Door to door roofing sales are a fascinating topic of discussion in 2019.
On one hand, it’s an age-old tactic that gets salespeople face-to-face with potential roofing leads.
On the other hand, selling across all industries has become increasingly digitalized. With that, there are a multitude of other efficient options that make it easier for roofers to get in touch with property owners directly.
In this article, we’ll look at the pros and pitfalls of door to door roofing sales, as well as the best available alternatives that you should consider. From online marketing efforts, to direct mail, and phone outreach, there are now a ton of ways to have meaningful interactions with property owners.
Door to Door Roofing Sales
Door to door selling is primarily a residential-focused tactic. Why?
Homeowners are likely to be on the premises of their home when you visit. Commercial owners aren’t. Plain and simple.
Even if a commercial property owner were present at the time you visited the premises, it’s unlikely that you’d actually be able to get them face-to-face without having already interacted with them.
While that doesn’t limit door to door roofing sales to residential, it means that only certain types of commercial properties might be worth approaching (i.e. multi-family properties or owner-occupied business properties).
No matter the case, there are a number of pros and pitfalls that all roofers should consider before adopting or avoiding door to door roofing sales.
Pros and Pitfalls of Door to Door Roofing Sales
The ability to get face-to-face with an owner is a very distinct positive of knocking on their door.
For one, it allows you to form a more personal relationship with them from the start.
Putting a face to your interaction and your brand will create a more distinct memory of you in the owner’s mind.
With remote interactions, certain things can fall by the wayside. An owner could egg you on, make you think they’re interested, only to bow out and stop interacting with you. They might even simply forget you spoke with them over the phone or through email.
Being face-to-face also forces owners to make finite decisions in the moment.
Set a meeting, give them a quote, or get a flat, “no.” Whatever the case, in-person interactions will always get you a response, for one, and will usually get you more direct responses.
When it comes to sales, however, timing is key.
Knocking on doors is not always an apt sales tactic when considering timing.
If you show up to a property at the wrong time, that could be the end of any chance you ever had with that owner. Digital outreach allows you to warm up to a prospect over time.
Door to door roofing sales are also very time-consuming.
Physically going to one property after another is a much slower tactic than say, sending a targeted mailer or email to property owners in a specific area.
The fact is, digital outreach is now more personal than ever thanks to higher levels of access to information. You no longer gain as much from visiting an owner in-person, not to mention the fact that digital outreach can be pushed out in much greater quantities.
And lastly, let’s be honest, door to door roofing sales can just be too cold.
Too cold for roofers, and too cold for property owners.
For roofers, the weather could present an issue. And even in more temperate environments, the weather will likely come into play at some point.
When that happens, going door to door will not be enjoyable, if it’s going to happen at all.
For owners, it’s a different type of “cold.”
An unexpected knock on the door is not always the warmest form of interaction and will require quite a bit of ice-breaking. Without time to deliberate, an owner might be reluctant or fearful of making rash decisions.
With a cross-channel marketing strategy and the right prospecting tools in place, however, you can consistently fill your calendar with more valuable prospect interactions and build your roofing business, whether you’re building new roofs, repairing old ones, or tracking the most recent storm path.
Alternatives to Door to Door Roofing Sales
While the pros and cons of door to door roofing sales are fairly straightforward, the alternatives are a bit less-so.
The fact is, by incorporating a variety of outreach, your interactions with property owners can still be very personalized in ways that help you stand out, without you having to visit anyone in person.
Transition to Commercial and Multi-Family
Whether you want to continue selling door to door or not, one option is to shift some, if not all, of your business to multi-family and other smaller commercial properties.
Reonomy’s definition of “commercial” includes anything above a single-family home. Adding duplexes, triplexes, and even retail properties to your potential scope of work can bring you the perks of working in commercial, but the more casual owner interactions of residential.
As we mentioned above, one of the pros for door to door selling is that you can reach a home or property owner directly. Today, you can get in touch with multi-family and commercial property owners directly with access to contact information in Reonomy.
See the Ownership tab in any property profile in Reonomy to find the owner, along with their phone number(s), email and mailing address.
You can also see if the property is owner-occupied and in the case of retail, who the tenants are in the building.
In commercial real estate, an owner might have many properties in their portfolio. Meaning, forming a relationship with a single property owner could bring you years of business, instead of just a one-off project.
An owner may have many properties that need repairs. They may be in the midst of adding new properties to their portfolio. Perhaps you could even form a relationship with an owner that consistently develops and flips properties, therefore needing new construction and repair work on a regular basis.
With greater levels of access to owner contact information in the commercial space, it may be in your best interest to expand your book of business outside residential.
Build a Killer Website and SEO Strategy
Another way to consistently get in touch with property owners is to have them come to you.
Not to knock on your door, of course, but through inbound marketing.
An effective website and roofing SEO strategy can bring in highly qualified leads on an ongoing basis, allowing your interactions to be much warmer than if you were to simply knock on doors.
Whereas door to door roofing sales allow you to make your pitch in-person, your website and SEO strategy allow you to position yourself so that those in need of new or repaired roofs can find you online with ease and get in touch with you.
By successfully generating roofing leads through your site, however, there won’t be any need to visit owners in person.
In commercial real estate, and especially for roofers and contractors, direct mail is making a strong comeback. Sometimes, a piece of paper on someone’s doorstep can speak louder than words ever could.
Many believe that mailers are one of the only things a property owner will actually look at, and more importantly, one of the only things they’ll remember.
Email inboxes are noisy, and cold calls can be inconsistent, but using mailing addresses sourced from Reonomy and sending something physical can help you linger in the mind, and on the desk of a coveted property owner.
All things considered, there is no such thing as loitering when it comes to direct mail…
Use Paid and Social Media Ads
One way to find targeted roofing leads in a pinch is to run paid search and social ad campaigns.
Facebook ads, for example, allow you to share images of the work you’ve done, where click-throughs can link to a page with more information about your business. These landing pages can be used to get more information from the viewer, and potentially have them reach out to start a discussion.
Then, by targeting those searching for “roofing repairs,” “roofing companies near me,” or anything similar on Google/Yahoo/Bing, you can find owners that are looking for immediate work on their properties.
In this case, you could send them to a similar landing page prompting them to supply you with the information necessary for you to call them and connect.
An all-inclusive outreach strategy is likely going to be the most effective one. And that’s why we believe using SMS is a great way to get in touch with property owners (commercial owners, specifically).
Text messages have much higher open and response rates than email and cold calling.
It’s also terrific when looking to re-engage an owner or give them a nudge in any direction.
Commercial property owners are very busy people, and so sending them a quick text can be a much more useful way to interact compared to door-knocking.
No matter what market you are in, there are always going to be alternatives to door-knocking.
At the very least, you could mix in a bit of door-knocking alongside these other forms of outreach to make sure you’re covering all of your bases.
While door to door roofing sales are certainly not useless, it’s the age of digital sales, and door to door selling can no longer be your only source of business.
With the help of marketing and Reonomy, you can easily start connecting with commercial owners today.