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Latinos: The New Roofing Customer to Capture

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

By Rachelle Antoine & Charlie Echeverry

In an industry where 30% of US contractors, 50% of US workers and 70% of US homeowner growth comes from the Latino market, one thing is certain: Latinos are a business growth opportunity for everyone in roofing.

At Owens Corning, we want to best understand the emerging Latino market not only to capture this new roofing customer but to continue our leadership position in the roofing industry. We partnered with Black//Brown to use deep data and insights to develop a culture-forward strategy that could help us reach and serve Latino contractors, installers and homeowners authentically.

Together we fielded a comprehensive custom study exploring the behaviors, drivers and other psychographics of Latino contractors and homeowners.

Here are the top 10 insights and tips applying to each.

Latino Contractors

1. There’s a 70% higher likelihood of Latino contractors nationwide purchasing materials at retail. Latino contractors feel that distributors don't cater to them so they don’t feel comfortable dealing with them. Retail stores, on the other hand, are very accessible and contractors already know how to navigate this environment. It’s a huge opportunity for distributors to bridge the gap and better serve the Latino contractor market. How intuitive would it be for a Latino contractor to navigate your distribution center?

2. Building relationships & community are psychological drivers for Latinos, and this is evident in that Latino contractors (+66%) are heavy social media users compared to non-Latino contractors. They especially love meeting people from the manufacturer’s side which explains why there is a big trade show over-index (+266%) with Latino contractors over non-Latino contractors. Do you have a booth with Latino programming at a trade show this quarter?

3. Most Latino contractors are fully bilingual. However, both Latino and non-Latino contractors consider Spanish-language support and materials as useful. When asked to indicate how useful specific materials would be in their business and day-to-day operations, 76% of contractors said English-language classes for roofers would be beneficial and 78% said a Spanish-speaking product support phone line would be useful. Are you helping Latino contractors educate their crews and connect with your brand?

4. For Latinos, aesthetics play an outsized role in product selection. When asked to explain why they preferred their favorite brand of shingles, 53% of Latino contractors said that it had the colors and textures their customers prefer. Good value, durability, ease of installation and brand reputation are also important for Latino contractors. What new opportunities based on product aesthetics can your brand pursue?

5. Latino contractors are commonly newer to the game which means they have less entrepreneurial experience than other established players in the industry. They also tend to have smaller teams and report a lack of time as a growth barrier. Does your brand help Latino contractors optimize the in-home selling experience by equipping them with the technology, tools and materials they specifically need to nurture leads and close more sales?

Latino Homeowners

6. Latinos will comprise 70% of home ownership growth from 2020-2040. And 1 in 3 Latinos is in prime home buying age. But Latino homeowners are not being served by the majority of contractors: Nearly half of contractors (47%) don't believe that servicing Latino homebuyers is particularly important to the future of their business. How can your brand help contractors, distributors and other partners optimize their strategy for this demand opportunity?

7. Latinos are generally first-time buyers who care more about appearance & adding value. 45% stated the reason they were replacing their roof was for beautification and value-adding, especially among younger Latinos as well as less acculturated Latino homeowners. Additionally, 52% of Latinos say color is a key factor when choosing a roofing brand. What resources can your brand offer to tap into these drivers?

8. Latinos are hands-on with the installation of a new roof. There are simply “less degrees of separation” between homeowner & roofer in the Latino community. Nearly 7 out of 10 Latinos had some level of direct involvement in the installation of their new roof. A whopping 34% said they were on the roof most of the time helping! This is especially true for younger Latinos as well as less acculturated Latinos. How can you involve the Latino homeowner every step of the way in the process to capitalize on this behavior?

9. Latino homeowners are financially leveraged but determined. 54% of Latino homeowners use their own funds to pay for a roof. And on average, Latino Homeowners use more financial instruments/vehicles to fund the purchase of a new roof. Does your brand offer, and market, a variety of payment and financing options to help close more leads with Latino homeowners?

10. Latina homeowners may be the secret weapon to win the Latino homeowner market. They over-index on asking for expert advice and have an enormous say on the brand that will be on their roofs. Does your brand and process speak to these women directly and involve them in the decision-making process?

Capturing Latino contractors and homeowners is a game changer. But jump-starting this new revenue engine goes well beyond translating collateral or showing Latinos in marketing materials. It begins by thinking about this market further up the value chain.

With every new strategy or product it is key to ask: How will we position this for Latino contractors and homeowners to accelerate our market advantage?

Rachelle Antoine leads Contractor Growth at Owens Corning.

Charlie Echeverry is Managing Director at Black//Brown, a strategic advisory that builds Go-To-Market strategies that move diversity up the value chain to accelerate business & drive growth.

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