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How Millennial Women Can Reshape the Roofing Industry (II) Time:2021/05/12 14:17:00 Hit:80


the Influence of Millennial Women

Millennials are guilty of bucking traditions and questioning authority. This can appear to others as rebellion or disrespecting the past, but it's actually a strength they bring to the industry. It’s something Elizabeth Calzadilla, CEO of Business 411 in Florida, has used to help enhance the business of more than 350 roofers.

“I’m very open minded and very determined, I’m not stuck in one way of thinking. I’m willing to evolve every day, and that’s something that the youth have today that maybe our older generation (doesn't have)— of course, there’s exceptions to every rule — but they’re more willing to try new things, more willing to care for others,” Calzadilla said.

More and more, roofing companies are learning that everything from digital measurements to new CRM systems are the way of the future, and millennials are more than ready to adopt this technology. After all, it’s the generation that grew up experiencing the jumps from dial-up modems to 5G smartphones, cassette tapes to Spotify, and chat rooms to SnapChat.

“Technology wise, we know more about computer programs and how they work, or we’re quicker about picking it up,” said Lambeth. “My previous job, a lot of the old-school guys do things the old-school way and write it or draw a lot of things by hand, and the younger generation can pick up the programs quicker.”

The flexibility that millennials bring to the table, combined with their familiarity with technology, served the roofing industry well in the COVID-19 pandemic as people had to stay at home and social distance. Companies had to update their processes, such as switching to cloud-based apps, digital signatures for contracts or communicating online, to keep up.

“It brings a new perspective to the older, traditional guys that might fight back a little bit. But they start to see the benefits of using more modern technology while still showing the younger generation you still have this hard-work mentality where you have to work hard and sell these leads and be the best at what you do,” said Kim Loman, account executive with RoofSnap.

Even before the pandemic, women are proving to be effective communicators with customers. Millennials in particular like the idea of building relationships with customers, said DiMercurio, and believes this will be advantageous as more people use virtual interactions in a post-pandemic world.

“I am seeing more wives, mothers that are the decision makers when it comes to any repairs on their homes,” DiMercurio said. “I’m a mom myself, so if I’m going in and I’m working with a customer to sell a roof and their kids are running around, it’s just like home, and I’m going to be right there with them and it’s not going to phase me, and sometimes that speaks volumes to moms.”


Recruiting the Next Generation

The roofing industry has suffered from a workforce shortage long before the pandemic, and will continue to unless it can recruit younger generations. For millennials, a big draw is the mentorship that their superiors can provide.

“They are definitely impressed by people who have worked hard and been successful, but they are definitely irreverent to anything that even suggests some sort of ‘stuck in time’ sense of ‘we have to do things this way because that’s the way it’s been done,’” said Thorp.

One misconception the industry can dispel is that roofing only involves climbing onto roofs and manual labor. The opportunities available to women in roofing are varied, whether it’s sales positions, distribution, ownership and everything in between. Lipniskis started her career as a property and casualty insurance claims adjuster who found work at a roofing company in 2012 thanks to her experience with roof damage claims.

“I absolutely love the roofing industry. Yes, it can be a struggle and defeating at times, but for me the benefits outweigh any challenges,” she said. “A large advantage of being a woman in the roofing industry is that we are a small group, but we are a mighty one. When you see another woman in the industry, you are somehow automatically connected with them and can relate on a deeper level. I feel like we get things done.”

Something near and dear to millennials is not only doing good work, but doing good in the world. Showing that roofing is essential and helps people live better lives, or supporting charities or community service projects, goes a long way to speaking to millennials searching for a career.

“Millennials in particular are used to being another number or dollar sign to big corporations, as we've seen with the encouragement to shop local and support small businesses,” said Loman. “There is a larger emphasis on emotions with this generation, and feeling like a valued member of society.”

Part of the solution is to not only attract millennial women, but women of color. Calzadilla said one way the industry can do this is for companies to highlight hard workers from all walks of life.

“There’s people like myself, I’m Latina, who are already winning and not using anything as a disadvantage,” she said. “If we show their success, it will attract more people.”

Of course, there is a universal incentive that speaks to millennials: making enough money to pay for a home and/or student loans. Laizure said the financial freedom that roofing offers was a key factor, but like other millennials, appreciates how valuable roofing is to others.

“During a summer break from college, I decided to ride along with my dad, who was a sales manager for a general contractor, to make some extra money. I quickly realized that you can help people while also making your financial dreams come true,” Laizure said.



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