What Equipment Will I Need??

So this question goes back to my original post How Much $$ It Really Takes? and it has the same answer…It Depends.

It depends on what services are you going to do completely in house and what aspects of the cleaning and restoration are you going to sub to others? So you need to have decided at this point what services you are definitely going to offer. Remember the more you offer the better chance you have of getting the job as insurance companies don’t want to deal with a bunch of different contractors on each job and the homeowners want one go to company so they feel like they are in good hands.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t sub out specialty things like textiles, grand father clocks and artwork. I am just saying the more you handle within your company the more control you have over the job and the insurance company as well as the homeowner will see that.

The equipment and supplies that you will need will depend on what you decide. You can start out small and always grow into more in house services too. I like this concept because it means you don’t have a huge initial outlay before you even know if you are really that crazy about contents and structure cleaning. I will talk about the supply side of things in my next post.

Another good thing to think about is that if you even just dabble into the cleaning side of restoration it can help you secure reconstruction jobs as well if that is your main focus by getting your foot in the door so to speak.

Now that being said let us talk about equipment. J

I am going to talk about several pieces of equipment from several companies and let you know what I have found that I like to use. That doesn’t mean other equipment isn’t any good it means this is what I’ve found I like.

And as far as the little pieces like hammers, screw drivers, scissors, etc. I am not going to get into great detail about most of these little tools as their cost is very nominal in price at about $50-$100 total.

Industrial Hepa Vacuum~ This is a must have piece if you will be doing any kind of restoration cleaning. Not only will it remove soot particles without smearing on things like fabrics, paper and unfinished wood but it won’t throw what you are removing right back into the air. It is so vital to remove even the tiniest bit of smoke or soot particles as they will cause odor.

There are many different types and models. Pullman Holt is the brand that I like but there are many others out there as well. I use the large canister type mostly but also really like the back pack model. Whatever you use you just need to make sure that you have a good assortment of attachments that come with it. The price of a good Hepa Vacuum can range from about $500-$1500. Replacement filters for these little babies can also be something to consider when deciding which model to buy. Mine costs about $350 each to replace but some can cost as much as $800 each when you need to replace them.

The price may also determine which type you use at first as well as the size you choose. The backpack style is definitely cheaper in price than say the canister is. And they have a 3 gallon and a 5 gallon model that are priced differently as well. What I like most about the Pullman Holt is their quality. I have had mine for 9 years and have never had any problems with it. It takes a beating and keeps on going. 🙂

Air Scrubber~ There are several different sizes of air scrubbers. I use the Hepa500 from Dri-Eze because it is so easy to move around and travel with. The size of your air scrubber will determine how much volume of air space that it can handle. So you may need more Air Scrubbers if they are smaller and you have a larger area to clean but if they are smaller they may be easier for you and your team to manipulate.

The purpose of the Air Scrubber is to remove the millions of particulates in the air from the loss be it fire, water, sewer backup, etc. After a fire in particular the air inside the structure is extremely full or debris and you nor your team should be breathing that. The proper amount of Air Scrubbers should be running as long as you are in the structure. The cost can be from about $550-$1200.





Air Compressor~ You will need this to blow out certain items that can usually only be cleaned using dry processes or to remove loose soot particles before wet cleaning an item. The Compressor can be basic. The one I use is a Makita from Home Depot and it is a small portable one. Mine cost about $280.

Ozone Generator~ Ozone is a proven deodorizer and works very well. However I will tell you that I don’t like to use it. It leaves a chemical smell on object that takes several days if not weeks to air out and it is very dangerous and can kill humans, animals and plants. Cost is about $800.

Hydroxyl Generator~ Hydroxyl is a natural process that is used to deodorize and disinfect areas and surfaces. I have used Hydroxyl for almost 3 years now and find it to be very effective on all odors. The thing I love most about this machine is that it is completely safe for humans, plants and animals to be in the area while it is being used unlike Ozone.

Unlike Ozone there is no chemical smell after you shut the machine off. It actually smells like nothing just fresh air. Ozone also can damage many things like leather and rubber where Hydroxyl does not. It is completely safe. Hydroxyl not only deodorizes contents but all structure components as well.

