Here’s a clip from our recent podcast with Kevin and Annissa Coy from Firehouse Education where they give some very valuable advice from their own experience for restoration companies that are struggling, whether its hiring, getting jobs, etc.
Ben: But if you could give a piece of advice, like the most heavy hitting piece of advice for somebody that may be a newbie or somebody who’s been in the industry a while, somebody who’s thinking about dipping their toes. We do see a lot of franchisees that are buying into the businesses now have zero experience.
They’re accountants, they’re, you know, managers of stores or they’re very successful CEOs somewhere, but they know zip about the restoration industry and they’re struggling quite a bit. So if you guys could offer up and both of you, each, each of you can have your own piece of advice, just one piece of advice before we move on to, you know, what you guys been doing lately, the new old, or guys thinking about getting guys or gals thinking about getting in the industry. What would that be?
Annisa: Kevin? You want to start with that one?
Kevin: Well, you know, education is key and understanding the big picture of this industry and how it operates. You know, it was really unique for us. We were very unique in that we had a 100 percent referral based business. We did zero marketing. We had no business development people. We didn’t run an ad. We literally. Got built on referrals. And so a little bit different than a lot of people and, and, and, you know, obviously there’s a lot of marketing, but here’s what marketing is in a nutshell.
It’s applied psychology. Learning how to deal with people is 85 percent of the process in my opinion. So learning, having, you know, what everybody might call collectively as soft skills is marketing and psychology. You have to understand people and you have to understand how to talk to people and how to interact with them.
But, and one of the biggest things is communication goes sideways in our industry all the time, and that’s what gets a lot of companies in trouble. And a bigger chunk of the communication is listening. Listening to what people have to say.
They will let you know what their concerns are and what they’re. Worried about what they want out of the situation if you just listen to them, and then you can formulate your tactics and strategies around that and deliver an experience that will knock their socks off.
Ben: That’s incredible. Great, great insight. It’s like ordering at a restaurant. Do you ever order at a restaurant and you’re not quite ready and you keep pointing to each other? No, I just did this yesterday, so.
Annisa: You know, I love, absolutely believe 150 percent in what Kevin just said. But one of the things that I would really like to say to anybody watching this, that is either new in the industry or in a city. Especially to those new in the industry, but this, it would go for anybody that’s even been in for a while and maybe just feeling a little struggling down about whatever.
I, there’s been a little narrative going on lately, or I guess that’s the best way I would put it. It will say that our industry is broken, that there’s fragmentation, and I don’t believe that and what I would tell you, is especially right now, if you’re struggling, and I don’t care what that is.
If you’re struggling to hire people, if you’re struggling to get the work, if you’re struggling to, you know, with the systems, whatever it is, very clear as to why you’re in this industry. Listen, we’re really fortunate that we’re in amazing profit margins.
I mean, there, it’s so easy to do very well financially in this industry. And yet, not so easy. The reason I feel that people struggle on all of these fronts is because you’re not clear. You’re not clear on what your mission is and why you’re doing this.
Listen, being a, especially, when you’re dealing with contents with people, in my opinion, there is no better way to serve your fellow man, than maybe being an ER doctor where you’re that guy or gal that they’re running in with a gurney and praying that you know how to put their life back together and maybe even save it.
That’s what we do when we come into a fire and, or a hurricane or whatever that is in someone’s home, all of their personal belongings, their memories. It’s all the things precious to them that stand for what their life has been. It’s almost like people feel that it’s like they’re like, it’s what’s going to be left when they’re gone.
So it’s, you know, they kind of wrongfully in my opinion, but kind of look at it as like their legacy, their stuff they leave behind. And it’s terrifying. It’s traumatic. It is horrible. I have seen people divorce over this. I have seen people fall apart mentally and emotionally in these circumstances, and especially when you’re dealing with a wildfire.
I mean, our state just got out of a state of emergency, by the way. Literally 17 miles from us has been a horrific wildfire for the last 12 days. It, you got to know why you’re in this and you got to be for the right reasons. You need to be in it because you want to be that hero writing in on that horse and saving the day, and you got to know how to do that.
You’ve got to be properly equipped and be really bought into that. It’s not easy and it’s not for everyone, but I promise you, it’s some of the most rewarding work you could ever do. But you’ve got to be real clear and the biggest thing you’ve got to get straight is here.
And if you can do that, the other, look, SEO is easy. That stuff, call Ben. He’ll hook you up. You can come to classes and get training like, you can do all of those things, but if you don’t get clear as to why you’re in this industry, why you are up at 11 o’clock at night, putting boards on somebody’s front door that blew out a fire, you’re not going to do well and you’re going to struggle and you’re going to be stressed.
So, I really think that this industry is incredible. It’s full of amazing people. And if you’re struggling, then you need to reach out because. You got it? You’re going to have to get your head on right. It’s nothing external. I believe that it comes from internal.
About Firehouse Education:
Kevin and Annissa Coy have been in the restoration industry for over 33 years. They have owned and operated a full service restoration company with more than one million dollars annually in revenue in a town of less than 2000 population. They currently teach, coach and speak in the restoration industry on many platforms.
Here’s the full podcast interview https://ironcladrestorationmarketing.com/annissa-kevin-from-firehouse-education-replay-inside/
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Benjamin Ricciardi is the founder of Ironclad Restoration Marketing, A digital marketing agency that specializes in the Restoration and Cleaning industry based in South Florida. Benjamin is the author of The No Bulls**t Guide to Internet Marketing for Restoration Contractors and hosts The Restoration Rundown Podcast, a podcast that is focused on everything related to marketing and owning a Restoration and Cleaning Business. Connect with Benjamin and Ironclad Restoration Marketing on social media for the latest tips and tricks on how to grow your Restoration Business.