5 Tips for Selling Designer Shingles

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Many contractors share with us that they are not very comfortable showing premium shingle options to homeowners because they don’t want to lose the sale if they show a higher-priced product. However, presenting more than one shingle option can actually help close sales. In a 2014 survey commissioned by GAF of U.S. roofing contractors, 96% of high-volume* contractor respondents stated that they present more than one shingle, and 8 out of 10 present 3 or more shingles when meeting with homeowners. More than half of the high-volume* contractor respondents said they closed more sales when they presented homeowners with more than one shingle choice. If you are still not sure how to show homeowners different shingle types, here are some tips.

  1. Bring in two shingle boards—one Timberline® Shingle board and one Designer Shingle board. Set the Designer Shingle board by the door or away from the conversation. Talk first about the Timberline® Shingle; more often than not, the homeowner will ask about the other board. This is an easy way to introduce a Designer Shingle option without being pushy about upselling a pricier product.
  2. On the back of a shingle sample board, create a map of the area. Put in pin drops where customers in the area have designer shingles. Then provide the homeowner with a list of addresses so they can drive by a home with a Designer Shingle and see the difference for themselves.
  3. Place an upgrade as a line item on your proposal. Break your proposal down to reflect a Good (for example, a Timberline HD® Shingle), Better (a Value Collection Designer Shingle), and Best (an Ultra-Premium Designer Collection Shingle) offering. Using car references creates an opportunity for dialogue to explain the shingle differences to the homeowner.
  4. Highlight your financing options. Show the monthly payment differences of each shingle option so a homeowner can see that a Designer Shingle may only add a few dollars more per month.
  5. If a homeowner seems concerned about spending the money on a more expensive shingle, explain the benefits a designer shingle can provide. According to a 2013 survey of realtors in the U.S. conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, a new Designer Roof can increase the value of a home by a median of 7%.**

These tips can help you work up the courage to share something different with a homeowner and, ultimately, grow your business.

* High-volume roofing contractors are those who indicated they install 40 or more roofs per year.

** Based on responses by realtor non-appraisers who provided an estimated value increase for a home with a designer shingle roof compared to a home with a basic three-tab shingle roof. 



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  1. Jake White

    I manage a roofing company, and I’m grateful that you have shared these tips with me Liza. It seems effective to to give the customer options, but I hadn’t yet realized the importance of showing the customer houses who already have that type of shingle, so that way they can see the finished project in person. Thanks for sharing these tips with me!

  2. greg

    I usually only show 2 at first, Memphis is not the wealthiest town and i usually gauge by the condition of the house, the car in the driveway and whether it’s an insurance job or someone with a new home. Sometimes, it’s good to show them the high priced items to bring them back to earth or to show options, but if it’s insurance, i hesitate to show them any upgrades as i’ve found it difficult sometimes just to get them to pay for their deductible and if i start telling them they need these better shingles, they decide they deserve them and i’m the one who should pay for them. I know, this is not what you want to hear , but i just want my fellow roofers to be aware ,talk to your customer before hand if possible, ask them questions, like ,do you want to spend any extra money, they will let you know quickly, if they say depends, go for it.


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