The downside is that this machine runs about $3000. This is something that can be rented however to ease the financial burden.

Airmover~ There are several models and types of airmovers. And they range in price from about $200 to $800 depending on the make and model. You can also rent these for as little as $20 per day from a commercial rental store.

The important thing here is to buy a professional airmover not a fan from Home Depot. You will need airmovers to use Ozone and Hydroxyl Generators as well as to dry out items that have maybe gotten wet from the fire department putting out the fire. You will also need one or two for your drying room to dry contents that you have wet cleaned.

Dehumidifier~ This is definitely a piece of equipment that you can rent just like the airmover. The Dehu is not something that you will need on every job either if you are dealing with mostly fire clean ups. You will always need them on water, sewer back and possibly trauma scene clean ups. In case you have never used one before they are for pulling moisture out of the air that is usually put there by the airmovers that you have set on the jobsite. It costs about $70 to $120 per day to rent and anywhere from $1400 to $4000 to buy.

Ultrasonic Machine~ This is my favorite piece of equipment to play I mean work J with. The Ultrasonic is the most valuable brilliant piece of equipment when doing contents cleaning and restoration. Not only can you clean items faster but also better than you ever could by hand.

Now this little baby is quite expensive at about $13000 to $16000. However you can rent them as well. You may even be able to partner with a blind cleaning company to lease use of one they might have. This would be a piece that I would highly recommend that you buy as soon as you can. I have seen them for as little as $5000 used.

Now they come in many sizes so you want to be sure to get one that would be big enough say to fit a large laundry hamper in. This size will allow you to clean items like electronic as well. If you are going to clean electronics with it you will need to use special chemicals and deionized water.

You can find table top models that are much cheaper but really don’t do you much good for contents cleaning as most contents wont fit in them and it will slow up your process a lot.

Electronics Cleaning System~ The Odell system for electronics cleaning is a really good system. As is the Fireline portable system pictured to the right. The price of these systems can range from $700 to as high as $25000. So this is not a purchase that I would recommend until you are definitely serious about contents.

Electronics are a high profit item however it also an easy item to sub out to another company that has all the big expensive equipment. You still make good money when you sub it out but defiantly not as much as if you did them in house. But just like the Ultrasonic Machine I would recommend making sure you are ready to make this kind of big investment especially when you can lease or rent these for way less than purchasing and save your cash flow in the beginning.

Esporta System~ This lovely little unit is used to clean laundry, shoes, purchases, belts, hats and pretty much anything that we call soft items. It can also clean stuffed animals, some toys, etc. The Esporta Machine can run as high as $80000 so again this would something I would purchase after I had my company up and running to the point where I was able to be serious about taking on laundry type items.

You can also use this machine to do these types of damaged items for other companies as well to make some money.

 I personally have always used a garment cleaning service for my soft contents because I do my contents mobile. This is definitely not something that you need in the beginning or even at all. There are many contents cleaning and restoration companies that sub this kind of work out rather than handle it on there own. I do want to stress however that there is really really good money to be made in laundry.

Truck Mount or Portable Cleaning Unit~ When cleaning contents you will be dealing with upholstery, mattresses, certain drapes, pillows and rugs. These items will most likely need to be cleaned using a professional steam cleaning unit.

There are basically two types. One is called a truck or trailer mount and the other is a hot water extraction portable unit.

Now I want to make sure and clarify that I am not talking about going to the grocery store and renting a Rug Doctor when I say a portable cleaning unit. Those types of unprofessional units will only damage contents not clean them.

I have pictured here a van and two different types of trailer mounted units as well as a very good professional portable unit. The price range for these can be anywhere from $70000 to $4000.

I want to stress that you do not need to own any of these units to be able to clean contents and structure. This is a very easy item that you can find a good sub contractor to do for you.

I have used a portable from US Products and several truck mount type cleaning units and they have all been really good. I am not going to get into which truck mount unit is better than another because that would be a very long post with way too many opinions I am sure. 🙂

I also want to touch on textiles for a moment. I am actually going to direct you over to my friend Lisa Wagner to let her give you the expert opinion on rugs. Textiles are a very unique piece of contents cleaning and restoration and should only be handled within your company once you have a trained Textile Pro on your team and the right equipment to take care of them. Lisa does offer world class training and education if you want to delve into that niche.

