The restoration industry, like so many other industries, depends on groups to succeed — clients, employees, and insurance companies. When we understand the needs of each group, we can set ourselves apart from other restoration companies in the eyes of the agents and adjusters and build better agent relationships.
The clients, our employees, and the insurance companies will start wanting to work together with us as we make every effort to help them in a professional manner.
1 | Preemptive relationship building
Start by showing how you will take care of their clients with a current loss instead of promising that you will take care of their clients in the future. When you start a loss that will be billed through insurance, ask your client for their local agent’s name and phone number. If your client does not know the phone number, you can look this up easily on the internet.
Within 24 hours, contact the insurance agent, and let them know that one of their clients had a water damage loss and you responded quickly, removed the water, and set up the drying equipment. Ask the agent if they would like you to email them photos of the loss so he or she can have a better understanding of the it.
At the end of the loss, you can stop by this agent’s office and mention that you just finished up the mitigation work at their client’s house and wanted to give them an update. This will almost always get you through the gatekeeper and straight into the agent. You then have the opportunity to show how you have just helped their client instead of trying to tell them that you will help other clients in the future.
2 | Make a happy client, make a happy agent
Agents and adjusters want to work with happy clients just like the rest of us. So, what exactly can we do to make sure this happens?
Yes, it is our responsibility to make sure our clients are satisfied with our work, not just for their sake, but also for those who will pay us for our services. Here are just a few ways we can ensure great experiences for our clients and make life easier for insurance agents and adjusters (as well as yourself).
Show them that you care about their client’s health and safety, property, contents, and time by doing
- Communicate properly and promptly.
- Follow industry guidelines when it comes to indoor air quality by placing proper HEPA air filtration.
- Follow state and federal laws when removing hazardous materials.
- When moving contents, be sure to block and protect.
- Protect unaffected flooring and other property when performing mitigation services.
- Set up proper drying chambers and containment.
3 | Be a source of knowledge
Offer to help educate agents and adjusters in the industry with free continuing education (CE) credit classes that they both need for their licenses and want to take because you have made them exciting to attend. As you look for unique and different ways to market your business, offer what few companies, if any, in your area provide. I was able to have 300 insurance agents and adjusters come to our office by offering free two-hour CE credits in our flood house (that we built in our warehouse).
By offering the only real-life water damage training in the area, I was able to cold call the regional managers who oversaw education for agents and adjusters and offer to help educate them so they could better understand what their clients go through during a loss. This then gave our outside salespersons the opportunity to walk into an insurance agent’s office and offer something that no other restoration company had offered.
We would have a class scheduled each month and could ask if any in their office needed CE credits to keep their licenses. We would then have the opportunity to get to know these agents and their staff members at our office. They would get to see our equipment and know our staff members.
Most insurance agents and adjusters want to work with professional restoration companies — companies that communicate effectively with their clients, take proper measures to ensure the client’s property and contents are protected, and ensure that the health and safety of clients is a first priority. Also, by educating them, adjusters and agents can better understand what their clients are experiencing.
Gregg Sargent is the president and owner of Sargent Strategic. He has more than 18 years of experience in the carpet cleaning and restoration industries including building and selling his successful company. He has more than 21 years converting cold leads into profitable jobs and was named the Worldwide Franchise Marketer of the Year and Worldwide Entrepreneur of the Year. He can be reached at 720-277-7113 or SargentStrategicConsulting.com.