An Interview with Karina Cristancho of Crown Roofing
Despite the fact that many women are gainfully employed in the roofing industry, the perception remains that roofing is a man’s job. OK. That’s understandable. After all, you don’t often see women wielding a nail gun as they crawl around a rooftop. But more and more members of the fairer sex are giving the boys of roofing a run for their money. Indeed, there is money to be had! The roofing business in the U.S. alone exceeds $30 billion per year. New housing construction is on the rise and the strong economy is making property owners more inclined to replace worn-out roof material.
Of course, roofing, like any other business, involves more than just the process of roof removals and installations. Ask any roofing contractor and they’ll tell you that, to run a profitable business, it takes skills encompassing sales, marketing, and operations. In these respects, no one can argue that women don’t excel! That’s why it’s no surprise women-owned roofing businesses are thriving, like Kruse Roofing and Construction of Ohio and T Johns Roofing & Construction of Oklahoma City.
Recently, iRoofing sat down with Karina Cristancho, for an interview. Karina is an Account Executive with Crown Roofing LLC of Florida, a well-established commercial and residential roofing company with over $100 million in annual revenue. Karina has built a reputation in the roofing industry as an effective sales and marketing leader. She sometimes goes by the alias “Flower Power,” to further heighten her profile in the predominantly male world of roofing!
Karina came to iRoofing Studios for an interview about her work in the industry.
iRoofing: “Thank you, Karina, for coming to talk with us about your experience in the roofing industry. Can you tell us what, if any, challenges you’ve faced being a woman in the roofing business?”
Karina: “Well, you know that the business is comprised of a lot of macho men. I say that in a positive sense. They’re strong, confident guys but they don’t look at women as capable of doing everything they can do. That’s been a challenge, but the hardest part for me was learning everything I could about the roofing industry. My instinct is to dive right into the deep end and soak up information like a sponge. I’m always wanting to learn more and stay on top of industry innovations.”
iRoofing: “How did you come to discover roofing technology and incorporate it into your sales process?”
Karina: “As I learned more and more about how roof reports and estimates are done, I came across a few software solutions. I needed something that would not only help me do accurate takeoffs and project estimates but that would also be a strong selling tool. iRoofing does all that. Then, I set a goal to learn how to maximize the software by attending training sessions with iRoofing. It’s like I said, I try to learn as much as possible so I can achieve as much as possible.”
iRoofing: “Specifically, how has iRoofing’s software made your job a little easier.”
Karina: “Again, I think it’s challenging for a woman in this industry and I just needed to open my mind and open myself up to the fact that people might doubt me because I’m a woman in this business. When you’re able to show others that you’re on top of the game, that you’re using the latest technology, and that you’re able to produce accurate measurements and estimates, you naturally begin to earn respect. It all comes down to doing a great job and contributing to the success of a business. If you’re doing that, others are less inclined to judge you on your gender. But to answer your question, I love the roof simulator in the iRoofing app because I can show a customer exactly how any new roof material is going to look using an actual image of their house. This makes it easier to earn confidence in their investment and come away really satisfied.”
iRoofing: “What do you do that sets yourself apart and helps to drive your success?”
Karina: “I hold the customer’s hand from beginning to end… through the whole entire process. It’s important to educate property owners on all the steps that go into installing a new roof. I help them pick the colors for their new roof and, in general, I show that I care about their property and the quality of the roof work, just as if it was my own home. I have to say that being a woman sets me apart, too!”
iRoofing: “A lot of roofing companies are using technology for measurements and other tasks, but there are many who still have yet to adopt a solution like iRoofing. What do you think is holding them back?
Karina: Well, I myself am not that tech-savvy and when I started my training on the iRoofing app I was nervous about it… This is so millennial. It’s so technical. Oh no, I thought to myself. But it’s so easy to pick up. I just started playing with it… using technology for tasks that would otherwise need me to visit the job site makes things so much more efficient and fun.
Looking up to Women in Roofing!
To find out more about the positive influence women are having on the roofing industry, visit the website for the National Women in Roofing. It’s an organization made up of over 1,200 members. The group provides networking, mentoring, education and recruitment opportunities and welcomes men who support the inclusion of women in the roofing industry.