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An Exclusive Conversation with Naomi Gasson, CEO of Georgia Roof Advisors.

Discover the story behind Georgia Roof Advisors in an exclusive interview with owner Naomi Gasson. From humble beginnings to triumphs and challenges, Naomi shares the journey of her cherished company. Watch the video and explore the interview script in this post. Enjoy!

Keren Herrera

It is an honor to introduce my guest, Naomi Gasson, from Georgia Roof Advisors in Marietta, GA. So welcome to the show, Naomi. Thank you. I'm so glad you're here. Thank you so much. Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started.

And what you do?

Naomi Gasson

Sure. To start off, my husband and I bought the business in 2009.

It has been going since 2009, and since we've bought the business, we've made a lot of changes. We started as insurance specialists, ensuring we had the necessary coverage. Now, our business model has evolved significantly. We offer a comprehensive range of services, including repairs, maintenance, and replacements. We've adapted.

Our logo quite a lot and it's repair, replace, maintain and that's talking about the longevity and the investment in a roof and how we can get a lot more from it.

Keren Herrera

I love that. It's kind of like your slogan.

Naomi Gasson

Right.

Keren Herrera

You acquired it in 2016, you said?

Naomi Gasson

Yes, my husband and I wanted to move to America, live that American dream. It's fantastic weather that you have here compared to England and in order to do so, we had to get a visa. We worked on investment visa, so we had to buy a business.

We chose roofing very different in the UK, we put slates on the roofs. It lasts hundreds of years compared to here, which you know, we can, we can actually repair, and we can replace the roof in one day. So very different business model we my husband's an accountant by trade. And I just finished my MBA. So being able to work in a small business. And see all the moving parts has been valuable.

Keren Herrera

That's awesome. Did you guys do roofing in the UK?

Naomi Gasson

No. We've both worked corporate, and it's been very different experience, very different pace and just seeing everything how it works together is, is really rewarding.

Keren Herrera

Yeah. And how did you choose roofing? Like, how did everything out there?

Naomi Gasson

Well, we looked at a laundry mat and decided that didn't sound so exciting. We looked at gas stations and thought that might be a little dangerous and then, you know, we've noticed that in the US, there's a lot of small restaurants.

And we felt that moving here with a small child, she would be at school and then coming home and we would be moving into our shift of work. It wasn't so family friendly. And then the opportunity came up for a roofing business that came up for sale. And here we are. My husband came out, had a look at the business before we bought it.

And what's interesting was that the 1st house he went to. We can see from our house right now. We can see from our bedroom window.

Keren Herrera

Yeah, that's amazing. And, you have that one main location in Marietta, GA.

Naomi Gasson

Yeah. we're located off Kennesaw, just off Kennesaw circle right next to the square. It's a great location for us. And you know we've we're originally from Marietta, so that's where the business we used to be Marietta Roofing Advisors.

The owner changed the name before we bought it, but that's always been the hub of the business and my goal is to be five mile famous. We want to be really close to home servicing people in our backyard, being able to support their community and helping those people.

Keren Herrera

Yeah, I love that you touched that on five mile famous as a marketer, I talk about that a lot, especially when it comes to like your Google My Business, if that's where your office is and your location, then you want to target that that local area, so that's awesome. How about how many crews and team members do you have?

Naomi Gasson

We have 4 sales guys. We have a project manager. My husband does all the accounting. I do all the marketing, we've got Darrell, who's does a lot of the training and quality control, and then we have one main crew that we use frequently. We've worked them hard to make sure they have the standards that we have.

And yeah, it works great, and we've got 3 repair guys too, so keep pretty busy.

Keren Herrera

OK. That's awesome. Yeah. You guys have like a repair first mentality. Can you share a little bit of?

Naomi Gasson

Sure. The majority of leaks in a roof are from penetrations in a roof that's often like a pipe boot or a skylight. A roof that's under turn 15 years old can typically be repaired. It doesn't need to be replaced. And coming from the UK, where we have a lot of investment in our recycle.

