Ep. 34

Maintaining Integrity for Small Business Owners

with guest Bryan Gilbert of Integrity Roofing.

Brian H: Well, on today’s episode of The Home Service Toolbox, we are going to be talking to Brian Gilbert, as well as Steven Schneider of Integrity Roofing. And Brian founded the company with intention bringing a level of transparency and integrity to what they would consider an overwhelming process, the home remodeling and the roofing industry. And his company specializes in assisting homeowners through the insurance claims processes and stands as an advocate on their behalf. So we want to stay tuned to the 34th episode of the Home Service Toolbox.

Announcer: Welcome to The Home Service Toolbox, a podcast dedicated to helping home service providers. Every Wednesday, your host, Brian and Olivia will interview leading experts in both the home service field, as well as companies who support the small business owner. Our guests will help you nail down what will and what won’t work to grow your business, whether you’re on a job site or taking a break, there’s no better time to sharpen your small business skills.

Brian H: Welcome everyone to the 34th episode of The Home Service Toolbox, I am joined again by Olivia, our cohost. How are you today Olivia?

Olivia: I’m great. Brian, can’t complain. How are you doing?

Brian H: Good. It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve done this. We took a couple of weeks off from our podcast. So, you know, since we’re still not in the office we are still doing the remote thing. So I haven’t seen you in a couple of weeks but a lot has been happening obviously in the world and so beyond the COVID stuff, but we’re not here to talk about all of that. We’re here to talk to Brian and Steven from Integrity Roofing. You guys are the first guests that we’ve had in North Carolina in like three months. So yeah North Carolina. How are you guys doing today?

Brian G: Doing good.

Steven: Good. How about yourself?

Brian H: Doing well? Isn’t it weather crazy that we are having you [inaudible 02:05] now we’ve got [inaudible 02:12]?

Steven: Yeah. [inaudible 02:19] of North Carolina you get all four seasons in one week, usually here.

Brian H: Definitely. Well speaking of weather, you know, you guys are outside inaudible 02:32] work with roofs and we want to just jump into, learn more about your business. But most specifically for our audience, you know, how have you guys found success, what are some of the things that you guys have struggled with? because we all can learn from one another. So Brian, you know, it’s always interesting to hear how someone got into this field. You know, how did you find yourself on top of a roof and to start a roofing company?

Brian G: Okay. So I guess first off I’ll kind of correct your intro a little bit.

Brian H: Please.

Brian G: So my brother-in-law Jeremy had the idea, he actually had worked for a couple of other roofing companies similar to ours before and he approached me about starting our own company. He had the roofing experience, but no real business experience and I was kind of the opposite, I have some business experience and I guess, you know, back to the office experience, I had no roofing experience. So between the two of us, we jumped out on a limb, but we both quit our jobs and we just started knocking on doors and helping people with insurance claims and getting their roofs taken care of and it’s just grown and blown up from there.

Olivia: That’s a really incredible, I mean, talk about a family affair since we’re also involved in the home as it is. I was also when pre-show going through Al’s website and I also noticed that your wife works with you, which I’m sure is just adding a whole new level to the family affair. So I guess my question is how do you guys, you know, balance that work life and that home life all being so involved with one another?

Brian G: Well, I will say it can be difficult. You know, there are times where it overflows into home life and vice versa. You know, my wife worked here in the office. Jeremy’s wife, which is my sister, she works here in the office. My younger brother is our quality control manager, so we’re pretty much all family here and it does bring a different dynamic and I definitely believe that it takes the right group of people in the right family to be able to make it work and we’re not perfect. We have days where we yell and scream, you know, but by the end of that and at the end of the day we’re all here for each other, we’re all here to help each other and we’re all here to help the customers.

Brian H: Well, one of the things that is important to talk about is obviously this season that we find ourselves in with COVID and it’s impacted, you know, lots of businesses across the country obviously it’s devastated things like the restaurant industry. But obviously with a service base has street is specifically outside, you know, the impact has probably been very, very different, But you talk in the previous conversation about the family and working together how you used your approach to business to ease the fears of your customers during this season of kind of just the fear of being around people?

Brian G: Absolutely. We put out different videos, we put out things on our website explaining the different measures that we are taking. Any special requests that a homeowner has we are more than willing to go above and beyond. We are set up to where we can do everything electronically and remotely necessary. So if there is a high risk situation where there cannot be any personal contact, we can do everything without actually speaking face to face if we have to.

