As a roofing company interested in staying current in regards to technology and social trends, we feel it important to spend the time researching new products and observing customer sentiment online. Now, we like to think of ourselves at expert roofing contractors and fairly adept at using construction related technologies. Regardless, it is a struggle to find the right information that is both relevant and reliable. Are you getting an unbiased opinion or is someone just posting this product or company review because they have been paid handsomely to do so?
I wish I could tell you there was a simple solution here, but in all honesty it is something that we struggle to determine ourselves sometimes. Angie’s list is still a great resource as they generally just get honest reviews from customers, but ever since they became a publicly traded company I am sure we are not the only ones to notice the constant increase in fees. We understand that is the nature of the beast and hold no grudges there, but when researching competition or comparing bids you have to use your logic to sniff out the cheats. We choose to remain above board here but when you see a recently established Michigan roofing company that has over 300 reviews already, most of which are similar is prosaic or short answered, you can be fairly confident that there is something fishy going on. It takes a long time to build up a good reputation and thus reviews online, and no matter how great of a job you did for a customer it does not always mean they are going to be comfortable writing about it. Take everything that you see with a grain of salt and spend the time actually reading these reviews, not just looking at the big numbers. There is a big difference between someone that just wrote “Great job” because they were bribed with a gift card by the contractor, versus someone that uses over 2,000 words to describe the experience just because they were so satisfied with the work.
Maybe it is because of the weather causing business to slow down a bit, but now is the time that we are reviewing the manufacturers that we support and seeing if any up and comers out there are worth our attention. I would say that for at least 30% of our customers, choosing the right material is a critical factor that goes into their decision making process. Certainteed, Tamko, GAF, Owens Corning, Atlas, IKO, and even BP roofing shingles all have positive and negative aspects to them. There are some jobs that would be better suited to use one product above another, but as a roofing contractor you need to decide what is going to be your go to shingle. Now, if you are not in the industry i hope this does not completely knock you out of your chair. Certain manufacturers try to offer incentives to their roofing clients by offering compensation packages based on volume performance. It is a lot like the auto industry and there is nothing wrong with the practice in itself. However, if this is going to be the determining factor by which your roofing contractor decides what to install on your new roof then there may be a problem.
Typically, it the smaller companies that depend on these incentives because they need to extra cash flow in order to sustain operations. Any of the bigger roofing companies within Michigan have been around long enough to understand that you don’t maintain longevity in business if you don’t have your satisfaction forefront in your mind. The best thing to do here is to consult consumer reports as they are a reputable company that is impartial to any of their findings, they don’t take advertising money from the manufacturers. Beyond that, look for a roofing company that offers a variety of shingle options. Everyone will have their own opinion, as they should since they are the professionals, but is important that they are doing it for the right reasons.
Generally, we believe most of our customers are smart enough to sniff out deceptive practices and will immediately disregard the contractor pushing, lets say, their GAF system way to hard. Most manufacturers make a pretty good product as the processes are generally standardized in this day and age. Here the roofing contractor out and ask for specific reasons why they prefer one brand over another, its as simple as that.