This week on The Mobile Alabama Business Podcast, we sit down with Kenny Robinson with Roof Savers. Listen in as we discuss how he left the police force to become a business owner and how Roof Savers is growing like wildfire!
Produced by Blue Fish
Kenny Robinson: I'm Kenny Robinson, and I own Roof Savers LLC.
Marcus Neto: Kenny, it's been good getting to know you over the course of the last week or two, and I'm glad that you're here. So, thank you for joining us.
Kenny Robinson: Absolutely. I'm glad to be here.
Marcus Neto: To get started, normally we like to hear a little bit about the person that we're interviewing, or that we're listening to. Why don't you tell us the story of Kenny. Where are you from? Where'd you go to high school? Did you go to college? Are you married? Just give us some backstory, if you would.
Kenny Robinson: Yeah. I grew up right across the bay in Loxley, Alabama, in a very low income area of Loxley, Alabama. I went to elementary and middle school all over there, and ended up going to Robertsdale High School, where I thought I was something like an athlete. I played sports, and chased girls, and did the things that most guys do. So when it came time to go to college, that wasn't really something I felt was for me at that time. I did not have the focus that I knew I would need to actually take advantage of that. So I forwent that route, and got into the construction industry pretty early, because that's about all you can do without a formal education. Then it just worked into my favor.
I actually ended up going into law enforcement, and I did that. I was a police officer. I spent about 13 years in that profession, part of that as a jailer at the Baldwin County Jail. Then I went on into being a police officer. I got to do a lot of really cool things while I was a police officer. I spent several years on the SWAT team. I was a sniper and a K9, it was so much fun. What led me here is, I've always wanted to own my own business. I've always wanted to do my own thing. I remember having a conversation with a fellow officer one night, when I took a job to leave Orange Beach Police Department.
He told me to come have a talk with him and he said, "Do you think this is what's right for you? You think this is a good idea?" I said, "Absolutely not. But, let me tell you where I'm at. I love it here. I could see myself retiring here and I'm happy. I love the job, and it scares the crap out of me. I can't imagine that this is all I'm going to do with my life. So, I'm taking this other job because it's money today. I know I won't like it, and I know it's going to force me out of my comfort zone so I can start to grow. If I stay here, I'll die here." Which, technically, is not a bad thing. It's a great thing, it's a great profession. It's just for me, at that point in time, didn't feel right. So, I started making moves and ended up on a roofing company now, among some other stuff that we do.
Marcus Neto: No. That's really cool, man. I think you had mentioned that. Just for some backstory, we were supposed to record a week or two ago, and some things happened, we weren't able to do that. Kenny, I just didn't get the phone call out to him. So he ended up showing up at our office, and we ended up talking for a while. I didn't know him. He was telling me a story. It's just a really powerful thing when you think about, you were in a position of service, you're a police officer.
Oftentimes, we think of people that are in those roles, whether it's police officer, firemen, teacher, because of they're serving the community, for whatever reason, they shouldn't make money. But you talked about realizing that, at some point in time, you want to stop having to worry about the financial side of things. You knew that the only way that was going to happen is if you went out and took the risk and started a business.
Kenny Robinson: For sure. For sure. For me, I honestly believe the reason I chose that profession to begin with was because it was something that didn't require a large formal education. It was something that was pretty easy to get into, not a lot of people are wanting to go into that profession these days.
Marcus Neto: Or, you're billed for it too. Nobody's picking a fight with this dude.
Kenny Robinson: So I decided to give it a shot. Once I started, there were a lot of the job that I did not like, which was having to talk to a grown man as if he's a child. I never got used to that. I never felt comfort with that. I'm very anti-confrontational. I don't like confrontation, so that part of it always bothered me a little bit. But for the most part, the job in general was great. I loved it. Like I said, I think I really got started because it had a lot of air conditioning, for one. You spend a lot of time in the car.
