Recently started working as a roofing estimator. Am I being paid about right?

Hello! This is my first post here. I’ll try to be to the point.

I was working a deadend job for awhile when I reconnected from someone from my past. He offered me a job working sales for his roofing company that he started a few years ago. I said sure, let’s try it out. Started me off at 7%. I didn’t know anything about roofing. I had to buy a little truck to get started.

I’ve since come into my own pretty well, outselling/matching the other estimators in the company. I’ve been raised to 8%, and only just last week was given a $50 a week gas card.

Went out for a drink with the owner recently, talk of another raise came up. He said very firmly that 8% is the highest he’ll ever pay me, no 8.5% and certainly never going to be no 10% (what I was asking for). Believes 10% is a ripoff for him. Said that all other roofing companies are at about 6-7% and that I’m being very well taken care of. Floated the idea that for any 6 digit commercial jobs I sell should be 5%, but he’ll keep it at 8% for now… Told me to call around if I didn’t believe him.

Today I finally got around to googling what roof estimators make on average. Learned about profit split, such as the 10/50/50 and other similar systems. All news to me! But makes sense. Hard to be motivated to sell small jobs, especially as those are the ones that typically require a lot of my time. I’ve sold 2k repairs that only took the guys two hours to do. But I’d rather go after the big jobs, obviously.

  1. Company provides almost all leads. They’ve wrapped my truck at their cost, so now I’m a mobile billboard. It looks very nice, but I am not being paid for it. “You’re paid by looking more professional, you’ll close more jobs.”
  2. Write my own proposals.
  3. Order materials for delivery if necessary. Not often
  4. Deal with the insurance companies. Still a lot to learn there.
  5. Run materials to the jobs from time to time.
  6. Inspect roof once completed from time to time. Usually roofers take a ton of photos and that suffices.
  7. Collect payment from homeowner sometimes. Usually receptionist takes payment over the phone.

Like I said, my own truck which means constant repairs, until just now my own gas, company provides almost all leads (if I create one, no separate pay plan in place) and sets appointments for me (almost always have me doing back-and-forth driving routes). No insurance or anything like that.

Is this about normal? Any thoughts? Thanks for reading!

edited to tidy up the post a bit

All vehicle, phone, air card, laptop, et al expenses are write offs. Lots of wiggle room there…

Not enough information. What is the percentage figured from? You may be getting hosed but the only way to find out is inquire with other contractors in your area for a job. By the way, just my opinion, going out for a drink and talking pay raise is probably not the best approach for the employer or employees. That should happen at the real office.

Total contract price. 10k sale, $800 commission.

We have a combination of W2 and 1099 Sales Reps. On the average, our Sales People make 15% commissions. That is against job total. The W2 are a hybrid of weekly salary and a modified commission (usually 15/40/60 - depends on their salary) and 1099 are most often 10/50/50. We do all the estimating, supplementing, material ordering and generate insurance and Customer Invoices. When there is a company generated lead, we add 5% to the office costs (from 10/50/50 to 15/50/50).

Sounds like you are being underpaid. I personally prefer the profit related commissions as it encourages the Sales Reps to pursue the higher profit work and control costs. We share in the wins, we share in the losses sort of approach.

10-50/50 is the industry standard.

A profit based percentage and compensation plan, influences the salesperson to pick out the high profit work, leave the rest, and produce a high profit job. Without a profit based pay, you could care less if the job is high-profit or breaks even or not.

Most companies paying flat fees of 7%-10% typically justify the lower percentages based off the fact they produce all your leads, provide company vehicles, company housing, fuel cards, laptops, cell phones, and all sorts of other high-value overhead. Based off your explanation, you’re receiving none of the above mentioned.

If you’re handling the entire claim, dealing with the insurance directly on supplementing and estimating, and on some occasions, ordering material and scheduling, then you’re being greatly underpaid.

On an average $10k job, at 10-50/50, you would typically net about 15-17% of gross so you’re being paid roughly half or less than half of what is now an industry standard.

Authentic-Dad is spot on!!!

We provide all the leads and marketing when we go into a new area, typically to “open neighborhoods” and get a solid baseline of clientele that eventually leads into lots of referral based work, or “self-generated” leads from the sales guys. When we hire someone completely fresh with zero claims experience, we do a tier based compensation plan.

Day 1 $0.00 sales: 14% off the top then a 50/50 split

Once the salesperson has sold at minimum $500k or 30 jobs, we reduce the overhead taken off the top to compensate for the additional work and training required by our staff that is no longer needed.

Once the salesperson sales $750k or 50 jobs, we then reduce the overhead to 10% and a 50/50 split.

We always say “we love stroking checks to salespeople, because that means we technically have stroked a check to ourselves in return”.

Your employer-friend should be more than happy to share the profit.

To be quite honest, it seems you’re being extremely underpaid and if you’re in an area with decent damage and a fairly dense amount of insurance restoration contractors, you will have zero problem finding someone to pay you a 10-50/50 or somewhere around 15-17% of gross once the claim is settled, closed, and final payment has been collected from the insured. Again, based off your explanation, I would be willing to bet you signed an employee compensation/termination agreement??? If so, tread lightly, make informed and well thought out decisions to avoid losing commissions.

Good luck my friend, and welcome to an incredibly lucrative and rewarding profession.

Wow, some fantastic replies here! Thank you guys so much!!

I’m very thankful to have this job, it did at the end of the day get me out of some serious financial trouble at the time.

Some details I left out;
Huge percentage of jobs in my city are tile re-sets with Eagle tiles. Not many shingle jobs. Insurance almost never covers a tile re-set, so most customers pay out of pocket. Modified torchdown job every now and then. Not sure how this could change opinion on compensation?

I just hit 500k in sales this year, starting 7 months ago. Hitting that milestone is what started me on this conversation with the boss and now also this forum.

I’ve started to notice this. I’m also not being properly trained because I’m not being given a breakdown of labor/materials/trash/gas/overhead/misc then profit.

They provide the leads. No vehicle (maintenance on my old truck is killing my bank account), housing, $50 weekly gas card as of now, no laptop, I pay my own cell phone and car insurance.

Nothing was signed except a W4 and very basic application (name, address, work history).

You’re being under paid and the sounds like a pud…

What is a pud? Never heard that before.

You will make more as you go and you learn.
I think you are doing great and knocking it out of the park for only 7 months experience total.
Sales only.
You have succeeded.
You are only going to do better every year that goes by.

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I think you are definitely being underpaid. We pay our guys more than this and their only responsibility is to sign the job. No work after contract is signed.

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So I started useing sales men a year ago

Sales/repair guy

Roof sale. I give 10-12 %

Repair sale if sales guy does the repair I pay 40%

I give gas allowance of 40.00 per week for local guy
55.00 longer range

I supply vehicles cards pay for matience

Everything is on the books

I have to pay comp and vehicle insurance

The way a sales guy can really make money is

To have there own truck and company pays for lettering you handle all gas You have your own comp policy under salesman
Someone like this would get 14-18 %
Repair % 50%

All theese numbers described would be for someone who knows what they are doing not for someone who is new in this field

Thanks for the reply.

Are the leads company generated (customer called) or self generated by the sales guy?

10% of what? 40% of what?

Everything usually comes in through me and then I disperse it out right away so basically I pay for all the advertisements