The global coronavirus pandemic that has hit nearly every part of the world has also potentially triggered a growing financial and economic crisis.
Many are closing down their businesses, whether temporarily or permanently. Others are slowing down, shutting down parts of their businesses, cutting down on their marketing campaigns or completely shutting them down.
This doesn’t come as a surprise as the mandatory isolations, quarantines, curfews, etc. are becoming stronger and more rigorous by the day. Fear and uncertainty are rising exponentially.
So how do you face this new situation? How is it affecting the roofing and construction industry specifically?
We have to start from the fact that in digital marketing and marketing in general, adapting to the current status and the circumstances of the industry and the world is a prerequisite for any kind of success. And now, adapting is more important than ever.
Now, it is not only about success but also about surviving.
So how should you, as a roofer, approach this global COVID-19 pandemic and adapt to it?
Is it time to slow down and wait it out or is this the time to strike and hit harder than before?
What will be the repercussions either way?
There is a lot to be said about it so we’ve tried to sum it up for you and give you a straight answer, along with some helpful advice.
Pandemic or No Pandemic, Hail Is Still Here
The fact is that even though most of the country is on lockdown, certain emergency services, i.e. businesses that were deemed “essential businesses,” still have to be open for business.
Severe roof damage due to hail is one such emergency and efforts are being made to cite roofing as an “essential business” as well.
In the meantime, some roofers had to completely stop working but others, whose states are still not in complete lockdown, are still alive and breathing even in this time of crisis. At least for the time being.
Why? Because the weather is still something that is completely out of our control.
Hail doesn’t ask if COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the entire world.
Rainstorms and hurricanes don’t stop just because there is a worldwide pandemic. They will come inevitably and wreck people’s homes, cause damage, as well as additional financial and emotional stress.
And these are exactly the reasons why the NRCA has sent a letter to President Trump, urging him and the Government to recognize roofing as an “essential business.” People’s safety is at stake here, after all.
So, at the moment, nearly everything is on lockdown throughout the U.S. or will be very soon. The majority of businesses are being shut down but the construction industry still cannot be fully closed.
The safety of people’s homes is in question and in danger as the hail season begins to show its face in many areas of the country.
Some people will want to get ahead of hail damage and get a new roof while they can. Others will inevitably need new roofs or at least roof repairs once hail has done a number on their homes.
Either way, this is your time to step up and do your part.
If you offer emergency hail damage services, this is the time to strike and to help those in need.
But how will you do it if you can’t go door-knocking? How will you get roofing leads and appointments? What’s the alternative?
Facebook Advertising Has Never Been Cheaper
Ad space has literally never been cheaper and the costs are plummeting, just like the stock market.
The thing is that platforms such as Facebook usually mirror the state of the market, i.e. the state of supply and demand.
As the demand for ad space is decreasing, many businesses, including roofing contractors, are shutting down their ads and campaigns, or at least reducing them in number, so the prices are dropping as well.
And they are dropping big time!
What this means for you is that this is the time to strike! Get your ads and campaigns running stronger than ever and use this opportunity to grow your business even stronger than ever.
Since everyone is advised to maintain social distancing and stay at home with minimal physical contact with other people, one of the best offers you can promote at the moment is zero-contact roofing estimates.
This would include complete communication being done via phone or email, doing the actual estimate without going inside the client’s house or meeting them in person, taking every safety precaution by wearing gloves and masks, and finally, emailing the client a copy of the estimate.
This way, your clients will have great peace of mind and everyone will be adequately protected.
But it doesn’t even matter if you cannot do actual roofing work, you can still use this opportunity to get ahead of your competition and to build a strong connection with your clients.
Everyone is waiting for this crisis to blow over and then they will want to expand quickly.
But the problem is that door-to-door will definitely not work for a while, who knows for how long, but you can probably forget about it for this roofing season.
This means that now is the perfect time to work on your brand – and at very low cost – so that when this is all over, you come out ready and strong.
After the crisis is over, everyone will start hustling and doing it because they won’t have a choice, but you will already have the upper hand.
What to Promote on Facebook if You’re Not Working?
If your state is on complete lockdown and you cannot work for the time being, there are plenty of other possibilities for promotion and advertising.
While there may be no point in promoting your services such as roof replacement or roof repair if you are in lockdown at the moment, you can focus on everything else that you can do remotely. And that primarily includes online content.
This is the time to start creating and pushing even more content since everyone will mostly be home surfing the internet.
This way, you will be able to maintain a connection with your clients and your online public even if you are not doing business with them.
Start writing blogs, articles, activate your Facebook page even more and start writing updates, important info, helpful tips, and similar.
Make sure that your content is informative, relevant – you can touch upon the current situation, give users some guide or tips on what they can do on their own from the inside of their home, etc.
For example, you can write blog posts with essential roofing tips for homeowners, such as how to maintain their roof during lockdown, what are the potential dangers they can be faced with in terms of the security of their roofs, what they can do if they encounter damages, how they can DIY minor roof issues, etc.
This type of content will go a long way both for you and the strength of your business and it will also help your clients stay informed and entertained.
Promote all of this content via Facebook ads and try to reach as many people as you can.
This way you can maintain contact and strengthen the relationship with your current clients and at the same time attract potential customers to turn to you with any roofing questions they might have.