Marcus Neto: It's better than swinging a hammer in a certain 10 degree heat.
Kenny Robinson: I showed up. There were no shovels, no post hole diggers, just a nice uniform and a car with air condition. I was like, "I can do this job. This is for me." So, I think there's a little bit of laziness to it. Also, instantly, my family, my friends, everybody around me just treat you with a different level of respect.
Marcus Neto: There's a certain [inaudible 00:05:06].
Kenny Robinson: Now they're like, "Wow, he's actually doing something with his life." I think, across the board, success has nothing to do with money. It's just if you're happy with what you're doing. Early on, I was happy with what I was doing. I was happy with the profession. I had respect, the people around me. So I got very complacent very fast, and absolutely loved what I was doing. It's just when we started having kids, I went through a divorce, I got remarried. I've been with my wife now for seven years. We have two more small children. So we have five kids ranging from a year and a half to 19.
Marcus Neto: Holy cow.
Kenny Robinson: It got to the point, especially when she started talking about having more kids, she was a dispatcher at the sheriff's office, I said, "We're fixing have two parents that work shift, and not even one parent that's in the home stable-
Marcus Neto: Wow.
Kenny Robinson: Every day. I was like, "I don't like the idea of this. Let's find a way to make some more money. Over the next year, we were able to exit, both of us exit that profession.
Marcus Neto: Before we get into some more information about what it is that you currently do, take me back to your first job. Do you remember what that was?
Kenny Robinson: Well, I would have to say, my first job was picking up pecans with my grandfather. As a little kid, he would take us out, and we would do a lot of that very early on. What he would do is, we would pick the pecans, and however much money we made, we could use that money to buy some snacks and bait. Then we would go fishing. But if we didn't go work, and make the money to pay for the trip-
Marcus Neto: There was no fishing.
Kenny Robinson: There was no trip. There was no trip, there was no fishing. Also, my grandfather didn't have an official job. He was like a handyman. He did a lot of odds and ends for people. So I spent a lot of time with him painting, and whatever it was. Then my dad and my uncles, they were all truck drivers back then. So as I got into high school, I had one of my uncles, during spring break and summertime, he would pay me a couple hundred dollars to take these long trips with him over road to help him stay awake. Then when I turned 14 years old, I got my first official job, paying taxes. That was at the Burris Farm Market there in Loxley.
Marcus Neto: Oh, yes. In Loxley, yeah.
Kenny Robinson: Stocking the watermelon bins, and that kind of stuff.
Marcus Neto: I love that place. We used to stop by all the time and get strawberry shortcake à la Mode, I think it was. Or, cobbler. It was a peach cobbler.
Kenny Robinson: Oh, yeah. They had some amazing-
Marcus Neto: There were some amazing desserts there.
Kenny Robinson: Yes they did.
Marcus Neto: Do remember any lessons that you got? Whether it was at Burris, or whether it was picking up pecans with your grandfather, were there any lessons from that, that you still carry with you today?
Kenny Robinson: Oh yeah, absolutely. One of the biggest ones, to this day, I can remember my grandfather, he used to tinker around with boats a little bit. At one point, I remember he was giving back a, I don't remember if it was a propeller or what it was he had had to replace on the engine for somebody. Whenever he gave it to him, I remember my dad making a comment and saying, "I don't understand why he does that. If he would hang onto those, that's brass, he could scrap it and make quite a bit of money." So me being a child, at one point when it happened, I said, "Hey, why don't you keep those and scrap them and make the money?" I remember him looking at me and he said, "Because if you never give a man a reason to question you, he never will." So to me I was like, "Wow."
Marcus Neto: Of course.
Kenny Robinson: "It's not about making a little extra money. He's saying, 'I did this work, you can't see it from the outside, so here's the broken stuff if you want to take it with you.'" So that was a lesson that stuck with me from then on, because my grandfather was very liked and people respected him, and trusted him. So I started seeing those lessons, and the way he handled himself-
Marcus Neto: It shows his character.
