Here’s an interview Ben Ricciardi (Ironclad) did with Nick Dyroff (Executive Director of Sales at Core Group) at the recent Collective23 “A Property Restoration and Insurance Festival” in Austin, TX.
About Core Group:
CORE Group is one of the largest collectives of Restoration Contractors in the US. With an eye on education, culture, and excellence in the industry, they’re mission is to provide outstanding service and industry leading support for all of their members.
Nick: Perfect. Perfect. Well, my name is Nick Tyroff. I’m the executive director of sales here at CORE. So I work closely in bringing new members on, but I also work closely with helping bring carriers out new clients.
And I’ve been in the restoration industry for about 15 years now. Yep. Helped grow a small company in Orlando up to a pretty big company. And I worked on the consulting, the construction consulting side where we’re going after large commercial losses. You know, I’d bring on claims that are from five up to 350 million.
Ben: Wow. Wow. Cool. So I’ve been bragging. I’ve been making everybody jealous on my team at Ironclad, my digital marketing agency. We’re down in West Palm beach, Florida about this event. I’m blown away.
You guys, I don’t want to say you’ve outdone yourselves. I’ve never been to one before. My first collective, my first like, this is incredible what you guys have put together. I’ve been walking around a lot, talking to meeting people and just in the back of my head, every time I’m like, how the h*** did they do this?
Like, how did you guys? I mean, the fairground last night, the music festival thing. I mean, I had no expectations. I’m just coming here to meet people, but I just like the amount of logistics and the team you have and you guys put in place is incredible.
Nick: Yeah. We were lean.
Ben: I mean, you guys have a, I mean, the keynote presentations and everything that I’ve sat into is like, top notch.
Nick: Yeah. We try to outdo every single year. And, what’s neat is, you know, our company, we run very lean. We really have about 45 employees and not including our Karachi, Pakistan office. We have a lot of developers over there, but we kind of, run this event with, I mean, probably 15 people, but we are, I was here since Sunday building. I built this.
Ben: Those media pods are awesome. If I could spin my camera.
Nick: Yeah. Built the media pod, built all of our merchandise stands that we have. You know, it’s a, this year, the theme is a festival theme. The first year was really, really cool. We did our, the old hotel that we’re in, it was a brand new hotel. It was just built. It kind of reminded us of like this 1940s, 1950s airport.
So because of that, we went this whole airport and it was it was really impressive. I mean, we had our host for the last two years has been Alan Reed. He’s on my sales team as well. And he hates getting up there on stage, which is surprising. He was great at it.
But yeah, first year he came up there just as a pilot. And then he had all these beautiful women dressed as stewardesses behind them. And they had a whole dance. I’m happy I didn’t have to do that, but I could have used a few pretty ladies on stage to take the attention away from me.
Ben: That’s a good job. I saw you up there yesterday for a little bit. I was, I have an affinity for being on stage myself, so I was up there like, man, that’s cool. I want to do that. I got to get up there next time for the next class. Maybe get some hot stewardesses to follow me around as well.
Nick: It helps. It definitely helps. And we, they want me to kind of, integrate the e bike at some point because I drive that all over Austin here and have a great time here in this town.
Ben: Do some tricks on stage?
Nick: You know, take it off some sweet jumps, you know, get like a whole front of air.
Ben: Just go stride into the crowd.
Nick: Just do it. You know?
Ben: So, so talk to me a little bit about one of the things I tell, you know, we tell our clients all the time and I. Talking nauseam on my podcast about getting involved in events. And I think the word that sticks out to me about this event is collective and how important it is for restorers and people that are in this industry to treat their peers as a collective versus competition. And so can you speak to that? And is that, did that have anything to do with…
Nick: It has a lot to do with the collectors. So, you know, if you understand the model of what court is, it’s kind of, it can be confusing to explain to people, that’s my job every day. You know, I do six or seven discovery calls, you know, a day explaining to contractors that are interested in joining our membership exactly what this is.
We have two different sides of our business. So we have one side of our business. That’s, it’s membership and that’s what we do. We have a lot of resources for independently owned restoration companies. To just absolutely crush it and also to be part of something bigger without giving up their independence without joining, you know, some big national franchise group and losing your name, losing the reputation for control over the years.
Yep. So by remaining independently owned, we come in and we offer them marketing support; offer them a national sales team that’s going after these national accounts and bring out big commercial accounts. We also offer them, I mean, we bring them into the fold with our carriers that we have on our Encore program, which is neat.
Like you can come and join as an affiliate if you’re a part of the franchise and not independently owned, you can still join as an affiliate and get put in this big rotation for claims. And then you get to tap in a little bit to our Core Perks buying program. Once you become a member, you get a way bigger discount on our Core Perks.