Brian H: I want to follow up with that, so quick question. Did you have those systems and processes in place before COVID where you could be completely remote and never talk to anyone face to face or did you have to implement some of these things since COVID?

Brian G: We were pretty much 900% of the way there, you know I believe what we did when COVID came along was just made everyone aware that we could do that, that all of our paperwork, all of our contracts are electronic. You know, as far as meeting with adjusters and things like that, the homeowner doesn’t have to be outside of the home for that, we can take care of that process for them. And yeah, we basically just try to bring it down to where all they have to do is say, yes, they want us to take care of it. And then basically once the insurance writes the check their process is basically, just to make sure the money flows like it’s supposed to.

Olivia: Do you find that your customers prefer those limited face to face interactions, or do you think they’re missing some of the more personal elements that we had pre COVID?

Brian G: Well, honestly, even throughout COVID most people have been, you know, for the most part with most of the interaction that we have to do, we can do everything outside or on the front porch and without having to actually walk into the house. Some people don’t care, we have dealt with some customers that are high risk that have requested that either we don’t come into the house or we wear a mask things like that. And again, all things that are pretty easy to comply with just to help make the customer feel more comfortable in the process.

Brian H: So Steven, as the person that kind of over over-marketing, you know, Brian suggested that you guys were now working on getting the message out of some of the things that you guys have been doing for a while now, what are some of The ways that you’ve been really trying to inform your audience about the different ways that people can engage with you guys as a business?

Steven: I mean, we use every social media platform known demand, but we’re gaining a large [inaudible 09:14] Facebook.

Brian H: Are you on Tech-Talk?

Steven: We are on ticktack. We haven’t really like done any funny videos or anything like that yet that’s coming. Mainly we were just trying to get some of our videos and stuff like that, our drone footage out there, so people can see what we do and the quality of work we do. The pride we take in everything that we do, but you know, we utilize Facebook a lot, we seem to have a larger base there which has actually helped us with some of the other platforms. Because you know, everybody’s on Facebook, of course they want to fact check you so they go to Google and then you’re connected to Instagram. And we utilize other platforms like house and then the older entities, like the better business Bureau and for reviews and stuff like that.
But I basically try to put together a lot of just content and information and, you know, with consistency, put it out there. So people know like we’re not just the run of the mill roofing company and we take your money and we go, you know what I mean? We take pride in our name and everything that we do and we do our very best to make sure that every homeowner property owner knows that they are our top priority in everything that we do. And as far as the measures with COVID-19 is concerned, I mean we throw it out there once in a while because it’s usually, if you go to our website it’s linked there. We have a Google business set up to where it shows that we’re in compliance with CDC standards and things of that nature.

Olivia: That’s great. I mean, being able to put that out there and keep people aware. I mean, even though we’re slowly shifting back to the new normal or as normal as it can be, I mean, everyone’s still taking precautions So I think it’s great that you guys are still keeping your customers in the loop with everything you’re doing And that’s definitely going to help reassure their fears as we start to get things calm again. So Integrity, Roofing, I love that name by the way and I think it’s such a great Testament to what the home service industry should be. Can you Brian, maybe shed some light as to why you all picked that name?

Brian G: Well, and I’ll be honest. That was one of the first question Jeremy came up with the name that was one of the first questions I asked. Jokingly, He said, because a lot of people in our industry don’t have any integrity. He said that’s the problem and that’s one thing working for other reason, companies and I myself have been a contractor for various companies and the construction industry gets a bad name and unfortunately rightfully so with a lot of contractors. There are a lot of fly by night companies that come through, do a halfway decent job and then you can never get ahold of them again if you have a problem. And so we wanted to make sure that we brought, I guess, a level of customer service and level of transparency to the industry that you don’t see very much now.
And you know, our customers appreciate that. You know I remember one of the first times I went out and looked at a customer’s house and I got down and I said, well, honestly, your roof’s fine. I mean, you really don’t need to do anything. They’re like, are you serious? I said, yeah. They’re like, well, how much do I owe you? I was like, well inspections are free, so you don’t owe me anything. Maybe call us in another five years and we’ll take a look at it And I wasn’t trying to sell them a roof that they didn’t need, so.

