GAF Contractor Outreach Survey 2020

By Aimee Braybrook 04-20-2020
QUICK SHARE
Tag Icon

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has driven marketplace changes that present our contractors with an unprecedented set of business challenges. To learn the extent of those challenges, as well as identify ways GAF can help, the company conducted an online survey from March 24 through March 30.

After reaching out to 1,139 GAF Customer Advisory Panel members, we received 317 responses. We thank everyone who participated. Your feedback is invaluable.

Please note that these results represent a snapshot in time; the environment is changing rapidly, and we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future.

Survey Summary

COVID-19 has impacted the majority of contractors surveyed

  • Nearly 80% of respondents reported cancelling or postponing jobs.
  • Over 70% reported a decrease in new business/leads.

Respondents are adapting their selling process to include:

  • Remote selling
  • Digital tools

Respondents say GAF can help by:

  • Continuing to manufacture product to keep up with demand
  • Advertising
  • Holding online training sessions
  • Establishing open communications

Business Impact

Contractors said they were feeling an impact on both existing and new business. 79% of respondents have cancelled or postponed jobs due to be completed over the next 30 days while 72% have noted decreases in new business (see fig. 1), ranging from a slight decrease to a total stop.

Regulatory impact varies from state to state and has affected contractors' businesses in a wide variety of ways. In Pennsylvania, for example, most roofing projects are not considered essential, and contractors report being effectively shut down for the time being. This has created liquidity issues and some contractors acknowledge they're considering layoffs.

In other areas, contractors have reported virtually no impact — in fact, repair jobs seemed to be the rise.

Those who are shutting down cited two primary reasons: Regulation (they have to) and caution (they're doing so voluntarily, based on concern for their employees).

GAF Study - COVID Impact on Existing Business

Fig.1

Contractors with few jobs on the books through April expected to be hit the hardest. As shown in Fig. 2, contractors with 0 to 15 jobs booked have seen 57% of those jobs cancelled or postponed. Contractors with more than 30 jobs booked, on the other hand, have seen 20% of them cancelled or postponed.

A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generated

Fig.2

Commercial contractors reported feeling the pinch more than residential contractors (Fig. 3), especially in Florida and Texas. The hardest-hit residential contractors work in the states hit hardest by COVID-19, New York and New Jersey.

A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generated

Fig.3

Adapting to the new normal

Most respondents — 76% — said they've been relying more on remote technology such as phone calls, email, and video conferencing to communicate and facilitate sales. They also said they're complying with Social Distancing and safety precautions. And many are implementing strong sanitation practices that may slow the work process.

Of the tools needed most for remote sales, roof reports (75%), estimates (60%), brochures (59%), and samples (52%) took the top four spots.

Many contractors also requested more online training sessions, and help getting the word out that roofers work outdoors and are, in many places, still considered essential workers.

Most are also eliminating face to face meetings, utilizing phone, email and technology to facilitate communication with customers.

How GAF can help

As contractors are seeing first-hand, tools like digital measurement and teleconferencing mean it's both possible — and practical — to sell without entering the customer's home. To help contractors adapt, GAF has pulled together resources and information on digital measurement, video conferencing, virtual training, and more. Programs for GAF factory-certified contractors include digital payments, and even a complete end-to-end digital sales tool called GAF Project. For information on these tools, as well as other GAF remote selling resources, please visit the GAF COVID-19 response page on gaf.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aimee Braybrook joined GAF in July 2015 and leads the GAF Marketing Insights function to bring forward the voice of the customer and support the development of customer driven marketing strategy, experiences and products. She joined GAF with over 15 years of experience in Customer Insights, Marketing Analytics and Process Improvement across several industries including Travel, Manufacturing and Retail.
Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
LATEST UPDATES
If you drive down virtually any residential street in the U.S. or Canada, there's a chance you'll see at least one roof stained with black or dark brown streaks. Many assume the stains on their roof shingles are from mold, mildew, moss, or even tree sap. They're often actually caused by tiny bacteria called Gloeocapsa magma, AKA "blue-green algae". When you see the dark stains, you're not looking at the algae, but at the hard, dark coating it generates to protect itself from damaging UV rays.
When snow and ice are in the forecast, it makes sense to start thinking about safety precautions for your family. Those preparations extend to your home as well—the formation of ice dams on your roof can cause significant damage.
Why Attics Get a Bad Rep Attic's get a bad rep. Hot, unfinished, dark spaces, often hard to access, filled with insulation, ductwork, and old family heirlooms make attics an undesirable space. And scary movies like The Grudge certainly don't make attics any more appealing. What a shame. Perhaps if more people understood the potential that is just waiting to be unveiled, we'd have a very different viewpoint on these underserved spaces.
Your attic needs to breathe. Poor ventilation may lead to excess heat and moisture and potential roof system degradation. The attic ventilation options that are best for your home will vary based on the style of your roof to ensure that each attic space has a balanced system for intake and exhaust. Balanced systems need to draw in fresh air and export hot, moist air.
There's an old saying that it takes a village to support a family. In late October, it took 75 volunteers—including many GAF employees—working together with Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa, Alabama to meet one goal: making a family's dream of homeownership come true. The best part? It took just five days.
The evolving global pandemic and high number of natural disasters over the past year have continued introducing unique challenges to our neighbors, communities, and planet. In the midst of this, we have seen people all over the world stepping up to the plate to care for one another in new and creative ways. As we look back on 2021, we are touched by the impact we see others having and proud of what we've been able to impact ourselves.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.