Kenny Robinson: And his character, so that stuck with me forever.
Marcus Neto: Man, that is really forever. Yeah. Tell us what you do, Roof Savers. Then also, tell us how you got started in that business.
Kenny Robinson: Man, this is a pretty good story, so I'm going to go ahead and give it to you. Roof Maxx actually uses this story to attract new dealers all across the country. I'm glad that they think enough of it to share it that way. Like I said, I was in law enforcement and my wife was in law enforcement. She was wanting to have more babies, we couldn't afford them, so I started figuring out a way to make more money. What I ultimately came up with is, the only experience I had was law enforcement that was worth anything, so I took a position with a private security company overseas working an explosive dog at the US Embassy in Iraq.
Marcus Neto: You forgot to mention that when you told me the story the other day, so geez [inaudible 00:10:04].
Kenny Robinson: When I decided to do this, I was going to start off at $430 a day. It was six months there, two months home. Each tour that I was to go back, I got a raise. Within three years out I'd been making $765 a day was the top out, and it's mainly tax free. So I did the math on it and I told my wife Macy, "If I take this position and do this for five years, even if we go ahead and start having babies, they'll be younger than five when I'm finished. We can pay our house off, we can be out of debt. I can come back now, finish my law enforcement career. We won't struggle financially, you can leave the sheriff's office."
Marcus Neto: That would completely change everything.
Kenny Robinson: "I can make this work." She was like, "Okay, not a problem." At the exact same time this is going on, unbeknownst to me, a friend of mine who was on shift with me was getting a new roof put on his house, trying to anyway. Ultimately, he couldn't afford it. We had another officer on shift with us who builds houses part-time, and is a roofer. So he said, "Hey, we're going to help this officer get his roof put on. Are interested in coming out and helping us?" I was like, "Well sure, I'll come help you."
The grandfather I spoke about a minute ago was technically my step grandfather. He was married to my grandmother. My actual grandfather was a roofer. A couple uncles were roofers. As a teenager, I did some of that too. But I tried to avoid those days at all cost. I knew, from the beginning, I did not want to be a roofer. But, I had experience, I knew how to do it, I knew what was going on. So I said, "Yeah, I'll be more than happy to help."
So I went over there and, as we were getting there, everybody wasn't there yet. Me and another friend of mine started separating the metal, we were putting a metal roof on it, into piles based on length. We were laying them out so they would go on the house, and my buddy dropped his side of the metal. When he did, it flexed and came out of my hand, and it cut me. I have a scar. Of course, you can't see if you're listening.
Marcus Neto: Oh, my gosh.
Kenny Robinson: But it goes from my knee all the way down into my ankle, and it was really bad. So instead of going and getting it taken care of, I taped it up and I put a sock over it that day, and continued to roof this house. It gets real bad infected, so I'm laid up in bed. The following week is when I was to report to Atlanta to go do my physical agility. Then to Virginia to get my dog, start my training and go overseas. Well I hadn't told the police department yet, because I wasn't a hundred percent certain I was going to pass the physical agility part of it, because I had let myself get out of shape a little bit more than I thought. So, I hadn't told them just yet.
I was safe. I wasn't going to lose my job. But during those three weeks I was laid up in bed, because my leg and ankle was infected real bad, people were calling me. They were saying, "Hey, are you coming back? Are you okay?" I kept saying, "Yeah, I hurt my leg roofing Jamie's house, I'll be fine. I hurt my leg roofing his house." Your cell phone, listening to everything that you say, started showing me roofing advertisements. I saw one on the Roof Maxx product, we all know it, spray on, apply to shingle roofs. It extends a life of shingle roofs. Initially, as soon as I saw it, I was like, "BS, there's nothing you can [inaudible 00:13:21]. Absolutely not."
Marcus Neto: It's a shingle, that doesn't make any sense.
