Category: <span>The Cloud</span>

Be the roofer your customers are looking for online

By Michelle Mittleman.

When a homeowner needs a roofing contractor, the first place they look is online. They hunt through all the search results, investigating each company’s credentials, reviews posted by previous customers, and the services provided by different companies. Make sure you are the most reliable and qualified company they find in their search by following these tips below.

Reviews and Recommendations

One of the biggest things homeowners look for when searching online for a roofing contractor is reviews and recommendations from previous customers. These reviews might be on your own website or on a site like Yelp,  or Angi. Regardless of where they are posted, they can mean the difference between gaining or losing a potential customer. Homeowners scan reviews to see how many stars people give you, what things you did well, and what things upset your customers. Bad reviews will turn customers away in a heartbeat, while good ones can boost you above the competition.

In order to use these reviews and recommendations to your advantage, encourage customers to leave reviews after you complete a job and be sure to respond to the comments. If you know you did a job very well, make sure you ask your customer to leave a recommendation. Angry customers will readily post a review, but sometimes a content customer will not think twice about it. Kindly reminding them that their feedback would be appreciated can do wonders.

Responding to comments can help show new customers you are involved with your clients and that your company actively works to improve your service. Commenting on a bad review to clarify any issues the client experienced and show how you resolved the issue shows homeowners you truly care about what your clients think and that you are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction.


Another component homeowners are looking for online is your credentials. Homeowners want the most qualified companies working on their house and credentials are proof you know what you are doing. Make sure these credentials are posted clearly on your website, so that homeowners are sure to see them while they are researching. Credentials homeowners might be looking for are state and federal licensing, as well as professional trade organizations you belong to. If you have employees with specific certifications be sure to include those as well, because homeowners may be looking for contractors who specialize in a particular brand or product. Making your credentials easy to find is sure to set you apart from the competition, as homeowners can immediately tell you are a qualified company.


Make sure the warranties you offer appear somewhere on your website. For example, if you provide a year-based warranty on particular roof type and materials, tell that on your website. Roofing repairs can be very expensive and customers want to know their investment is insured in the event that something goes wrong. Make it easy for the customer to see their money is well spent and safe.


One of the easiest ways to set yourself above other roofing contractors online is to make sure all of the services you provide are listed on your website. Homeowners know that you do roofing installations and repairs, but do you install skylights? Is your company specifically trained in a certain product line they are interested in? Can you install siding and gutters? Homeowners are not roofing experts, so they do not know all of the jobs that fall under the roofing contractor umbrella. Make it obvious to them what kind of jobs you do by clearly posting it on your website. Your site will be a relief compared to others they look at because they can find exactly what they are looking for. They will know that you are the answer to their roofing problem without having to do additional research, placing you first on their list of contractors to call.

The internet is a powerful research tool and homeowners will certainly be using it to look up roofing contractor companies. Make sure you are the company that customers are looking for online by encouraging previous customers to leave reviews and then responding to them, including your credentials and warranties on your website, and clearly listing the services you provide. All of these components will make your company more appealing to customers than the competition and reassure them that you are the perfect choice for their roofing needs.

Get the latest roofing industry news and information delivered to your inbox when you sign up for the RT3 Smart Brief.

Source: AccuLynx

10 best technology tools for a successful roofing contractor

By Anna Anderson, Art Unlimited.

Recently, I met with some of our tech-savvy roofing contractors from across the United States.
Using technology allows each of these businesses to have a strong, seamless integration with clients and team members. So what are the top tech tools these guys use to help further their success?

The contractors I sat down with include Ken Kelly (owner of Kelly Roofing in Naples, FL), Juan Reyes (owner of Pro Roofing & Siding in Marietta, GA), Brad Mosakowski (operations manager at Straight Line Construction & Roofing in Placerville, CA), and Taylor Yarbrough (owner of Quality Roofing in Austin, TX).

The common thread I found between these companies was they use technology as a tool to enable their staff to work smarter! They use technology to streamline business processes, empower staff with a strong backbone of technology at their fingertips, and also to engage with clients remotely. If you are looking at increasing technology usage in your roofing company, check out these options!