Well I know that this was a long post but I hope you gained some value and tons of knowledge about what equipment is need to clean contents as well as structures that have been damaged in a loss of some kind. Please don’t be shy let me know if you have any questions or need any help finding any of these pieces.

Next we are going into the supplies you will need and how much you will need to initially invest in them.

~Annissa

5 Books That Will Help You Run Your Business Better





One of the challenges in business is to be open minded about growing and adapting your thinking. A really good way to do this is to open your mind to new perspectives and new ways of thinking.

A mentor of mine taught me that success leaves a trail. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel you just need to walk down the path already forged by someone who has been there done that and successfully achieved what it is that you want to accomplish.

So the first thing you can do is find someone who has achieved what it is that you want and then study how they accomplished it. Who did they talk to, interview? Did they take a particular class or did they hire a coach? (This by the way is something that I would recommend that you do) And most importantly did they write a book?

I believe that words are incredibly powerful and that you can never read too many books.

I could literally live in a book store with a comfy couch and a latte…just sayin…:)

A person can give themselves a college education with a library card. Think of how powerful it is to be able to have a what to do manual right in front of you and even more importantly written by someone who has maybe been in your shoes and can relate to what you are going thru.

Being in business is tough and sometimes lonely if you feel stressed or just don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. In college classes they don’t really teach you outside of the fundamentals of a balance sheet and business plan. And there is so much more than that to know to survive and thrive in your business.

Most business owners open up their doors because they want freedom and have a dream. Not because they are great managers or marketers. Which are two very important elements to possess if you want to have success in your business. In fact a lot of business owners don’t understand the first thing about their financial books or how to track their profit centers.

The good news is that there are a lot of great marketers, financial advisors and managers that have written books for us to learn from. The more information you have the more informed decision you can make when planning your goals within your company as well. You may be a seasoned business owner or just a newbie doesn’t matter. We all have a learning curve as times are changing in how we do business.

Now there are many books that I could recommend for you to read but let’s start with just a few. If you don’t like to read then buy books on audio and listen to them while driving to the office or on the treadmill.

Here are 5 books that I feel are a must read for any business owner:

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Napoleon Hill
  2. Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: How to Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievementby Mark Victor Hansen
  3. The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield
  4. Triggers: 30 Sales Tools you can use to Control the Mind of your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade. by Joe Sugarman
  5. All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All by Seth Godin

It is so important to learn to think outside the box especially when it comes to marketing your product or services. These books can help you develop your own way of doing things in your business that are in alignment with your goals both personally and professionally. If you aren’t sure how to set goals there is a great book written on goal setting by Jack Canfield. These books can also give you a solid foundation to build from. Because most of the time it’s whats between our ears that needs the most work.

You should also read as many books about your particular business as you can. It will make you a better business owner the more you understand your particular market sector.

Look we can’t know everything about everything and we don’t need to if we know where to find it. School is never out for the Entrepreneur and you shouldn’t want it to be. Business would be boring if we stopped growing and learning. Innovation would come to a halt and new ideas would cease to exist.

We don’t always have the answers when we hit a road block so seeking the help of an expert is key.

So go online or to the book store and start expanding your mind just a bit.

Enjoy…:)

Ps. If any of you have already read any of these books I would love to hear what you thought of them??


The Software You Need To Be Using If You Are Doing Insurance Work

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There are several programs out there that you can use to bill the insurance company for your restoration job. But the one that I am going to talk about is the one that is most widely used and accepted in our industry and is necessary if you want to be on most Preferred Service Provider programs or PSP.

And trust me you want to look into as many of these programs that are in your area and get on them if they are good.

The software is Xactimate.

Xactimate is the insurance program that the majority of insurance companies use. If you are going to be on a preferred program an insurance company may actually require that you use Xactimate billing.

It’s important that you get this program and use it in your company. It will make things smoother for you and make you more usable by every insurance company across the board. You can use it on more than one computer. I believe the current fee is a $250 setup fee and then $250 a month or $1500 a per year if paid all at once. It’s not very expensive compared to how much money you can make with it.

