The 2024 Restoration Industry Leaders Review: AdvantaClean

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Sherri Koppelkam

Sherri Koppelkam

Sherri Koppelkam of AdvantaClean exemplifies the limitless potential of female entrepreneurs to affect positive change. Through her consistent commitment to service and integrity, she and her husband, Tom, not only built a successful cleaning and restoration business but also made a meaningful difference in the lives of countless individuals and families.

Let’s see how they managed to do this.

History and inspiration

Koppelkam joined the home restoration service industry in 2018, becoming the local franchise owner of AdvantaClean in Naples, Florida, which is a part of the Home Franchise Concepts’ family of home service brands. AdvantaClean offers a full suite of services for residential, commercial, institutional, and governmental properties that make buildings clean, safe, healthy, and efficient for the occupants.

Her journey into the restoration industry was born out of a desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. After a successful managerial career spanning over two decades, she and her husband sought a new entrepreneurial venture that would allow them to give back to their newfound community in Naples, Florida.

Discovering AdvantaClean, they saw an opportunity to build a thriving business and provide much-needed services to the area. “I was looking forward to serving others by tapping into a new-to-me industry, though I knew it would be a challenge and come with a learning curve,” explained Koppelkam. “I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and AdvantaClean was the perfect avenue for me to achieve that.”

AdvantaClean has been a beacon of hope for countless individuals and families facing the aftermath of disasters. They renovate, repair, and even rebuild homes and buildings after tragedies—including water or fire damage and cleanup, mold removal and remediation, moisture control, and more.

Leadership and culture

Sherri Koppelkam

Sherri Koppelkam doesn’t mind getting involved in restoration processes.

The culture and leadership of Koppelkam’s AdvantaClean franchise are impressive and create an intriguing narrative.

Just a few years after opening her business, Hurricane Ian hit Florida. It was a devastating event, with thousands of people displaced from their homes, causing $112.9 billion in damage and ranking it as one of Florida’s most costly hurricanes in the state’s history. Seeing her home community struggle was unbearable, but Koppelkam was grateful to be able to give back through her business’s restoration efforts.

The demand for mold, water, and moisture remediation surpassed her team’s resources. The business struggled to keep up with the number of requests for help. But she wanted to help as many people as possible.

Shortly after, Koppelkam received a call from a fellow female business owner in the Home Franchise Concepts family—Nicole Winter, co-owner of Kitchen Tune-Up in Naples. Winter and her team decided to halt their kitchen renovation services, offering to help in the restoration efforts post-Ian. To Koppelkam, that gesture of solidarity and generosity spoke volumes about the strength of community and collaboration in times of crisis.

Together, their combined crew worked tirelessly, day and night, hoping to save as many homes as they could before the moisture damage from the storm set in. They were determined to meet the overwhelming demand head-on. Each home they restored and each family that was assisted became a testament to why Koppelkam had entered the restoration industry in the first place—to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Through their collective efforts, they instilled a sense of hope and optimism in those who had lost everything.

That event truly solidified Koppelkam’s reason for joining the restoration community. She felt empowered working alongside another female business owner toward a common goal of restoring the community, which fueled her passion for the industry even more.

The camaraderie displayed during her time restoring Hurricane Ian’s aftermath underscored the importance of collaboration and support among women in business. “It’s about lifting each other up, breaking down barriers, and creating a more inclusive and supportive environment. Together, we can inspire and pave the way for the next generation of female leaders,” she states.

Koppelkam shared her story with us in hopes that more women will continue to leave a mark on traditionally male-dominated industries. “I hope women everywhere feel encouraged to embrace their passions, even if they need to step outside their comfort zones,” she said. “The restoration industry is ripe with opportunities for women to make a difference, and I am proud to be a part of this movement toward greater diversity and inclusion.”

Values are key

The original AdvantaClean, established in 1994, was founded to help rebuild lives after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida. Over the years, it has grown into a national franchise with a strong obligation to its core values of trust, transparency, collaboration, commitment, and caring. These values have fostered a culture focused on caring for its franchisees, customers, and the communities it supports.

Those same core values are evident at AdvantaClean’s Naples, Florida franchise. Koppelkam and her team exemplify these values by providing warm customer care and skilled service as a local business with the backing of a national franchise. They are dedicated to continuous improvement and offer services to ensure clean, safe, healthy, and efficient environments for various properties.

“My main goal is to give back to others through my business,” she said. “I feel as though I am able to achieve this every day.”

Overcoming challenges

A typical reaction after discovering a crawlspace with snakes.

“Here in Naples, Florida, I have been exposed to so many new challenges since pivoting my career to the restoration industry,” Koppelkam claimed. “In Florida, you never know what you’ll find on the job, and every call provides a new opportunity to learn, gain experience, and help someone who needs it. The work is tough, and the overwhelming demand for our services can sometimes be hard to navigate. But knowing that I’m making a difference in my community has brought me great satisfaction.”

Building a reputation and earning the community’s trust posed significant challenges for Koppelkam and her team, especially as newcomers to the area and the restoration business. However, through strategic networking efforts, including participation in a Business Networking International (BNI) group, she demonstrated her commitment to honesty, integrity, and customer care.

“The philosophy in BNI is Givers Gain: if you give business to someone in your chapter, they will want to give business to you. This allowed us to prove our commitment to our business and show how honest and caring we are. I would highly recommend joining a BNI group,” said Koppelkam. This dedication to building genuine relationships paved the way for AdvantaClean to establish itself as a trusted partner in times of need.

“Reflecting on my journey in the restoration industry, I feel grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have shaped me into the leader I am today,” she continued. “Each challenge has only strengthened my resolve to make a positive impact in my community and beyond. And while I’m certain there will be more challenges ahead, I am confident that with determination, perseverance, and the support of my fellow female entrepreneurs, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”

Unique strategies for success

One of AdvantaClean’s most distinctive features is its willingness to adapt to the needs of its clients, even in the face of adversity. Koppelkam and her team work tirelessly to assist homeowners affected by disasters, providing essential restoration services around the clock. Her willingness to go above and beyond for her clients, including working weekends and holidays if necessary, has set AdvantaClean apart from its competitors and earned the admiration of its customers. The unwavering dedication to her community has propelled AdvantaClean to new heights of success.

Another core reason for AdvantaClean’s success is a commitment to honesty, fairness, and customer satisfaction. Koppelkam has cultivated a loyal customer base by prioritizing transparency and offering competitive pricing, including many repeat clients and referrals from satisfied customers. “We genuinely believe in being honest with the customer and offering a fair price. By doing so, we have gained much business with many realtors and much repeat business,” Koppelkam said.

However, the most significant driving force behind her success is simply her personal values of service and community empowerment, particularly during times of crisis.

In conclusion, Koppelkam’s story exemplifies the power of entrepreneurship and community engagement. Through her commitment to service and integrity, she has not only built a successful business but also made a meaningful difference in the lives of many people. Her journey serves as a powerful reminder of the limitless potential of female entrepreneurs to effect positive change and inspire future generations.

Cleanfax Staff

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

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