Why roofers hate storm chasers so much.
Storm chasers are roofing contractors who follow in the wake of damaging weather events with hopes of doing a lot of repair work and usually very quickly. Regrettably, there are a lot of bad storm chasers out there who get their thrill from making fast money off homeowners.
Many a storm chaser has been known to complete a rush job on the roof, and a few years later, it’s already starting to fail. In some unfortunate cases, storm chasers have been known to basically take the money and run.
I'm going to explain why roofers have issues with storm chasers. Just to be clear, this is not about door knocking. I support door knocking. I don't like it when people come knocking on my door but I'm not against door knocking.
I against the scam artist and con artist storm chasers who are taking insurance money from homeowners then never repairing their roofs as promised. Keep in mind when I talk about storm chasers, there are of course very good honest storm chasers and there are bad storm chasers. Unfortunately, a few bad apples can spoil the bunch.
If you want to understand why roofers hate storm chasers so much, then read on. I am going to give you seven reasons why most roofers hate storm chasers.
1. Market is Already Oversaturated
Reason number one, there is no market in the United States that cannot support itself when it comes to roofing. If you look at all the major cities, all the metropolitan areas, the suburbs, the roofing contractors are already there. It is an extremely competitive market, just with current roofing businesses already in place.
Storm chasers don't usually show up where there's huge demand except maybe after a hurricane, then maybe there is not enough labor I get it. Usually storm chasers arrive on the scene and they create competition when it's already oversaturated.
When storm chasers show up it adds unnecessary competition. They weren’t there before the storm and the roofers and homeowners were just fine without them. Most markets can take care of their own needs where roofing is considered. The already established roofing businesses can take care of any damage, anything nature brings, and they're going to do it just fine they don’t need storm chasers oversaturating the market.
2. Don’t Have all the Resources
Reason number two, storm chasers usually and I say usual, it's not always the case, there's always exceptions to every rule, but usually, they don't bring all the necessary resources required to rebuild. Storm chasers usually only bring a sales resource to the area. I've seen so many storm chasers coming to me asking to sell.
Some storm chasers will travel with crews but usually it's just as sales resource. I say it all the time, sales don’t fix anything. They help the business. If you come to me and you bring me 100 contracts, that’s good for business.
But now I must hire a production manager, I must hire somebody to pull the permits, I need to secure a whole bunch of stock. Business is not just sales.
Storm chasers come in and because they don't bring resources and they only sell before you know they ruin the reputation of the company they are selling for. If you're a small business owner and you hire three sales guys and you've never done it before your in deep trouble. You don't have crews to support you, don't have the proper customer service staff, and suddenly you have 200 jobs on your table. Your reputation is going down. I don't know if you're going to be able to produce all those contracts. You're going to have cancellations throughout the area and a whole bunch of other problems, and I've seen businesses being ruined because of that.
3. Subcontractor Integrity is Tested
Reason number three, storm chasers ruin markets. For example, you get a big nasty storm and damage wreaks havoc in an area. Suddenly, all the storm chasers come in, they just fly in and that's what storm chasers do. It hails this month here they're going to work here next month it hails somewhere else they're going to go there.
What's happening is storm chasers are very desperate for labor. Like I said earlier they don't have all the resources, so they come in and they must rely on and find local subcontractors, local crews to work for them.
Well they're so desperate to get quick money, so they sign all the jobs they can. Now, how are they going to hire crews. If crews are already working for somebody and many of them have been working for somebody for years. So, the easiest thing to do is to pay them more. They start bidding wars in established markets.
The problem is that you can't just come in and increase the price and everything will be fine because local businesses are not able to increase their prices. Just because of hail yesterday doesn't mean that a local business can start charging more.
Storm chaser don't care about it, they don't have overhead, they have volume and they start paying subs double. So, the storm chasers are disturbing the market and the prices start going up and now local roofers who've been in the market for years as an established company now they start losing subs.
I get it everybody want to make more money but that high rate of pay is only going to be there for a couple of weeks. However, a subcontractor’s integrity needs to last and because of these disruptions it is being tested in those moments.
Storm chasers disturb the reality of business when they come in. The only reason they do it is because they don't really care about longevity. Their business is all about the low-hanging fruit. They are okay with the smaller margins. Maybe they are going to pay a little bit more because they're desperate but it's not good for local market.
4. Nowhere to be Found
Reason number four, storm chasers don't take care of the customers long term. Storm chasers are the ones who bring the bad name to the industry, they ruin it for the rest of us. Storm chasers only come to the market for quick and easy money and then they leave.
If you read the reviews that's what people hate. Because problems will always occur on any job. So, if you're coming in as a storm chaser and you do 200 jobs are you telling me that you're going to be there when people call for warranty calls or something was not done right in the first place. No, you're going to be gone and somebody else is going to get stuck with the clean up your mess.