Kenny Robinson: But, for the first time in my life, here I am, laid in bed. There was nothing else good. I had watched all the Tiger Kings, and everything else that was available on Netflix.
Marcus Neto: He finished the internet, folks.
Kenny Robinson: I don't know what the shows were back then. I got to really going down a rabbit hole on this Roof Maxx stuff, and I couldn't find anything negative. I saw that it was designed by Battelle Laboratories, the world's largest research and development company. I got to seeing that a lot of the technical reports they were putting out were actually hosted and done in a lab by the Ohio State University. I was like, "Well man, these are some real names." Ohio State University isn't going to associate themselves with some snake oil product. So I started looking into the opportunity more and more, man.
God works in mysterious ways. About six months before all this started, for absolutely no reason, we decided to put our house on the market, and made a little bit of money, and were getting out of debt and paying some credit card stuff off. For the first time in my life, I had an opportunity, and exactly enough money-to the penny, to get it open and running. Not a penny for marketing, none of that. No idea how we were going to make it work. But we both had full-time jobs, so it didn't matter.
Me and Macy sat down and I said, "With everything that's been happening, me getting hurt and seeing this, I feel like God's pushing us in this direction. I don't know why but I've never felt so strong about something in my life. I think we need to do it." Of course my wife, being as supportive as she is, she said, "Absolutely not, it's a horrible idea." She said, "I'll tell you what though-"
Marcus Neto: It's snake oil.
Kenny Robinson: She said, "I'll tell you what." Her dad, my father-in-law, he's very smart with his money. He does just fine, and he always will. He never made a lot of money annually, but he was so smart with it, he's in a great position now. So she said, "He's not a risk taker. I have a very high risk tolerance, because I grew up broke. I've always been broke. I'm not afraid of going broke."
Marcus Neto: You and I have a lot in common.
Kenny Robinson: I have a high risk tolerance. She didn't. She said, "I tell you what, if you can sell my dad, I'm in." So, before I ever even reached out to corporate, I studied, and studied, and studied. About three days later, I sat down at the kitchen table and made my first Roof Maxx presentation, and sold him on the spot.
Marcus Neto: That's amazing.
Kenny Robinson: Yeah. So I called them and I was like, "I'm probably already your best sales rep. I bet I know more about this than anybody. I had to sell my father-in-law. I think I should become a dealer." Becoming a dealer for Roof Maxx was super simple process. For me, I just wanted to know, does it actually work? So I said, "Do you have a list of people that I can talk to who are actually applying this in the field?" [inaudible 00:16:10]. That's all I care about.
Marcus Neto: Because, you've not said what it actually is.
Kenny Robinson: Roof Maxx is all natural. It's basically soybean oil, with some additives that are designed for it to penetrate the asphalt within an asphalt shingle. It restores the flexibility and pliability. It decreases granular loss. It decreases damage done by hail impact after. I had multiple roofs treated in Baldwin County before Hurricane Sally that survived that hurricane, that neighbors around them did not survive. I had a roof that we treated with Roof Maxx in April before Hurricane Sally hit. They had lost some shingles during a little windstorm. When Hurricane Sally hit, that roof survived, and none of the rest of them on that street did. So it's a pretty amazing product.
Marcus Neto: No, it's really cool. It actually makes sense. We were talking, and just to add to what you were saying, you think through this and it's like, "There's no way this works." But then you remember, "Hey, asphalt is mostly oil."
Kenny Robinson: It is. I used to joke a lot. Macy would say, "How do you think you're going to explain this to people?" I said, "I'm just going to take a little bag of glitter, and when people asked me how it works, I'm going to throw it at them and say, 'Science.'" She looked at me and was like, "That's not going to work. We really have to figure out how to explain this to people." So basically, I started doing a lot of extra research to try to understand why and how it works the way it does. The simplest answer is, at the molecular level, soybean oil and petrochemical oil are almost identical.
