How to Estimate a Roofing Job and Create Bids Remotely
Tips for Winning Business While Social Distancing
With people spending so much more time in their homes, they’re likely thinking about home improvements. It’s important to continue to find opportunities to win jobs right now, even though COVID-19 means that contractors need to conduct business differently. The good news is there are lots of tech tools available to help you safely and successfully estimate, bid and communicate with prospective clients. The roofing business — and the siding, gutters and windows business — is all about relationships, and people still want to do business with people.
Here are some tips and technologies that can help you work with prospective customers and win business.
1. Use Technology to Virtually Create Estimates
If you’re social distancing, you’ll want to minimize the amount of time you’re spending on the jobsite. Luckily, a number of tools exist to virtually measure a roof and easily estimate the cost of materials and labor required for the job. For example:
- EagleView: This program allows contractors to see an aerial view of the home and generate a quote for siding and roofing jobs based on your low-end and high-end estimates. Plus, with its integration through ABC Connect, ABC Supply customers can calculate material costs — all without stepping foot on the jobsite.
- Hover: With Hover, you won’t need to spend lots of time on the jobsite taking measurements. Instead, snap a few quick photos within the app. Then, Hover transforms them into a 3D model you can use to review roofing and siding measurements.
- One Click Contractor: This all-in-one, customizable software integrates industry-leading measurement platforms that contractors are already using to create estimates, visualize projects, create digital contracts and offer financing options, allowing contractors to close the sale virtually.
- iRoofing: This all-in-one software gives you the power to take aerial measurements, create estimates and draft digital contracts, making the process of remotely bidding on jobs easy.
- RoofScope: RoofScope uses aerial technology to remotely measure and build estimates for roofing jobs. Plus, the company has options to also estimate siding, gutters and more.
- RoofSnap: This technology for virtually estimating jobs comes in a desktop and mobile version. Plus, it offers a free two-week trial so you can test it out without committing.
2. Add Visuals to Your Bid
Social distancing makes it challenging to show prospective customers material samples. The next best option is to include visuals in your bid. Use a virtual rendering software to create a mock-up of what a home would look like with different styles of roofing, siding, windows or doors. Here are a few examples of software programs you can use to create images to include in your bid:
- Pictureit: Through an integration with ABC Connect, Pictureit allows ABC Supply customers to upload a photo of a home and “try on” their preferred product lines that are readily available through ABC Supply.
- GAF Virtual Home Remodeler: This program allows contractors to upload a photo of the home or choose a pre-selected house and apply GAF’s roofing products to see a remodeled home.
- One Click Contractor: This virtual sales software integrates with a number of visualization tools, so you can help homeowners see their dream before it becomes a reality.
- Hover: After you’ve used Hover to create an estimate, you can also use it to test out different materials on a 3D model of the home.
- iRoofing: In addition to being a useful estimating tool, iRoofing’s roof visualizer gives you the ability to simulate a home with different roofing materials. You can even create a digital pitch book with your images right within the software.
3. Anticipate More Questions About How You’ll Complete the Project
The COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for businesses and homeowners alike. Anticipate questions that prospective customers might have and include the answers in your bid. For example:
- Will COVID-19 affect the project timeline?
- How many people will be on my property?
- Will your team practice social distancing?
- How will you update me on the project’s progress?
Most homeowners will appreciate the transparency and any efforts you’re making to ensure your team is minimizing the spread of germs while on their property. It’s also more important than ever to include a means to exit in your bids and contracts. Ensure that your force majeure clause clearly includes provisions for a pandemic or public health crisis, so that you’re covered should COVID-19 drastically affect the project.
4. Remember That We’re in a People Business
In such uncertain times, trust will be especially important. Begin establishing trust with homeowners by providing a high level of service, even before they’re officially your customers. Offer to meet via a video call to walk them through your bid and go over any questions they might have. Here are a few popular video conferencing programs to try:
- Zoom: Zoom is easy to use and affordable. It offers free unlimited one-on-one video conference calls, and group calls that last 40 minutes or less are also free.
- FaceTime: FaceTime is one of the simplest and most user-friendly options for video calls. Note that it’s only available on Apple devices, so you’ll want to check that your customers are able to use it first.
- Skype: In addition to free video calls, Skype also offers Skype for Business, which has additional features that make working collaboratively easy.
- GoToMeeting: A popular choice for large businesses, GoToMeeting makes it easy to share your screen, so you can pull up a bid, sample images or other information on-screen during your video call.
Treat a video call like you would an in-person meeting. Dress professionally, silence your cell phone and conduct the meeting in a quiet space without distractions. If you’re new to these tools, practice them beforehand so you’re not fumbling in front of a prospective customer.
ABC Supply is here to help you through this uncertain time. If you have questions on how to estimate a roofing job or submit a bid while social distancing, give your local ABC Supply location a call.
For more tips on conducting business safely, check out our COVID-19 resource page.