4 Questions for Jeremy Reets

Jeremy Reets

1 | Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Jeremy Reets, and since 2005, I have operated Reets Drying Academy, the most highly rated training academy in the industry. My siblings and I now operate our 54-year-old family business, Champion Cleaning Systems Inc., in Sharpsburg, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. We specialize in residential and commercial water damage mitigation.

2 | How did you first get your start in the industry?

I began my career in the industry in 1988 when I received my first IICRC certification from Bob Nimis, and I worked on my first water damage on December 24, 1988. That project was so much fun to work on as a teenager that I decided that was what I wanted to develop a career around.

In 1999, I took a hands-on water course and realized that there was a lot we didn’t know about drying buildings. I began researching and developed application of vapor pressure differentials, direct heat application, direct containment, and the effect of airflow in drying. The application of those principles that I developed from 2000 to 2005 continues to guide how water damage work is done today.

3 | What advice would you give to someone starting in restoration?

Entrepreneurs often want to just get the work coming in and figure out how to do it later. That will work in the short term, but once you start getting a lot of work, it becomes exceedingly difficult to fix core issues. That will stall your company’s growth in its adolescence. Many companies never get past that to adulthood.

Instead, begin by getting the best education you can get (blatant plug for Reets Drying Academy) and develop the best processes you can first. You may say you have no idea what those processes should be. That’s fine. Get the education and then think your way through how you will handle each step, from the first call to the money in the bank. Work that process on every project, and update it throughout the life of your company.

The most important thing to Jeremy is his family. Here he is with his wife, Starri, and his sons, Zane and Elias (left to right).

Ultimately, your processes are who your company is. It isn’t the name on the sign that is valuable; it’s your processes. When you sell a company, they buy your intellectual property, your processes, not your name. Your long-term success hinges on a solid process. So, make sure that the processes you develop yield a service that is as high quality and as profitable as you can make it before you start duplicating through sales and marketing.

4 | What personal philosophy of life motivates you the most?

First things first. You invest time in what you think is most important, not what you say is most important. Look at how you spend your time, and you will see what you really value. My competitive nature would motivate me to take something on to show I could do it. Now, the question is whether I should do something. I have wasted a lot of time that I thought I was wisely investing in things that were not important. Today, I am very cautious about how my time is used. Family and faith are most important to me, so that is where my time is spent. I have always said those things were important; my time allocation better reflects that today.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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