Brian H: Oh, that’s incredible. I think that just speaks to how you guys run your business right now, so, you know, from a marketing standpoint either of you guys can kind of answer this. But, a lot of our service-based companies, you know, they’re on the roof, they’re below this thing, doing the plumbing, they’re doing so much work. And one of the things I noticed about integrity is how much content you guys are putting out and how much video and photography you guys are putting out, obviously it’s making a difference. But what I find, even with our new clients and the people that are our listeners, you know, at the end of the day they’ve worked 10, 12 hours and they just don’t have time to snap a picture and do it well and this and that And get it on social media next where they posted, you know, et cetera, et cetera.
Obviously, Steven, you know, you have luxury of a majority of your job being dedicated to this but for those artists, like trying to get a Facebook post out, what are some ways that you can encourage people to really take heart to something that is actually make a big difference for your business?

Steven: Well, you know, and I’ve told these guys from the beginning, you know, when they first started and I build websites, that’s what I do on the side. And I kind of told them from the beginning, you know, when you’re utilizing Facebook if you’re not consistent, if you’re not posting something at least once a week, you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind, right? People don’t think about you, these larger brands they don’t have to worry about that because they’ve been around for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. But you take an incredible company that’s got the word of mouth reputation, but they’re not on social media but they don’t post a lot then people tend to forget about them. Not because they’re not valuable or they don’t bring a quality to their respective fields.

But I mean, for me what I would tell anybody is just stay consistent, whether that be once a week once a month, you know, if you’re not putting something out there, then people are not going to know who you are, unless you’ve been around for 20, 30 years. And that’s what I find to be the big takeaway is, you know, and we have a system here, you know, we have a system, we have a quality control guy who goes out. He takes the, before pictures, the after pictures, he send them to me. I go in and make sure that they’re quality photos and then I form them for whatever platform they’re going on from there. You know, and it just seems to be a one wheel grease is the other and it’s been pretty streamlined really from the beginning, but it took a little while to get there.
And I would just recommend that anybody that’s trying to build a base on social media, you know, it’s all about consistency. You know, whether it’s once a week, twice a week, you know, whatever that looks like for you, whatever you can find the time for make it happen, It’s important people. People they can identify with pictures and stuff of that nature so, you know, that’s what I would say.

Brian G: Well, then I would be able to speak to when we first started because I know when we first started, I was trying to handle all of that along with everything else. I believe I had about five job at the time and if you’re trying to do every aspect of what needs to be done is tough. And I believe that’s where a lot of people end up failing is, if they don’t know how to properly delegate certain things to people I still struggle with that. I mean, there are certain things that I’m like, I do it better, you know, but sometimes it doesn’t matter that I could do something and if I don’t have time to do it, it’s kind of irrelevant. So I would definitely say, you know, delegating certain tasks to people I’m not trying to take on the world and fit 80 hours into a day because that doesn’t work and you’ll burn yourself out real fast.

Brian H: Definitely making a balance and understanding how, you know, delegation works is critical to any business and I think that goes to your company name, you know, being a company of integrity it’s getting the right people. So as a business owner hiring has been a challenge because, you know, through the years it takes time to get the right people and sometimes you bring the wrong people on. So even through this podcast, you’ve got someone dedicated to taking pictures and you got someone dedicated to marketing, got people dedicated different things, obviously you’ve hired people. How did you get good people? Because getting good people is probably one of the biggest challenges of the service industry.

Brian G: Absolutely. And to get to where we’re at, we’ve gone through a lot of bad people. I mean, honestly, unfortunately that happens and you know, I mean, I know with us in particular. So our quality control manager, that’s something that wasn’t even a position whenever we first started, like that didn’t even exist. Like we had to create that position and that was just based on the workload that we had and the needs that our company had. Me and Jeremy were basically trying to cover what that position is now and we weren’t doing a very good job, but then we were just getting pulled in too many directions. So my youngest brother, Michael approached us he’s gone to college. He’s a chef, he’s cooked his whole life and he’s gotten burned out and he came in and talked to us, you know, is there any position that Gerald looking for somebody and you know, we talked to him about sales, We talked to them about a couple different things, and that’s when we were right in the spot where we were super busy.
We were trying to do three or four houses a day, which is insanity. But we really looked at what we needed. We had a gentleman before him trying to do that position and he kind of halfway did it. But we sat down and we set expectations and, you know, I believe if you sit down with someone and you have it in writing, you say, this is what we expect, and this is what you’re going to get compensated for And everyone’s on the same page. Then if expectations aren’t met, it’s not a surprise to anybody And we do that with everybody, but yeah, the quality control thing I think is definitely for us in particular, very key. There’s a lot of companies in our little niche that do not do that. They do not have a dedicated person that goes out because Michael will go out while they’re installing the roof. He will, if they need material, he’ll take it out there. And that keeps our crews working instead of having to stop and start.
So we’re able to keep the process flowing. He goes behind, he gets on the roof, he checks everything. If there they had a low nail or there’s a shingle kind of out of place, like he’s caught a lot of stuff that in the first six months that or a year we might not have call it, you know? So he’s definitely brought a lot of value, not only to the company, but to our brand as a whole.

