5 Tips for Delivering a Winning Roofing Proposal

Author: Michael Russo
April 21, 2020

Have you ever lost a bid because the quality of your proposal didn't match the excellent quality of your roofing work? In the past, roofing contractors were not expected to be marketing mavens, but advancements in communications and presentation technology have changed that. Clients today expect a professional roofing proposal that clearly tells the story of what's wrong with their roof.

Hands drawing on building plan laid out on a desk.
If you can be the first contractor in the door with an in-depth, quality proposal, your chances of outshining the competition and winning the bid will increase and your business will grow.

The definition of a "professional" roofing proposal depends on the client. Some might expect thermal imagery or online satellite imagery, while others might want sophisticated photography or an online estimating system. An information services company, for example, will expect something more high-tech than a grocery store might. Facilities managers, especially, are often looking for long-term knowledge and value to help them manage their roof assets.

The order of proposal elements will vary from job to job, but a few key tips will help you deliver a stellar roofing proposal every time.

1. Give Specific Guidance

A roof assessment and proposal specific to the building in question is required. This can be as simple as a slideshow showing the roof's deficiencies and a non-destructive moisture scan.

The roofing proposal should highlight areas that need immediate attention, and specify if any work can wait. Setting these priorities puts you in the role of a consultant who helps with the client's long-term budgeting and planning.

2. Document Your Own Value

It is your responsibility to provide documentation of your roofing company's excellent long-term performance in the industry. Include references from work completed in the past 90 days that showcase your high-quality workmanship and exceptional customer service. Document your long-standing partnerships with leading roofing manufacturers and distributors, including certified contractor status with any manufacturers.

3. Consider the Client's Schedule

As part of the proposal, offer regularly scheduled safety audits conducted by your company or a third party, as well as any quality assurance inspections required by the roof system manufacturer. On large, complex jobs, offer the services of a project manager responsible for pre-construction planning, ongoing project management and a roof asset management plan.

On top of planning your project schedule, plan to get the roofing proposal and any revisions to the client quickly. GPS roof mapping apps like RoofSnap can help you make roof measurements more accurate and estimating more efficient.

4. Don't Forget the Basics

It's important to include a few key documents as part of your proposal:

  • An all-inclusive price with a termination date, a well-defined scope of work and the anticipated length of the project.
  • The unit price list for additional lumber, deck replacement and issues that may surface when roofing work starts (such as moisture damage).
  • Any required state or local contractor's licenses, a surety bond and your workers' compensation certificate.
  • A copy of the manufacturer's guarantee for your materials, along with an email or document confirming your ability to provide the guarantee. Some guarantees might require a copy of the proposed maintenance program or a warranty extension program.
  • Building owners familiar with the life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) method for assessing the price of building ownership will be thrilled to see an LCCA analysis focusing on their roofing assets. Check with your roofing manufacturers on the tools available to plug roofing into an LCCA or other assessment.

5. Listen with Enthusiasm

It's important to be enthusiastic, but let the client do most of the talking. Contractors should welcome any special requests or needs, whether they involve building access, work scheduling or keeping employees safe. Establish realistic expectations of deadlines or roof performance, but never focus on the problems you or your crew might be confronted with.

If you can be the first contractor in the door with an in-depth, quality proposal, your chances of outshining the competition and winning the bid will increase, and your business will grow.

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