Change is one thing that’s been constant for Anson Martin and his company, Valley Roofing Inc., since it opened 15 years ago — and always for the better.
That’s according to Martin, president of the Harrisonburg, Va.-based company, who says change has allowed him to build the company essentially from scratch to what it is today: a (mostly) residential contractor with 32 employees servicing an area about 130 miles northwest of Richmond.
Martin primarily attributes the company’s ability to grow and make it through tough times to two things: a willingness to be flexible and a commitment to consistently raising the bar when it comes to customer service and quality.
“We are in an industry with a bad reputation,” said Martin. “The roofing trade is looked down on by many, and many people don’t trust us. We can make a difference and raise the bar for others. We should be proud of what we do, do it to the very best of our ability, and always do the right thing. By doing so we can raise the tide in our industry.”
Martin said he began his career as a crew leader with a construction company. He found himself liking being rooftop the most. It’s also where the entrepreneurial side of Martin saw the most opportunity.
“When I saw the demand for roofing, I went out on my own and started my own business,” he said.
The first few years involved a lot of blood, sweat and tears as Martin set out to build a business from scratch. He said he soon realized work ethic wasn’t enough to get to where he wanted to be, and in 2010, he made a change.
“Hard work wasn’t working. I had to change the business plan to focus on residential remodeling,” Martin explained. “Through this process we were actually able to grow and take our business to the next level.”
Today, about 80 percent of Valley Roofing’s business is residential with the rest commercial. About 75 percent of the total work done by Valley Roofing is reroofing and remodeling.
The company has several divisions: roofing, gutters, repairs, sunrooms and siding. Martin said each department has its own goals and purpose.
However, the company’s overall purpose is outlined on the company’s website:
“It is the mission of Valley Roofing to provide quality roofing services to our customers in a timely and professional manner. Our hard-working, certified, and friendly staff bring our customers the best in roofing through exceptional workmanship, various warranties, and guarantees of our work. It is our goal that every customer associates Valley Roofing with quality, integrity, dependability, and sees a company who is striving to honor God in all that we do.”
The website also addresses how the company generally works to attain success:
“The company culture at Valley Roofing encourages excellence through teamwork, a friendly work environment, and dedication to hard work. Our crews are the greatest asset at Valley Roofing. Each crew member is trained and certified in GAF’s installation methods. They work as a team to complete your job in a timely manner and take the steps to protect your property during the job. We hire only people we are certain you can trust to be at your home, and around your family. From our no-smoking policy to our uniformed dress code, we work hard to create a company of people you can trust.”
The efforts appear to pay off in the eyes of customers.
The website contains numerous testimonials about the company’s quality of service, among other things.
“Valley Roofing consistently provides A M Yoder & Co. predictable scheduling, timely installations, professional service and a wide variety of material choices,” reads one review from a local custom home builder. “This translates directly into value for our custom clients and profit on the bottom line for us. A M Yoder & Co. values Valley Roofing as a preferred trade partner and will continue to call on…the Valley Roofing team for our new construction and renovation roofing solutions.”
Martin said such feedback reflects his company’s commitment to building relationships with customers.
“This is an area that requires the work of everyone in the company not just me,” Martin said. “We expect our sales team to start the relationship and then production to pick it up and continue with it throughout the course of their project. Then admin picks it up after that. We reward all employees based on positive feedback we get from customers. This encourages everyone to do their part.”
Martin said more than 60 percent of the company’s business is from repeat customers — a sign that customers are more than satisfied with the work performed by Valley Roofing.
“Almost all roofing failures are a result of poor workmanship rather than product failure,” Martin said. “For many people a roof is something they will only do once or twice in their life. This makes it very important for them to trust their contractor, and to know that the contractor is going to do the right thing for their project.”
To deliver such results, Martin said Valley Roofing puts a lot of importance into employee training and safety. The company relies on third-party education providers, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).
“Hands-on training and experience is the best, but sometimes you can’t wait for them to learn on their own,” Martin said. “We are always training and developing people.”
Martin said he works hard to create a good working atmosphere for employees and for good reason.
“Company culture is the biggest benefit and creates the best atmosphere,” he said. “Our company culture is very good and very strong. We also offer numerous benefits, including paid time off, IRA, paid holidays, insurance reimbursement (we do not offer insurance) company bonuses and company dinners.”
The company also relies on its strong partnerships with distributors and suppliers. Valley Roofing is a GAF Master Elite Contractor and has partnered with the likes of CertainTeed, Velux, LP SmartSide, Craft-Bilt Manufacturing, and others.
“Our favorite distributer has been The Roof Center a Beacon Roofing Co.,” Martin said. “They have been there numerous times for us as we try to remain on the cutting edge of the roofing industry.”
Valley Roofing also maintains membership in various associations, including NRCA, Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals, National Association of Home Builders, Better Business Bureau, and Business Network International.
“Being involved with these is huge, they are a tremendous resource for the many things we come across each day as a business owner,” Martin said. “And they are a great resource to other businesses that we network with who often have the same struggles that we do.”
Valley Roofing also aims to get involved with its local community.
“The best experiences our company has is when we help others,” Martin said. “Every year we install a new roof for someone in our community through the No Roof Left Behind program. It is truly a blessing to give back to our community.”
Martin said despite the many ways the company works to be the best in the region, there’s one overall mindset that he believes has helped the Valley Roofing find success.
“We believe in the truth and apply that to our everyday lives to the best of our abilities,” he said. “This means we are always trying to do our best and do the right thing.”