This program is setup to communicate with insurance companies and in the way that they want to be communicated with.

You see when billing an insurance job you need to be able to break your charges down in the manner by which the insurance company processes them on their side. If you don’t you create more work for the adjuster and become a pain and that is not what you want.

What you want is for them to want you on every one of their jobs because you make their job easier. If you make their job more difficult than it already is they are going to potentially recommend that the insured they are working with consider working with another contractor. And if the job is one that is being run thru their PSP program you won’t get it unless you use Xactimate.

To understand how valuable this software is you need to understand how insurance companies process their claims on their end.

Insurance companies only pay for the property that was damaged by the loss that occurred. So if a room has two walls that need repainted they will only pay for those two walls not the entire room. Or if 17 lineal feet of floor trim is damaged they will pay to replace only 17 lineal feet not the entire room. This is assuming that it is able to be matched.Â




So the insurance company estimates repairs by the square foot, lineal foot and sometimes by the individual each item. You obviously need to understand which is which in the insurance world but Xactimate will automatically break those down for you by an area after you enter the entire dimensions of a room. The program also allows you to put in special things like notes and pictures attached to the particular item entered.

In Xactimate you can also easily break your bill down by the room and by the line item. And enter all the details that you want. And trust me you want tons of details on each billing.

When you are doing billing to the insurance company I want you to remember that they are not standing on the job site. They are not seeing everything that you have done like the homeowner has. For this reason you want to be very, very careful and detailed in your explanation of charges on your bill. The more detail you can give on a bill the less chance that you are going to have the adjustor call you or question you about anything. They will feel more comfortable pushing it right through so that you get paid right away.

Getting your scope of repairs and cleaning out to the insurance company very quickly is important. Not only does the adjustor want to process the claim quickly and get it closed. The faster you get your bill to the insurance company then the faster that you are going to get paid for the job. And that is what having a specialty program like Xactimate will do for you.

So as you can see to use an excel spreadsheet or a program like say Quick Books to send in your restoration billings you could be sabotaging your own invoices and thus success.

~ Annissa

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 Truth…How Much $$ It Really Takes??

The number one question that people ask me about contents and restoration cleaning is…

“How much money am I going to have to invest in equipment and supplies to get started?”

And my answer is always one word…”Depends”.

To begin with asking how much money will it take for me/my business to get into restoration cleaning is like asking how much money will I need to buy a car?

Depends…

Do you want new or used?

Where are you located?

What fazes of the cleaning process do you want to do in house and what do you want to sub out?

Are there equipment rental facilities near you?

Are you willing to JV with someone else?

Just to name a few.

If you want to buy a car you can go to a Kia dealership or to a Mercedes dealership. Obviously you will be having two very different conversations with your pocket book when you decide which dealership to go shopping at.

The same is very true for getting into the cleaning aspect of restoration.

I know companies that use 48,000 square foot facilities and yet I do all my cleaning in less than 320 square foot of space. So it’s easy to see there are several ways to get the job done.

And obviously there is going to be a huge difference in cost between the two. Insurance, Utilities, initial cost investment, upkeep etc.

However…you have some questions to ask yourself before we can answer the “how much money is it going to cost me” question.

1. What type of services am I going to offer?

2. How much money do I have to invest in startup?

3. What type of Education and Classes do I need to take?

4. What size facility will I need?

5. Employees???

6. What kind of software do I need to bill out to insurance companies?

7. What equipment and supplies will I need?

8. How do I market my services?

Because there are so many questions I am going to break them down over several posts.

So let’s begin…

1. What type of services am I going to offer in house?

Restoration cleaning can be anything from full on handle anything in the house or structure that was damaged or just handling specialty items like area rugs, upholstery or artwork. Some people say that if you don’t handle every single aspect of a job that you won’t get the work but that is not true. I use sub-contractors on my jobs all the time to do work that I don’t have the equipment to handle and don’t want to buy it. Such as piano guy, grandfather clock guy, HVAC guy and maybe plumber guy. 🙂

Now the more services that you handle “in house” the more money that you get to keep in your pocket. But if you are just starting out and are limited on how much you can initially invest then sub-out some of the specialty item cleaning and you can still make a smaller profit percentage until you can invest more in equipment later on as your business grows.

