MRA Online University offers expert insight to best installing techniques, as well as marketing and sales advice
Unlike asphalt shingle roofers who can operate their business with a truck and a roll of tar paper, metal roofing requires a bit more skill and preparation. Like any growing industry, new products and technologies are always evolving and changing the metal roofing landscape. In order to stay current, and competitive, successful contractors invest time in training and continuing education.
The Metal Roofing Alliance created and launched MRA Online University with this need in mind. It’s a one-stop on-demand portal for contractors and manufacturers to learn many aspects of the metal roofing business. Best of all, it’s included as a benefit for all MRA members — free of charge.
To access these metal roofing education materials, members simply log-in at www.metalroofing.com and click on the MRA Online University button. Once logged in to the education center, members can easily access a variety of video lessons, study guides and presentations on all aspects of the industry, including installation techniques, product demonstrations and marketing.
There are three individual study tracks in the MRA Online University: Metal Roofing Installer; Metal Roofing Business; and Marketing and Sales. Users can choose whether to access all of the modules, or just one or two. The association recruited seasoned metal roofing professionals to teach the curriculum and share their combined knowledge in each component.
Here’s an overview of what’s offered:
Metal Roofing Installer
In this series of lessons, industry experts take students step by step through the basics of metal roofing installation and the finer points of professional installation of all the leading metal roofing systems. Students learn how metal roofing systems work, what choices are made during the design and installation of the various systems and finally, how to get the details right. As a result, this is a great way to begin training new crew members.
For example in Part Two of the Installer Training and Certification Program, Rick Furr from McElroy Metal, Inc., looks at the intended purposes that guide the design of metal roofing systems and walks students through the choices in metal roof system materials, characteristics, components, attachment methods and termination and transition details.
Metal Roofing Business
As industry veterans know, in the metal roofing world there’s more to success than knowing how to bang tin. You’ve got to position your company right, market yourself well, sell your services successfully and price your service profitability. In this series of lessons, successful business operators share real world examples and tips for growing a metal roofing company.
Marketing and Sales
Metal roofing is a premium product that adds more value to a house than asphalt shingles. Therefore, identifying target customers, pricing and selling your services is an important part of the business. In this series of lessons, business owners, successful salespeople and expert marketing consultants explain how you can identify your market, define yourself in the market and reach those customers who are going to pay for a premium product and service. Course topics include: Metal Roofing Top 10, Pricing for Profit, Converting Leads into Sales and much more.
Many of the learning modules are based on MRA’s prior presentations at trade shows, such as METALCON. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for those who may have missed an earlier demonstration to view the content when their schedule permits.
Tom Black, executive director of the MRA and leader of the MRA Online University initiative says, “We encourage our members to use this extraordinary tool to help grow construction knowledge, enhance their career and build a cohesive team. All of these skills are needed to succeed in today’s competitive residential metal roofing market.”
Designed with busy contractors in mind, MRA Online University can be accessed 24/7 and is a perfect tool for training new crew members or as a refresher for seasoned installers. Each lesson includes a quiz to be sure that the material presented was understood by the students.
Proper installation and workmanship is essential to providing the long-lasting durability that makes metal into “Investment Grade Roofing.”
Through MRA Online University, installers can learn from some of the best minds in the industry, without leaving home.
For more information on the MRA, visit www.metalroofing.com.
Bill Hippard is the executive director of the MRA and vice president of sales at Precoat Metals.