1. RoofSnap

RoofSnap is the top pick for Ken from Kelly Roofing when it comes to requesting detailed measurements for a roofing estimate. Reports can be automatically created to easily measure and estimate right on location. It works with Ken’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) and is optimized for use on mobile or big screens. RoofSnap allows for fast reports which in turn enables proposals to be created automatically. His sales reps simply review and customize proposals before sending them to clients.

2. Asana

Asana is a cloud-based project management solution which helps companies organize their tasks. It can also connect with countless applications through its robust API connection! Pro Roofing & Siding harnesses the Asana tool to help organize meetings and internal project management. Using the power of Asana, Juan is able to keep on top of internal business goals from anywhere!

3. Contractors Cloud

Contractors Cloud is a full CRM solution used by both Pro Roofing & Siding and Quality Roofing for their clients’ scope creation and project management. It enables team members to connect with client files, manage jobs and automate systems. Working with Contractor Cloud is a great solution for Roofing Contractors who are larger than 3 million in sales.

4. Skitch from Evernote

Skitch is a sweet tool which allows the team to highlight elements within photos that clients need to be aware of. Text and graphic elements are easily added to photos. In the past, Juan’s team at Pro Roofing & Siding would have to write out descriptions of problems. Now, by using Skitch, their clients immediately see what they are talking about through images! Tyler and the Quality Roofing team, like Juan’s team, use the Skitch platform when presenting clients with roof failures. The ease of use is astounding.

5. Dynamic BPM

Brad at Straight Line Construction & Roofing has worked countless hours refining their Business Process Management system with Dynamic BPM. They have custom workflows and automated systems propelling the team members through jobs much faster. Customers also receive the white glove pampering which owner, Jack Borba, knows is a vital reason why their company is growing by leaps and bounds.

6. OneDrive

Having a photo bucket system which integrates with the office, estimators, and project managers is critical. The Kelly Roofing team turns to OneDrive to store all of their job images, which are then connected to the clients’ profiles within the CRM.

7. GoldMine CRM

Every business needs a powerful CRM such as GoldMine CRM to manage hundreds of thousands of customer data. The entire StraightLine team uses the GoldMine platform within their day to day activities. All of the vital business data is in one place, enabling the team quick access to countless files.

8. SketchUp

SketchUp is a 3D modeling tool allows the Quality Roofing team to model a roofing job for clients and general contractors. It’s a must-have tool for the office staff!

9. Excel

Brad and the StraightLine team are not alone in using Excel. This is a common business tool referenced by multiple contractors when speaking about managing a thriving business. Excel is used to run countless jobs and business metrics.

10. Surface by Microsoft

Being able to connect to your files is critical so many teams turn to the Surface by Microsoft to power their business. The Surface is a lightweight, high powered computer that can be used on the job site or in the office. It’s a must-have tool for many of the Roofing Contractors our Art Unlimited team works with.

I hope you had fun reading about the available technology for roofing contractors which have ignited a portion of the success these 4 companies have earned.

If you have questions or are looking at using additional technology within your roofing business I’m sure you will find a new tool or two off of this list!

Source: Art Unlimited

Finding the right combination of tech for your business is an ongoing process

RCS Influencer Heidi J. Ellsworth says to take the time to constantly evaluate your company’s software.

What is our technology stack at the Coffee Shop? Well let me tell you, it has changed a lot in the last three years. First of all, when we asked our RCS Influencers what their technology stack is, we wanted to know what software they were using for their business and how it all works together. For Vickie and me, it has been a challenging road to find and utilize the right combination of software for our business and we are still working on it.

I share that because we are technically a technology company, but we are also a publishing company and, in the end, Vickie and I always say, we are in the roofing industry. So, as you look at the multiple hats that all companies in roofing wear it means finding several solutions to get the right fit. For contractors, as many of our RCS Influencers have noted, it takes time.