On top of that, you get a rebate. We’re on track right now to give away. I think it’s like 300, 000 to our members. So it’s one of the things where the easiest way to explain membership when you come on as an independently owned company, because we offer you a whole new bank of additional revenue streams that you never tapped into.
So now you can tap into doing big, big commercial losses that you get from each other, right? Members, right? I mean, I see them throwing 1. 5 to 2 million claims with each other all the time. And I just find out about, I just found out about like, six of those yesterday. Cause I never hear about it. It doesn’t, we don’t get a cut of it. Nothing like that.
We just want to bring those guys together. We bring the best pillars of their, of these markets across the country. So, you know, our average, we have three tiers of membership. We have elite, standard and 30, 40 million bucks. Killing it. You know, and they also bring those big commercial accounts.
So maybe they serve as one state, maybe five states, but these accounts have properties all over the country. So they join so that they get that network. They have whole coverage across the state or across the country. Yeah, and as of like, six months ago, if you added up all of our members Collective revenue, equipment, manpower. We’re bigger than Belfort.
Ben: Wow! And that’s a huge lion’s share of the industry. The industry, however many billions of dollars it is a year. You guys have a lion’s share of that.
Nick: We do. And I mean, we even have, what’s important to us too is the right people in the box. I would love to go out and get 10, 000 members and have this incredible coverage. All we need is 350 good ones. We have the best coverage and we also have the best quality product that you’re going to get.
Our members give a damn. And that’s why The carriers that you see here today, these high net worth carriers and these commercial carriers that we work with, that’s why they’re here and they stay for this whole conference. Because it’s just a cool conference because they love our contractors and we’re talking about that collective, our rule for membership is you got to leave your ego at the door because there’s a lot of ego in this industry.
So, yeah, so if you leave your ego at the door and you’re willing to come here and support and foster collective growth, that is what’s key for our members and our membership. That’s why we, I think I’ve got about 30 companies here right now that want to join prospects.
We did a whole presentation for him yesterday, and I’m just sending them around. I could tell you how awesome we are, love to sell you. Just go talk to anyone that has a purple badge, you know, purple. And that’s why I was just upstairs now talking to one, he goes, it’s just a different caliber of numbers.
Like, these people that you have, they’re willing to sit there and dive into your books and your profit margins and what’s going on and be able to help me. And he’s like, I’m going to go back. I think I just saved 60 grand this year.
Ben: I think you hit it on the head though, it’s I feel this because I, it resonates with me. I think that I’m naturally drawn to people and events and that the give a c***, or give a s***, or a care, and you can see it.
And then now that you’re telling me that, and I’ve been a little birdie listening, you know, I’ve come to this event, I’m just kind of, getting learning and meeting people, but the resounding overall, when I hear somebody talking about what it is and the members that are talking about it are like, and they, I hear things like, what do you mean they don’t take a cut?
What do you mean they don’t do it? And it’s like, no, man, you’re, I’m telling you this so and so helped me with my business. I was having a hard time with labor here and they showed me what they did. And we preach this a lot on the podcast. I mean, one of the days, you know, check out some of the episodes, but one of the things that we always come back to is the having a collective mentality and not being the old guard.
And I’ve seen, you know, there’s restorers. I’m from south Florida. There’s restorers, they try to build these little network on restoration rebels. Like, well, yeah, call us and do it. What are you protecting yourself? You know, who are you getting into business with? What are you protecting yourself from? So CORE, I think the fact that you guys have that going on before…
Nick: There’s a lot of different groups out there and they all kind of, go after different things. And I’m like, I want to band together and go after these commercial clients. Been together to go after these carriers. I want to do that. Or I want to help just, you know, with my books and I need help there.
There’s a lot of these different groups, a lot of that stuff out there. And it’s great. A lot, some of our members are part of those groups as well, but we’ve really encompassed a lot of things on there’s just one umbrella and that’s why a lot of people join for members and CORE universities coming up again.
I can’t wait. I’m honored just to even have some of my stuff on there and I’m hoping to be able to contribute in the future because I believe in that. I believe in this collective. I believe in community. I believe in a giver’s game mentality. The more you can learn from somebody else. I don’t look at any other digital marketing agency or podcast competition.
I’ve learned from them. I want to communicate with them. I want to learn what they’re struggling with so I can fix and maybe avoid missteps. That’s why we record this podcast and I write books about it is to help restores, show them with no bs, no fluff, this is what it looks like, this is what you need to be doing and I try to be a beacon of light to have them and teach them what they need to be doing.
So again, i’m naturally drawn to this event. I’m so happy to be out here with you guys. It’s unreal. I’m looking for it. I’m pissed that it’s ending today.
Nick: It’s cool. If you ask anyone that works for CORE, you know, what is CORE’s purpose? Why are we here? You’ll probably get a resounding same answer. It’s to elevate the industry. Elevate the property restoration industry.