Marcus Neto: That's the reason why we use soybeans-
Kenny Robinson: That's right.
Marcus Neto: In cars.
Kenny Robinson: That's right. As asphalt shingles age, and dry out, and become brittle, it's because the petrochemical oil is being baked out of them by the sun. We're able to apply Roof Maxx. It replenishes just like putting moisturizer on your skin, changing the engine oil in your car. Do it, and it's going to last. It'll last longer.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, that's so cool. Well you actually answered, do you remember the first time that you made a sale that you think there might be something to this? So I'm going to skip over that one, because you sold your father-in-law, so you get a pass. But if you were talking to someone that wanted to get started in running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?
Kenny Robinson: The one bit of wisdom I would embark on somebody starting out in business, I always assumed that business owners were these magical people that either were born into that life, or just had an idea and got insanely lucky. The problem is, you don't see anybody's journey. So my advice to anybody looking to get in a business is, the pendulum between success and failure swings awful narrow. If you don't take any risk and you walk in your comfort zone, the pendulum will swing the side of success a little bit. But it's going to go into failure just a little bit, because you keep yourself out of situations where you could fail and have risk.
In order to have success in business, you have to be able to take risks. As far as you're willing to push that pendulum into success, you also have to be ready for it to swing into failure. There's a whole lot of failure that goes with it. There's a lot of days where I've woken up over the past three years and thought, "Why did I even start this? This is crazy. I should have just stayed at the police department." I'll say it on here.
I worked for Fairhope Police Department. It's not a hard police department to work for. The pay is good, the respect is good, and not a lot of stress, man. Now don't get me wrong, you have very intense, high stressful situations that are over pretty quickly, followed by weeks of paperwork. But man, being an entrepreneur, being a business owner, is a daily grind, is a daily struggle. If you lose focus even for a minute on one aspect of the business, you'll see it three, four weeks later. It's crazy.
Marcus Neto: It's funny. It is a feeling that people that aren't business owners will never understand. I oftentimes tell people, "There's no escaping that role for a business owner." When I wake up in the morning, I'm a business owner. When I'm go to sleep at night, and everything in between, I'm a business owner. So what that means is, when I wake up in the morning, oftentimes I'm looking at my phone first thing, even though that's what they tell you not to do. But I'm doing it because I need to make sure that there are no fires that I need to put out, or nothing that I need to disperse to the team.
It also means, when I'm going out to either lunch or dinner, I'm still representing the company and my position, if you will, in the business community. So there's no getting away from that. It can be very stressful at times. Sometimes you just want to go home and sit in front of the TV and veg, because you don't want to go out and have to deal and be on all the time, and have those eyes on you. It's funny too because Rand, Rand does our audio for these podcasts and helps out in a number of other ways, was talking about just having this feeling like, "Oh, man. I'm just running, running, running." I'm like, "Well welcome to business ownership. Get used to it, because it doesn't ever go away." That feeling never goes away. It's always there.
Kenny Robinson: It never goes away. Even though early on it's very uncomfortable, and it's a dreaded feeling and you hate it, it's addicting too though.
Marcus Neto: I was going to say, "It's just exercise."
Kenny Robinson: It is.
Marcus Neto: You hate it when you get started, but then after a while it's like your body craves it. Owning a business is the exact same thing.
Kenny Robinson: It does.
Marcus Neto: You hate it for a while, but then after a while you're like, "All right. I need my fix."
Kenny Robinson: That's right. Now I have people who have seen our success and asked me questions like, "Man, how much longer you think you'll do it? Are you going to sell? Are you trying to retire young?" I start to think now, I don't think I ever want to retire. Not now. When I was in law enforcement, I was counting the days.
Marcus Neto: Counting down the minutes.
Kenny Robinson: I was like, "I want to get out of this." But now, and it may not be roofing years down the road, whatever the case may be, just being able to build something for yourself and go out there, I'm happier on days that I fail than I was on days that I was making somebody else money, and trying to solve other people's problems.
