Do You Clean It Or Is It Destroyed?

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Sometimes it is painfully obvious that an item is destroyed and you cannot clean it. But for the times that it’s not quite so obvious you really need to apply some common sense here and ask yourself a few questions.

First and foremost you need to know if this item is even something that the homeowner wants to keep. Quite often we hold onto things with the thought that one day we may use them and want to keep them around the house just in case. And when there is a fire in the home suddenly homeowners realize that those things they were holding onto are just collecting dust and not something that they have even been using so they are happy to use the fire damage as a reason to chuck these items in the garbage and call it good. Generally these items may not be logged on the destroyed that goes to the adjuster. But be sure to discuss this with your homeowner and be sure to get them to sign off that the items are not to be logged to the insurance company for payment.

The next thing to think about is the value of the item. And when I say value I don’t just mean monetary but emotional value for the homeowner as well. You need to think about whether or not the item’s value makes cleaning cost prohibitive or if the emotional value makes it a must to restore regardless.

There is a very delicate balance needed here so you keep both your adjuster as well as your homeowner happy with your bottom line results.

Remember to always have your homeowner sign off on all destroyed items before they are disposed of or taken off the premises if possible and get approvals from your adjuster on all electronics or any items over $500.(this may vary depending on your demographics)

Whatever you decide it is very important for the success of the job that you be in constant contact with all parties involved so everyone is on the same page and understanding exactly what is being destroyed and why.

Here is a video from our Youtube Channel that I thought you may find helpful when deciding what call to make when it comes to food that has been potentially affected by smoke or soot. Let me know what you think by commenting below.




Be Completely Dedicated To Your Work

When a homeowner is in the middle of all of the devastation they really need you to be in it for the right reasons.

It’s so important to understand just what your client is going thru during an insurance loss. They not only need your help cleaning and restoring their home but also saving and restoring as much as you can of their personal belongings.

And doing this means knowing proper cleaning techniques, how to deal with the adjuster and helping them to understand and let go when items cannot be saved.

The latter being probably the most difficult and most important to your client.

In order to do this and do it well you really have to be committed to your work.

I feel very passionate about this and I shot this short little video explaining how serious you should be about this process and why.

After you watch this video please let me know by commenting below what your thoughts are about it too...

Do You Think I Am A Ten??

I often wonder if business owners ever ask their clients this question.

Think about it…

When was the last time you were asked by a service based business how you would rate them say on a scale of 1-10? 10 being AWESOME!

I am guessing your answer is probably never.

I’m not sure why they don’t ask us. I mean don’t they want to know what we want so they can give us more of it?? If they aren’t making us happy wouldn’t they want to know they aren’t??

I had one business tell me they didn’t ask because they thought it might open them up to more complaints…REALLY!!

That kind of mentality is business suicide.

In this connected world that we live in today you can bet your bottom dollar that if your clients are not happy with you or your service they are tweeting, Facebooking and texting about it to all of their sphere of influence not just there friends and family. So you had better be asking them to tell you first so you can do something about it.

It continually blows my mind when I dine out or when I am standing at a cash register and the person taking my money from me doesn’t look me in the eye or speak directly to me let alone ask me how my experience with them has been for me.

I don’t owe you my money. No one is forcing me to spend it with you it is what I am choosing to do. So I expect you to acknowledge me and make me feel good about handing over my hard earned money to you. I expect you to provide me with immense value and you had better stand behind what you sell me or I am gonna call you on it.

And when you do all these things that tell me you actually care and that I am not just a bank deposit to you, I will give you my loyalty for life. In fact I will tweet, Facebook and tell my entire sphere of influence and anyone else that will listen about my experience with you.

And I will do this because you will stand out as being VERY different than the others.

Because I will never forget how you made me feel like I matter and that I made a difference when I did business with you.

You might think I am arrogant and who am I to say these things and try to put these requirements on you and your business.

And why should you care what I think anyway right??

Because I am your customer…and possibly your biggest fan.



The One Thing You Absolutely Can’t Live Without

Let’s talk about the human body for a minute. There are a lot of complex systems, organs and parts that make our bodies function and function well.

There’s the liver, nervous system, circulatory system, heart, lungs, kidneys and brain just to name a few. All of these organs and systems are very important and totally necessary for the body to survive.

But is there one that is more important over the other?

