Robert, once again your professionalism blows my mind in that you find enough time to keep up with all the daily estimates and organizing the scheduling, while keeping such a positive attitude.
Last year 2015 was a great year for us in that we carried a four week backlog of work from early spring to the end of the year. We sure did cash in on lots of systems that came down over a tough winter, just goes to show you that our systems are indeed that more superior and that most inexpensive systems are just that, inexpensive! It’s all about the materials you use, our estimates always include a summary cover letter, and a comparison letter, letting our customers know exactly what to expect when comparing apples to apples, our customers need to know what the differences are, because our educated customer is our best customer! Once again inexpensive bar hangers and hardware eventually lead to problems. We will still use the best materials that money can buy so that we have no issues (call backs, none!). It’s simple, supply our customers the best gutter systems that money can buy, while still being competitive in a very competitive business. Yes, we loose opportunities to our competitors because we cost a few more dollars to install our systems but with no call backs and happy customers, isn’t that what it’s really about? No headaches.
We know that when we complete a job and back out the driveway there is a sense of great satisfaction that the work done was done to the best of our abilities and that we treated each job as it was our own homes. In some cases we found we were challenged weekly with customers that wanted our services, but were looking for a savings or a discount and we for the most part worked the numbers a bit so that both the customer who wanted us to do provide the service felt happy saving a few bucks. In most cases we found customers expediting our estimates as they had two or three others in hand, but heard off us from referrals, the BBB, Angies’ List, Action Unlimited magazine or neighborhood networks of preferred vendors, they read about us, did their homework, compared apples to apples and was then where very happy to receive the estimate only to find out that we were the lowest price! Always a great feeling that we are doing things right and that we have holding our prices for years now.
In summary last year was a blur and then we shut down before Christmas and the winter came, not a crazy year versus last year but gave us some time to heal up and get our heads together and do some other things besides guttering!
As each season starts its 24/7 and then you hit the wall and it comes to a end. Yes, we can work In the cold and freezing temps along with snow. We did have some emergency work to keep us tuned up here and there but winter is really no time to do installs as fascia boards cannot be scrapped, filled and painted and screwing our hardware in fascias and comer boards leads to cracking the wood and this is something we do not like to do, so in most cases we convince the customers to hang in there and wait to spring so that everything can be done to correctly without compromising a customers home.
Now that this 2016 season is upon us and so far it seems as if we might have a early spring, We have ramped up on inventory regarding our heavy duty rated Raytec (297lb!) hidden bar hangers, stainless steel hardware, aluminum strip coils for our reverse flashing (which was a huge hit as most customers are educating themselves on our website and seeing our videos, and know now that leaks behind gutters are not a gutter issue but a roof related issue). This magic piece of custom bend flashing can stop leaks and keep fascia’s dry and keep them from staining (sometime called tiger stripping).
Robert and I have been out doing estimates starting as early February 2016 as the weather allowed us and we found that our reputation has grown and has spread out further beyond our normal territory, in towns such as Woburn, Wilmington, Tewksbury, Billerica, Winchester and Burlington. Also out South into Hudson, Stowe, Bolton, Berlin, Marlboro, Sudbury, Wayland, Southboro, Westboro, Boylston and Shrewsbury.
Where as our wheelhouse is Littleton, Harvard, Acton, Concord, Carlisle, Maynard, Bedford, Boxboro, Westford, Chelmsford, Groton, Ayer, Shirley, Pepperrell, Dunstable, Lunenburg, and Leominster. I’m sure I missed a few that’s why most of the towns we service are at the bottom of our website at http://www.alogutters.com.
We will start to venture out this week as the weather allows us to knock the rust off and get in a few days here and there as the phones are starting to ring and online estimates have been starting to leak in. This is good sign that we could be off to another great season, and I as I spoke before about locations, February 29 we are heading out to Shirley, West Townsend, and back to Ayer, finishing up in Littleton. Then Tuesday March 1st we heading out to Bolton, Concord, and Sudbury. We are also still offering pre booked work with a discount UP TO 10% depending the size and scope of the work to be done.
I’m guessing that within the next few weeks it will almost be back to normal in that we will be cranking 40 hrs plus a week. We look forward to the challenge as we all enjoy the spring and its new opportunities.
Our dedicated and experienced crew of men are also all coming back and we are going to adding another worker to train, a nice green apple that we can take time in training and make sure that it’s done right the first time. We tried other so called experience gutter journeyman, only to find out that they can’t cut it with our extreme care to detail and ensuring that they can cross every t and dot every i. We found out in most cases that they can’t be retrained, they resist because they are accustomed in doing things their way and really can not be broke of bad habits. So a green apple has no experience and or bad habits and within a couple years they are doing things exactly like the pain in the ass or may I say fussy owner, me!