Marcus Neto: I want you to change your vocabulary.
Kenny Robinson: Okay.
Marcus Neto: You, like many people, associate things that don't go your way with a word, 'failure.' Those are growth experiences.
Kenny Robinson: 100%.
Marcus Neto: I know you know that.
Kenny Robinson: Yep.
Marcus Neto: That was more for the listener because I think, so oftentimes, we view failure as this thing you're not supposed to do. As a business owner, I want to fail. I want fail fast, I want to fail often, and I want to be pushing the envelope. Because when I have those growth moments, as I call them, that means that I'm moving in a direction that's new, and I'm learning things. Hopefully, like you said, with great risk comes great reward. Well, if I'm doing what I should be doing, then there may be a good scenario at the end of that, whatever it is.
Kenny Robinson: Absolutely. Any book I've ever read on business entrepreneurship, they'll tell you the same thing. If you want massive success, you better be ready.
Marcus Neto: For massive-
Kenny Robinson: For a massive failure. It's the only way to achieve it. If you can't start moving in a direction to build something you want to build without failing, you're going to fail a lot. You're going to fail often. So I have my team focus on it. Two things happen to us, blessings or lessons. That's it. That's it.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, for sure. Now, are there any books, podcasts, people, or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?
Kenny Robinson: Man, absolutely. The biggest books that have been most impactful for me are "Think and Grow Rich," and "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Both of those. So now I try to read as much as I can, and most of it is done in the form of Audible. When I'm working out at the gym, in my car, most of the time I'm listening to audio books or a podcast. There are a lot of great podcasts out there. You can listen to Priscilla or Jocko. Ryan Michler has a podcast, "The Order of Man." I really like that one. There are a lot. That stuff I like to listen to. But as far as books go, those two have been the most impactful for me.
Marcus Neto: For those of you that are thinking bestsellers, no, these books are like 50-60 years old or older.
Kenny Robinson: Real old.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, they're really old. There's staples though, from most entrepreneurs. They have some really core things in how you operate, just even as an individual, and how you think.
Kenny Robinson: Yeah. Most of the research that went into "Think and Grow Rich" took place during the time of the Industrial Revolution. Even back before that, they were studying people who had success around the turn of the century.
Marcus Neto: It's interesting to me just how much business is psychology.
Kenny Robinson: Oh, yeah. Without a doubt.
Marcus Neto: Most of it applies to self. It's figuring out how your brain is broken, and fixing that in order to move forward.
Kenny Robinson: It is. In my opinion, a lot of it has to do with controlling the fear. What I've started doing, and I learned this. There's another book actually that was really beneficial to me too, "The Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster." It talks a lot about fear in that book. In that book it talks about, if you are making a decision, and you're making it based on fear, the only real question you should ask yourself is, "Is there a risk of me dying?" If the answer is no, if there's no risk, if you're just walking on a stage in front of people to give a lecture or to speak-
Marcus Neto: Your feelings might get hurt for a little bit.
Kenny Robinson: The fear is just manufactured. Most of the time, it's not even the act that you're fearing, it's the anxiety. You're anticipating the fear that leads to that feeling. If you can learn to train your brain to recognize that and understand that. Now if I get asked to speak somewhere, even if I'm scared, even you inviting me to come here on this podcast. In my mind ,you've been in business a long time, you're super successful, "He's going to ask me a ton of questions-
Marcus Neto: These are real hard.
Kenny Robinson: "That I don't know how to answer. He's going to trip me up and make me look like I'm a fool." All these things, if you allow him, will run through your head. So if you're able to control that fear, and just understand why it happens, then it's easier to push through it. Since then, and since coming to some of those realizations, anytime I have an opportunity to do something, if I feel like I'm afraid to do it, then I volunteer for it instantly. I'm like, "I'm going to do it, just so I can get it over with."
Marcus Neto: You're a junkie, is what you are.