Olivia: I mean, I think being able to delegate is so important, and that sounds like what you’ve done by having Michael enter this position. But as a business owner, I know sometimes that can be easier said than done. So what can you tell our viewers in terms of being able to kind of let go and feel confident enough to give someone else the reigns and kind of take a step back and sort of not necessarily be as hands on, but be able to trust to confide in someone that you know is going to get the job done for you? Because I know that must be difficult at times, especially if it takes long enough to find the right person.

Brian G: Very much so. And I know it is hard to find the right person and to find the right people for certain positions. I feel like in one aspect we have been blessed in the sense that we have a lot of family that are hard workers and we know that because we grew up with them and we worked with some of them. You know with Michael in particular, we knew he was a hard worker it was just a matter of training him based on what he needed to do here. You know, my sister is the office manager. I know she’s a hard worker and it’s Jeremy’s wife, so it was just a matter of her learning this business. You know, my wife, she is a hard worker and it’s just a matter of, you know, learning what they need to do in the position.
It is difficult to find people and, and we’ve interviewed a lot of people that they sell themselves and then they’re not exactly where they are. And I feel like, you know, sometimes it’s a gut feeling And sometimes you go through, you know, talking to 20 people before you find someone that you really feel like could do a job. And even then you know, that might end up not being the person long term for it. I know with our sales reps we have had that issue of some, we’ve got some that’s worked out for a while and then either, you know, they’ve decided to move on to bigger and better things, or they they’ve decided to, just to get out of the industry altogether. And unfortunately, sales staff it’s going to be a revolving door, I think about with anywhere.
But again, we have implemented a sales manager to kind of help them out whenever they have issues and they have problems which is actually Steven’s wife. So again, you know this is a family, a family business. We all have our rules that we all bring to the table and again, I would honestly say that this wouldn’t have ever started without Jeremy having the idea and wanting to start this initiative.

Brian H: Well, that’s great. There are definitely a lot of good food for thought for, you know, hiring and bringing on the right people. I think the best thing you said is it may take you 20 people, so wait for the right person. So, you know, speaking about the audience, you know, you’re touching the homeowner just like all of the people in the service industry, the homeowner [inaudible 24:17] people. So how do you guys learned this is for both of you, Steven and Brian, where did you guys learned about homeowners and about how you guys get the messaging right [inaudible 24:30] that you are reaching them for what their needs are?

Brian G: Well, I guess I’ll just go ahead and say that every person is different, every homeowner is different and I think part of the initial interaction with them is you just have to kind of feel out what’s important to them, what are they looking for? Are they looking at value, Are they looking at price? You know looking at their property and their home, is their lawn well-manicured, you know, you just have to kind of feel someone out as far as like, you know, where they’re at in life, where their values are at, what they hold dear to them. Because something that might not matter to me might be most important for him to somebody else. And so before we ever stepped foot on someone’s property and start tearing the roof off we try to get to that point where we know what needs to be done and what needs to be taken care of before our carrier ever moved out there.
But yeah, every single person is different and you can’t judge someone necessarily by just looking at and you definitely have to talk with them and just kind of see. and I think the good thing about us is that it doesn’t matter what type of homeowner it is, you know, they could live in a single wide trailer or that could live in a $3 million house on the Lake And we treat everybody the same. You know, because the customer is a customer and we’re here to help them No matter what it, what it is.

