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The importance of reflecting on data and processes for improvement

MCSI - ErikTrefzger - The importance of reflecting on data and processes for improvement
February 5, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.

MCS Influencer Erik Trefzger says they have improved their close ratio by optimizing their roof repair processes.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Multimedia Manager Megan Ellsworth and Owner of Orca Roofing and Exteriors Erik Trefzger. You can read the transcript below or listen to the interview.

Megan Ellsworth: All right. Hello everyone. It is 2024. My name is Megan here at rooferscoffeeshop.com, and we're back for this year's new group of influencers here at the Coffee Shop. We're so excited. Erik, how are you?

Erik Trefzger: I'm doing well. How are you, Megan?

Megan Ellsworth: I'm doing great. I'm so excited to get to know you. So why don't you do us a favor and introduce yourself, and then we'll dive into this month's question.

Erik Trefzger: Okay, sounds good. So my name is Erik. I'm the owner of Orca Roofing and Exteriors. We are a roofing company based in Bellevue, Washington, but we do work all around the Seattle area.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome.

Erik Trefzger: We do a lot of Brava roof tile, a lot of standing seam metal and then, of course, low slope and asphalt shingles.

Megan Ellsworth: Great, great. Well, we are so excited to have you as an influencer. So, welcome. And we're just excited to get started with our new group. So, this month's question is all about competitive strategies and it is: what strategies worked to help you stay competitive while still profitable last year, that you plan to carry over into 2024?

Erik Trefzger: Yeah, I think we did one big change last October, and looking at the numbers and looking at the results, it's hard to understate the impact that this strategy shift had. And basically what we did is, we used to send our salespeople out when we would do repair estimates. So, if there was a leak in a roof and someone would call, we send a repair or a sales guy out. The problem with that is, leaks and repairs are much more technical. They're much more difficult than a full roof replacement. And sometimes we would accurately diagnose it. Sometimes it would not be an accurate diagnosis, and the technician would come out and say, actually, it's something completely different. So we really struggled, and also our close ratio was not great, and on top of that, so we wasted a lot of time, a lot of gas, a lot of the guys driving around just to give basically incomplete estimates that weren't good for us.

It's not good for us when the estimate isn't accurate, it's not good for the homeowner. Kind of just felt like it was a repair division. Nobody was winning, we weren't winning, the customers weren't winning. So what we did in October, and we've been tweaking it quite a bit and we're still, it's a work in progress, but it's made a massive impact, was we went to time and materials repairs.

So instead of sending a salesperson, now we send our roofing technician. So the conversation on the phone when the homeowner calls in is a little bit different than it used to be. Now we say, hey, we sent out a roofing technician, it's X dollars per hour plus with a $500 minimum. We're thinking of actually increasing that. But if we're going to come out, we're going to charge $500, but we're going to send a technician out and we're going to take care of the problem right then and there.

And if we go out and it turns out to be a big project, a big repair and we'll give them a fixed bid. So we might do a temporary repair and then say, hey, if you want to get the whole repair done, if you want us to redo this facet, it's $6,000. And then they can choose whether they want to do that or not.

So our close ratio has gone way up with those fixed repairs that I mentioned, and every time we do a time and materials repair, it is money that we're making and it's a problem that we're solving for the homeowner, which I think is really crucial. So that's had a huge difference. We don't send salesperson, we don't send our salespeople out to repair estimates anymore, just our roofing techs. And last month in December, we had a 77% close rate for our fixed repairs. And certainly during all these rain events, we get more leads than we can handle. So we kind of clear our roofing techs schedules when we do get these rain events, for just time and material repairs. And then when we get past these rain events, then they go back to working on the full roof replacements.

Megan Ellsworth: Wow. Wow. That's amazing. So, what are you seeing with this program moving forward for this year?

Erik Trefzger: I think what we are trying to do is figure out how can we capture more leads. I think one of the things that is difficult for us is the seasonality of these repair leads. When we have a big rain event, we get so many calls and we can't handle them. Then when it's been dry for a while, we don't get very many calls at all. So that's one of the tricky things is, how do we staff in order to handle these rain events and not be turning a lot of people away?

I mean, during a couple of weeks ago when we were getting all that rain, people were calling in and we were scheduling time and material repairs two weeks out, three weeks out. That doesn't really work for people. They want their roof done. If it's an active week, they want it finished and they want it fixed immediately, certainly at the same week and ideally the same day or the next day. So that's something that we're trying to figure out, is how can we not turn away so many people when we have these big events and we're three weeks out, is there some way that we can temporarily increase capacity? And we haven't solved it yet, but that's something we're working on.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome. Well, Erik, this has been really enlightening and informative. So thank you for sharing what you guys have done and continue to do, and I look forward to chatting with you next month.

Erik Trefzger: Sounds great. Thanks Megan.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome.

Erik Trefzger is the owner of Orca Roofing & Exteriors. See his full bio here.



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