When it comes to disaster restoration, some losses are in a league of their own. Hurricanes can tear the roofs off of homes in minutes, and the following floods can wash away entire city blocks and flip residents' realities upside down in an instant. These are monumental challenges, and due to this, many restoration companies see the potential for profit in large-scale losses and want to jump right into it.
The reality is that only those who practice year-long preparation and have adequate training and experience can capitalize on these extreme weather events. Through years of dedicated preparation and hands-on involvement in the field, Mike Allred, Director of CAT at Royal Plus, has become a seasoned veteran in this arena. In an engaging episode of "The Restoration Playbook Podcast," we tapped into Mike’s expertise and learned some of his secret sauce and winning strategies from Royal Plus’ proven playbook.
Relationships: The Oil For Your Business’ Engine
Building a skilled and knowledgeable team topped Mike's list of priorities. Recognizing that no single team member can handle the vast scope of hurricane restoration alone, he emphasized the significance of building strong relationships with reliable vendors, suppliers, and contractors.
"I spend all year working on relationships, whether it's with vendors or suppliers. The whole nine yards. And other contractors! That's probably half my job, it's making sure that I have good relationships with all these people, and resources. And to make sure that we're going to get what we're going to get when we arrive on-site."
The partnerships that Mike builds and maintains ensure that Royal Plus has the resources and support they need to help the communities they serve when major disasters roll in.
Financial Fortitude: A Marathon, Not a Sprint
During the episode, Mike drove home a sobering point: the financial investment required for hurricane restoration is staggering. It's not just a matter of managing cash flow effectively; it's about having adequate backup reserves and maintaining solid relationships with lenders to sustain operations throughout the project.
According to Mike, these jobs can take years to complete, and delays in receiving full payment can extend over years, not just months. Financial preparedness becomes absolutely crucial. But, as Mike stressed, those with the foresight to plan for this level of financial strain can come out on top in an industry that tries its best to beat you down.
Documentation: The Linchpin of Your Organization
Documentation, especially in the form of photos, is an essential step in everything that Royal Plus does. The need for documentation is more than a paper trail for yourself; you need a legal foundation to stand on when managing or disputing insurance claims.
Insurance companies often dispute the submissions of invoices and claims. The ability to present photos and irrefutable evidence of every task, situation, room, or loss is imperative to Mike.
"I just did a college that was just three floors, maybe 20 rooms. I bet we did 100 photos a day just for that."
Mike explained that proper documentation can make or break your business's financial and legal well-being. And while your client is who you legally work for, at the end of the day, failure to maintain proper documentation or adhere to industry best practices can lead to a plethora of legal complications.
To find your footing, Mike recommends seeking consultation for legal contracts, undertaking internal audits, and referencing legal expert Ed Cross’ resources like the Restoration Collections Toolkit or Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Restoration Receivables. These steps provide businesses without prior experience with a solid foundation to understand the legal landscape associated with hurricane restoration.
The Role of KnowHow
In the episode, Mike emphasizes that providing his team with clearly defined processes and company-wide how-to’s is necessary for Royal Plus’ success. They use KnowHow to ensure everyone has access to the latest how-to and are confident they can do things the Royal Plus way.
KnowHow goes beyond providing answers; it plays a central role in training and enhancing job performance. With KnowHow as their guiding compass, every team member is equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to excel in their roles. This fosters a culture of excellence, where every action is backed by proven methods.
If you don’t already have KnowHow or would like to learn more, book a demo with us, and join us as we shape the future of restoration work.
Tomorrow's Success Starts with Today's Preparation
Hurricane restoration is not for the faint of heart. It requires a unique skill set, unparalleled preparation, and a resilient mindset. Many restoration companies may attempt to take on these challenges but find themselves overwhelmed. Those like Royal Plus, who understand hurricane restoration's immense scale and complexity, can truly rise to the occasion. By implementing the strategies and lessons shared by Mike Allred and his team, your businesses can be positioned to provide much-needed support to homeowners, businesses, and communities devastated by these catastrophic storms.