Olivia: I mean, I couldn’t agree more. I feel like the biggest thing when it comes to great customer service is the ability to connect and have empathy and just giving them that sense of security and reassurance, you can’t put a price on that. It’s truly a unique experience that varies from homeowner to homeowner so I think you hit the nail right on the head with that one. Considering you guys have both been in this industry for some time now whether it is as an owner or in marketing for our audience that might be hesitant to start their own business or hesitant to dive head first into the world of marketing, what are some Tips that you think are important to sort of segue into starting your own business or segue into marketing your small business, if you’re unfamiliar or you’re not sure where to get started, that really helped you guys get to where you are today?

Steven: Well, I mean, as far as my positions concerned, it’s about just not giving up, you know, there are so many different aspects of marketing that goes along with any industry. But it takes time and it’s not a sprint, you know, it’s a marathon, you got to be in it for the long haul. And there’s a lot of people out there that’ll, you know, they make things look super easy and they want you to build your reputation by spending $15,000 a month And really, and truly it boils down to just being consistent, but not quality content You know, and taking the time to learn the different platforms in the different languages that go along with those platforms because they’re all different. And they all provide a different a unique perspective to whatever industry you’re in. I mean, for me, that’s what it’s all about is just being open minded, not being so hard on yourself man, because time takes time, you know anybody that’s got a business or that’s been in business for over five years or longer I mean, they’ll all tell you the same thing. You know, success doesn’t happen overnight and if it does, it’s usually a very short lived.

Brian G: So I I’ve seen people that try to go into a business they know nothing about, so I think in that aspect you’re creating problems before you even get there. I think the fact that, you know, this business and this industry was something that Jeremy knew a lot about as far as industry itself. But as far as the ins and outs of running a business he had the wherewithal to know that he needed someone who had some experience with that. I have both good and bad experience with it, I mean, I have a business that failed. My aunt has a thriving staffing business that I’ve been a part of And then and then whenever he came and talked with me we had about two or three other guys that were supposed to come along with us and everybody backed out. And I remember we sat down one day and was like, I don’t know what he think I was like, we can do this. I think we both had about a month worth of it where the bill money in the bank, and we both quit our jobs.
And in the beginning it is hard it is a lot of long hours anyone starting a business, don’t think that you’re going to work 40 hours. I mean, you’re going to work 40 hours Monday and Tuesday. Honestly I mean, starting out at that first six months you know, we were scraping by, we made sure our bills were paid and we kept money in the business. That’s another thing is, I’ve seen business owners that they get a little money and they yank it out and they think they’re high rolling and then something happened. You know we’ve always been very big on making sure that money gets put back into the business. You know, making sure everyone is taken care of, you know, but especially starting out I mean, I would say me and Jeremy were working 80, 90 hours a week at least. I mean, we were going out working eight, 10, 12 hours a day and then coming back and working in the office. So someone had to do every aspect of the job and until we got to a point to where, because starting out we didn’t have, in my opinion, anybody else.
So, you know, once we got to a point to where, for instance, we brought my sister on and I taught her how we had everything set up in the office and she was able to take some of that on. And then just on down the road, you know we didn’t have all these processes in place to start with. We didn’t have all of our people in place to start with I mean, it has been a growing process And I think another thing is learn from your mistakes, be okay with criticism, and if you’re in business with someone else know that you’re going to have good days and bad days. some days you’re going to hate each other, some days you’re going to love each other and especially whenever it’s family, you know, things fluctuate pretty quickly. But in the end, you know at this point we’ve been very successful And I definitely feel that that’s because we have been able to take criticism and we have made mistakes and learned from it.
And that’s the thing with the business, you make the wrong mistake and that could be the last one especially if you’re not set up properly and if you’re sucking every dime out that comes in and then you have a little hiccup, I mean that can be it. So I definitely think that we we’ve set ourselves up to where we have, we have enough of a cushion to where everyone is taken care of, Everyone’s paid, customers are taken care of, but if a problem arises, whether it’s with the customer, whether it’s a financial issue we’re able to handle it and take care of it and move forward from it.

Brian H: Well, you said so many great nuggets. I think that our audience can definitely learn from, but I want to hit on something that you answered in some of the pre showed questions. And you talked about you know, one of the hardest things about running a business is all the time that you have to put in and then balancing that with home life. So now that you’ve gotten past, you know, at the beginning stages and you may still be working long hours, but how do you balance that? Because, you know, I’ve started the business, I closed the business and that business I started enclosed, you know, I was working, there was 120 hours and I never was able to create that balance. And you know, that, that balance is going to be the balance is going to create the sustainability to actually be in business for 5, 10, 15, 20 years. So what are some things that you’re doing right now to really create that balance, to ensure that you have longevity in this industry?

