Contractors have faced challenges in recent years, including economic uncertainty, labor shortages, supply chain delays, pricing pressures, and rising materials costs. Despite these concerns, roofing businesses are resilient and moving forward in 2024.

Recent research from Clear Seas reveals that 90% of contractors expect their sales to increase over the next three years. The commercial roofing sector, in particular, has seen improved sales performance, with over two-thirds of contractors expecting sales to “slightly or greatly” increase in 2023 compared to the previous year. According to the same survey, 86% of residential contractors anticipate increasing sales through 2026. 

During my eight years at ServiceTitan, I've learned the importance and intersections between real-time business insights, technological innovation and customer experience. Here are three areas that roofing businesses should focus on to hit revenue goals and maintain sustained growth. 

Focus on Your Funnel 

According to new research, 65% of contractors want to increase revenue in 2024. Still, one of the biggest challenges for roofing contractors is getting timely and accurate insights into how effectively their marketing dollars, call centers and salespeople are performing.

The latest technological advancements can play a pivotal role. Roofing contractors can now benefit from real-time insights all in one place, providing a comprehensive view of their most critical business KPIs, including revenue driven by various marketing channels, call booking rate, close rate and average ticket. Our customers have often substantially increased their revenue without spending an extra dollar on marketing.

For example, if a contractor can see that they have half of their customer service representatives at a 40% call booking rate versus a better-performing half at 60%, a bit of coaching and performance management can increase their revenue by 10% just by getting the bottom half to 60%. Cherry Roofing and Siding leveraged bespoke technology solutions to multiply its revenue from $2.5 million to more than $20 million year-over-year. 

Central to navigating a volatile market, contractors must remain agile by having a strong ongoing grasp on revenue streams rather than just end-of-quarter reporting. With quick profit visibility, contractors can better manage fluctuating outcomes and accommodate higher sales volumes with exceptional service, ultimately raising their bottom line. 

Automation is Critical

The roofing sector is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is highly competitive and localized. According to IBIS research, adjusting business operations in response to market demand is crucial for achieving success in the sector, particularly as contractors encounter escalating competition. The latest advancements in technology can refine workflows and increase productivity, and the journey begins from the moment a potential roofing customer calls in. 

To stay ahead of the competition, contractors must make deliberate technological investments. Automation and AI can improve efficiency by streamlining business operations, with most companies reporting 80% performance improvements after implementation. For example, Zapier can automate and simplify workflows by connecting to a business's existing applications and processes.

Manually collecting customer and project information has historically proven to be inefficient, tedious and time-consuming. This is where software like HOVER, Eagleview, and GAF QuickMeasure can add value. These tools expedite the measuring process by increasing the initial intake of measurements and automatically sending them to a CRM to create professional, accurate estimates for homeowners.

In today’s digitally driven age, 70% of consumers expect to book services online, which has become the standard experience with Google Local Services and Uber. Survey data found that 94% of consumers looking for a new contractor are likelier to choose one that offers online booking. Hence, we’re continuing to see resilient businesses across verticals, from roofing to construction, invest in technology solutions like Square Appointments and Scheduler Pro to fine-tune processes like these. 

Similarly, collecting and centralizing their customer and project information ensures accurate analysis of past issues and purchases, previous interactions, and insights needed to predict future needs and preferences. At this year’s International Roofing Expo, we learned that lowball pricing and bidding wars concerned contractors across the industry – Clear Seas research confirmed this, with more than a third of contractors identifying these pricing pressures as a key challenge.  

In addition to operational effectiveness, familiarity with a customer’s history leads to informed decision-making, which is critical for strategic business growth and development planning. Contractors can outperform the competition by empowering their workforce with the necessary tools and resources to tackle changing customer needs. 

Elevating the Customer Experience  

Technology advancements help contractors focus on the customer experience and elevate their business’s reputation. In addition to customer acquisition, it's equally as important to prioritize existing clients by providing a 5-star experience. A growing trend we’re noticing is that most roofing customers value reputable businesses with experience and good workmanship. 

Technology can be key to providing exceptional customer service, starting at intake. By helping contractors stay organized from anywhere, streamlining workflows, and providing real-time access to relevant customer history, contractors can provide more informed recommendations. Roofing contractors can now access invoices and accept payment while on the job, which can be made possible through partnerships with financial services providers. Taking care of payments on the spot eliminates the pressure and possibility of neglect. 

In addition to these advanced capabilities, modern software solutions enable contractors to send text message notifications and Uber-style GPS tracking that keeps customers updated about when their contractors or crews are scheduled to arrive. In previous years, repeat customers have accounted for 39% of contractors’ annual revenue. Satisfied customers are also more likely to offer referrals or recommendations, which can help generate new leads. 

Against the backdrop of growing competition, sustained growth begins with providing employees with the tools and training they need to succeed. Trade businesses can focus on delivering exceptional customer care by investing in training and leveraging software to optimize business processes. Bolstering your workforce is instrumental in igniting word-of-mouth recommendations, holding onto your best talent and solidifying your standing as the go-to roofing authority.

Chris Petros is general manager of residential markets at ServiceTitan, a cloud-based software platform that helps home service companies manage their businesses.