For instance you can do laundry in house and buy an $80,000 Esporta Machine…

Or you can JV with a cleaner to do the laundry for you and you get a percentage of the total billing and not have to put out all that cash or get a loan.

You may also want to offer complete structure cleaning services within your company as well. I would highly recommend this as it does not require a lot of equipment and the profit margins are huge!

As I said earlier you can sub-out to specialty contractors certain pieces of your job but it is very important for you to remain in charge of the quality and service that your sub contractors provide on your job. You will need to have a good understanding and knowledge of what processes are needed for your subs to complete there part of the job so you can inspect what you expect from them.

Another important piece of cleaning belongings is electronics. The equipment to do this can vary from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. So this may be a good item to sub out at first unless you can rent the equipment (which we will talk in detail about on another post) and have the proper training on how to use it.

There is a portable system made by Fireline that is quite inexpensive.

And a system made by Odell that is considerable more.

Both of these systems are good and work well. It again just depends on you and your budget.

The one thing that any homeowner or adjuster is going to want from you is for you to be their one stop shop. They only want to deal with one contractor and write one check in most cases. So the more you are willing to expand and handle under one roof the faster your contents processing business will grow.

Well I hope I have given you lots to think about. And hopefully didn’t freak you out. 🙂

Next post we will talk about question #2 How Much Mullah Is This Gonna Take?

~Annissa

The Psychology Of A Fire

This is probably the most important topic that I am going to talk about on this blog. It’s the one thing that you can’t be ok at or even pretty good at.

You need to be the best at it.

The range of emotions that someone goes thru when they find themselves going thru a fire in their home is pretty intense. The will feel scared, angry, violated, vulnerable, depressed and confussed.

They might even feel all of these at once:(

This can pose a very intimidating sitiation for any Contents Restoration company to handle. That’s why it’s so important to have the right tools and capabilities in your tool box.

You and your team need to be willing and able to help your client not only thru understanding what to do next but how to do it. This takes compassion, understanding, patience and the ability to connect in a huge way with your client in just a few hours. Most of our fire jobs only last about 7 days. That doesn’t leave me or my team alot of time to build a close relationship with the homeowner. Yet that is exactly what we need to do so they feel comfortable taking our advise and allowing us the kind of freedom we need to get the job done.

The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation with a homeowner that is suspicous of you and doesn’t trust you. If this is where the relationship is at from the get go, you might as well walk away from the job. It will save you and the client a lot of heartache later on.

Helping them handle the letting go process takes them trusting you and is just as much your job as helping them understand how to talk with their adjuster about the payment process of their claim.

I had the privilege of having Dr, Ned Hallowell, an expert psychologist on ADHD and ADD, tour our Mobile Clean Unit and talk with him about how we walk our clients thru the emotional side of a loss.

His feedback was really awesome!

Make A Connection

The only thing you should be thinking about when you arrive on an Emergency Call Out is what can I do to connect?

Now I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking no the first thing to think about is…Who is the insurance company? Is there going to be coverage? How long will this take to fix? How am I going to add this job to my already overloaded job board?  Am I right?:)

I get that these are all really good and important things to think about. I teach the “how to do these steps” in my classes. And there is a time to find out these things but its not in the initial moments of arriving on the scene. I mean if there is’nt coverage for this loss let’s say, that’s pretty darn important to know right up front. But you can find that out at the end of your first conversation with the homeowner not the beginning.

People need to know that you really care about what happens to them. Not their insurance policy.

Those first few minutes should be completely commited to making a connection with your potential new client. You won’t find a better time to seal that bond then right at the beginning of your hopefully mutually valuable relationship.

There are lots of ways to connect with someone. And it’s different with each person. The best way I’ve found is to listen. If you ask they will tell you.

People like to tell their story and someone who has just had a fire or a sewer backup has a BIG story to tell.

Ask them “what happened?”

Then listen…

Listen for them to tell you exactly what they need from you and then give it to them.

Instant connection. It’s really that simple.