Brian G: Well, so I know starting out, I mean, me and my wife sat down and talk before we even started and Jeremy sat down with his wife, my sister, and talk and they knew going in that they weren’t going to see a lot of us. There was going to be a lot of long hours and so they knew going into it kind of what they were getting into by agreeing to go along with this. But then we got to a point to where, if you don’t ever take any time for yourself at all and it was like, you know, 12, 14 hours every day, you know, 6, 7 days a week, you’re going to burn yourself out and you’re going to get to the point where you don’t even want to go to your own business anymore. So whenever you see yourself getting to that point, if you need to take a day, if you need to take an afternoon we’ve had times where we’ve had to do that. You know, I mean, I know Jeremy’s looked at me and be like, listen, I just need a day.
I’m like, okay, well, let’s see what we’ve got going on and see what we can move around with [inaudible 34:40] let you know just kind of staying at home. I know for him, he likes to get on his motorcycle and go riding for a little bit, which is I’m sure, always nice. You know, and vice versa, I’ve done the same thing, you know, it’s just like so stressed out and you just need to minute to breathe because that’s going to happen. And then one of the things that’s not going to happen is [inaudible 35:04] itself. You know, running a business is stressful, it’s time consuming and if your family is not on board and understands the sacrifices that are going along with it, [inaudible 35:19].

Olivia: Do you think because it’s such a family affair and your business, that it strengthened your relationships with one another in ways that you didn’t foresee coming? Because the way you talk about one another and you can clearly see the respect and the admiration there and the trust. So I guess it just has me wondering for other individuals who might want to bring a family member on board, but aren’t sure how that’s going to all transpire at the end.

Brian G: Yeah. So again, there has been learning curves and growth, even with Emily, you know, it’s not a better roses every day you know, we all love each other. We don’t always like each other, you know, depending on the day, but I mean, I think I can say this, that our family is always been close enough and deep rooted enough to where we felt like if it wasn’t going to be an issue, you know, at the end of the day whether integrity roofing is around or not, we’re still family. It is a lot easier said than done sometimes, you know? And again, you know, we’ve had meetings, we’ve yelled, we screamed at each other, it happens, but at the end of the day we love each other, you know, we’ll have a family get together on Sunday and we’re all there. It’s kind of like, man, I’ve seen you all week, let me go talk to somebody else.
But again, I don’t think there’s any family could do something like this. Definitely think it’s a unique experience and I know Jeremy’s brother, Jeremy is actually a triplet, so there’s three of them. Which is kind of interesting we know whenever I knew one of his brother’s before I knew Jeremy, so one of his brother’s is one of our sales reps as well. Their values—

Brian H: You keep going down and down with your family, man. [inaudible 37:33] every conversation I’m adding another number.

Brian G: Yeah. And I guess the good thing is that I personally have family that is willing to work. You know, Jeremy and his brother, Jason, both have experienced since the industry before it started. I mean, Jason has been in the industry about 12, 13 years, something like that So Jason very knowledgeable in the roofing aspects. You know, so everyone has their own skillset, so it’s just kind of all come together. I don’t feel that there’s any family could do this. And, and again, there’s some days that make me question, whether we’re going to be able to do it, but what we do, you know, and at the end of the day, you know, we get through what we get, everything worked out. I know Michael was working 12, 14 hours a day right now. I mean, summertime is just crazy for us. I mean, we’re, and we’re, we’re getting right into the middle of it right now, so.

Brian H: Steven. So going back to the thing about marketing and getting your message out, what would you say? You talked about consistency, but besides consistency, what would you say like top three things for a business to consider in getting their message out in today’s world in 2020?

Steven: Post, post, post, I mean, really just being authentic, you know, sharing the quality of work that you do. Being honest with people transparent as possible, I mean, you know, again, everything you see on TV or on the internet, you know, if it’s on the internet, it must be true, you know just be transparent and be honest and humble and all that you do And you put out there into the world, especially when it pertains to your business. And I just think some of those things speak for themselves, People can tell if you’re authentic or if you’re not in. And I mean, really to me, that’s kind of what a boils down to, we share a lot of stuff, man, this again, I hate to keep harping on the word consistency, man, but that’s what it boils down to. It really does. I think that’s what separates us from a lot of people in our region that do what we do. We are consistent, we put ourselves out there every day and we don’t just, you know, like zero in on one target demographic. We don’t just go for the people who live on the Lake in a big million dollar homes. We try to provide services for everybody.