One of the interesting challenges we have is working with the dual systems of Microsoft and Apple. It is so frustrating when they do not communicate well – especially with meeting notices. So, then someone says “just use Google calendars” but now that is three systems. Where does it end?

RoofersCoffeeShop® is a virtual company with our team living across the United States so we have to look at how we can all communicate without going crazy. We have adapted to make it work for both Microsoft and Apple, focusing on cloud-based systems like Basecamp (project management), Google Docs and Dropbox. That stack is just about communication and projects.

Then we look at the website and a whole new stack of software comes into play including our new custom website software, Google Analytics, Mail Chimp and Survey Monkey. It is a lot to manage and we have an amazing team that keeps it going in the right direction under the leadership of Vickie Sharples. But it has taken three years to find the right combination and we are still tweaking it.

My advice overall is to constantly look at what is working and what is not working. If software systems do not play well together, figure out how to make a change so it works. We can waste an incredible amount of time trying to put a square software in a round hole. Taking the time to make changes to your stack to make it work for your employees is critical for your business and sanity.

Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in

Source: RoofersCoffeeShop.

4 Ways Software Can Give Roofers a Better Work Life Balance

By Molly Stein, AccuLynx.

For roofers, it can be challenging to balance your busy work life and personal home life. When you’re busy at the job site all day or on the road, your evenings can be dominated by playing catch-up with your office work or reporting, instead of with your family at home.

Mental Health America encourages workers to develop a healthy balance between work and downtime, stating,

“While we all need a certain amount of stress to spur us on and help us perform at our best, the key to managing stress lies in that one magic word: balance. Not only is achieving a healthy work/life balance an attainable goal but workers and businesses alike see the rewards. When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.”

Luckily, advancements in cloud-based technology like those in AccuLynx roofing software can help contractors re-establish that balance by giving them access to the information they need, while providing time savings that they can invest back into their personal life.

Emails, Texts, Phone Calls – All in One Place

Maintaining communication with your office is a crucial part of running a roofing business. But when that communication is spread out over emails from your accounting department, texts from your foreman, and phone calls from your project manager it can all get a little distracting.

Activity feeds and production dashboards can bring together all of the correspondence and data that you need to run your business and collate it into one simplified location with everything you need to know and see in one place.

Eliminate Extra Trips to the Office

When you’re in the field all day, it can be difficult to find the time to stop and check on the status of your other projects, file your paperwork and catch up on your emails – which often means a trip back to the office after an already long day.

When your office is cloud-based, software platforms give roofers comprehensive access to their important files, including estimates, signed contracts, warranties, and more. When roofers can access, edit, and submit their paperwork digitally, they can avoid that extra trip to the office.

Something on Your Mind?

Have you ever felt completely monopolized by work even at the oddest hours of the night or even on vacation? As a business owner or manager, it’s probably hard to focus when you’ve got a nagging question or just want to check one more thing…

Mobile apps let you check in on your job progress or stay up to date with your communication. Skim the Activity Feed, do a quick review of your job statuses and get the peace of mind you need quickly without letting it stop your day.

Get Things Done Right the First Time

Roofers often need to fill out a lot of paperwork on the job site. When you’re collecting contact information, insurance details, measurements and photos of the damages over and over, it can be easy to miss a form field, misspell a name, or even submit the wrong material order for a job.

Smart templates can pre-populate job information for you so that you save time creating estimates and contracts. When you create all of your paperwork within a job file, paperwork isn’t misfiled or misplaced, and all of your information is the same across your documentation, ensuring you won’t have mistakes that need correcting later.

Having a healthy balance between a home life and work is a crucial part of your business. Remember,

“Your work-life balance will determine your career and life successes, so make sure you take the time to focus on each role and balance them accordingly.”

Source: AccuLynx

Cloud Technology and the Construction Industry

By Cotney Construction Law.

A critical component of the construction industry is the flow of information. On a daily basis, blueprints, daily reports, change reports, and punch lists are passed among contractors, architects, and subcontractors. That’s just a small list of the information that’s being dispersed. If that’s not enough, the construction environment is fast moving and not all parties are in the same location. In years pass, these details made communication slow and hitting project deadlines a matter of chance. Enter cloud technology.

