Following a massive storm, these tips will help you survive and thrive when handling challenging storm remediation projects—whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned veteran.
That First Impression
The first order of business following a storm is to promptly get your company name out in the community to affected residents and businesses. Start by deploying teams to distribute as many door hangers as possible. The hangers should direct homeowners to either a professional and informative website or social media platform.
The team should be professional and dressed in apparel with your company logo, prepared to answer questions about the quality of their company, the restoration process and timing, and to refer questions they cannot answer to someone who can.
Knowledge is Power
Following a storm, homeowners are very stressed. Few will be knowledgeable about the contracting business or the insurance industry. Also, if you are working in a market that is new to you, some homeowners may be wary about out of town contractors.
Your sales force can overcome these obstacles by emphasizing your businesses’ core values and ethical standards, reinforced by customer references. This is your company’s opportunity to educate homeowners on what to look for in a quality contractor.
Navigating the Insurance Maze
The guidance your company provides in dealing with insurance companies can solidify your relationship with the homeowner explains Jeremy Toubl of Toubl Contracting in Beloit, Wis. Toubl points out that his sales people work with both the homeowner and the insurance adjuster.
According to Larry Gebhart, owner of Ridge Top Exteriors in Madison, Wis., being an advocate with the insurance companies and making sure the adjuster didn’t miss anything creates a comfortable relationship with the homeowner.
The Juggling Act
Once a storm hits, things have to happen very fast to handle scores of homeowners clamoring for repairs.
Right after the storm, send out crews to take care of immediate needs such as putting a tarp over holes or repairing roofs.
Throughout this hectic time, your job is to be a coach – coordinate your crew’s activity, make sure supplies are available and even counsel people through difficulties in the wake of such stress. And at a time like this, keeping up with the paperwork is important.
Suppliers Are Your Lifeline
“If you visit some suppliers, you’ll quickly see they are a mess,” says Toubl.
With so many contractors and crews needing supplies, long lines will often form in stores. It is ideal to work with a supplier who will keep things moving and enable you to spend more time on the job.
“When I’m working a new market, the local ABC Supply location knows what kind of siding and shingles are on the h
omes in the area. I like that they are proactive,” notes Toubl. “Right after a storm hits, I will get a call from them asking what I need. You can’t beat that kind of relationship.”
Gebhart agrees. “We’ve come to rely on ABC Supply for the past eight years. We bleed ABC red, white and blue.”