How to Hire the Best Receptionist for Your Roofing Company

Sean Lund-Brown

How many phone calls and messages do you miss while you’re working on roofing jobs? Or do you have your workers fielding calls and messages for you, in between their work? Whether you’ve got a physical office or just a company that you operate from your home office, having an assistant or receptionist will benefit your business in several different ways. 

Whether you’re just starting or you’ve got a company that’s been doing roofing for several years, you should have someone who is dedicated to handling all the front lines of communication and the day-to-day admin tasks that come with running a roofing business. It’s a lot to take on and when you’re also doing the roofing, it’s just too much for one person to handle. Someone is going to get shafted when it comes to quality of service, but you can avoid it by having a receptionist available. 

Some people think that if they don’t have a physical office, they don’t need a receptionist. The fact of the matter, however, is that this is all the more reason to hire someone to field phone calls and handle other needs. Today’s audience demands readily available service and support, and they expect a person to be available when they call or otherwise contact your company. Virtual receptionists and the Internet are making it easy for everyone to afford these services, too, so cross that worry off your list right now. 

A receptionist can assist your roofing company by:

  • Taking calls from new leads and explaining services
  • Setting up estimates and consultations for roofing jobs
  • Providing people with quotes, copies of estimates, etc. 
  • Scheduling and managing roofing jobs, including the finances involved
  • Taking payments and sending payment reminders to clients
  • Setting up contractors and other services (dumpster rental, equipment rental, etc.)
  • Providing proof of licensing and insurance to clients and others
  • Keeping your licenses, insurance, permits, and other legal documents and affairs in order so that your roofing company is compliant with the law

As you can see, a receptionist can deliver a lot of different solutions for your company. And keep in mind that this is an investment in your business, not just an expense. While it will cost you some money, it will also garner a significant return on your investment when you do it properly. Imagine if you had a receptionist fielding calls and chats so that you could focus solely on your in-person consults and jobs and only be bothered if there’s an urgent need for your specific assistance or input. 

When you have the right people in the right places, your business is primed to expand on its own simply because you’re doing things right. So, let’s talk more about how to make the best investment in your receptionist. 


What’s it going to cost?


Ok, we know, you have a budget to deal with. You’ve also got a business that needs you to invest in the right resources. So, while we will go over some of the details involved in the cost of hiring a receptionist, we caution you against basing your decision solely on this factor. 

Right now, the average receptionist in the United States earns about $11-$14, with those who have more experience or special expertise earning toward the higher end of the range. Some receptionists will earn closer to $10 per hour in small companies, as administrative assistants with fewer duties, or in areas where the cost of living and incomes are lower. 

You’ll also want to factor in the money involved in sourcing, hiring, training, and keeping an employee on your payroll. In addition to their salary, you’ll also have to consider any benefits that you provide and the average $4K, give or take, that a company spends per employee to bring someone on board. For several businesses, it still adds up to a worthwhile investment. For others, this might be the point where you realize you will need to consider your other options. 

Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s going on here, you’ll be able to focus on the other (and more important) aspects of this decision. Let’s start with talking further about hiring an employee versus outsourcing services. 


Hiring a receptionist vs. outsourcing 


Your next big concern will be whether you want to outsource to a remote employee or third-party service, or if you’ll hire an employee for the receptionist role. Again, there’s no “right” answer here so much as there is one that’s best for your roofing company. There are several factors that you can consider to help you decide here, including:

  • Whether you need a full-time receptionist in your business. Does your roofing company have a physical office or do you just work out of your home and your truck(s), fielding calls and handling admin tasks on your own time? In this case, outsourcing would be the ideal solution since you don’t have a place for an employee. They might even be able to help organize your business more than you think. 
  • What kind of services you want. One of the perks of choosing a third-party receptionist service is that you can get a team of agents that can deliver a dynamic solution for your roofing company. They can offer a much more effective solution than hiring a single person for the job, but again it might not be right for everyone. 
  • Whether you’re looking for better talent. If you hire locally, you’ll be limited to the people who are available to work for your roofing company. If you choose to outsource and/or hire virtually, you’ll have access to talent across the country and around the world. 
  • If you have time and energy to micromanage a receptionist. In some cases, companies find they can hire someone and train them to be fairly independent and can manage them until that point. In other cases, it might be too time-consuming, or you just might want to avoid the hassle, which is where hiring a team or individual that can self-manage comes in handy. 


These are just a few of the things you’ll want to consider when you are trying to determine how to source your receptionist help. 


