Jason Jimenez is the owner of Gasper Roofing, a roofing company based out of Merchantville, New Jersey.
As an immigrant, Jimenez has spent decades working to establish his roofing company.
“I started roofing back in early 2001 when I came to the United States. My uncles and brother had been in roofing since the 1980s,” Jimenez says.
Throughout the years, Jimenez has endured various challenges, a list that includes trying to convince homeowners to hire his roofing company despite reservations due to him being an immigrant.
“I can see the dirty looks that some homeowners give me. It doesn’t bother me because I’m there to do a service. I just focus on what I have to do and let the homeowner decide whether to hire my company or not,” Jimenez explains.
Jimenez can only control so many things, and as a seasoned veteran in the roofing industry, he has experienced not only skeptical glances from homeowners, but also an incredible amount of change.
“My team and I were subbing for roofers and builders in 2001, and we worked for multiple different contractors throughout the years,” Jimenez says.
“At one point, we were working for fifty different contractors. That kept us busy.”
But eventually Jimenez and his team wanted more, so they slowly began narrowing down the list of roofing companies they partnered with.
“We cut out one middleman and started working for Gasper Roofing. We did all his roofs and repairs. We were his go-to subs,” Jimenez says, recounting his time working for the previous owner of Gasper Roofing.
At a certain point, both Jimenez and the former Gasper Roofing owner were looking to move on, which ultimately resulted in Jimenez buying the roofing business from the previous owner.
Since then, Jimenez and his team at Gasper Roofing have hit their stride. They have become so knowledgeable about all aspects of the roofing industry, including how to install TPO shingles on roofs.
“One thing that I love about TPO shingles is that I can offer them to homeowners and feel good knowing they are receiving a premium product for their roof,” Jimenez says.
While Gasper Roofing is steadily establishing themselves as a force in the New Jersey roofing market, doing so has also presented Jimenez with a number of teachable moments.
“Running a crew as a sub is much different than running a roofing business,” Jimenez says.
“It’s a whole different animal. You have to learn how to advertise, hire somebody to answer your phones, set up pay structures, recruit salespeople, and even how to price a roofing job. The first couple years I learned a lot through trial and error.”
It didn’t help that early on in his roofing business, Jimenez could not learn from other local contractors because of the hypercompetitive nature of roofing.
In fact, it wasn’t until Jimenez came across Roofing Insights that his roofing business started to really take off.
“You can’t talk to other contractors here. I don’t know if that is exclusive to the New Jersey market, but around here roofers are always busy when you reach out to connect,” Jimenez says.
“The biggest reason I was able to shift the way I ran my roofing business was because I started going to seminars. For example, I went to a Roofing Insights class and that’s how I’ve been able to slowly scale my business.”
It’s no secret that Roofing Insights offers roofers sound advice, and Jimenez laments the fact that he did not come across the popular YouTube channel earlier.
“The growing process would have been easier if I had a mentor like Dmitry, someone who allowed me to ask questions,” Jimenez mentions.
Despite the fierce competition among local roofing contractors, New Jersey is still a great place to have a roofing company.
“New Jersey is special because there are these pockets within the towns that go back all the way to the 1700s, and in them are these really unique homes,” says Jimenez, who adds that while the historical homes are eye-catching, installing roofs on them is not easy.
“You need to know what you’re doing on those roofs because there are so many different things that need to be figured out. Some of the houses that we have done roofs on, they got their original siding 100 years ago.”
Another obstacle that makes roofing in New Jersey challenging is that the climate is constantly changing.
“The weather fluctuates so much within the span of twelve months that it damages your roofing and siding,” notes Jimenez.
Through everything, New Jersey is still a good market for roofing companies, especially because New Jersey is close to many major markets.
“We can be on the shore in an hour and we can be in New York within 90 minutes,” Jimenez says of Gasper Roofing’s coverage area.
Therefore, whether it’s navigating obstacles or interacting with homeowners, Jimenez loves everything about the roofing industry.
“I love the roofing business. It has given me everything that I need so I can’t complain. I love dealing with homeowners every day. That’s what I like to do,” he says.
For a man who two decades ago started at the bottom of the roofing industry, spearheading Gasper Roofing has Jimenez feeling inspired and ready to tackle whatever situation comes next.
“I was a cleanup guy before I became a crew leader. That’s when I learned all about roofing, which propelled me toward becoming a roofing business owner. Now, I make the decisions. I’m in charge of a lot of people,” he says.
“I came here when I was fifteen years old. If I can make it, so can anyone else. The American Dream is real. You just have to work hard.”
And for new roofing business owners who are looking to level up in the roofing industry, Jimenez has a few words of wisdom.
“Do quality work and offer an affordable price. You will also have to make sure your homeowners are happy. That’s how I’ve been able to succeed in the roofing business,” he says.
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