How Roofers Can Target the Historic Home Market

installing new charcoal grey roofing shingles on a historic home
Are you looking for better customers? Those who might spend more on their roof, pay on time, and even need regular maintenance and repairs? Some contractors and real estate agents spend their time marketing themselves to the historic home market because these wealthy homeowners make excellent customers. For roofers, capturing some of this business can be a huge advantage. 

It may take a bit of work to get in the door, but historic homes are a great market. These homeowners need high-quality roofers with specific skill sets. They are willing to invest in high-end materials to get the right, accurate look for their property. Due to the old materials they use, they are more likely to need regular repairs from the roofer that they trust. Plus, because their historical home is more vulnerable to moisture than other homes, and they may have treasured historical items inside them, it is easier to sell maintenance packages to these homeowners too. 

If there are enough historical homes in your service area to justify marketing to them, it can be a worthwhile investment. But, once you’ve made up your mind to get their business, how do you target them? Here are some ideas that can help you get some of these valuable customers. 

Develop the Right Skills 

Historic homeowners will be looking to you to provide advice on which roofing materials are best to both protect their homes and keep the look as close to accurate as possible. If you do a quick survey of the historical roofs in your market, you’ll likely notice that many choose high-end asphalt shingles instead of more accurate materials simply because those historical materials don’t offer enough protection to the home. So, you will need to gain the information you need to give advice and help these homeowners make a decision that they (and their historical society) will be happy with.

While many historic homeowners will end up choosing designer asphalt shingles for their roofs, not all will. Some homeowners will insist on adding historically accurate materials and that you use historically accurate methods. You can learn these skills from other roofers who specialize in them, from online guides from authoritative sources, and sometimes from the manufacturers who still make older materials. Here are some of the skills you might consider:

  • Install and repair wood shakes: Wood shakes were a very common roofing material in the past. They require special skills to install. In fact, you may also want to learn to make and stain them. 
  • Install and repair standing seam metal roofing: Metal roofing has been around for a long time, and the earlier systems were called standing seam roofs. They looked quite different from the metal roofs we have today. 
  • Install and repair tile roofs: Many areas of the United States with Spanish influence used clay tile roofing before asphalt shingles were invented. 

You may also want to identify materials from your preferred shingle manufacturers that can serve as alternatives to these materials. 

Work with Local Authorities 

When making repairs and alterations to a historical home, even on the roof, you will likely need permits or some permission from various local authorities. It is a huge pain point for these customers that they have to handle these authorities and get permission to make changes. The smoother you can make that process, the better. 

Developing a strong working relationship with these authorities will help you serve historic homeowners better. It’s even better if you can have your receptionist develop this relationship so that they can submit paperwork to the authorities and get your homeowners the permits that they need faster. Having your receptionist be the point of contact for these officials also saves you time. 

Update Your Website

Once you have the skills to target historic homeowners, you should add that information to your website and existing advertisements. The update may be as simple as adding a line on your homepage about how you can install and repair some historic roof types. But it is often better if you develop a whole page for this purpose. If you can install historically accurate wood shakes, then you might want to develop a whole service page for that. Or, you could consider making a website page specifically about historic homes and how you can meet their roofing needs.

Market to Historic Neighborhoods 

Your website information may not be enough to draw in the historic homeowners. You can advertise to them more directly with a few different marketing techniques:

  • Direct mail: Send out flyers about your services right to the doors of the historic homes in your neighborhood. Sending out flyers is a quick and efficient way to get the word out about your business in the specific neighborhoods where your new skills are in demand. 
  • SEO: Choose keywords that historic homeowners are more likely to search, such as “clay tile roof” or “wood shake roof lifespan” and try to rank for them. 
  • Content marketing: Historic homeowners may be interested in a wide range of niche roofing topics. If you can be the best source of information on those topics, you may get their interest and, more importantly, their trust. 
  • Partnering: You can get involved in large restoration projects by partnering with other businesses that serve the same market. Local carpenters, masons, and even real estate agents may have clients to refer to you. In return, you can refer your own clients to them. 
  • Lawn signs: Once you’ve performed some work in the area, ask your clients to place one of your signs on their lawn for a set period of time. The sign is social proof that will let other people in the neighborhood, who may also own historic homes, know that you’ve worked on their neighbor’s roof. 

Upsell Historic Homeowners 

Once you’re working with a historic homeowner, make the most of the connection. Be sure that you’re offering the high-end upgrades they might be interested in, like copper flashing and skylight installation.

For more help, check out our roofing answering services page to gain customized receptionists to help resolve this issue.


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