Can some of them be replaced by a machine or a transplant?

The answer is yes to both.

You can have a liver, lung or heart transplant. You can even live without a kidney and hook up to a machine. But the two things you cannot live without is a brain, nervous system and circulatory system.

So education and systems are to your business what your brain and nervous/circulatory systems are to your body.

Two things you or your company will die without.






Now this is definitely a subject I can sink my teeth into.

I get so passionate and excited when you start talking about educating yourself and implementing systems!

I know to some of you that makes me a little on the weird side.

Ok…a lot on the weird side. 🙂

But by the time you are done reading this I hope to have you quite excited about my fav topic as well.

You can have a huge warehouse and tens of thousands of dollars worth of the latest and greatest equipment on the planet but if you have no clue how to use them or set your crews into motion processing jobs using them would be like owning a car without a steering wheel and a gear shift.

You can sit in it and look pretty but you aren’t gonna go anywhere.

You can rent, lease or even JV (joint venture) with someone to get the equipment you need. But the right education and systems in place in your operation are what puts you on the road to success.

The other reason that I am so passionate about education is this is an asset that you will own forever.

It doesn’t depreciate.

It can’t be repossessed.

You pay for it as you go so there is no debt to ensure.

And it builds the best kind of capital there is.

Mental Capital!

AND THIS IS THE ONE THING THAT WILL QUICKLY SET YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITORS!!

Education and systems has consistently put me ahead of the pack in my business year after year. And it will do the same for you.

When you walk into a prospective client’s home and they are devastated by a disaster that involves everything that they own they want to know that they are in good, knowledgeable and confident hands.

Think about it. If you are taking your Porsche into the shop for a major repair would you want to hear that your mechanic has the newest latest greatest equipment?? Sure. But more importantly wouldn’t you want to hear that they have the best trained and most knowledgeable technicians to use that equipment. Of course you would.

Your potential new client would to.

So what kind of class do you need to take?

One that teaches you how to do the job not how to take a test. One that gives you hands on training with complete reference manuals to take back with you for future use.

You want an instructor that is in the trenches with you and is willing to work with you and support you after your class is completed and you are back in your business implementing all that you have learned. Someone who is willing to guide you thru that initial learning phase and getting your feet wet so to speak.

You want an instructor who can give you all the tools and turnkey systems you need to be successful once you are back in the field.

Your classroom should be full of doing the work not just watching a power point.

DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS IN YOUR EDUCATION!

Cause if you do you and your client both suffer.
And that’s not cool.

Too many classes today teach you just enough to be dangerous and not enough to be successful.

Well I hope you are a bit more excited about my fav topic. 🙂

Are you???

~Annissa



So Cut To The Chase…Am I Gonna Need A Second Mortgage?

No! Absolutely NOT!

And if someone tells you otherwise I’ll bet it’s because they stand to make some commission when you spend all that money.

I’ve heard horror stories of people who are getting into this business being sold tens of thousands of dollars or more of equipment and they don’t even have a building yet nor have they even taken a class!

Now don’t get me wrong you can spend as much money as you want to start up any kind of business and some people do and are very successful. But some people do and within a year they are broke and closing the door and selling off all of the assets that they spent tons of money on that wasn’t necessary to buy in the beginning phase of their business in the first place.

I know first hand of countless cleaning and restoration companies that started out on a shoe string budget sometimes not even owning a single piece of equipment before they opened their doors. And they have been wildly successful.

Sometimes I wonder if this makes us stronger as business owners knowing that it’s up to us to have the skills and ability to sell the job and deliver the value not the fancy equipment in our arsenal.

Now before anybody gets ticked at me (like any equipment manufactuers reading this :)) I want to make it very clear that I am not saying that equipment is not necessary or important in this industry. We all know that the better the tools are that you have the easier, faster and sometimes better the job.

But if all you are worrying about is having all the big bad expensive equipment at your disposal and don’t focus on the other part that you can’t rent or lease then you probably aren’t going to have much success in your business.

The big thing that I want to stress here is not to worry about how to buy the equipment so much. There are several ways to “get” the equipment that you need. You can buy, rent, lease and sometimes trade for it.

I’m not going to go into the equipment and supplies list this post (as I am going to cover that in great detail in a future post) but I am going to dig into the things that you must have and how you can get them.

