The art of accurate roofing estimates is essential for the success of any roofing business. The roofing industry is competitive, and a well-executed estimate process can be the difference between winning and losing a job.
Overestimating could result in not getting hired, while underestimating might get you the job, then land you with some unhappy or even angry customers. The estimate process also sets the tone of the relationship between you and the customer — it’s important to make a good first impression. (And later, get good reviews!)
Taking the time to develop a good process for estimating will pay off in the long run — accurate estimates can win more jobs, increase customer satisfaction, and improve your profitability.
Plan for Complications
Estimating can be daunting — it’s called an estimate for a reason. Unexpected complications can pop up, inflation can increase material costs, and delays can raise labor costs.
The only known is that there will always be unknowns, and that makes estimating difficult. Not to mention, making even a small mistake when you are taking measurements or doing calculations can result in underestimating material costs.
All of these challenges just highlight the need for a reliable process. Instead of trying to avoid these issues, it’s important to plan for them, and have steps in place to minimize them.
Put a Process in Place
Despite all the challenges, an estimate isn’t just a guess — estimating is a science, and there are ways to consistently get good results. The most important thing is to start with a thorough and in-depth inspection.
Taking the time to evaluate the condition of the existing roof, identify potential complications, and consider all relevant factors that could affect the project’s scope will pay off down the road.
Having a built-in process for factoring in job costs is another important step. Contractors should consider not only the cost of materials and labor, but also overhead expenses, permits, disposal fees, and any costs specific to the projects. Accounting for these ahead of time avoids underestimating costs.
A good estimation process should also include touchpoints of clear communication with the customer throughout the process, from the initial consultation to the final estimate. It’s important that your customer has a clear understanding of the scope of the project, and that you know exactly what the client is expecting from you. As an added bonus, when you get hired for the project, you’ll already have established trust and a positive relationship with your customer!
Pay Attention to Tech
Keeping up with the latest technology in the industry is another way to improve your estimating process. For example, leveraging the latest measurement technology can greatly improve accuracy! HOVER uses photos to create a 3D model of a roof so you can access all of the measurements — and they integrate with CompanyCam.
Other technologies like drones, virtual reality, and laser measurement devices can streamline the estimating process, minimize errors, and save valuable time and resources.
Ready to Estimate?
There will always be unknowns to estimating, but having a process that you stick to can go a long way.
Mastering the estimate process is an important step towards securing more jobs, improving customer satisfaction, and increasing profitability.
By planning for the unknown, putting a process in place, and keeping up with technology advances, you can elevate your estimating process and grow your business!