Should Your Business Offer Roof Maintenance as Part of the Roofing Contract?
April 21, 2020
It's human nature to put off dealing with inconveniences. Many of us avoid going to the doctor or dentist for check-ups, or delay taking the car in for an oil change. It shouldn't be surprising that building owners often neglect roof maintenance and wait until there's a major problem before calling in a pro. Instead of complaining about this frustrating habit, why not offer your customers an alternative in the form of ongoing maintenance service?
A roof maintenance contract provides your client with peace of mind and the ability to be proactive about repairs. What many contractors don't appreciate is how beneficial maintenance contracts can be for business.
If you're willing to do the upfront work to make the process run smoothly, maintenance can be a powerful tool to keep new jobs coming in the door. Let's take a quick look at some advantages and drawbacks of this service.
Juggling an Inspection Schedule
One obvious downside of a maintenance contract is that the whole process falls apart if you don't actually get out to the site and do the work. This means that your admin (whether that's a dedicated employee or you personally) needs a calendar populated with an inspection schedule, as well as built-in reminders to the client about upcoming visits and payments. An automated system gets all these reminders entered in one batch, and from there the contract almost runs on its own.
Roof maintenance contracts mean regular work. Unfortunately, this can cause conflicts when a big job rolls in. A few possible solutions include building buffer days into the contract by stipulating that maintenance inspections happen within a date range, and bringing on a small team of workers dedicated to maintenance jobs. Like any growth hires, the trick is to get enough work to justify the employees. That can be a tricky balancing act.
It's important to lay out what is and isn't considered basic maintenance under your company's contract. Your customers should not view their maintenance plan as an extended warranty, but rather as a defense against larger expenses. It's important that your salesperson sets these expectations properly before the maintenance contract is signed. If you're uncertain, you can always check with a legal advisor about the kind of language you use to outline maintenance offerings in a contract.
Stabilized Cash Flow
Chances are, you've experienced a cash flow pinch at some point in your business's life span. Maintenance contracts mean payments will be coming in at regular intervals. This revenue may not be a huge part of your income, but just knowing those payments are coming can make a world of difference when you have a larger draw lagging behind.
Minimal Warranty Costs
No matter how careful you are during an installation, every contractor gets the occasional warranty callback. The beauty of an ongoing maintenance contract is that your client will be paying you to come inspect the property. If you find a potential warranty issue, your crew can deal with it quickly and inexpensively. Your client will be happy, and you'll have avoided a warranty call down the line.
More Client Contact
Maintenance contracts really pay off by creating more work for fewer marketing dollars. Each visit to a client's property means another conversation with your salesperson. Finding and fixing problems while they're small fosters goodwill, and means your maintenance clients are more likely to call you when they need additional work or are asked to give a referral.
As with any added service, only you can determine whether maintenance contracts are the right fit for your business. Review the pros and cons and look at whether there's demand in your existing customer base, and you may find that a whole new opportunity opens up for you.