It’s tough catching up with Mikee Eldridge these days. While leading a fast-growing roofing company in one of the country’s hottest housing markets, the industry veteran is even more preoccupied with the future: the future of his company, Eldridge Roofing & Restoration; the future of roofing’s workforce in and around greater Houston, and; the future of the industry, writ large. After 25 years in roofing, he says he also has the “luxury” of widening his aperture, reflecting on past accomplishments while anticipating how roofing will continue evolving.
“After all this time, it’s great to be able to focus working on my business rather than in my business,” he said last month in Dallas during the 2023 International Roofing Expo.
While speaking, he motioned toward his son, Anson, noting that the company’s recent success — and his newly found liberation — are due, in large measure, to Anson.
“I’m not worried so much about the day-to-day grind of it anymore,” he said, smiling at Anson. “But I am keeping very busy.”
A young man of seemingly few words, Anson humbly accepted the praise and mentioned feeling the excitement generated around the show’s return to Texas. For a moment, it’s hard to connect Anson’s humble demeanor with the person veteran sales trainers describe as a roofer that “slays at sales.”
A Quick Study
“After all this time, it’s great to be able to focus working on my business rather than in my business.”
Rewind two years: Anson attended the inaugural Top Rep home services sales and leadership training in New Braunfels, Texas. Within six months, he reportedly closed more than $2.4 million in roof sales. In 2022, he essentially lapped his previous success, racking up more than $5 million in closed deals.
Eldridge said the rest of the team followed his progeny’s example, positioning Eldridge Roofing & Restoration for another year of substantial revenue increases. Of course, being headquartered in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston, hasn’t made growth any more difficult. U.S. Census data pegs the greater Houston area among the country’s top five most populous regions, clocking in at 6.7 million people. That number continues to grow, up approximately 1.6% year-over-year, just behind Dallas’ and Phoenix’s metro-area growth since 2021.
To capture that emergent market share, Eldridge Roofing expanded its service areas to include six key communities around the greater Houston area. The company also grew its overall service offerings, incorporating gutters, insulation, solar roofing, and chimney and fireplace replacement. With so many different products and areas to sell, restructuring and reprioritizing the sales process was essential for success.
Eldridge said the key was getting managers and the sales team to optimize each aspect of the selling process, mainly focusing on the close. The importance of closing can’t be emphasized enough in roofing, as in other building trades. Eldridge said that honing in on the process was the lynchpin for helping his team make easy pivots while at a kitchen table, fielding some of the most common concerns from potential customers.
“Learning the closing process has never been so easy, and Anson and the rest of the Eldridge Roofing and Restoration team are living proof of this,” said Chuck Thokey, a roofing industry veteran, consultant and Top Rep co-founder.
Whether in the office or the field, continuous training is a staple of how the Eldridge team does business. Staying current with the latest innovations in all areas of home renovation, especially roofing, is critical, Eldridge said. He achieves this by working with his leading manufacturers and distributors to ensure his staff remains up-to-date on trends through monthly education seminars. He’s also been known to bring installers from multiple crews to industry events like the IRE each year. He said he likes to do that so his field crews experience the excitement and passion among other roofers, and for the learning opportunities offered.
“We consistently surpass industry production standards but keep learning everything we can about all the systems we can work with,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge also has little fear of the unknown, particularly regarding technology. He and his team were among the early adopters of incorporating photos in their reports, implementing customer relations management software and using better communication devices. He’s always on the hunt for the latest innovations as well. If you talk to enough technology providers in the roofing space, they’ve all met, pitched and likely worked out deals with him.
“Mikee Eldridge understands that if it helps with his company’s bottom line, helps them improve their processes and with their people, then it’s worth the investment,” said Charlie Cina, a veteran marketing and networking consultant who introduced OneTapConnect to Eldridge and others in the roofing industry during the 2022 IRE in New Orleans.
The powerful prospecting, networking and marketing tool lets users connect instantaneously through their cell phones, speeding up the sales cycle. Of course, focusing on technology and refining sales and installation processes never overcompensate for excelling at customer care and performing high-quality work.
Following a “people before profit” mantra, Eldridge trains every newly hired installer on a hand-nail application without using nail guns on any roof repair or replacement. The consensus is that training strengthens the quality and ensures compliance with manufacturer warranties, giving the homeowner relief in knowing the job is done right. Along with training, oversite by way of an assigned project manager present on every job site ensures quality control and crew efficiency at all stages until completion.
“We will never lose sight of being professionals, the importance of high-quality craftsmanship and honest pricing,” Eldridge said. “We stand behind that individually and as a family.”