The Storm Damage Repair Process: Part 1: Before The Storm

As anyone who lives in a storm zone will tell you, all storms have seasons: tornado season, hurricane season, or simply the time when “the rains come.” Just like a sports season, it’s critical to be prepared for storm season, especially if your business comes from storm damage restoration.

Over the next week, we’ll be looking at the preparations your office needs to make for whatever storm season is prevalent in your area. In the first of this three-part series, we’ll take a look at what you need to do to get ready before the storm hits, so that you’ll be best prepared – and positioned – to close these jobs as soon as the storm blows over.

Preparing The Back Office

If you’re not already doing SDR work and your back office is not set up for this type of work, there is some prep for the office you’ll need to start with. The good news here is that the back office setup for preparing for storm season is really the same as any other time…you just have to be prepared for more work.

First, it’s a good idea to have your systems in place and working. If you don’t have a CRM in place that you’re comfortable with, get that project started and up to speed with your team before storm season is upon you. Storms throw a lot of variables into the mix and your systems and processes will be stressed. It’s a lot easier to make minor tweaks or overcome exceptions to your regular process than to be creating those processes during the chaos.

Have your Certificate of Completion process dialed in. After the storm is not the best time to learn what a COC is and how to submit it to the insurance company. Make sure your back office team is up to speed on the process of generating the COC and getting it to the insurance company.

Finally, make sure you have good processes in place for job budgeting, invoicing and keeping jobs organized. If you have considered modifying any of these workflows, make sure you do it now, before the storm season starts.

Prepping Your Production

The obvious side of preparing for a storm is quantifiable for most contractors: make sure to have tarps available, load the trucks with gas, create a strategy for getting your team out into the community following a storm. Do you have a list of these tasks? As “obvious” as they may be, a short pencil is better than a long memory. Commit that list to your CRM.

That list should include the process that allows for you to help people in need as well as get paid. Provide your customers a means to work with their insurance company to get work done and reimburse themselves for your emergency services. The most common example of this we run into is tarping. After the storm, people have leaks. Missing shingles, water entering their homes and buildings, etc. They need help. So my team will perform emergency tarping. We charge the homeowner for that work.

SDR jobs often involve many trades, so it’s important to have an effective way of organizing job statuses in a manner that makes it easy to immediately check their status. This is going to be critical to your success if you plan on taking on more than 1 or 2 jobs at a time because you can very easily get lost in the details of the scope. To that end, make sure you know the budget you’re dealing with. The Scopes of Loss from the insurance company is going to dictate your budget, so keep a close watch on it to make sure things are being billed appropriately and on budget.

Preparing Your Sales Team

We have a system in place that allows for our sales reps to invoice the customer from the field, provide them a physical or electronic receipt and detailed instructions on how to get reimbursed from their insurance company. Do you have a system like this? Remember, your goal before the storm hits is to have the necessary workflows already in place so your sales team can secure as many jobs as possible.

We also use this process as an opportunity to file the customer’s claim with them and help them through the insurance system. Making that clear and easy to do has allowed us to not only make it easier for our customers and reps in the field, but keeps our workflow the same for our administrative staff by way of creating customers in the CRM, invoicing, and capturing payments, and more.

The key to securing a higher quantity of SDR jobs is to make sure you’re prepared before the storm hits. During the storm and directly after, you will learn a lot about the process, but you won’t have the time to put that experience to work for you. By organizing your front office, sales team and production crew before storm season, you’ll put yourself in a position to close more SDR deals. If you find you need help putting those systems and workflows in place, give me a call!

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