5 Questions with Russ Palmer

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Russ Palmer, CSDS, is the owner of Titan Restoration of Arizona, a specialty contractor for disaster restoration. He loves to support the community and all the local sports programs any way he can. He does his best to help bridge the gap with insurance adjusters and agents by teaching continuing education classes where they get to flood a house. Here, Russ shares his thoughts on the industry, RIA and the incoming generation of restorers.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TREND SHAPING THE FUTURE OF RESTORATION TODAY?

There is a huge shortage of labor. Blue-collar workers like plumbers, finish carpenters and drywall texture guys are aging out of the industry. Turnover in our labor-heavy positions is a major obstacle for us.

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE RESTORATION INDUSTRY?

Was it a fluke or fate? A friend talked me into buying a used van with an old Prochem truck mount so I could clean carpets while I was attending college. Along the way, I met some great mentors who introduced me to the restoration industry and I fell in love with it. Fluke or fate I’m not sure, but I do know it beats cleaning carpets.

WHAT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE INCOMING GENERATION OF RESTORERS?

Never stop learning and growing. This is a great industry. Being a part of RIA will allow you to network and learn from the industry’s brightest and most successful. Learn from them. Build your companies on their advice and take our industry to the next level.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING IN THE RESTORATION INDUSTRY?

It is an exciting industry; I never know what the day will bring. I may be wading in sewage one day, and the next I have a homeowner crying on my shoulder after a devastating fire. In both instances, the homeowner is looking to me and my team to restore their lives to pre-loss condition.

WHAT RESOURCES – OTHER THAN RIA – DO YOU TURN TO FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH, INDUSTRY EDUCATION AND NEWS?

We have a mantra in our company: “Leaders are Readers.” I borrowed that from Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t and head of Gazelle’s ScaleUp Summits. These summits are great for non-restoration professional business growth. Our company also has a book club, managed and tracked by www.betterbookclub.com, which incentivizes reading books from our internal library. We have had 55 book reports completed in less than a year!

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