Brian H: So are you guys using any paid services with Google or are you utilizing, you know, pay-per-click, are you utilizing the new service as it relates to Google guarantee? Are you, are you doing any of that?

Steven: No. We’ve looked in to utilizing some of those, you know, again, we have a Google my business page, but we don’t utilize the paper clicks or the Google ads or anything like that. We still believe in the word of mouth reputation, but that word of mouth can be spread digitally through these platforms.

Brian H: Right.

Steven: Without having to break the bank, so to speak, to get your message out there And I think that’s a great opportunity for a new company starting out as well as utilize the free services to your advantage because they’re out there And that’s what they’re put in place.

Brian H: Right? You mentioned Google my business. How are you guys using that tool specifically to grow your business?

Steven: Well, you know, you can put post on there but you can also share updates, product updates you’re before and after photos. I think right now in our region alone, I think we have games to be 700% more than any other competitor, as far as our photos and visuals go. So I think that those little things like that helped to keep us ahead of the game.

Brian H: How are you with Google reviews? Do you have a good, solid footing on Google reviews?

Steven: We do. And from time to time, I mean, you have a person that you’ve never even dealt with or Put a review up that you’ve never even done business with them. So, you know, you just have to take the good with the bad and we report it, let them know that we haven’t done any business with them or anything like that. So.

Brian H: On your Google reviews, do you know how many reviews you guys have approximately?

Steven: I want to say, give me one second. I’ll tell you.

Brian G: Or while he’s looking for that, I can also say that whenever we got our own brick and mortar location that helped out a lot with Google as well. Having an actual physical address to associate with it, it puts you on the Google map. Whereas when we first started out, you know, We didn’t have the money for that so just like any other business, it start out about out of the home and kind of grew from there. So there’s just all kinds of algorithms with all the different social media platforms that once you learn it, you can kind of work that algorithm to a certain degree. But yeah, with Google in particular, having a physical commercial location is a big deal.

Steven: Yeah. Yeah.

Brian H: I’m glad you mentioned that because I mean, so many people don’t even realize, you know, they think they can work out of their home and you can, yes. You can be successful with that, but having some sort of physical address, even if it’s a closet, I mean, having a physical address that Google can call home I mean, it’s critical. Because you know, Google understands that you’re a real business and it’s going to get thoughts for that. And I will say we’ve had businesses that we’ve helped that moved addresses and that they don’t do the right stuff about moving addresses. Google gets confused and you lose business if you don’t move correctly online. So.

Steven: Yeah, so we have 86 reviews on Google as it is right now. We have 62 on the better business Bureau. We have 92 through Facebook, 41 on house and there were some other platforms we were utilizing in the beginning. But then, you know, some of these platforms you got to pay to play. So once they start saying you’re a legitimate company they want you to pay them to advertise on their platform so you’re their free services, no longer become free.

Brian H: Right. And I mentioned the review count because I knew it was hot I didn’t know exact number, but I mentioned that because you know, so many businesses don’t understand how reviews and Google my business plays into getting your website visible on Google. And the fact that you guys are not doing any paid per click It is pretty incredible for a local business because they don’t understand how important the reviews are and your physical location and posting regularly with your website and Google my business. So I think, you know, this is a true Testament to, you can be successful without having to pay to play, but you’ve got to be consistent as you said. So.

Steven: Yeah.

