It rained all weekend in Atlanta. As the joke goes, "Great weather if you're in Seattle." Goodness knows we needed the rain in North GA and we're thankful for all we can get. The cloud in my silver lining is a roof leak. Not a big blue tarp kind of leak, but one that's caused a softball-sized drywall stain.
Having grown up in this area and having been a community banker here for 21 years, you'd think I'd know a roofer personally. Unfortunately that's not the case.
I started at 8:05 this morning by calling two of my customers, a construction contractor and an owner of a disaster recovery company, requesting personal referrals. It's now 11 AM and I'm still waiting on return calls from the roofers each guy recommended. Both customers were somewhat reluctant with their recommendations, each ending their statements with variations of "I've used these guys before, but don't forget, they're roofers, so I really can't guarantee it'll be done right."
Oh, joy, oh happy day.
After a 2nd cup of brain-clearing coffee, I next tried Atlanta Home Reports, a construction industry referral / rating service to which I've subscribed for the past 3 years, with great success. Tradesmen aren't allowed a listing unless multiple satisfied homeowners recommend them for membership. Given my prior experience with roofers and my customers' nervous disclaimers, I was surprised to find that Home Reports even had a "Roofer" category.
By human nature I started with the company at the top of the list. My call was answered by a nice lady who was obviously employed by an Answering Service. She promised to have someone return my call. Same situation for call #2.
Roofers have banker's hours.
Call #3 was answered by a live employee of the roofing company who happily informed me that they don't service Cherokee County. Apparently 35 miles if too far from Atlanta. As I was ending that call I heard back from the first message. Same story. Is this a gas thing? Maybe they don't know it's not 4 bucks a gallon anymore? I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the other one.
No one would ever (nor should ever have to) go to this much trouble to hire either a reputable Realtor or banker.