By Colin Sheehan.
RoofersCoffeeShop® is proud to award our October Roofer of the Month to Guardian Home Services located in Auburn, Washington. Owners Matt and Lori Swanson have a combined experience of 60 years in the roofing business, and sat down with RCS Podcast Producer Megan Ellsworth to discuss how they have been able to go above and beyond for every customer in a full-service company.
Lori kicked off the conversation by detailing her experience helping her father, a roofing contractor, with his business. From him, she learned the basics of safety, quality installation and most importantly, how to treat customers right.
“I worked on the roof and in the business all through high school and college. After college, I was heavily recruited by my father to work full-time in his business, which I didn't think I was going to do but it's been a wonderful experience,” said Lori. “I’ve learned so much and this industry is so awesome and such a community.”
Growing up, Matt didn’t think he’d end up in the trades. He put himself through college graduating with a finance degree and, working as a stock broker for a few years afterwards. It was during this period of his life that he realized he wanted to take a different path.
“Frankly, I just didn't like it. I wasn't really feeling like I was helping people,” said Matt.
In 2005, Lori and Matt started their own residential company, Guardian Roofing. At the time, just a few years before the recession, Lori and Matt faced a lot of competition from large companies who had already taken up significant market space. In order to differentiate themselves and generate business, Lori and Matt decided to adopt a “client for life” mentality. Now with an employee base of 92 people, the business owners are proud of their company and credit its success to their customer-centric model.
“We adopted the client for life mentality. What we would do is take all the things that no one wanted to do, which meant repair and maintain roofs, with the hopes that we would plant those seeds and grow roof replacement clients in the future,” said Lori. “At that particular time in 2005, we were really the only company that developed [this model] and worked at it. That's because the bigger companies in the area would overlook those not-so-great leads that were, ‘We need this little repair,’ or, ‘We have a leak.’ And we were like, ‘We're hungry, we'll take those.’”
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Colin Sheehan is a reporter, videographer and video editor at RoofersCoffeeShop®. He graduated with a B.A. in English with a Film Emphasis from the University of Colorado in Denver. Colin is a storyteller, musician and loves long hikes and camping in the Colorado mountains.