Kenny Robinson: Yeah, man. It is. But, it really is.
Marcus Neto: Yeah. Well I was just going to say, my next question is, if you could explain balance sheets to our audience. If you want to wax poetic about that, and I'm just totally joking because that would strike fear in most business people.
Kenny Robinson: I am not. I can promise you, I am not the one to talk about balance sheets with. Usually I can ask my wife how much money we've lost, so she's got a good handle on.
Marcus Neto: You're better than me.
Kenny Robinson: I'm just a visionary. I'm just out there trying to make things happen.
Marcus Neto: I'll admit, going through Emerging Leaders, which was the class I went through at the Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by them and the Small Business Administration, they talk about finances as part of that. Who knew it was an important part of running your business? But anyway, the one part that I just struggle with is understanding balance sheets. I think I've got it now, but God please don't make me [inaudible 00:28:13]. Profit and loss statements, receivables, got it. I can even meander my way through QuickBooks now. But man, you start talking to me about a balance sheet, and there's just something about it that I'm just like-
Kenny Robinson: To tell you how I would answer that question, if you'd legitimately ask me that question-
Marcus Neto: No, I'm not legitimately asking.
Kenny Robinson: I would say, "Hey, I learned from Henry Ford in the book "Think and Grow Rich." I don't need to know that. I just need to hire somebody who does.
Marcus Neto: Exactly.
Kenny Robinson: As long as I have the right people doing the right things, I don't need to know all that.
Marcus Neto: Your banker will surely tell you if there's something to be concerned about in your balance sheet as well.
Kenny Robinson: Oh, yeah.
Marcus Neto: What is the most important thing that you've learned about running a business?
Kenny Robinson: Don't give up. Don't quit. Every day, you're going to have failure. You're going to have fires that you have to put out, like you talked about earlier. The most important thing is, just don't quit. Don't give up.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, for sure. One more question. How do you like to unwind?
Kenny Robinson: Man, I have five kids. So we don't do a lot of unwinding.
Marcus Neto: Never figured it out.
Kenny Robinson: No, man. I've been very, very blessed. For me, right now, I'm able to unwind as part of business. Through Roof Maxx, Baldwin County, Mobile, Alabama, this is a very special area. We were able to get off to a really fast start. I think a lot of that had to do with people not understanding whether or not the Roof Maxx product, for example, was a snake oil or not. But the fact that we came from law enforcement, we were already respected within the community. People trusted us more to give us an opportunity early on, before it was necessarily proven to be as actually as effective as it is, and we now know for a hundred percent fact.
During those early weeks and months, we had some really big weeks, and some really big months. My wife was able to leave her job after just the first couple weeks of us going down the Roof Maxx path. Through Corporate Roof Maxx, they now fly me several places across the country each year. I speak to large groups of people. I'm now coaching other business owners how to grow their Roof Maxx dealerships. Of course, I built my roofing company, Roof Savers, alongside this business. We were just voted Baldwin County's number one roofing contractor of the year for 2022.
Marcus Neto: Congratulations.
Kenny Robinson: Yeah, appreciate it. I'm now working with some roofing companies on how to incorporate the Roof Maxx and market themselves. We've been blessed with the opportunity to do things the right way. The roofing industry, a lot of your home services industry has got a bad rap for people trying to take advantage of people. A lot of people think they can't trust roofers, and we really want to change that image. So when I unwind, I'm capable of doing it in places all across the country while I'm also getting paid to speak.
Marcus Neto: Sounds like a gig.
Kenny Robinson: Normally, they're two or three days long, so me and my wife have been doing a lot of traveling, a lot of speaking. We're unwinding, we're traveling a lot now, but we're also building our businesses in the process, which is another-
Marcus Neto: That's a magical place to be in.
Kenny Robinson: Magical, magical place to be. It is.
Marcus Neto: I do want to ask you one more question, because I don't want to leave the listener with this question in mind. That is, if Roof Maxx is so amazing, then why Roof Savers?