Brian G: I know the review process and the referral process is built into our sales pitch, you know, so we make sure whenever we have a sales person we tell them like, you know, push the reviews, get the referrals. you know, if you can get a referral that someone that already knows you’re coming to the house, you’re not having to blindly knock on somebody’s door, or it’s not, you know some kind of lead that we’re having to pay for, I mean, referrals are gold. And we hold those very, very near and dear, because if you do work for someone and they feel like you did a good enough job to send you to someone else, we feel that we’re doing our job at that point. But making sure that we mentioned, because what I’ve noticed is, and even in my own life that if someone does a great job, I don’t always think about a review. if they do a horrible job That’s the first thing I think about, you know, going and put an ad review. And I think that’s just human nature, you know?
So we do try to push you know, because that’s part of the conversation. You know, we definitely like the feedback, we’ll post picture, you know, Steven would get picture someone’s house posts the knowledge and they see their house on there So that kind of helps it makes them feel a little bit more part of it. I think all that stuff working together. But yeah, Steven has been with just the consistency has been there, the amount of contents been there And then once we brought on Michael and he’s just feeding photos daily. We’re utilizing an app called company cam for all of our photos I think it is more specific to our industry, but I think it’s something that could be utilized by a lot of different people. But it keeps all the fighters off your phone. It stores it in the cloud Because I know before we had that, I had like 2000 pictures of your random briefs on my house or on my phone and I’m liking it, my phone phone’s completely clogged up with, I don’t even know what these pictures are.
So I know with that app we’re able to go in there, put a name and address, put the pictures with it, It keeps everything organized very well And so that’s definitely helped out in that aspect. Also with that app, we’re able to access pictures as they’re being taken on site. So we can, whether I’m here or whether Elizabeth looking for photos for a particular thing that can take them, they automatically upload. We’re going to say, Hey, that’s not that good can go take a picture. And it’s not that they’ve taken pictures, email it to us an hour later when they’re already gone, you know, we can do things in real time with that. So that’s helped as well And with them making sure that we have the photos that we need, whether it’s for an insurance claim or whether it’s for marketing either way, because they’re important And by that aspect.

Olivia: Yeah, I mean, a picture truly is a thousand words and I do content for all of our clients and I have to say, I mean, you can say as much as you want, but without like forming those connections and being able to like, create that visual connection and ultimately that emotional connection. Because seeing the actual product or seeing the damage or seeing the finished result, it just creates that whole new level of empathy and it really does go the extra mile so I completely agree with that.

Brian H: Well, Brian, I need to give you some criticism and it’s because of your hat [inaudible 48:55]. I normally don’t interview Caroline fans, [inaudible 49:02], sorry.

Brian G: Well, you know, we can’t all be perfect, but you know.

Brian H: Yeah, for those that are just listing Brian is wearing a very light colored North Carolina hat, you know, so for those that are listening all over North or` United States Duke and Carolina are great [inaudible 49:27] and obviously Duke is the number one rival on that.

Steven: [inaudible 49:33] number one rival.

Brian H: Yeah, yeah. But anyway you know, college basketball, I don’t know when that’s going to get back, but you know, maybe we’ll see a Carolina Duke game again this year who knows?

Brian G: Oh yeah It’d be nice.

Brian H: Yeah. Well, both of you, thank you so much for joining us. Your honesty, you know, it comes from your company name, just being a people of integrity and it’s come through and just interview being able to be honest and be able to show for it that, you know, you got to make mistakes in order to have success. And so if you guys listening and you guys have questions, feel free to reach out to these guys because they’re doing some amazing things not just for roofing, but just the service industry. they’re being consistent and getting the message out So looked them up on, you know, I found them on Instagram but look them up on social media and definitely follow them to learn how you guys can market your own business.

Olivia: Yeah. I could not applaud you guys more pre-show I was looking you guys up and the amount of stellar five star reviews I comb through for, I feel like it was 30 to 40 minutes. It was all I saw and just the amount of impact you all have on your clients is just tremendous. So I applaud you and continue to keep up the great work and we’re so thankful that you came on our show today and we really appreciate it.

Brian G: Well, we appreciate you having us here on the show.

Brian H: Well, next week, we’re going to have Leah Livingston and she’s the business development manager of Pay Simple and Pay Simple is an online payment software that allows businesses to receive online payments, sent invoices and streamlined online billing. And so during these last few months of COVID Pay Simple was offered their patrons, a variety of services and resources. And, you know, especially in the months of COVID, it’s important to be a contact lists and Pay Simple is a great way to be able to engage people with content like contact list payments. So she’s going to be on our show next Wednesday.

Olivia: And if you guys like what we put out every week, please subscribe to our channel, you can find us on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Facebook live, and all that jazz. And if you like what we’ve put out, please comment and tell us more of what you’re looking for, we love to hear your feedback. So thanks so much for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time.

Announcer: Break times over, but thanks for listening to the home service toolbox, keep your marketing toolbox up to date by subscribing to our podcast. We’ll be here every Wednesday, hammering out solutions to help your business.