Cause things have been going the same way a long time and it’s really neat to bring everyone together. Let’s rise up. We were talking about this troups, you know, in Florida, looking for them as well? I mean, there are some bad players. They’re out there. Especially in Florida.
Ben: Well, in the industry in general, right? And we were just talking to Jason about that. And that’s what I think CORE does a really great job of is the industry has a bad reputation.
Nick: It does. I used to be proud. I used to be very proud to call myself a proper restorer, right? When I worked for a company in Orlando, Florida. And then something happened was, you know, once those sinkholes and some of that stuff sort of, come around and you know, everyone gets the point where I meet a carrier. I’m like… yeah.
Ben: So I think that’s really cool. And you guys are really in the other big, and it all kind of, it’s collected. It all kind of, works together as this labor short just going on will be the old school guys that are retiring out or selling their businesses. And now we have these new generations that, there’s their own challenges that are presented with it.
So you guys have, I was telling Jason, I’ve never been to a music fest. I’m going to be 40 this year. I’ve never been to a music festival. So it’s funny that the first time I go something that young, younger people go to all the time. That’s what you guys are doing.
So if we’re talking about attracting the next generation to get into the industry, one, you guys are trying to fix the reputation. It’s just some regard, but you’re also bringing in this youthful, the new generations.
You know, I was talking to John Isakson from the DYOJO podcast. He’s really big about that mindset, bringing in these new generations and training, you know, talking about Gen X and Gen Y. I told him my favorite Gen is Aniston.
So we, yeah, yeah. Hey. But I think it’s really cool. And I think it all kind of works hand in hand how you guys are just kind of, resetting the standard. And maybe I’ve, green. I don’t know how everybody else is working out there, but I’ve been involved, you know, in my little, I’d like to say we, as part of restoration, I do things for restoration contractors, but what you guys are doing is incredible.
So, I mean, I applaud it. I think that. The next generation, I have a contracting company myself. And that’s a challenge that some of our regional associations are talking about very hard the last couple years is, who’s next? Right?
And how are we gonna attract them here? And it’s hard because you got the knuckle dragon contractors out there and in my industry, laying pipe and stuff like, how are you gonna attract that when you can go be on YouTube and be a star? Right?
Nick: Right. It’s tough.
Ben: How are you gonna get people to go clean mold?
Nick: I’m huge on the trade side. Like, you know, yeah, I went to college, I did that. But it’s like, honestly, getting this industry it wasn’t most necessary to do. And I really would love to see younger people. We are membership. We do attract a lot of younger people.
My other thing too, is a lot of female companies. You know, people forget in this industry, some of the best top performing members of arts are female owned and they’re awesome, absolutely awesome. And they’re specialized in going after the medical, just medical, you know, that much of a niche, just medical commercial properties. That’s all.
I’ve got another where she, you know, she has a doctorate in industrial hygiene. I didn’t know that existed. Doctorate in that. Doctorate in anything that’s claims related. Loves that education platform. Runs an awesome business. Had the 100 board up as well, you know, it’s just, it’s cool. It’s, I love learning about it. So, yeah.
Ben: Same here. So, what would you say to anybody doctor? Yeah. Before you completely lose your voice… I’ve been there. I’ve done some events like that. I’ve been on stage for three days. So, you know, I’m surprised you even have a little bit of a voice left but, what would you say to anybody that’s thinking about joining CORE? Maybe on the fence about maybe joining or getting involved with this type of defense?
Nick: All defense is really, get with my team and I’m going to set you up with our members.
Ben: How do they get in touch with you?
Nick: You can actually reach us, just go right through the core website. You can fill out an application for membership. That’s not Encore. We’d be an Encore affiliate. We’ll be a member through the member application and that’ll get you right to it.
Ben: And that’s on gowithcore.com, right?
Nick: Yep, gowithcore.com.
Ben: And Core University is launching very soon, so keep on the lookout of it. You know I’m going to be talking that knowledge about it and plugging it. Getting you guys pushed out there because I believe in what you guys are doing. I think that’s great that you’re giving it away. Here’s the information. Let’s help and elevate.
Nick: I mean, you know, carriers are putting out classes on there.
Ben: I poured through the website a little bit yesterday during Jason’s keynote. And I’m like, wow! This is more than I even thought.
Nick: We just got a little batch.
Ben: That’s what you were saying. He’s like, we’ve got like a hundred out of 5, 000 things on the website right now. So, I did share the link earlier. If you’re going to watch this, rewatch us on YouTube. I’ll put the links out there and this will be live. This will be on Spotify and all the streaming stuff will replay it. Nick, I appreciate you stopping by.
Nick: I’m good!
Ben: Have fun! Good to meet you, buddy.
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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.