Contractor Marketing: RT3

Recruiting & Technology

by Heidi J. Ellsworth, owner, HJE Consulting

(Editor’s Note: Heidi J. Ellsworth, a graduate of the University of Portland, has been working in the roofing industry since 1993. Having held positions with EagleView® Technology Corporation, Carlisle® Construction Materials, Eco-Star™, and Malarkey Roofing Products®, Ellsworth is now the founder of the roofing-focused marketing firm, HJE Consulting Group. She is also the author of “Sales and Marketing for Roofing Contractors,” a guide for small businesses in the roofing industry.)

I was honored to be a founding member of a group of industry thought leaders who came together in the spring of 2017 to try to find solutions for recruitment into roofing, and we believed that technology could make the difference. The Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) was started with a focus on research and the dissemination of technology information that could make a difference not only with attracting and retaining talent but also improving the professional reputation of the roofing industry.

Today, RT3 is a consortium of thought leaders exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry. With a goal of curating critical information about innovative technology and solutions, roofing contractors benefit as the group brings together progressive and disruptive solutions that can help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry overall.

How does this apply to sales and marketing? The use of technology is critical today to the growth of every roofing company and it all begins with marketing your business in a way that appeals to potential employees and consumers alike; that means smart and innovative technologies. RT3 is committed to finding innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry by enabling ongoing thought leadership and insights from progressive leaders both inside and outside the roofing industry, along with identifying practical resources for implementing potential solutions successfully.

“The next generation is looking to use their technical skills in new ways and the roof is a prime area for innovation,” stated Karen L. Edwards, executive director of RT3. “Most of our United States workforce already use a smartphone and/or tablet daily for their personal life, why would they not want to use them in their work life? We have the opportunity for our labor force to utilize the power of mobile devices on the roof for documentation and education.”

Roofing companies can become a full or community member of RT3. By becoming a member, it allows your company to get information firsthand on new technologies, sometimes before anyone else. The think tank meets six times a year, four virtually and two live. Full members participate in all six while community members can enjoy all virtual events. The opportunity to see what other trades and the construction industry as a whole are doing is key to curating information and not wasting time recreating technologies already in place.

The most important part is the education and the initiative to understand and then disseminate innovative technologies into the roofing industry. The dissemination portion is just as important as learning about modern technologies. As part of the RT3 mission, the group is always looking to share information for roofing companies and a lot of that information can be found in the online solution directory on the RT3 website, “The solution directory is a place for all technology services or providers to share their technology,” continued Edwards.

Contractors can also apply for Innovator of the Year award. The award was created to nationally recognize a roofing contractor who has contributed to the advancement of the roofing industry through technical innovation and/or product development in one of the following areas: production/technology efficiency; safety innovation; client service/quality of delivery; employee recruitment/training/retention; or environmental impact. It is a great way to show your customers how your company has incorporated technology to make the overall experience better.

“We are encouraging everyone to visit our website, nominate themselves or other roofing contractors, and at the same time sign up for the RT3 e-newsletter, follow the blogs on all media sources, review the companies in the solution directory and, if interested, apply to join,” concluded Edwards. “This is the type of organization that brings on change and we want to invite the industry to be involved.”

From the aspect of a roofing company, getting involved with this type of progressive organization not only helps to attract the next generation but it is a statement to your customers that you care about making their experience the best. Technology is the key to providing customer services experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers and potential employees.