How to Find Hail and Storm Damage Leads
“Storm chasers” are roofing contractors that target properties that need roof repairs due to damage from storms, hail, and unfortunately, natural disasters.
Despite the sometimes unfortunate nature of the job, hail and storm damage leads can be a great source of business for commercial roofing contractors.
It used to be that commercial roofers would have to watch the weather forecast to track down specific weather events. But contractors that source commercial roofing leads in this manner are reactionary.
Instead, there are several ways for contractors to be proactive when sourcing storm damage leads to get ahead of the weather and create long-lasting relationships with clients.
The Calm Before the Storm: Licensing and Insurance
Get licensed in every state in which you plan to do business.
Storm chasers often target specific states that are known to have more intensive weather events.
For instance, someone looking to source hail damage leads may want to get licensed in Texas, generally accepted as the state with the most wind/hail losses each year.
Contractors should try to get licensed in as many of these states as possible in advance of sourcing hail damage roofing leads.
Some states don’t require a license—instead, they require contractors to be registered. Look at the requirements for each state and even local jurisdiction to determine what is needed to operate a roofing company lawfully.
Insurance requirements vary by state, so roofing contractors should be sure to have the proper coverage when chasing storm damage leads.
Because storm chasers are providing services in response to a weather-related event, they usually have to act quickly. Repairs may be needed immediately to protect a roof from collapsing, for example.
In the event an insurance company denies a claim, a roofing company may find themselves party to a lawsuit if they’ve already begun (or completed) a job. That’s why it’s so important to have your own insurance coverage.
Carrying insurance in the states you operate is also a selling point for prospective customers. You’ll want to advertise the fact that you’re fully licensed and insured when talking to property owners.
Once that is all in place, you can begin to put stable storm damage lead generation strategies in place.
How to Generate Leads Before a Storm Hits
If you’re a commercial roofing company, it is important to establish rapport and begin connecting with property owners well before a storm hits, because, when that storm does hit, they’ll know who to reach out to.
You should always be keeping relationships with property owners fresh and alive year-round. There are a few ways that you can do that…
Create Professional Marketing Materials
It’s important for all businesses to have professional marketing materials these days, commercial roofing companies included.
This includes investing in a well-designed website, creating localized SEO content, and spending some time building out a social media presence.
Couple this digital media with some high-quality print material to share with prospective customers as collateral. Having a professional package helps to differentiate legitimate storm chasers from the scam artists, which is critically important when sourcing hail damage roofing leads.
We believe print collateral is especially important for storm chasers.
This could include direct mailers, flyers, or even just a professional business card that you drop in someone’s mailbox.
The benefit to print collateral is that someone can tuck your information away for a rainy day—pun surely intended.
This way, if a hail storm, hurricane, tornado or other major weather-related event occurs, a property owner can easily recall your name and number to discuss all of their construction and repair needs.
One of the most important parts of generating storm and hail leads before bad weather hits is by strategically identifying potential property owners to connect with—whether it be through marketing or a direct phone call or text.
You can do that using Reonomy.
Reonomy Prospecting for Roofers & Storm Chasers
Distributing marketing materials on a completely random basis is not a good way to source storm damage leads. Your marketing and outreach efforts must be precise, and very personalized to property owners.
With Reonomy, you can search and find properties based on asset type, building size, and more, use images to see roof types, and access owner details and contact information for direct outreach.
For instance, you might be looking for buildings with a roof area of at least 50,000 square feet. With Reonomy’s Building and Lot search filters, you can find projects with the right scope.
In a property’s profile page, Reonomy also has integrated property images, letting you see whether a building has an asphalt roof, metal roof, or anything that aligns with your business.
On any profile page, you can then enter the Ownership tab to see the name of the owner’s and their phone numbers, email and mailing addresses.
By doing this, they’ll know you’ve done your homework and will be more likely to interact with you.
Reonomys property and owner search capabilities make it easy for you to find and get in touch with property owners in any county nationwide.
Combine Reonomy with the necessary weather forecasting apps and marketing strategy, and property owners won’t even have to think about who to call when mother nature finally strikes.