Then you are going to need to purchase some smaller cleaning tools and supplies. For instance mops, buckets, brooms, specialty scrub brushes and industry specific specialty cleaning and deodorizing agents. But again remember you don’t need a warehouse full you just need enough to do one job to begin with. As you get bigger you can buy in bigger quantities and save some money as well.

A big thing you need to budget in is Education and systems. This is the single most important aspect in my opinion. Cause without it nothing else matters.

Now you can get educated in a variety of ways. You can take a class, buy an online course, read a book and even Google yourself to death. This can all range in cost from several thousand dollars to free.

But I would ask you what is the value if the price is free?

Without education and systems in place you can have all the shiny new state of the art equipment that money can buy and you will have shiny new state of the art equipment that you have no idea how to use to make money with.

You need to be willing to invest in your knowledge base so you can build a good foundation for your business.

You can expect to spend several thousand dollars on your education and systems right away. It’s your best investment period!

So I guess to answer the question “How much do I need to invest to startup a new cleaning reastoration company”?

I would give you an estimate of minimum supplies and equipment that need to be purchased outright and tell you that you can get into this business for under $1000.

I’m just trying to drive my point home that this is really a question that needs to be answered by the individual circumstances of the individual and what they are willing and wanting to do.

Next we are going to talk about Education and Systems.

So what do you think?

I would love to hear your feedback…

~Annissa

The Secret Piece Of Cleaning And Restoration That Has More Profit Than Any Other Piece Hands Down!

It continues to astound me that so many Cleaning and Restoration companies walk away from tons of profit on almost every single job. With just a little bit more effort you could be smiling just like her all the way to the bank.

And why would you ignore a 65 to 75% profit margin that is yours for the taking??

Why would you not want to do something that can gross you up to $25000 or more in as little as 7 days?

Would I have your attention if I told you that you can get paid on your invoice almost immediately upon completion?

How about if you could add this profit center to your business for less than it would cost you to buy two air movers?

Other aspects of the Cleaning and Restoration industry can cost tens of thousands of dollars to get into. This piece can cost as little as a few hundred dollars to start up.

And the funny thing is most of you are already doing it for your clients but you’re not doing all of it and leaving a lot of money on the table in the process.

The part that is so frustrating for me is the reason companies don’t want to deal with this piece of the job is that they assume that it’s gonna be difficult and just donâ’t want to be hassled with it. They just want to get on with the dry out or the remediation because they think that’s where all the money is at.

Well if that is what you think let me tell you you’re dead wrong!

Yep you guessed it. I’m talking about contents.:)

Look you can say you don’t do contents but you are only fooling yourself. And you would be wrong. Because if you are in this business dealing with cleaning carpets, rugs or mitigation work then you are dealing with contents whether you like it or not. And most often I find that businesses don’t like it at all so they just look the other way and stack all those personal items in the center of the room and pretend that they don’t exist.

In essence what they do when doing this is literally ignore money. Just doesn’t make any sense does it?

Contents remediation and processing is not only one of the highest profit margins in Cleaning and Restoration but it really is not difficult to deal with. I promise.:)

You of course need the proper education and systems in place to handle the job. I mean you wouldn’t dream of buying a van and a truck mount and just start sucking water out of someone’s house without having the proper paperwork in place, certifications and getting educated about the process right??

To ignore them will not only hurt your bottom line but will tell your homeowner that you don’t care about them. Cause that’s the message that they will get loud and clear.

A key component to handling contents successfully and making lots of high profit is to ask your homeowner what their concerns are right up front. And if their concern is the grand piano then handle it right away. If the biggest concern is her wedding dress then handle it right away.

Where the problem arises is when we don’t address these things right away in the beginning of the job. And that is where the fear of contents comes from when these horror stories start circulating about cleaners having to buy $7000 pool tables and $10000 diamond rings gone missing. If you look a little closer you almost always find a cleaner or contractor who ignored the pool table and the ring to begin with thus creating their own nightmare.

If they had just given the pool table a little bit of their attention they could have been paid a lot of money to clean it instead. I have billed as high as $1500 to handle a pool table and it only took me 2 hours to do it.

Not a bad ROI!:)

So the moral to this rant is…

Don’t turn your back on money that is laying around for you on almost every job you are already handling. Putting it in your bank account makes a whole lot more sense to me.

I’m just sayin:)