Unless you’ve been living in a shed out back for the past year, you’ve noticed that the price of residential real estate has skyrocketed. In some markets, the climb continues.

Thankfully, this market is not driven solely by cheap money and easy terms like it was when the housing bubble burst during the Great Recession. Owners have more skin in the game, and the demand for housing continues to outpace supply.

This leaves homeowners with equity in their property. This increase in borrowing power gives them options they may not have enjoyed previously. So, will you be able to participate in this new money as owners look to improve their property?

While the spectrum of government subsidies, favorable sunlight, the cost of solar panels, and other considerations are still in play, the ability to comfortably finance solar could begin to move the needle in solar markets.

Are you geared to take advantage of this emerging opportunity?

Every roofing contractor is not well suited to take on solar. The sales process is specific and is different from selling roofing or other exterior home-improvement systems. The base of knowledge a roofing contractor must possess to properly sell, furnish, and install solar is expansive. Taking a cavalier approach to solar can be a fatal mistake. It takes a commitment of time and capital resources.

It is not suited for all roofing contractors, so the competition is not as keen.

There are other things at play in the solar market that smooth the transition from roofing contractor to roofing and solar contractor. All of the major shingle manufacturers have adopted standards by which solar panels should be installed over their shingle roofing systems. These standards add to the quality assurance proposition of both the roofing and solar systems.

In addition to the recognition and support of all the shingle roofing manufacturers, CertainTeed has continued its long history of offering solar systems that are installed as part of their roofing systems. Their work to develop these systems with third parties and independently has been relentless, and I expect them to continue as a leader in residential solar roofing.

GAF took solar to another level when they established GAF Energy as a separate entity that developed a market for their Timberline Solar™ that is installed using well-established roofing practices. The GAF solar system should attract the attention of roofing contractors who are already affiliated with GAF. Having the roofing contractor empowered as the lead contractor on solar roof installations is a real plus, as electrical and other specialty contractors have gotten ahead in some solar markets.

Regardless of which solar system you choose to install, or even if you decide to focus on roofing and other exterior building systems, you should pay attention to the new equity in your market. As owners and lenders in your market awake to this opportunity, you should join with them to improve their property and lives.