If we replace a roof that's five years old, that's a lot of waste going into the landfill and doesn't typically need to be done unless it's a huge installation error. Usually, minor problems can be fixed, tightening up the roof and getting more bang for your buck. Who wants to buy a new roof? People want to buy a new kitchen, or a new car so, you know really getting that longevity out of your roof.

See, since we bought the business, we start to see customers come back. We've done a repair for them and then they've come back and said, hey, you told me we'd have couple of years left on our roof. We're ready to buy a new one now. It's really, really rewarding to see those customers coming back to us.

Keren Herrera

Yeah, just nurturing those already existing clients and then they are coming back to you, that's awesome.

Let's see if you could rank the aspects of of your business in order of importance, marketing, sales, finance operations and hiring you know and I know that's a lot, but what would you say is you know the most important?

Naomi Gasson

That is a really difficult question. First thing in my background is marketing. I'm always going to say that you know that the marketing has to come first for the leads to come for the sales to come. However, it really is a team effort. All of those things need to come together.

You can't get, really great sales in and then not be able to do the production side or collect the checks at the end of the day. It really needs to come together as a whole and I'm not sure we can have one more important than the other, if it's almost like the single point of failure, if one of them is not working.

Keren Herrera

Yeah, of course. What has been the most profitable marketing channel for you, have you seen?

Naomi Gasson

I'm starting to say a huge increase in our brand awareness, so I'm starting to see a lot of the calls that are coming through are coming through from people knowing us by brand. The Google My Business compared to the SEO of our website. People are starting to search for us by brand. A lot of that's coming from Facebook.

People are, you know, referring as online. I get really excited in the office when I see a Facebook post and you know, there's several rep people that are customers shouting us out, like, that's really powerful.

There is certainly something to say about networking and having that group of core people that are shouting you out, but also when customers start to shut you up, that's really rewarding for me. So yeah.

Keren Herrera

Yeah. Are you active in the networking groups?

Naomi Gasson

I'm a member for BNI Group and I have been for three years now. I've focused my time and attention on that. I feel that there's a lot of networking groups to go to.

But you really need to focus. I was last year, yes, but that was certainly a step outside of my comfort zone. I don't really like talking in front of people. We have 35 members. I certainly feel that, over the course of the year, I learned a lot. Yeah. I'm now.

Keren Herrera

I think you said you were like president at one point of the BNI right?

Naomi Gasson

I'm now on the membership team committee and that's really, really enjoyable too, because you have such an impact on people renewing. You have an input on people coming into the to, you know, your core group and that group's really, really powerful.

Keren Herrera

This was like my first year joining a BNI, so it's like a closed networking group. I love that aspect of it. So, but that's really awesome that there is like, you know, those Facebook groups out there that you can be active on, and you get tagged and you know, I do feel like, you know, if you can connect with them within the 1st 5 minutes or less.

When it comes to like, a lead, the better you know you have of the chances because it can get so saturated and there is competition out there.

Do you feel like you, you have a lot of competitors in your area? When it comes to roofing.

Naomi Gasson

There are no barriers to entry when it comes to roofing, which is not a good thing. All you need is a business license and a ladder, and you can call yourself a roofer so you know there's certainly a lot of competition. One of things that helps us stand out is that we we're now masterly with GAF and have been since 2009.

And that is GAF, the largest manufacturer of shingles has looked at our business. They make sure that we're licensed and insured, they make sure we have really good reviews, but they also encourage us to do continuous education. We're not just the average roofer, we're pushing forward, making sure that we're educated on new products.

We have our Rep come in every quarter just to come in and talk to us about what's going on and educate.

Keren Herrera

How do you find the right team members? Because you just mentioned a lot of important things like you know, how do you train them, and can you touch a little?

Naomi Gasson

From a sales guy’s point of view, they would come into the business, they have a six-week training program and that is GAF have a pro field.

They must take that test. It is a book of installation, but safety measures, ventilation, everything about a roof that you need to know. So that is step one. Then they go out in the field, and they will. They will shadow, you know, other team members seeing what's happening, we've got a sales manager who will teach them and educate them on the sales process, help them with their mindset, help them with what they're doing in the field, how they can improve. And then we also have a quality control member who provides a lot of education.