The “cloud” refers to a remote server that stores data and software. From a technological standpoint, the cloud allows construction companies to keep massive amounts of information in a place that is accessible from anywhere that you can establish a wifi or cellular connection. In terms of day to day operation, the cloud is making an impact in a number of areas. That’s why 59 percent of construction companies surveyed by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage say that they are either using a cloud solution or planning to use one.

The cloud presents a number of benefits to construction companies. Here are a few:

Access to information anywhere. There was a time where plans had to be carried from job site to job site in big tubes. Construction sites are dirty places and items are easily lost. With the cloud, information can be accessed from anywhere with a mobile device. Oftentimes, information is housed in an office, while work is done in the field. Now, information is more easily attained and more accurate.

Real-time collaboration. Similarly, the parties that are involved in a construction project, developers, designers, contractors, and subcontractors are typically in different places. Sometimes different cities. Meeting in person takes time and effort. Phone calls alone leave gaps in information. A cloud solution allows all parties to see construction plans in real time, collaborate on them, and make decisions. It’s a more seamless way of reaching consensus and reduces the types of conflicts that would require the help of a construction law attorney to settle.

Secure data. It may seem counterintuitive that a platform that exists remotely can be more secure than saving files on your own desktop, but the advances in cloud technology make that the case. With many cloud solutions, data is backed up nightly. More importantly, many cloud solution providers use more sophisticated security and antivirus tools than the average user employs on their desktop. Additionally, computers can be stolen or compromised.

Cost-effective solution. Let’s face it, you are going to need a data storage solution at some point. If your company is even moderately successful, you will accumulate a great deal of data. Physical servers are one solution, but they are expensive to purchase and maintain. A cloud solution is much more affordable and is scalable. As your need for data storage grows, so too can your space in the cloud.

As our construction lawyers have noted in previous articles, the construction site is a fast-paced environment. Skilled tradesmen are busy working on various aspects of the project. Materials move back and forth on the job site. Subcontractors work to complete critical components of a structure. All of this is done under strict timelines. However, for the pace at which construction moves, a fundamental part of the process has always hampered it– paperwork. From contracts to change orders, paperwork is a major part of our industry. Collaboration has always been difficult because all parties have to be in the same place. Now with cloud technology, this is no longer the case.

Note: This first published as a two-part article on Cotney Construction Law’s website and can be viewed here.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Study Finds Construction Industry Can Benefit From Artificial Intelligence Adoption

A McKinsey & Co. study on artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the construction industry reports a combined use of machines and digital technology can enhance quality control, project scheduling, data analysis, and project cost savings, according to

The construction industry currently is the second-least digitized economic sector in the world, and the industry needs to lay the groundwork before AI can be widely adopted. The study identifies investment in data collection and processing tools like cloud infrastructure and advanced analytics as the first step.

There has been increased interest in sensors, cloud-based data sharing and mobile connectivity within the construction industry. Some employers already are using wearable sensory devices to monitor workers’ location and equipment at worksites. Data collected from the devices is transmitted to a cloud-based platform accessible from any compatible mobile device. AI algorithms advance the process one step further by deploying real-time solutions based on data analysis, helping employers ensure their workers stay safe on the job.

Industry employers may look to other industries that have successfully used AI to optimize processes, including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The study notes an AI algorithm is used by the pharmaceutical industry to predict medical trial outcomes; a similar algorithm may be used by the construction industry to forecast project risks and constructability. And image recognition algorithms used by the healthcare industry to support diagnoses may enable drones to assess construction site images for signs of defects or structural failures.

Note: This article first published on the NRCA website and can be viewed here.

Just What is The Cloud and How Can Contractors Use It?

By Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing.

The Cloud, a mysterious place heavenly in perception; an invention to make our lives easier.  In reality it’s a confusing concept fragmented by concepts.  But, it’s getting better. To simplify, the cloud is basically hard drive storage, hosted by a company and accessible via the internet. You’re already using it if you have any kind of smart phone running apps.

