As we conclude our three-part series on the Storm Damage Restoration Process, we take a look at what successful contractors do once the storm has passed and the job is complete. Is there a trick to getting more SDR jobs, and to making these jobs a primary source of income? There is…though it’s not really tricky at all.
Your first step is to ask your customer for a review. If they are satisfied with price, service and delivery, ask them to leave a review on Yelp, Angie’s List, your Facebook page, or whatever online source generates the most traffic for you. Make it easy on the customer with a card that states where and how they can leave the review, or even incentivize them with a coupon for $50 off their next service.
And speaking of coupons, consider giving your satisfied customer a 5% coupon that they can give to their friends and family. It’s a win-win for referrals, as you’ll get the business, and your customer can do something nice for someone in need.
But perhaps your best source of referrals for SDR comes from the second person you come in contact with: the insurance adjuster. It’s important to build a relationship with the insurance adjuster so that he’ll refer business to you in the future. In previous posts, we’ve discussed the different strategies to get referral business from insurance adjusters, but the simplest one is to just be easy to work with and treat people like human beings. Adjusters deal with a lot of dirtbags and pains in the ass on the daily, so if you can avoid being part of that crowd, you will likely go far.
One way to make a great impression is to develop some basic adjuster meeting setups. For example, when you know the adjuster will be at the property, then prepare to get there early and do the following:
- Know the date of loss
- Set up the ladder and tie it off properly
- Know what damage has been done and where to find it
- Offer the Eagleview or Hover you pulled to assist them with the measurement
In short, make their lives easier. They’ll not only appreciate it, they’ll remember you for it, which is the point.
Adjusters who know you, trust you and like working with you will refer you. It’s that simple. Many are independent adjusters and will get called out to jobs where a contractor isn’t working with the client and will gladly give that client your information. We make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year from referrals.
You’ve probably heard that networking is important. Well, it is. Seek out professional referral partners like independent local insurance agents and real estate partners. Insurance agents are logical because they want to help their clients with loss. Introduce yourself at all the local offices, share some business cards and start to build that relationship. Offer to take an insurance broker out to lunch and see what you can learn about their side of the process: what are they looking for in a contractor? What aggravates them in the process? Where do they need the most help?
Real estate agents are a hidden gem. Agents have clients who are buying homes that need work done, as well as clients who are selling homes that need work done. They’re a constant source of business, and they need a repair solution with low out of pocket: SDR! The key is to get one or two real estate agents and work with them on a few of their listings, getting inspections of the property for storm damage. You then partner with them to file insurance claims and get the work done through SDR (remember, a storm damage claim can usually be filed within two years after the date of loss That’s the insurers rule).
It’s a win-win-win situation. The agent and seller are happy because they closed on the property, and the buyer is happy because he got repairs done that didn’t cost anything out of pocket. The Brass Ring in this scenario is the real estate broker. Think of the broker as the boss of the real estate office. If she takes you on as a vendor, every agent in her office knows you’re a qualified vendor and could potentially use you on their listings.
Join professional groups that provide leads or other access to customer lists. We are part of a professional organization that caters specifically to insurance companies and are an approved vendor for them so we get access to their clients, for a fee of course. But these leads are sustainable and they are usually customers who have known issues that are connected to SDR.
Storm Damage Restoration is an excellent source of revenue for those contractors who have the skills to navigate the process. If you need any help developing those skills, give us a call!