Whether you are a roofing contractor or own a roofing business, conducting proper estimates for roofing contracts is crucial for job security and longevity. In order to do so, you must know how business fundamentals work. Material Cost, Time and Labor will be the three most important factors to determine when conducting a proper estimate for any job. Outside of that, customer service and salesmanship are equally important; you can know the ins and outs of the business world, but if you are not able to sell yourself and your work, it will not matter. So, let’s go over these items and prepare you for those roofing job estimates.
1. Material Cost
In order to do any job, you must know exactly what materials will be necessary to complete the work. To determine cost, you must be able to measure correctly for the job at hand. You do not want measurements to be off because too many supplies will be ordered and profit will decrease.
Sure, materials can be used for later jobs, but keeping supply flow on target will keep money in your account for other needs or savings. Some places will take returns or unused material, but that cuts into business time which could be used for another estimate for the next job.
Determining the time it will take to complete a job is of the utmost importance. You must be able to tell the customer how long the job will take and also know when the next job can start. So, when doing an estimate, figure out the timeframe correctly. To do that, determine (or know) how long it takes to complete one bundle of shingles or the time-length necessary per so many square feet.
Another important factor is to always leave a certain percentage of time available for weather or other issues that may put the job on hold. If the time is unnecessary, great. Move on to the next one ahead of schedule. You never want to go over the scheduled date if at all possible. Sure, it will happen sometimes, but limit time allotment mistakes and you will make money and leave customers satisfied.
Labor can be rolled into the time category, but it is best to know labor costs separate from time on site. The reason for this is because workers get sick and miss days. Sometimes, overtime is necessary due to delays and unforeseen issues. So, if you can calculate, as accurately as possible, what labor costs will be, the roofing estimate will be correct in regards to profit margin.
4. Customer Service/Salesmanship
You must learn to be a salesman to secure jobs. If you cannot secure jobs, it will not matter how many roofing estimates you get. So, smiling and being courteous to the customer is extremely important. Many people will go with a higher estimate if they received great service.
Talk to the client and let him/her know what is what in regards to the estimate. Tell them why specific items or work cost a certain price due to your superb craftsmanship. You may be more expensive, but your work will outlast the opponent because of the quality. Say those types of things. Sale yourself. Sale your work.
With these four items discussed, you should be on your way to giving great estimates. Securing jobs will be easier by: 1. Knowing what all your materials will cost to finish the job, 2. Figuring out how much time will be necessary to complete the job, 3. Determining all of the labor costs for job completion, and 4. Giving great customer service and salesmanship in order to sell your work. You already know the tools and craft of the trade. Now, you know what it takes to secure the job by giving a great estimate.