The benefits of having a dedicated receptionist


There’s a lot that your roofing company stands to gain from hiring a receptionist to handle administration and communications. Of course, they can answer phone calls, take messages, and forward calls to you when you’re out on the job site. However, the modern receptionist can also do a lot more. Plus, when you choose the right solutions, you’ll be able to collaborate to create the ideal strategy for your needs. 

Having a dedicated receptionist means that you’ll have someone who can:

  • Field and route phone calls 
  • Answer live website chats
  • Respond to emails and other communications
  • Create content and correspondence for the website or marketing campaigns
  • Manage social media, including messaging and interactions
  • Handle organizing the office, including files
  • Manage the physical and virtual office space, including equipment
  • Handle scheduling and lead intake
  • Take emergency service request calls and inquiries for things like disaster-related roof damage and urgent insurance-related estimates
  • Do anything else requested of them

These “Jack-of-all-trades” types are an asset that your roofing company can benefit from, but this is just a glimpse of what they can offer. When you’re checking out the options, make sure that you ask about available services and whether a receptionist can deliver all of the solutions that you need. If they aren’t already capable, they should at least be willing to learn. 

Speaking of what to expect of your receptionist, let’s talk about qualities that you should be keeping an eye out for. 


Qualities to look for in a roofing receptionist


The biggest part of getting the right person for the job is making sure that they have the skills and qualities that you need in someone that will essentially be the face of your roofing company. Keep in mind that they’ll often be the first impression of your business for prospective clients and other visitors, so you’ll want to ensure that they have the right skills (and personality) for the job. 

Make sure that you choose a receptionist that has:

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Active listening skills
  • Multitasking and organizational skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Some knowledge of the roofing industry or the ability to learn
  • A friendly, personable demeanor
  • Professional courtesy
  • Motivation and a self-starter attitude 
  • The ability to switch gears quickly 
  • High emotional intelligence 
  • Patience and eagerness to learn new skills


As you can see, very few of these have much to do with the actual tasks they’ll be doing on the job, but you can teach things like software literacy and the mission of your company. You can’t teach someone how to be a good fit for a customer-facing role like this. They either have it, or they don’t. Stick with the ones that have it if you want to give your visitors the best service and support. 


Hiring Q&A


We covered a lot of information already, but hopefully, it’s been fairly easy to digest. If you’ve been taking notes, you should have a pretty good idea of how to start your search for the best receptionist for your roofing company. To wrap things up, we’ll cover some of the most common FAQs related to hiring a receptionist. 


When should I hire a receptionist?

If you’re asking this question, it’s probably due time to look for a little help. There are plenty of places where you can find assistance today, including outsourcing to a third-party service for a handful of solutions or even a full-service receptionist plan. If you feel that you are missing important calls and communications or that your front office could be more organized (either physically or virtually), a receptionist is a great choice. 


What’s a virtual receptionist?

A virtual receptionist functions similarly to an in-office receptionist. However, they work from a remote setting, such as a home office, or the office of a third-party receptionist service. Virtual receptionists can field phone calls and messages, schedule appointments and meetings, integrate with your software to keep you apprised, and so much more. Plus, they cost a fraction of a salaried employee and they offer a lot more for your money, in most cases. 


Should my receptionist have roofing experience?

Experience is always going to work to your advantage. However, it’s not an essential part. Receptionist skills are more valuable than roofing knowledge. You can teach people that stuff, and the best receptionists will always be willing to learn. You can also choose a professional receptionist service that’s capable of handling all kinds of industries. However, don’t let their knowledge of roofing specifically make or break your decision. 


What if I don’t have an office for a receptionist to work from?

This is where hiring a virtual receptionist or outsourcing to a remote worker could be the ideal situation. Technology has made it easier than ever to find the solutions that you need. You can still hire an employee that is part of your payroll but do so on a remote basis. Then, they can work out of their home office (or wherever they’d like) and still deliver. You alternatively could hire a third-party receptionist service or outsource to a remote worker, who will also work from a remote office they provide themselves. 


Get more from your admin and communications when you partner with Smith.ai 


If you’re looking for someone to handle the calls, messages, and other to-dos while you’re actually out on the job or making sales calls, you have a few different options. A partnership with the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai is one of the best. Not only will you get the help that you need, but you’ll also get a dynamic strategy and a team of agents to take care of everything so that you can focus your efforts elsewhere. 

Our receptionists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist with answering calls, handling live website chats, fielding SMS messages and Facebook messages, and more. We can even assist with scheduling and payment collection, lead intake, and other admin tasks, and help you create a custom strategy to handle it all. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to find out how the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can help your roofing company’s communications and service. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 


Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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