Hisham Rahman trains his work force, provides excellent customer service, and does it with a smile.
“We like to keep it simple,” he said. “Know what services are in demand, train your people to provide it better than your competition, and deliver it with a smile.”
Rahman, 44, CEO of Precision Roof Crafters Inc. of Houston, Texas, employs 22 workers who conduct a 50-50 split between residential and commercial business. But before he became involved in the roofing industry, Rahman was a computer science major who ended up working in restaurants.
“I fell in love with the restaurant business,” he said. “It became a passion, so I chose to pursue that as a career with the intention of owning my own restaurant.”
Little did Rahman know that the business he would end up running would be a roofing company.
“I was introduced to some people that were interested in partnering in a restaurant venture,” Rahman explained. “They were an architect and an interior designer who designed restaurants. We became partners and got to work.”
Rahman and his partners acquired an old bank building and made it into a restaurant. But two weeks before they were going to open the doors, an electrical fire broke out. “We lost everything and had no insurance,” he said. “Add to that the fact none of us were drawing a salary, it was pretty devastating.”
A short stint in the IT field reminded Rahman why he didn’t go that route. “Friends who had worked in the roofing business suggested that I consider it,” he said. “After a brief period of learning more about the business, I decided to make the career change.”
Upon entering the roofing business in 1996, Hish Rahman knew he had a lot to learn.
“I had to learn a new business that was completely foreign to me,” he said. “I did a lot of studying, asked a lot of questions, built relationships with suppliers and manufacturers, and attended technical training when offered.”
The biggest surprise for Rahman was the lack of customer service in the field. “I heard horror story after horror story of people’s experiences with both residential and commercial roofing companies,” he said.
Rahman decided he was going to have a different kind of roofing company. “I brought that restaurant mindset and applied it to this business,” he said. “We were not a roofing company. We were a service company that provided roofing services. Our clients’ satisfaction became our number one priority. When that phone rang, the person on the other end was not calling their brother or cousin or their friend, they were calling a professional.”
Rahman implemented ongoing training programs for all personnel. “They were trained to perform their job functions to the standards we developed and documented,” he said. Enter RSI (Roofers’ Success International), which Rahman called a great organization. “Education is never a waste,” he said. “We don’t allow smoking, swearing or loud music on our jobsites. Our people are trained to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, no exceptions. Everyone wears a clean Precision Roof Crafters uniform.”
Today, his full-service company specializes in hard-to-find leaks. “We made a commitment of never going on a call and leaving without finding the solution to fix the problem,” Rahman said. “People wanted to trust someone, and we wanted to be that someone. We became very good at it. We are the roofing professionals.”