Kenny Robinson: Because no matter how good Roof Maxx is, it's a maintenance product. If your roof is a candidate, I can treat the roof with Roof Maxx, and give you a five year guarantee. It almost stops the aging process. It decreases your granular loss by half, moving forward. At the end of that five years, if it's still a candidate, we can treat the roof with Roof Maxx again, give you another five year warranty guarantee at that time. If it's not, somebody has to replace that roof. Early on, I didn't do roof replacements. I was just saving roofs. I'm not going to sell somebody something they don't need. I have to be able to sleep at night. Integrity is at the top of the list of our core values within our organization.
Marcus Neto: Your grandfather taught you well.
Kenny Robinson: Absolutely. So if I go out and I look at a roof, and it's not a candidate for Roof Maxx, the roof is just too far gone, some roofs just need to be replaced. I would say 80% of the roofs out there being replaced today don't need to be, they can be saved. But there's that other 20% that do need to be replaced. So I would let people know, "This isn't right for you, it needs to be replaced." They would say, "Well, how much do you charge me for that?" I was like, "Well, I don't do that." They were like, "Well, I wish you would because you're the only honest person that's come over here and talked to me in the last couple months. I would really feel comfortable if you would do it." So we decided, why stop with just helping the people whose roofs need to be saved. I mean there are still roofs that need to be replaced, and we can help these people too.
Marcus Neto: Yeah. No, that's good.
Kenny Robinson: That's why we developed into that, and went full service with it.
Marcus Neto: I appreciate you answering that, guy. I knew the answer, but I wanted to make sure that other people did too, because I didn't want it to seem like there was some conflict of interest. It's not.
Kenny Robinson: Not at all. That's the reason why I named my roofing company when I started it, Roof Savers, because that's what I want to do. My goal is, if you call me, it's not to come to your house and sell you a new roof. It's to come see what you actually need. If we can save this roof, if we can do minor repairs, maintenance, treat the roof with Roof Maxx. If it's a metal roof, maybe it just needs a re-screw and a little bit of a facelift, and it'll be fine for another 10 or 15 years, then why pay all that money to replace the roof?
Now it's a hard concept to get my sales reps to understand, because they can go out and sell a brand new roof and make a lot more money than when we save one. But in our core values at the office, hanging on the wall, one of our core values is extend first, replace last. That's what we do. It's who we are. So we aim to save you money, help you get the most out of your current roof. If I do that for the next 5 or 10 years, if we work together to save you money, keep money in your house, keep this roof on your roof, when that time comes, you're going to trust me that we just need to put a top quality roof on here. It's not going to be the cheapest roof that you can go find, but that's not what we want. We want this roof to make it 30 years, and not 15.
Marcus Neto: It's an investment.
Kenny Robinson: Absolutely.
Marcus Neto: For sure.
Kenny Robinson: Absolutely. So in doing it the way we're doing it, we're building a very solid brand, a very trusted brand. In a short amount of time, we're rank number one in Baldwin County. Hopefully soon, we can have the same title in Mobile County.
Marcus Neto: There you go. No, that's awesome man. Well, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. To wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?
Kenny Robinson: No, not really. I just want to, obviously, thank you again for inviting me and having me on. Main thing I want to do is just spread the word, let people know what we do, how we're able to help. I think this was an amazing opportunity to do just that. So I can't thank you enough for having me.
Marcus Neto: No, I appreciate you coming on. Again, I apologized before, I apologize again. But I'm glad, actually, I didn't call you.
Kenny Robinson: No, I'm actually glad it worked out that way.
Marcus Neto: It actually worked out really well.
Kenny Robinson: Getting to know you and Rick, and I like the way that it worked out.
Marcus Neto: Yeah, I agree. It was meant to be. Well, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me, and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's been great talking with you.
Kenny Robinson: Absolutely. I appreciate it.