When Randy Brothers and Cody Hayes started working together at Elite Roofing in 2010, they set out to create a company culture that bred success with hard work, great communication and taking accountability for any mistakes on the jobsite. The formula worked, turning the Denver-based residential roofing company into one of the fastest growing in the nation.
By 2015 — when they were first featured as RC Young Guns — the duo was ready to expand into commercial projects and new markets. They did so in 2016, acquiring one-time competitor CJ Roofing, to expand their commercial service offerings and territory. They’ve also proven progressive in terms of adopting technology and diversity. Brie Reis, Brothers’ sister, was named company CEO in 2019.
With her at the helm, Brothers has also diversified. He started the Roofing Academy Virtual Training Center, where he shares aspects of his business model and empowers other contractors. He’s also started a podcast and wrote a how-to for entrepreneurs, “Start It, Build It, Grow It: A Contractor’s Guide to Success.”
A lot has changed, but the company foundation remains the same.
“Our goals remain the same: build a great company that provides great opportunities for people while leaving a positive impact in our communities,” Brothers said.
That said, Hayes added that staying versatile will be key to their future growth.
“In a competitive market like Denver, there’s always another competitor around the corner looking to take a piece of market share,” he said. “We continue to adapt and innovate by looking for a way to improve our systems while still keeping our core values and integrity intact.”
They recently took the time to share the following with RC.
RC: What have you learned from older generations of roofers you've encountered?
CH: Tenacity. Staying the course and weathering the highs and lows of this industry is paramount to success.
RB: This industry is going to have ebbs and flows. We need to always be prepared for the ups and downs in order to sustain our business long-term. Creating a culture where people want to work for you for a long time is invaluable.
RC: What have you taught them, or wish to teach them about entrepreneurship in 2021?
CH: Versatility. We have been able to find the opportunities through a number of outlets that may not have been available earlier in their careers.
RB: Technology is taking over our industry and we must adapt to the ever-changing environment. Collaboration is also the wave of the future. More contractors are helping each other than ever before. I don't believe this was commonplace with the older generations.
RC: Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your career goals/trajectory, and how has the industry responded to the challenge?
CH: Without a doubt the COVID pandemic shook everyone. I believe the goals and trajectory stay the same but the strategy in which we go about achieving those goals shifts to work with the opportunities we can create.
RB: COVID has taught us a lot about tenacity and perseverance. Our goals remain the same, build a great company that provides great opportunities for people while leaving a positive impact in our communities. We, along with many people in the industry, have had to adapt to new ways of conducting business. I feel that the industry has really stepped up as a whole during this pandemic. Roofing has changed for good and so many contractors have adapted well.
RC: What would you say are the biggest changes you've seen in your short time in the industry?
CH: I believe people are learning to do more with less. The reality of lower gross sales balanced with the overhead needed to support it is making people reevaluate. How many people have staff working from home? How many new technologies are out there that can multiply the work while reducing the overhead costs to be successful? It is possible to sustain a successful company with great systems as long as you invest in the right people.
RB: The advancement of technology is easily the biggest change I have seen over the past 10 years working in this industry. I have also seen an increased level of overall professionalism and collaboration between contractors. More people are coaching and teaching contractors how to build great businesses and it has raised the bar for sure.
RC: What's the biggest change about you personally, professionally during that time?
CH: I have had to adapt in marketing, strategy and entrepreneurial awareness. Personally, I have become more interested in creating relationships. Professionally, I have become obsessed with the numbers inside my business.
RB: I have had to learn how to become a leader for my company and for my industry. Starting a company young I had no clue what it really meant to lead others and to develop my people into leaders.
RC: How aware are you of the next group of Young Guns out there?
CH: We’re always seeing companies coming over the horizon. We continue to adapt and innovate by looking for a way to improve our systems while still keeping our core values and integrity intact.
RB: I'm connecting with the next generation on a regular basis. I coach and mentor many upcoming companies across the country. I am also learning from them just as much as they are learning from me. I stay ahead by learning and adapting faster than others. It's all about knowledge, if I can out-learn people I can stay ahead.
RC: Any advice to the next crop?
CH: Always look to advance the industry. Keep working together to keep roofing trades cast in a positive light. Take the high road at all times and never sacrifice your values for a few extra dollars, especially when it comes at the plight of another.
RB: Learn as much as you can from others, become the best leaders you can be and give back to your communities and to the industry.
Do you know our next candidate for an upcoming Young Guns feature? Let us know at 248-244-6497 or firstname.lastname@example.org.