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    Roofing Contractor of the week: Monarch Roofing | Martin Pettigrew, French Immigrant Success Story

    At Monarch Roofing, attention to detail is crucial, which is one reason why the Myrtle Beach-based company is continuing to make waves in the roofing industry.

    But ask CEO Martin Pettigrew about the company’s success, and he is quick to deflect praising himself, choosing instead to bestow adulation upon his employees.

    “It definitely takes a team to make this happen,” Pettigrew says of his roofing company’s success.

    Over the years, Monarch Roofing has expanded and currently has three locations: the aforementioned Myrtle Beach, along with Hilton Head and Wilmington, North Carolina.

    “Last year, I was going back-and-forth from Hilton Head to Myrtle Beach every week. I was spending four hours in my car going down and coming back,” Pettigrew reveals.

    It’s this type of dedication that is required in order to expand and create a roofing juggernaut.

    “I am passionate about maximizing every second of the day,” Pettigrew says. “I don’t sacrifice time between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. because that time has to be spent in front of people.”

    At present, Monarch Roofing has over 100 company vehicles. Many of their salespeople drive Ford F-150s that are wrapped in the company logo.

    “That’s the best way to brand because when we meet somebody, they have likely already seen us before,” Pettigrew says of the strategy to wrap vehicles.

    In addition to an expansive array of creatively branded company vehicles, Monarch Roofing also developed their own metal shop.

    “We have been producing all our own panels for the last year and a half. I love to control our environment,” Pettigrew says, adding that his company used to work with metal suppliers in the past, but that they were too slow in meeting his company’s demands.

    “It would take two or three days to get a piece of drip edge or counter flashing. We wanted to control this so that we could better serve our customers.”

    One upside to producing their own metal is that since metal roofs are popular in the South Carolina market, Monarch Roofing is able to sell metal to other roofing companies. This has allowed them to build a “business within the business,” as Pettigrew terms it.

    Beyond metal roofs, Pettigrew also mentions that his company has continued to advance their commercial roofing division.

    “It’s 70/30 [residential to commercial] right now, but there is no doubt that the biggest growth is in commercial,” he says.

    The company is also a huge proponent of doing repairs, a strategy that has paid off for a number of companies within the Roofing Insights community.

    Jane Gerhold, the Repairs Division Manager, says Monarch Roofing does close to 1,000 roof repairs annually.

    “Most of the repairs are done for new customers. It might be an HOA in the area or a property management company that has properties with a leaky roof,” she says.

    Monarch Roofing has also partnered with Gutter Helmet to better serve clients and also earn additional revenue as a distributor for the company.

    “What’s handy for us is when we do a new roof, we take the Gutter Helmets off and then reinstall them after the roof is completed,” Gerhold adds.

    Gerhold also says that beyond just patching leaky roofs or busted shingles, doing repairs is a good way for the company to ingratiate themselves with customers for potential jobs in both the immediate and long-term future.

    “We are trying to encourage people to do full roof inspections, so we will go out and evaluate their entire roof and look for things so that they don’t have future problems,” she explains.

    “Sometimes when we go out, we find out that somebody needs a new roof. If we do that, then we turn that over to our tear-off division to give them work.”

    When it comes to sales, Monarch Roofing has an entire team that focuses on handling customers and moving them along in the sales process.

    Monarch Roofing has even developed their sales process to the point that everything is systematized.

    Rachel Young, who works in the data administration department, deals exclusively with making sure that claims and customers are taken care of in a timely manner.

    “Every morning, the first thing I do is look at all the appointments we have for that day, and then I send out a postcard so that not only do our customers get our video beforehand, but they also get a postcard. I usually send out the postcard the same day so that they get it in the next day or two,” Young says.

    Young also does a lot of paperwork.

    “I fill out all the contracts and make sure that everything is correct. I put it in the system so that way it’s accessible to everybody in case there are permits that need to be pulled,” she says.

    “I’m also a notary, so if on the backend we need anything notarized for insurance, I do that as well.”

    As a team, Monarch Roofing spends every morning going over production schedules and what needs to be accomplished that day.

    Pettigrew says his team will also watch Roofing Insights content to learn some of the finer points of the roofing business.

    “There is a lot of good content online. A lot of the videos are easy to watch and that helps establish the mindset for that day,” Pettigrew says, then adding that watching Dmitry Lipinskiy talk about overcoming the fear of having an accent inspired him to reflect on his own journey as a French-Canadian immigrant.

    “I remember the first time I met a homeowner I had my truck parked around the corner because I didn’t want him to think I was a Chuck-in-the-truck,” says Pettigrew.

    “I also was praying because at the time I didn’t speak English very well and I wanted to find the right words so that the owner would understand that I would do anything to ensure that his roof was perfect.”

    Pettigrew certainly has overcome the fear of having an accent when talking to homeowners. In fact, Pettigrew has become so fluent in English, and in roofing, that he has built and maintained relationships that have resulted in 25% of Monarch Roofing’s revenue coming through new construction.

    This means that Monarch Roofing has a lot of money coming in and out of their bank accounts every day.

    To handle that amount of volume, it takes an efficient receivables department to manage the financial aspect of the business.

    Fortunately for Monarch Roofing, they hired Assistant Controller China Maja.

    Maja says that in addition to managing the company’s cash flow, he also deals with outstanding invoices, some of which have taken as much as 130 days to resolve.

    “With the economy and everything that is going on, sometimes people fall behind a little bit,” Maja says, at the same time stressing that Monarch Roofing tries to come up with payment plans for homeowners who have fallen on hard times.

    Still, no matter how gracious Monarch Roofing is, sometimes homeowners refuse to pay their bills.

    When this happens, Monarch Roofing will put a lien on the home.

    This can be a good strategy when it comes to incentivizing customers to pay their invoices.

    “We just had one several months ago where we put a roof on for the customer. He was trying to sell the house [and not pay us]. We put a lien on the house and then we got a letter from his lawyer who was looking to take care of everything [so the house could be sold],” explains Maja.

    While having a stellar team has been integral to the success of Monarch Roofing, the fate of the company ultimately falls on the broad shoulders of Martin Pettigrew, a man who preaches the importance of his company’s core values.

    “It’s my responsibility to create a positive environment for the team, give them the tools to succeed, and provide leadership. That’s what I’m constantly focused on,” says Pettigrew.

    If the last few years are any indication, Pettigrew and his team at Monarch Roofing will undoubtedly continue their upward trajectory in the roofing business.

    If you’re a homeowner in the Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, or Wilmington, North Carolina area, visit Monarch Roofing’s website today to see how they can assist with your next roofing project!

    Quentin Super
    Senior Copywriter at Roofing Insights, author of the internationally-selling book The Long Road North, founder of quentinsuper.com

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