The most popular use of the cloud is for file storage so that all your files are accessible from multiple devices, anytime, anywhere that internet connectivity exists. Here are the top seven uses of the cloud:

1 – File storage.

Job files usually consist of photos, proposal, contract, purchase orders, invoices, receipts, permits and more.  Scanning any paper documents and adding them to a single storage folder in the cloud allows access from any internet-enabled device.  Services such as OneDrive, DropBox and Google Drive can host your files and offer free plans with generous storage.

2 – Email anywhere

Modern companies use email more than any other form of communication. Some popular cloud-based services include Outlook, Gmail and iCloud. They all offer ample storage and connect to the device of your choice. Outlook and Gmail’s GSuite allow domain masking so you can use free email with your company’s vanity domain ( for a more professional appearance.

3 – Calendar sync

Having the ability to sync your calendar with multiple devices ensure high productivity and prevents missed appointments.  Just about every modern email service includes a calendar sync as well.  However, the key to maximizing performance is calendar delegation; allowing others the ability to view, add, delete appointments from your calendar.  All our field employee appointments are set from the office using this ability.

4 – Shared notes

When bidding a large project, you need input from the safety coordinator, purchasing, estimating and approval from the company’s president.  Since there are many things to discuss try entering notes into a shared note program such as OneNote, Evernote or Asana and sharing it with your collaborators.  Each time a note is made it is tracked with a date/time stamp and the person’s initials so you can gain valuable input and approval when it is convenient to each person involved.

5 – File sharing

File sharing allows you to share the files you have stored in the cloud with customers and production teams. I’m a fan of SharePoint.  It has everything you will ever need and is used by almost all Fortune 500 companies.  OneDrive has the ability to share, but without the automation component.  Google Docs is similar to OneDrive.  iCloud is yet more limited, but a great start for those in the iOS ecosystem.

6 – Document collaboration

This takes file storage and file sharing to the next level. If you upload a proposal to the cloud and share it with your sales manager, bot of you can work on the document simultaneously. Office 365 and Google apps both offer this capability.

7 – The internet

The biggest advantage of the cloud is access to the internet itself.  A virtually endless supply of services, location information, directions, storage, collaboration, communications, search and just about anything else you could need is now available right in your pocket.

This is really just scratching the surface of the cloud.  In the very near future, the “Internet of Things” will make the cloud part of everything we do in life.  I suggest making an effort to incorporate as much of these ideas as possible to stay in line with the new way society communicates.  Your customers will expect it and the level of productivity gained will only help increase profits.

Note: This article was first published in Roofing Contractor magazine and the full article can be viewed here.

How technology is changing what it means to be successful in the roofing industry

By Nate Stein, AccuLynx.

The roofing industry is changing right before our eyes; advancements in new technologies, building trends towards sustainable materials, more safety regulations, and the way we communicate with our leads and customers have all evolved from a simple paper to pencil business model. As these new models continue to invade and improve the roofing and contracting industries, business owners now have a greater stake when it comes early adoption and practical application of new tools and technology as they come on the market.

Using Technology to Help Manage Your Business Workflows

As a roofing business owner, you are constantly tracking new leads through your sales teams on a daily basis, and that volume is directly related to new business you manage every year. While the potential to complete more jobs is exciting, keeping track of all your projects can be a headache – not only for managers, but for office staff as well. Scavenging through your rolodex, cell phone or filing cabinet is a time-wasting activity that doesn’t actively help you be more organized. Investing in business management software specifically built for contractors like a CRM (customer relationship management) or ERP (enterprise resource planning) can streamline your customer acquisition and retainment process, while also allowing you to manage all of your finances and document management for your roofing business.

With a cloud-based data system, you eliminate the possibility of ever losing a customer’s information, while gaining unlimited access to the files and documentation your field staff need on a daily basis. Various departments in your business no longer need to refer to different databases, with out of date or conflicting information. All information is stored in one, centralized location, ensuring everyone has the same, accurate data.