Tracking the Storm Path
On some occasions, a single storm can create more hail damage leads in one day than a contractor would otherwise generate in an entire year. Thankfully, of course, these major weather events tend to be rare.
However, when they do occur, it’s important for storm chasers to be ready to react.
By the time a storm hits, you should have already laid the groundwork with potential customers (as we mentioned above). That will likely require the use of various storm and hail tracking apps so you can have an idea of where your leads might be.
You can use these apps to forecast a hail storm, for example, then use Reonomy to contact the property owners within that storm’s path.
Hurricane Pro is an iPhone app that bills itself as the “ultimate hurricane app,” and can be used for commercial contractors in search of hail damage leads.
One of the things we like about Hurricane Pro is its integration with Twitter, which allows users to access crowd-sourced updates about a storm in real-time. After all, there’s no better intel than the intel coming from those who are right there on the ground experiencing the storm first hand.
StormEye is a storm-tracking app that can map the direction and intensity of storms, and then pinpoint an ETA for its arrival. StormEye overlays this data onto Google Maps, which helps users follow a storm’s path in real-time with remarkable accuracy.
RadarScope is yet another mapping tool for storm chasers, but this app provides more nuanced data for users. The app uses advanced Level 3 radar images to monitor rainfall and wind speed, which may be difficult for all but the most experienced storm chasers to interpret.
AccuWeather is one of the most popular weather monitoring apps, for storm chasers and the general public alike.
Its features are easy to use, particularly for someone trying to track down hail storm damage leads who may not be well versed in technology. The app allows you to follow a storm on the radar, with colors indicating the intensity of the storm at any given point in time. It also allows you to track multiple locations at once, and will send out alerts as intense storms approach.
Commercial roofing companies don’t need to rely solely on their mobile devices, though. Plenty of storm chasers still find commercial roofing leads by tracking storms the old-fashioned way: through weather radios.
Whatever the case may be, tracking storms is an essential part of pre-storm outreach, but is also important in making sure you’re following up with the owners that need your services the most.
Connecting with Owners After the Storm
The immediate aftermath of a storm is a great time for contractors to engage their storm damage leads.
An owner that has experienced property damage will want to have their building repaired as quickly as possible as a means of protecting their investment.
Here are a few ways to connect with property owners using the contact information you’ve sourced from Reonomy:
Call or text owners in the storm’s path.
By now, most storm chasers will have a good idea of where the most damage occurred.
Use the data you’d previously collected with Reonomy to begin calling property owners that meet your business’s specific criteria – such as roofs of a certain size or within a certain geography. Offer up your services accordingly.
You can also use a call or text to reference the previous calls or marketing you sent to the owner before the storm hit. If they received your original message, your follow up will ring a bell and be
Go door to door.
Less so a go-to for commercial roofers, storm chasers can still find some success by going to an area affected by a storm and physically knocking on doors.
Reason being, while commercial owners are not usually on the premises of their property’s often, they may spend time there immediately after a storm taking inventory of the work that needs to be done.
For example, a property owner that invested in a self-storage facility in Texas may have experienced significant hail damage. This could be a great hail damage roofing lead, except the property owner isn’t picking up his phone when tried at the office.
This gives you an opportunity to meet face-to-face and remind them of your services.
Invest in paid advertising.
If there’s a time for storm chasers to invest in paid online advertising, it’s in the aftermath of a major storm.
Unlike other inbound marketing efforts like your website and SEO strategy, paid advertising on Google will help generate storm damage leads at the flip of a switch, as owners search the platform for contractors and immediate help.
Make connections on social media.
The best referral is from someone who already knows and trusts you. Use this opportunity, immediately after a storm, to put out content on your social media platform about the services your company offers, and how you may be able to help those affected by the storm.
With any luck, someone in your network will refer you to someone they know needs a commercial roofer in that exact moment.
No matter which approaches you utilize to find hail and storm damage leads, your timing is always going to be the most important part—from staying in contact with owner before and after a storm, to having the marketing strategies in place to keep them aware of your company year-round.
Those who establish themselves as reliable storm chasers will find it easy to generate storm damage leads down the line.