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It All Depends: The Nuances of Contents Restoration

If you have been in the contents restoration business for any length of time, you’ve gotten a call from an adjuster or property manager regarding a potential project asking something like this: “Hi, Barb–hey–quick question. I have a loss (fill in the blank: fire damage, water damage, microbial growth, wind damage, etc.). It’s a standard 1,800 SF house with three bedrooms and two baths. The contents need packed out and cleaned. How quickly can you do it, and how much will it cost?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this,

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Going Beyond Panem et Circenses

Beyond expanding your bank account or attending the next Taylor Swift concert, can you articulate where you are now against what you desire for tomorrow? If you are an employee like I am, have you considered what you require today versus what’s needed to achieve your long-term goals?  As an owner or high-level manager, how much do you care about where your employees see themselves now versus where they want to be? What’s your role in helping your team understand why this matters? Every company should have a mission, vision, and values statement that

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The IICRC Fire Damage Standards – Why You Should Prepare Now

Now is Time to Get Ready A professional remediation standard for fire damage will be published. You can count on it.  Never more sure about it, I wrote these words myself and published them in an article1: “Some fire professionals have been hearing about the first-ever internationally accredited fire restoration standard for a long time…Right now, work is underway…this much is certain: the standard for fire damage restoration is coming, and it is going to be impactful and important. But the process takes time….work started in very early 2014.” All that is true. Impactful,

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Lessons From My Children: Bravery

If you know me today, it might be shocking to you to know that when I was young, I was not brave. In some ways, I still am not. Throw a ball at me, and I will still be terrified I’m going to fail to catch it and it’s going to hit me in the face. Same if you kick a ball at me. I really don’t care to be anywhere near a moving ball, in fact. But I digress.  Levi and Luca are fearless. And they continually surprise me by unknowingly showing me

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The Culture Guide

In the Onboarding section of the Employee Experience series, we briefly covered the value and purpose of a culture guide. A culture guide prepares a new team member to seamlessly integrate into your culture by clearly communicating what will be expected of them instead of leaving them to figure it out on their own.  A culture guide is not the same as a handbook. You can think of the handbook as a document for the employee, and the culture guide as a document for your team member. The handbook is the appropriate place to

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Life’s Unexpected Moments

“Knowledge is power, and it can help you overcome any fear of the unexpected. When you learn, you gain more awareness through the process, and you know what pitfalls to look for as you get ready to transition to the next level.” – Jay Shetty The Monday before Christmas, at the end of a particularly trying day, my husband went downstairs to close things up for the night – only to discover a pool of water on our kitchen floor, and water coming through the light fixture hanging from the kitchen ceiling.  Our new

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Five Things Every Restorer Should Know About Data

Data is one of the most powerful tools in a restorer’s (metaphoric) toolbox. “This is true, unless your data is inconsistent, inaccurate, and the data collection practices you’ve allowed take root in your team are spotty at best,” states Leighton Healey, CEO of KnowHow, in his recent article. Especially, as AI (artificial intelligence) becomes more accessible and relevant in our daily lives, restorers should be paying attention to their data. Read through the topics below to learn five things all restorers should understand about data, for the sake of their business. Types of data

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How is Your Executive Function?

I have the honor of leading a weekly mastermind group of home service business owners. Our group has met every Tuesday for several years and we have a solid roster of business owners who run successful service businesses. Recently, the topic for our weekly conversation was “executive function” and how a lack of skill in this area can negatively affect a business. As I was preparing for this meeting, I was becoming increasingly uneasy. I looked at the list of executive function traits and realized I had serious problems in many areas on my

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Leading In Crisis

Years before I worked in the world of restoration and learning and development, I was an emergency manager for a metropolitan healthcare system. I often joked that I was a “paid, professional worrier”. In some ways that was true, as I spent a large amount of my time preparing my teams, our organization, and countless students at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness for sometimes unlikely, but still plausible emergency and disaster events. I helped leaders and response teams navigate a variety of incidents that did occur over the years. Some big, some small, and

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Case Study: Restoring Art & Collectibles

Share a little bit about your company – its background, location, etc. We are an art restoration company in Holbrook, NY who services “Brooklyn to Montauk” – the physical “Long Island”.  We have been in business for six and a half years and have a team of nine people. When did you first get the call about the loss? How did you land this job? Did you have a prior relationship, referral, online search, etc? Paul Davis of Long Island called us in on the loss, while we did not have a prior relationship

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