ERPs give you the ability to manage the “business” side to your business, with integrations to procure supplies from your local branches, enter data and manage commissions, supplements and financial tracking with QuickBooks, and create estimates, contracts, and other necessary paperwork for jobs with the click of a button.

Business management has come a long way from Excel and carbon copies – roofers that take advantage of software have seen impressive returns on their ROI.

“It’s valuable to look not only at how quickly the company will gain back the initial investment in terms of cost-savings, but also at the number of man-hours the estimating team will save. When software reduces the number of hours spent estimating a project, it frees up time to bid and win more projects—which can multiply revenue many times over. [source] “

Take Flight with Drones & Aerial Roofing Measurements

Gravity no longer limits your abilities as a roofer. With aerial measurements and drone image capturing, you as a roofer have the option to expand your estimating and ordering capabilities through improvements in the way you approach any roof. Companies such as EagleView and SkyMeasure simplify the measuring of roofs. Instead of having your field staff climb on top of roofs all day and manually measure slopes and areas, you can place an order for an aerial roof measurement, automatically populate estimates and produce more accurate paperwork to homeowners and material suppliers.

Drones are also continuing to alter the roofing landscape. Equipped with 4K cameras, personal and professional roofing drones can fly over homes and capture detailed pictures of problem spots, which your sales team can then show to your leads in order to better visualize and explain issues and communicate with homeowners. Better yet, these drones can also be used to snap pictures of potential hazardous spots on roofs, so your crews can be well informed and prepare before they set a single foot on a roof again.

Direct Connections and Integrations with Material Suppliers

How have you been ordering your shingles, nails, and gutter coil up until now? Well, just like most every other roofer out there, you probably picked up the phone, made a call to the sales rep at your local branch, chatted for a few minutes, and then went on to ordering supplies for your roofing project. The all-too-classic happens, when you ordered black shingles, but you received brown ones, and those 1” nails you ordered ended up arriving as 1 ¼” nails.

While mistakes happen, it is annoying and unnecessary in today’s technologically advanced roofing world. Now, you can place orders with your local vendors online. New software tools allow you to browse different products that your supplier offers with real-time prices. From GAF Timberline Shingles to endless house wraps and sealants, you can order anything you need for all your roofing jobs. Real time pricing ensures you get up to date prices, so you can build accurate estimates. With supplier-direct ordering, you won’t receive those brown shingles and 1 ¼” nails you never ordered, and you can show your prospect an accurate estimate of what the project will cost.

The roofing industry is changing – processes that were once tedious, annoying, and time-consuming have been streamlined and automated by software and technology that help your business operate more efficiently across all of your teams. Embracing the dynamic changes happening today may seem overwhelming and impossible to keep up but provide limitless potential as you continue to scale and grow your business.

Note: This article first appeared on the AccuLynx blog and can be viewed here.

Advantages of Cloud-Based CRM Software for Contractors

By FollowUp CRM.

Being cloud-based means contractors can readily access customer information from anywhere at any time.

Working in sales can often be spontaneous, as you never know what your client may want next. To be a part of a good sales team, you must be ready at a moment’s notice for whatever your customer wants. Cloud-based CRM software for contractors allows sales team members the ability to access their sales data from anywhere and at any time.

Cloud-based computing is beginning to take over all aspects of the Internet industry as downloadable proprietary software falls out-of-date. Liberating sales team members from the confines of the office allows them to become more mobile and better suited to fulfill customer needs. Concurrently, this allows for sales representatives to make more in-person sale pitches to prospective clients. Despite all advances in technology, nothing can beat the human touch of a personalized sales pitch.

Business and technology are constantly changing, but, unfortunately, many construction contractors still remain in the past with their customer relations and sales techniques. Be sure to choose a software that has been specifically tailored to bring construction contractors into the modern age of cloud-based computing and has been designed by construction workers for the construction industry.

Note: This article first appeared on FollowUp CRM’s blog and can be viewed here.