Third time was the charm for Paul and Lorelie Shoesmith.
The owners of Oceanside Roofing Ltd. of Parksville recently won a Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island — their first win in three nominations in a row.
The award is given to businesses on the Island that make “an exemplary commitment to honest and ethical business practices and consumer service excellence.”
The best part about it, said Paul, is that the award nominations come directly from their customers.
“If people feel you’ve done a good job, they can fill out a form and sent it in to the BBB,” he explained, adding his company has, for the last six-plus years, been giving their customers a job performance questionnaire.
“Almost everybody we work with sends the questionnaire back completed,” Paul said.
He added it’s up to the client to get the BBB Torch award nomination forms.
Paul has been working on roofs for 24 years, spending the last six-and-a-half years in Parksville and area. Prior to that, he learned the trade in North Vancouver, where he and Lorelie met. He said there are a few keys to success in the business — which can often have a bad reputation.
“You’ve got to have good people,” he said, noting his two roofers — Chris and Shawn — have been with him for five years. “I’m sure I wouldn’t have won this award if it hadn’t been for these guys.”
Another key to success, he continued, is being willing to fix problems — when they do come up — promptly and correctly.
“We’re human, we make mistakes. And when we do, we address it quickly. The key is to not let problems fester. Plus, I still gotta see my customers at the grocery store.”
This seems to be working for Oceanside Roofing, as they get most of their work through customer referrals and have been able to keep the business small.
Consistency is another key, Paul added.
“There’s a lot of hit and miss out there with roofers, but the three of us, we’re always here.”
That goes a long way to their credibility, he continued, which is why he takes the Torch award quite seriously.
With frequent scams reported on a variety of work, such as roofing, Paul said people have to do a little homework before they hire anyone.
“There are a lot of fly-by-nighters out there,” he said, “and it’s not fair to legitimate roofers who pay their bills and get their insurance. If a guy can’t pay those bills, they can come in cheaper, but there’s nothing for a customer to go back on if there’s a problem.”
He said the best thing people can do is get a recommendation on a roofer who has done a good job.