Lot of you know if something unusual is happening on a roof, he will. We're all on the same system. We can all see the same photos. He will tag everybody in and say this is what's happening, or I will question like what's going on in this room here and we share a lot of data like that. We're quite a close-knit team and one of our core values is in continuous improvement.

So that continuous education we have until newsletter that we send out and you know so that that also help with bringing people in, some of our guys have brought in their friends to help to work with us as well. We do a quarterly event. We'll go out last month we did the sandbox with the virtual reality. So that was fun. So just building that culture outside of the work of the actual working day, but we're still looking for salespeople. We're still looking to grow our team and grow our company. We're looking for a production manager.

Keren Herrera

Amazing. What are what are your goals for this year with being 2024 New year? Do you have like a word for your team, or you know anything for this quarter that you're looking to achieve?

Naomi Gasson

Personally, I'm trying to bring in 206 leads a month.

Which is sometimes difficult when it comes to roofing. Is weather related so you know in I think November and December we don't have hardly any rain; people don't know their roofs are leaking. One of the goals is firstly to bring in those leaves but also go back to those customers that we've helped in the.

Fast and actually re not reuse those customers but help them further and nurture those leads that we've had. So, you know if we've spent a lot of money on a lead and then we do a repair which is a similar amount for the cost.

Paid for the lead, because we can't charge people more. It's not really fair. Then we're coming back and rehashing those leads.

We came out and saw your roof. It needed a repair. It's getting towards that mark of looking to be replaced and let's talk to them and stop people going back to Google and finding another roofer because we've already done a good job for them and we know they're good customers too.

Keren Herrera

Yeah. So hopefully they're leaving you those Google reviews on there, right?

Naomi Gasson

Right. And I'm hoping my brand awareness is going to overtake my SEO. That is my goal.

Keren Herrera

Do you guys make a lot of video content?

Naomi Gasson

We're starting to do more and more of it, one of the jokes everyone says about me as I'm always branded through and through. So yeah, everywhere I go, I've got my brand on and it's. Yeah, I've also had a swimming costume with my brand on it. It sometimes gets a little silly, but.

Keren Herrera

I love it.

That's awesome. Yeah. I mean, it's working. Brand awareness is huge.

Naomi Gasson

Yeah.

Keren Herrera

And we will link your Facebook and you'll have to tell us how to how to find you. What do you think has been like, you know, the key lessons you've learned through? You said you're probably seven years into the business.

Naomi Gasson

Yes.

Keren Herrera

My gosh, that's exciting. You know, what were some of the key lessons that you've learned throughout this process and the roofing industry?

Naomi Gasson

I think some of the key lessons is construction is construction like you have to remember that it's not always going to go perfectly and that's OK too. It's what you do if it doesn't go right. If a customer calls and says there's a lot of nails, we go back out there and we clean up more. We use commercial magnets to clean up the nails, but on average 14,000 nails come off a roof.

So being able to pick up every single one of them is very difficult. But what we've learned is to educate the customer. We tell them that from the beginning we say, listen, we're going to make a really big noise.

And some customers are really shocked about that. We had a call one saying you're making so much noise and like, well, we can't hammer quietly. You know, the nail guns make a noise. So being upfront about that and you know setting expectations from the very, very beginning, we now have an infographic that we give out when they sign the contract we've extended.

Our reach for, you know, an e-mail that goes out saying your roof is ready and on that e-mail again it reiterates some of the things that they need to be aware of that are their responsibility, making sure they've moved their, you know, their vehicle out of a garage, for example, making sure that they've moved furniture away from house all these things that previously may have tripped us up. We're now going on the back end and setting those expectations and it's really, really helped people appreciate the honesty.

Keren Herrera

Yeah, that is helpful. I feel like that's like a really big project that you're getting done, you know, on your house. I'm sure it's like a Peace of Mind and like, just makes them feel better that you guys have taken an extra step in and doing all that you do in the customer service and the whole experience and the journey.

