Cleanfax Managing Editor Amanda Hosey sat down with MasterTech Franchise Systems Founder Tom Duff during The Experience Convention and Trade Show to find out his thoughts on the restoration industry and what his company is talking to people about at the show.

Cleanfax: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the restoration industry?

Duff: In my opinion, the insurance part of our industry is our biggest challenge. It seems like we get more and more push back from carriers, and clients get more and more claims denied, and that puts our clients in a bad situation. It also puts us as contractors in a bad situation, trying to argue with an insurance adjuster that may or may not have the amount of experience that we have, trying to tell us that we need to do more and charge less on an increasing level. So, they’re asking us to do more, and paying us less. Sometimes, you just can’t take care of the client when that’s the case. I think the biggest challenge is coming to an understanding with the insurance agencies that this is tough work, and people need to get paid correctly to do it.

Cleanfax: What do you think will be the “next big thing” to happen in the restoration industry?

Duff: I honestly think private pay of mold, crime and death, even mold damage—private pay is going to start taking off. Maybe not so much in the water damage industry because that’s so heavily ingrained with insurance work, but for mold, there’s not a lot of coverage for mold unless they specifically add a rider to their existing policy. So, I think the biggest change coming (or change I’d like to see coming) is us gearing marketing efforts towards private pay clients. Someone that we can charge the right amount of dollars, get paid what the job is worth, and know that we’re getting paid what we should be to do it correctly.

Cleanfax: What is MasterTech talking to people about here at The Experience?

Duff: We’re featuring our MasterTech Franchise Systems—a franchise that more focuses on mold, environmental, bio, which is crime, death scene, and hording cleanup. Our franchisees can also do water damage as well. Most of the time, so far, we’ve partnered with people with existing business that wanted to take their environmental cleaning or testing to the next level, so we partner with carpet cleaners, water damage companies, restoration companies, contractors, and similar—companies that really wanted to dive deeper into the environmental end but didn’t want to start from scratch. We’ve already created all the marketing, sales, and operations systems, so it allows them to get started very fast, get profitable quickly, and not have to make all the mistakes along the way.