RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry and how did you get your start?
KH: I’ve been in the roofing industry since August 2019 when my husband mentioned we needed to bring an employee on to our company and I thought, “Why not me?” I was working full-time managing events and volunteers for a large nonprofit and quit my job the following week. I haven’t looked back.
RC: How long has your company been in business and what’s its story?
KH: HomeShield started in 2017 and was just my husband. I helped with some marketing/branding. He came from the supplier side of the business and we talked about opening a company for years prior to finally taking the leap. It was another one of those “Why not us?” situations where we saw others being successful and knew we had the ability to do it too. I have to give Matt so much credit for being able to train this greenhorn from the ground up. He’s taught me most of what I know, empowered me and really believed in me more than I did myself at the beginning.
RC: Any company milestones that stand out?
KH: In April 2020, our town was hit by a massive hail storm. It was sink or swim as our leads were pouring in. That was really when I fell in love with the industry. It felt similar to event management, honestly. I had a budget, timeframe, list to accomplish, schedule to follow, and details to document. I remember planting a yard sign for my first job and thinking “Wow, how did I NOT think this was a job option for me?”
KRISTINA HILL, 31
CO-OWNER, HOMESHIELD ROOFING & EXTERIORS
LOCATION: Lincoln, Neb.
FAMILY STATUS: Married to Matt Hill and have 3 children: Chase, Autumn, and Atley.
RC: What are the top reasons for the company’s success?
KH: We’re in the people business and people do business with people they like. We never try to “sell” to our customers and we pride ourselves on having the heart of a teacher. Whether the customer goes with us or someone else, I take pride in knowing that they will leave our encounter with a little more knowledge and be able to make the most educated decision possible. And we truly believe that when you do right by people, the rest will take care of itself.
We also know that not everyone is our customer and sometimes it’s best to say “no” or turn down an opportunity. When you have a clear vision for your company, it makes it easier to make the best business decisions through that lens.
RC: What area of your roofing business are you the most passionate about? Why?
KH: I truly enjoy helping homeowners through their storm restoration process. From the inspection to claim review and production, it brings me so much joy to work with them on bringing their joy back to life and surpassing their expectations. Since we’re in a storm market, many homeowners have worked with a roofing company in the past and have had an unfavorable experience. I love being able to change that for them and work toward giving the roofing industry a better name.
RC: You’re also very passionate about a roofing-related side hustle – Harness & Heels. What is that?
KH: Roofing hasn’t always been sunshine (or hail) and rainbows. Being a female in the industry, I wanted to connect with someone else experiencing what I was and tried to find that community online. I couldn’t find anything. So in 2021, I created a group called “Harness & Heels - Women in Roofing.” The goal was to be a safe community to share, mentor, educate and build up this generation and the next of ladies in the industry. I had no expectations as to how many would join or honestly even how many women were in the industry. But since the creation, we’ve grown to over 1,500 members strong and we’re just getting started.
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?
KH: Being younger, and a female, I have had my share of pushback or questioning due to my age and gender, but I don’t let it deter me by any means. It's almost a bit motivational for me in a way. It’s important for me to realize that they are holding a bias due to an experience in the past or not having built up trust in me yet. I do my part to prove myself, show that I actually know what I’m doing, and this barrier typically falls away. And if it doesn’t, then they aren’t who I want to partner with anyway. It helps make the decision to walk away easier.
RC: What’s next?
KH: Continuing to help our Nebraska neighbors with their roofing needs of course! As a company, we’re growing more in the multifamily and commercial sectors. We’re looking to begin building our employee base by hiring a sales/production team. For me, I’m committed to building out the Harness & Heels community by creating a directory, additional partnerships, in-person and virtual training/knowledge sessions, and encouraging more women to come join the roofing world!