How Hail Trace Can Help You Predict Storms And Prospect For CustomersOliver Olinger, Writer
Hail damages thousands of roofs each year, causing billions of dollars in insurance claims. But its effects aren’t always immediately visible, and homeowners may not realize the extent of the problem unless they spot an obvious leak.
What if contractors could anticipate where the damage would be? The faster they get on-site, the better chance they have of landing the work.
Roofing contractors have several ways to track down potential customers with storm or hail-damaged roofs — including weather consulting and forensics company Hail Trace.
Atlas Roofing has partnered with Hail Trace, which provides up-to-the-minute weather alerts, to teach contractors the best way to use the company’s data to secure more business after a storm.
Roofers have traditionally had to wait and react to weather situations after the fact, says Hail Trace CEO Derik Kline, but they can also use data to prepare beforehand.
Hail Trace combines data analytics with professional meteorological expertise to predict the damage, duration and coverage of hailstorms. In fact, Hail Trace is the only company of its kind to have a professional meteorologist on staff. This allows the company to validate its findings and stand behind its work.
Contractors who have a Hail Trace account can log in to the company’s website or mobile app to keep track of existing clients, prospect for new clients and create valuable marketing plans based on storm data.
“We don’t know when it’s going to hail,” Kline explains. “There’s a chance of hail today, but we don’t know exactly where that hailstorm’s going to hit. Nobody knows that information. But we do know that in the U.S., there are going to be a lot of hailstorms. It’s just part of the weather patterns here. [Contractors] think they can’t prepare for what’s going to happen, but they really can.”
Track The Storm
Kline says that checking out other options for tracking extreme weather can also help contractors find areas impacted by hail. For example:
- NOAA | The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) free Storm Prediction Center calculates potential hailstorm-affected areas based on radar algorithms and input from users. Almost entirely automated, NOAA’s predictions are timely and regularly updated. Using the map data, roofers can target neighborhoods subject to hail.
- Social Media | After a storm, people can’t resist posting photos of hail or related weather damage on social media. Scanning the major social platforms lets roofers identify potential customers.
Pinpoint The Damages
Keeping track of social media is part of the service offered by Hail Trace. Its staff of professional meteorologists analyze storms in several ways, using social posts as well as storm and radar data, storm histories and other crucial variables to provide accurate and timely hail information for contractors. Real-world expertise combined with algorithms provides more reliable information than either data or anecdotes alone, Kline says.
Storm history is also particularly essential for contractors, he adds. A recently hit area is likely to have more new roofs — and new roofs fare better in extreme weather than older ones, which can mean less opportunity for roofers.
“Even if [a] hailstorm was at 2 a.m.,” he explains, “your customers now have an email from you, so when [another roofer] shows up tomorrow morning knocking on their door, they’re not going to go with that other company because they know you are coming out to do an inspection on their house.”
Contractors who analyze the data and set up a process in advance can be ready to act immediately after a storm, Kline says. He advises contractors to:
- Have your storm messaging and marketing materials ready to go.
- Make a list of areas and customers who might be affected by a hailstorm.
- Email existing customers to say you’re scheduling inspections.
- Call or text customers when you’re in the neighborhood doing inspections — even if they haven’t scheduled one yet.
- Contact neighboring homeowners.
The most effective strategy for landing jobs after a storm is to be ready before the first hailstone drops.
For more articles about hail and the damage it can cause, visit AsphaltLife.AtlasRoofing.com. Plus, visit AtlasRoofing.com to learn about Atlas StormMaster® shingles with Core4™ Enhanced Polymer Technology, which carry a UL 2218 Class 4 impact rating.
About Hail Trace
Hail Trace is the No. 1 weather-consulting business in the industry, excelling in weather forensics. Its team of four meteorology experts analyze every hailstorm across the country, then develop hail maps showing the size of hail, duration of hail, number of homes impacted, and wind speed and direction. Its CEO, Derik Kline, is a self-described weather nerd. He has been fascinated by severe weather since he was a child. A true Oklahoman, Derik went on his first storm chase at the age of 16. As the owner of Hail Trace, he carries that same passion into every interaction and is focused on bringing the best products and customer service to the restoration world.