That's awesome. What would you say to an owner of a roofing company that like, you know, wants to take it to the next level? You know, what would you say not to do, or and maybe some advice?

Naomi Gasson

I think he's constantly looking for those new leads. You know, I really believe that there's longevity in the customer base that you build and you know we can add so much more value to our customers. So yes, we've done a repair on their pipe boot that's leaking, but we don't stop there. We look at the roof as a whole. I don't want to be called back.

Three months later, because another pipe boot is leaking, so have a look at the roof as a whole and make sure that you're doing the right thing for the customer, but also then the educational piece of you know how they can maintain that roof, how they can clean out those gutters because it's all part of the roofing system and how it all works together. We are starting to do a newsletter.

Which is going to go out quarterly and it will touch on some of those points just so that people are aware.

Yeah, and I feel like, you know, you wouldn't buy a car and drive it into the ground and then be like, let's get a new one. And it's the same as a roof. And it's the same with anything that you want to look after. Maintenance is key.

Keren Herrera

Yeah, I love that example. There's, like, lack of education as far as like being a homeowner and what steps you need to take. Do you see a common trend like a people that, you know, they just don't know? Like, what is something that comes across like all the time?

Naomi Gasson

We do have calls where people say my roof only leaks when it rains sometimes.

And what's actually happening is that wind driven rain is coming into the roof. It's saturating the wood underneath and only when that wood is saturated, when it drips into your ceiling. It's actually leaking most of the time. But people aren't aware. I encourage homeowners to go into their attics with a, you know, a flashlight, have a look, if there's any wood that.

Has some dark patches on it or looks like it's starting to, you know, not look as solid as it should.

And then be more reactive, because once it's dripped through the ceiling, it's been absorbed by the insulation then into the ceiling. Now you must get a painter in to paint that ceiling. It's just a lot of work that could be avoided.

Keren Herrera

And so how do you know when? You have you mentioned that you have. People calling you that, maybe you did a repair and now they need a new roof. Like, what are some things that they would look out for that would be like, this is just you can't. You can't repair this. This is you. It's time for a new.

Naomi Gasson

So granular loss is a huge thing. The granules are placed on top of the shingles to protect it from the UV light of the sunshine. When you have a lot of granular loss and you can see that the base of your gutters, so the downspouts, you'll see a lot of granules. When we replaced our roof last year and as I was walking on the deck.  I can feel all the grift of the granule on.

The floor so you know, that's one thing to look out for. The older roof gets the more brittle it is, the harder it is to repair. You can repair most things. But is it the right thing to be doing? So again, that's the educational piece showing homeowners what's on their roof, what's happening and then giving them the right pricing.

Invest you know, $1000 repair right now, but we offer financing and in that $1000 today, by the time you've got a new roof in three years’ time, what's the difference in cost? So providing customers with the options and the educational piece and it depends on what the situation is. We have customers call saying they're selling their house.

They've been told in a home inspection they have to do this, this and this and they don't want to look at anything else on the roof or, you know, someone who is selling a house as is.

Or moving in a couple of years, they may want to get a new roof right now, so the curb appeal of their property is really enhanced. It just depends on different options and you know how people want to spend their money too, because it's an investment.

Keren Herrera

It is and it's always good when you offer financing because it's sure like they don't want to spend all their tax money and getting a new roof. They'd rather go on.

Vacation or something.

Well, so you have a Facebook page, Instagram. Is that where people can follow you, is it?

Naomi Gasson

Yeah, we have TikTok too. We do, we're doing a lot on the YouTube reels now. And next door we're on. So run all the social media and posting regularly.

Keren Herrera

Georgia roof advisors? Is that what it's called? OK. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Naomi. I really appreciate you and learning more about you.

Naomi Gasson

That's correct, yes.

Keren Herrera

Thank you for everything that you're doing. You know, for homeowners and just the hard work and dedication to your business and it's awesome and making an impact. Thank you.

Naomi Gasson

I appreciate it. Thank you.

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