Do you still think drones in roofing are just for taking cool marketing pics? If so, you are missing out. A drone can be much more than a flying camera. If you’ve purchased a drone for your business, the next step is to pair it with the right software solution and take your business to the next level. With the right software, a drone can improve your roofing business in ways you may have not even anticipated.
Pair a drone with software and you’ll discover benefits such as improving your sales process, limiting man hours on roofs for improved safety, and more efficient inspections. You’ll be able to wow customers with polished inspection reports, easily get accurate measurements, scale your entire sales process, and still be able to take some cool photos for your marketing materials when you finish a job.
But First – A History of Drones in Roofing
Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced the Part 107 licensing program to fly drones commercially in 2016, the number of drones in roofing has taken off (pun intended). As of May, 2022 there are over 310,000 commercially licensed drones in the U.S. Most roofers use some estimation software in their business and drone estimation software is the fastest growing category. Why is it growing so fast? Because drone software can do more for your business than competing estimating solutions. Here are five ways drone estimation software will improve your bottom line.
Keep Estimators Safe
What is the most obvious benefit to roofers using a drone? Safety. When an estimator can inspect safely from the ground, the chances of injury in one of America’s most dangerous occupations plummets. With roofing deaths on the rise according to the most recent data available, estimator safety is a critical concern. Every hour you can get your estimators using a drone and off roofs lowers the risk of injury or death.
Save in Employment Costs
When contractors fully adopt drones for roofing estimates using the right software, they never need to climb a roof during estimating again. If your estimator is not climbing roofs, then speak with your workers’ compensation provider to reclassify coverage from roofing to sales today. Read real-world examples here on how this simple reclassification can save you tens of thousands of dollars.
Increased safety from using drones in roofing is obvious, but that’s just the beginning. The right software powered drone will increase sales by providing a better sales experience for the customer. When you combine drone imagery, annotated damage detected by artificial intelligence, and branded customized inspection reports, you get a whole new buying experience for your prospective customer. You can now virtually take them onto the roof and walk them through every issue you find. You will more effectively drive urgency while effectively establishing your expertise. Convincing the homeowner to work with you is step one, step two is often working with insurance.
More Effectively Work with Insurance
The same features used in selling to homeowners help win more insurance work. Adjusters don’t want iPhone photos of chalk in 2021 – they want an inspection report created with the assistance of the same AI-powered damage detection they use. Leading software companies have introduced artificial intelligence-based damage detection that highlights potential damage of all types on roof photos take from the drone. These are not meant to replace people, but to help them work faster. With damage detection and inspection reports built for the adjuster, that’s exactly what you will be doing – helping adjusters work faster while you win more business.
Scale Your Sales Team
Selling door-to-door remains a staple for roofers everywhere, but how does drone technology help you scale your sales team? The most innovative contractors have built their sales process directly on top of drone technology to maximize the impact and profit of their experienced salespeople. The first point of contact in your sales process should not be your most experienced estimator.
Four Steps to Scaling Your Sales:
- Build a door-to-door sales team offering free drone inspections and reports. Canvass neighborhoods. These can be door-to-door experts or other non-traditional hires that wouldn’t consider a roofing sales job if they had to climb roofs.
- As inspection data is uploaded into the cloud by the canvassers, office staff reviews the inspected roofs and prioritizes homes by damage, then sets follow-up appointments to review the damage with the homeowner.
- Once appointments are set, office staff annotates damage and creates urgency-driving inspection report for the homeowner. Using the measurements recorded from the drone, an estimate of work is also created, or the measurement purchase can be delayed until winning the job is more certain. Using historical weather data, they overlay past storm tracks over the home and match up roof damage using IMGING’s damage detection.
- An experienced sales closer visits the home for the follow-up appointment. Armed with the inspection report and bid, the sales closer signs the customer or engages the insurance carrier as appropriate.
Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing with the invention of the assembly line, but his genius was simple in hindsight. By dividing manufacturing into small repeatable tasks, factory workers could specialize their tasks and thereby increase output. By doing the same with your sales team, you can scale your sales team into a modern assembly line of profit. Does it sound too good to be true? It’s not, many roofing contractors are now regularly inspecting and measuring over 100 roofs a week. Read an example of how one roofing company is already doing this here.
When you first heard about drones in roofing, did you think it was the future of roofing estimates or a fancy toy for photographers? In either case, you were right. The hardware by itself isn’t much more than a camera with propellers, but with the right software – a new world of business improvements comes into view. By adopting drones and the right software solution, your company will climb to new heights and soar above the competition.