Mike our foreman has been with us for 7 years now, our downspout guy Jon has four years under his belt and our general all around helper Mitch is heading into his third year along with me, who will be 52 years old March 10th and is still on every job cutting gutter and working with crew to ensure that each job is done to the best of our abilities while ensuring to our customers that we were the right company in providing them a lifetime seamless rain control system.
Robert Smiley our estimator is what I consider the best estimator in the business! He courteous, punctual and pays attention to each individual customers requests and does not oversell. He is a very knowledgeable person in that some house are very difficult to provide seamless gutters and has a wealth of knowledge on other options as to getting the job estimated and done correctly, not to mention he has a masters degree from Perdue!
His attention to detail, accompanied with our hand drawn detailed estimates makes our customers feel great in that they now exactly what to expect when the crew and I arrive to do the job. Other than a few downspouts changes or downspout locations that really need to be shown to the customer the day on the install to ensure both function and aesthetics are really the only changes that usually happen.
This makes our job installing seamless gutters and downspouts very easy as we know what to expect and understand exactly what the customer wants. As the owner of the company on each job, working along with the crew to ensure everything is done right brings me great satisfaction.
We are like a fine tuned instrument in that the customers call me, I receive each call as the come in via my Bluetooth (no answering machines!) while I’m actually working, as I talk to the potential customer (almost prequalifying a bit), ask the customer to hold on a few seconds so that I can conference them into office where Robert is waiting for the customer off, so that he can take down all relevant information and schedule a meeting time with the potential customer and get them the estimate they require. Once this is done, the estimate is drawn up, scanned and emailed over to the customer along with our detailed cover letter recap of the meeting and accompanied with our comparison letter.
I always hear from customers that they are surprised that someone picked up the phone call? And that they thought they we going to have to leave a voicemail? As they mention that they are calling other gutter companies for pricing and have not heard back, or had an appointment with the other company that didn’t call back or didn’t show up on the agreed time? I can’t understand the competition in most cases! If you have the opportunity and are lucky enough to be get a phone call, pick it up! It’s a opportunity, what’s wrong with them?
Not us, the customer is happy to talk to a live person, then are impressed that Owner is answering the phone, and then being forwarded into the estimating office so they get the appointment with Robert and get a price!
It’s pretty simple no matter what goes on during the course of the daily grind, when a customer contacts you, you pick up the phone given the opportunity and or return the email within a few minutes! You snooze you lose in this business.
We feel a we have a leg up on our competition in that customer service is simply number one!!!
If the opportunity is handled every time this way, the customer feels as if they are in good hands, it leads to a very great feeling that we do really care, and if we are so prompt in this action that our work MUST reflect this as well, and believe me it does! Pride in a job well done from start to finish is what I have strived for since starting the business 15 years ago, and I’m not going stop.
We are ready to work, ready for estimates, ready to get it done, while installing the very best rain control systems that money can buy.
Please check out our website http://www.alogutters.com for details and please call with any questions and or concerns you may have, regarding budgets, materials, timing, etc. etc. Also check our reviews on Angies’ list and the BBB, see want other customers have said about us. We DO NOT REQUIRE DEPOSITS, as most other companies do, all we expect is payment be made in full after the job is complete.
I’m always available at 508-572-5557 or Robert at 508-308-8366, or if you feel more comfortable with emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We are located in Littleton MA and are fully licensed and insured. We provide certificate of insurance Immediately if you require one and are also happy sending you references. Also please know that we have a great preferred vendor list of other service companies that I have known for years that may help you with other services such as roofers, carpenters, painters, and many other services that we can supply to you if you are new to the area and want trusted sources.
In closing PLEASE remember that early spring bring us opportunities to clean and flush gutter systems, this is a great way to ensure that everything currently is working fine. If there are any problems or issues we can talk about what may need to be done as we are really evaluating the current system as we clean and flush it and can provide an estimate on site for any rework or tendering your current system may have. Who is better suited to do a thorough cleaning, flushing and evaluation of a current gutter system?
The answer is? Us. Alo Seamless Gutters, We are professional gutter installers, and our slogan is we are the rain control authority.
We are not like average cleaning companies who have guys cleaning out leaves just from the gutters and not checking the elbows that connect to the downspouts that bring the water to the ground. Not flushing with water, it’s impossible to ensure checking for leaks in end caps, miters, downspouts, blown out seams on backs of downspouts and downspouts falling off or detaching from gutter outlets etc. etc. They are there for cleaning the leaves from the gutters and really not looking at it that way we look at it, thoroughly!
Maybe it’s time to stop the two cleaning a year? and invest and add our Real gutter guard product if applicable or stop those drips and leaks from behind every gutter with the addition of our custom reverse flashing.
Product Videos are available on both these items as mentioned on our website, just visit main page and you will find Reverse Flashing and Real Gutter guard products in action!
Thanks and we hope to be hearing from you soon.
Sincerely, Joseph L Alo and the rest of the crew at Alo Seamless Gutters.