Qualified Remodeler Magazine

DEC 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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hris Burke started his remodeling career working for an insurance restoration franchise. When the owner retired, he sold the business to his son-in-law—and Burke—and helped them embark on their own company. In 2008, after selling the franchise, Burke founded Guardian Restoration Services, which pro- vides disaster repairs and reconstruction to buildings in West Central Florida. "Even though we're in the construction busi- ness, we're truly helping people. We meet peo- ple when they're at the worst time in their life," he says. "People in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, they may need me right now and they don't even know it. ey get home this after- noon and they see they left the coffee maker on, and it smoked up the house; or the washing machine overflowed." Once people learn what Burke does for a living, many of them assume he sits around waiting for the next hurricane to hit the Sunshine State. But most of his business amounts to daily in- surance claims such as a washing machine breaking, an air condition- er leaking or even a car running into the side of a building. Jobs do spike in summer, though, as storms usually occur during that time. "You still need to pay the bills in January, February, March, April and May—when there are no hurricanes," Burke explains. "We don't travel, but a lot of companies in our business will travel to those hurricanes. It's just the luck of the draw [as far as] where the hurricanes hit. For some reason, the immediate Tampa "In the insurance restoration world, the dif- ference is that I might need to go start Mrs. Smith's kitchen tomorrow. "Because that's how quickly we need to get someone in there," he continues. "We need to have people available to meet those needs. And it's not just the skilled trades; it's everything. It's the project managers, supervisors [and] skilled trades. All those things have been a challenge for us." Guardian Restoration grew about 25 per- cent this year and will finish 2018 with nearly $4 million in revenue, Burke notes. e com- pany plans to earn around $4.8 million next year, which would represent about 20 percent growth. While its market share increases, the business will continue to assess new technolo- gies, such as using a drone to gather detailed measurements for roof takeoffs. "e construction industry has always been on the trailing end of technology changes," Burke says. "When everyone else was using computers, we were still using slide rules and calculators and pen and paper. So we're a little bit behind the curve [compared] with other industries. [But] we're going to be required to use more and more technology in order to operate our businesses." | Bay area has been spared from hurricanes for a number of years." Guardian Restoration manages each job, no matter how big or small, from beginning to end and works with all insurance compa- nies. e business gives customers a scope of work—as well as price—verified with their insurance adjuster, making the remediation process as seamless as possible. Certified tech- nicians stay on call 24/7 to ensure a quick response for clients in emergency situations. "ese people have never dealt with an insurance claim in the past; they don't know what to do, they don't know who to call, [and] they don't know who to trust," Burke notes. "If you have an insurance claim and you want someone to handle the whole process from start to finish, you hire Guardian Restoration [be- cause] we'll take care of things. at's how we differentiate ourselves." The company re- ceives about half of its leads from insurance professionals, typical- ly those people in the claims industry, he adds. e other half ar- rive via referral sources within the community—family, friends, busi- ness acquaintances and property managers. Finding qualified subcontractors to perform the labor, however, has been the biggest chal- lenge recently for Guardian Restoration. "If you're a home remodeler [and] you're currently working on a job, [but] you have the Smith family ready to start their kitchen, you can tell the Smiths, 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith, we're going to finish this job Dec. 1 and then we'll come and start your home,'" Burke says. Complete Control No. 417 Guardian Restoration Services guides its customers through the insurance claims process to rebuild their homes—and their lives. By Kyle Clapham We meet people when they're at the worst time in their life. Chris Burke, president CHRIS BURKE, President COMPANY: Guardian Restoration Services HEADQUARTERS: St. Petersburg, Fla. DESCRIPTION: Insurance restoration specialist TOP 500: No. 417 C 54 December 2018 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com PROFILE TOP 2 0 1 8

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