And it is the homeowners who suffer most because of storm chasers. They don’t have any more money to fix roofing problems that storm chasers leave behind. The insurance money is gone, the storm chaser is nowhere to be found, and the roof still needs to be fixed because it's leaking.
Who's going to do it, who's going to help this homeowner and be the good guy.
Because we want to help right, there is not much you can do when storm chasers come in and then leave.
Local roofers must go in and fix the problems. And a lot of times people are already out of money and the warranty is supposed to be covered by the storm chaser, but the storm chaser is nowhere to be found. Unless another storm occurs, they’re not coming back.
5. Profit Driven vs. Service Driven
Reason number five, two drastically different personality styles. If you talk to a roofing business owner, he cares about his employees, cares about the community he lives in, cares about the success and reputation of his business twelve months out of the year. That is how local roofing businesses get customers and how they get referrals, they maintain a positive reputation.
With storm chasers it's all about sales and being aggressive. Let's get it done. Get in, get out. Let's maximize our profits. They are very need driven people, constantly starting over every time the next storm rolls in. Completely different mentalities.
For those reason, when you talk about a regular roofer versus a storm chaser you are talking about two different personality types. As a matter of fact, I've seen fights break out between the two on several occasions, roofing conferences can get heated. I understand it, I don't blame either party because they're so different. You have two different mentalities. You have a profit driven person and a service driven person.
6. Poor Door Knocking Skills
Reason number six, storm chasers make door knocking look bad with their aggressive pushy tactics and got to sell now attitudes. I love door knocking and I love guys like Sam Taggart and there's a lot of good guys in the industry, a lot of good storm chasers. But storm chasers, they're giving door knocking a bad name.
When a local roofer goes door knocking in the neighborhood saying hey, I am working on that house over there in your neighborhood and I noticed you have some shingling issues and I want to help you. People are like I'm tired of all of you roofers knocking on my door just please leave.
All those people knocking on that person’s door were not local roofers, probably were storm chasers. So, they just make door knocking look bad and that much harder for the local companies. That is one of the main reasons I don't want to do it because door knocking is associated with the storm chasing these days.
7. Looking for Low-Hanging Fruit
Reason number seven, and the last reason and probably the most controversial one. Most people outside of the industry think of storm chasers as being hated by roofers because they are always look for the low-hanging fruit. Always, taking advantage of innocent homeowners and then leaving them the mess to clean up.
A lot of times I hear from storm chasers saying well you guys talk negatively about us because you're afraid of competition. If you were not afraid of the competition you would not hate us.
Well that is opposite of the truth. Grabbing at the low-hanging fruit from city to city is not competition that is called greed.
Here is what's happening. t's not roofers who are afraid of competition, it’s the storm chasers who are afraid of being in a competitive market. There is no market in the United States that doesn't already have plenty of roofers. So, storm chasers can’t handle the local competition, so they must go after the low hanging fruit.
For example, no matter what city you live in for the rest of times you'll have roofs that need repair. If you need to leave your city and go somewhere else to door knock it means you don't have enough business in the first place in the city you live in.
Name any city in the United States where you live that you must travel from to find roofing business. If you must travel, it’s because you are after the easy low-hanging fruit and cannot handle the competition in your local market. Because storm chasers are only willing to do what's easier. How about establishing in your marketplace, wherever you live, then talk to me about competition.
It is hard to build a brand, it is hard to build a reputation, but that's the only way to do it right. Grow your mini empire where you live and do it right.
If you want to be storm-chaser how about actually having offices in different cities so customers can get good customer service. Cities will welcome you, but you must do it right. Establish the business, don't leave when storm work is gone. Establish your reputation, build on it, stand behind your work, have a roofing crew, and repair guys who will go in and fix issues long after you're gone.
Then roofers are going to start respecting you and then we're going to be truly competing. You come to my city I would love to compete with you. But if you come in and just grab the low-hanging fruit and leave all the mess for local companies to clean up, I mean that is just the wrong way to do business and of course people are going to hate you.
Well, those are my seven reasons why roofers hate storm chasers. You decide who you want to be you decide your business model. You can make money in both directions. As a matter of fact, I'm a believer in good storm chasing if you like that lifestyle. It's not for everybody but there's people who can relate and who can enjoy it.
I'm not afraid of competition but please don't rely alone on hanging fruit. Don't piss local roofers off because one day one legislation law is going to pass and it's all going to finished for you guys. So, build local brands, stop relying on the easy money, stop relying on storms. This is my advice for you there's no market that cannot take care of itself.
Hope this helps, I would like to hear from you so please comment below. What did I miss, I want to talk about what matters, I want you to talk about what matters, so please comment below. You're not going to offend me with a negative comment if you do not agree with me. If I offended you, I apologize. I want to hear your point of view. What did I say that offended you or maybe I was completely wrong, I want to know please share.
Also, if you want to learn more about the roofing business and find out what it takes to make it in this great industry sign up for one of my classes. Until next time thank you.