Another thing you can do in this time of crisis and lockdown is to offer some type of free consultations, whether online or via phone.
You can encourage people to get in touch with you if they have any questions regarding their roofs, roof maintenance or damages.
They can get informed about the services you offer so that they can replace a roof as soon as this pandemic and the lockdown are over.
This is your way to maintain contact with your current and future clients and prospects until everything goes back to normal.
And maintaining that contact, especially with your current and previous clients will be crucial after the crisis is over. Why is that?
Because new markets will either not exist at all or they will be very hard to reach. Your best bet at staying strong and in business are the people you’ve worked with before, the people that you stayed in contact with throughout the crisis.
Because once this is all over, they will turn to YOU for a free inspection or at least a roof maintenance.
This is especially true for commercial businesses, for example, as they cannot endanger their clients/buyers by delaying roof maintenance and repairs.
BONUS: Facebook Is Giving Out Millions of Dollars in Ad Incentives
An additional bonus here is that Facebook is even offering incentives to small businesses that have been hit the most economically during this COVID-19 pandemic.
It is handing out as much as 100 million dollars in cash grants and ad credits! Take advantage of that and make sure to jump in on the bandwagon.
At times like these, you just have to use every opportunity that comes your way and this one is an amazing one.
Apply for the grant and use this support, as well as the Facebook ad space that is becoming less crowded by the day, to promote your roofing business, stay in touch with your clients, strengthen your brand image, and prepare for the future.
These types of opportunities don’t come very often and it would be a shame to miss out on it.
This is your opportunity to not only survive this global crisis but also to grow even stronger and get ahead of your competition.
So that when the crisis and the lockdown are over, you don’t have to start building your roofing business from scratch.
Door-Knocking Time Is Gone… Indefinitely
Business as we know it has changed. In-person marketing activities and door-to-door sales are slowly being banned across the U.S.
Door-to-door is even most likely gone forever. Well, at least indefinitely. People fear physical contact at the moment and steer clear from it – and for good reason. It is even strongly recommended and mandated.
But what will happen once the health crisis is over? When the authorities say it is safe to walk the streets again with no fear of contagion. When they say that physical contact with other people is no longer dangerous?
Some will welcome it but many will not be quite so ready and welcoming. People’s mindset will inevitably change – it is changing as we speak – and they will not be so quick to open doors for strangers anymore.
What this means for your business, therefore, is a change of direction. You need to focus on online sales and promotion of your business now more than ever!
Consumers have already shifted to online shopping and everything they can, they will do online. And this mindset will most likely continue well after the global pandemic is over.
Imagine, for example, that on top of everything, we go into a big recession and financial crisis like in 2008.
The demand will significantly decrease but the supply will be the same. The number of roofers fighting for those few clients that need a new roof will be the same!
This means your competition will be stiffer than ever and you’ll have to fight tooth and nail for every client. And with door-knocking gone, what do you have left? You brand and online advertising – if you worked on the during the crisis.
Therefore, the need to adapt to the new business circumstances and the state of the market is more important than ever.
The internet and the online sphere are now more important than ever and your main way of staying in business.
Recalibrate for the Future
So, what does the future hold for your business? No one can know for sure. There are too many variables at the moment and no one can know exactly how long this crisis is going to last.
The best thing you can do is focus on what you CAN do. For the moment, that includes emergency hail services if your state is not on complete lockdown and focusing on the things you can do online to nurture the relationship with your clients
Adjust to the current situation and provide valuable content, interesting things to read, helpful information, etc. Give free consultations, encourage people to contact you about roofing questions, and wait out this crisis as best as you can.
You can even start preparing your business for the future, for the post-corona period.
There is a growing need to digitize as many aspects of work as possible, to work remotely, and minimize physical contact, which will most likely even grow throughout this crisis.
Therefore, you can start now by implementing different online tools that can help you and your team stay updated on everything related to the coronavirus, as well as hold online meetings.
In addition to that, you can try out a system for complete digital project management, such as the one that GAF has released.
With these features, you will not only increase productivity in the post-corona period, but they can also help you expand your offer.
People will lean more towards everything that is online and done remotely after this long period of isolation and social distancing.
Therefore, focus your attention on online communication, use these and similar apps and features to develop an online sales process.
The mindset of the people will inevitably change and many will try to stay away from physical contact for the foreseeable future.
Door-knocking and close encounters with your clients will probably be on hold for some time.
So, adjust your business to the new situation and use this time to strategize and come up with some new solutions, new ideas, so that when you’re back in business, you are strong and ready to face any type of new circumstances.
We may not know for sure what the future holds at the moment, but what we do know is that those who fight – survive!
And these tools that we’ve given you are your BEST CHANCE for survival. All you need to do now is get in touch with us and let us show you how to use them.
Crisis is already taking hold so waste no time, click on the button below and schedule your FREE STRATEGY SESSION now!
Let’s fight this fight together and come out as winners!
Matt Jacob has been in the marketing business since 2008, working exclusively with roofers for more than 5 years now. He has come to know all the tricks of trade inside-out and he is committed to helping roofers by sharing some of the most important ones. Find out where your best opportunities lie, as well as which challenges lurk out there for roofers – all in his detailed blogs.