call you at?
Nick: Phone number is 720 667 3925, and like I said, I always leave a voicemail because if it doesn't get answered at the office, it forwards to me and then I'm usually in the field.
Sharon: So great. Well, I love talking to a roofing contractor who's out there in the field, out there with your guys, you know, really hands on with customers. And to me that that would make a big difference versus just talking to a sales guy. You know, several points that you made were so important.
Nick: Your sales reps should be able to build a roof. If not, you've got a problem. It's one of the things we talk about with insurance companies all the time, too, and I don't blame them because, you know, the adjuster that shows up one day is looking at your hot water heater that overflowed, the next day they're looking at your car that got into an accident or whatever. So, there's always a few items when I'm on a roof with an adjuster that I know is new that I point out, and you kind of see the light bulb go off. They're like, "Oh, that's why you guys always ask for that." It's like, Yeah, there's a hole in it. Roofers don't like holes. Anything with a hole on it, can not go back on the roof.
Sharon: Great. Well, thank you, Nick. It was a pleasure talking to you today. I wish you well and happy roofing. Whatever you roofers say.
Nick: Oh yes, happy winter. Let's go skiing, right?
Sharon: Yeah. All right. Thanks so much.
Nick: Thanks, Sharon.
Sharon: All right. Bye bye.