Essential Tips to Getting Paid for Texas Storm Recovery Work
After the winter storm in Texas last month, contractors are stepping up to repair damages on residences and businesses across the state. But, when insurance adjusters and stressed property owners are involved, getting paid for post-storm restoration work isn’t always so simple.
If you want to protect your business and make sure you get paid for your services – especially if you’re coming in from out of state – you don’t want to miss out on this webinar. Klark Brown, the co-founder of AIR (the Alliance of Independent Restorers) and disaster recovery industry veteran, is partnering with Levelset to share exclusive insights on:
- How contractors providing restoration work can ensure timely payment
- Things to keep in mind if you’re working in Texas for the first time
- How to successfully manage relationships with customers during disaster recovery work
Danny Stagliano: (02:05)
Welcome to today’s webinar. Super happy to have you all join us as we talk about how you can make sure, uh, you’re getting paid. If you’re doing restoration work, find the winter storm down there in Texas. So if you’re here today, uh, you know, there’s been significant water damage from burst pipes on properties all across the state. So I actually came across this article the other day that talked about how insurance companies expect the number of water damage claims in Texas alone to exceed the total number of water damage claims handled nationwide, uh, throughout previous years. So pretty crazy stuff. Um, and it’s been a tough time for property owners down there in Texas. And, uh, y’all services are very much needed. You’re gonna make a big difference here. Um, so whether you’re a restoration contractor, a plumber, or just a contractor taken on some recovery work for the first time, the point of our webinar today is to make sure you’re getting paid for the work that you do.
Danny Stagliano: (03:08)
So, um, before moving forward, just want to say that we are recording this session live. So you’ll receive a link to the recording tomorrow. Uh, if you want to watch it again or share it with your team, and if you have any questions during the presentation, go ahead and enter them in the chat box on the right of your screen. Okay. So, um, just quick introductions here. Uh, my name is Danny stag Liano, uh, and I am a senior payment expert here at level-set. I work to help businesses like yours get paid faster and without payment problems with me is my less handsome colleague, Liam duddy. Uh, and he’s also a senior payment expert at Levelsets. Uh, and then of course, uh, the man, the myth, the legend himself, uh, Clark Brown. So Liam’s going to be leading a Q and a with Clark.
Danny Stagliano: (03:58)
Uh, and if you somehow don’t know who Clark is, he is the co-founder of the Alliance of independent restores. So, uh, just an expert in the disaster recovery and restoration industry since the early two thousands. And he has a ton of great insights to share about getting paid and protecting your business when doing recovery work. So, um, before I kick things over to layman Clark, I’ll just briefly talk about level-set and how we help contractors get paid. So, um, you know, we all know that the construction industry presents all sorts of challenges when it comes to getting paid. So what our software level-set does is it helps you track those mechanics lean and notice deadlines, verified job site information, and just make, uh, the paperwork process, uh, of lien rights management, super easy. So on top of that, we also have a bunch of free resources, uh, from contract review profiles, uh, to educational guides on our website. So now I’ll turn it over to Liam and Clark.
Liam Duddy: (05:01)
Awesome. Hey, I appreciate that, Danny. And I appreciate the less handsome comment too. That’s nice. Um, well, yeah. Awesome. Thanks Danny, for kicking us off here. So yeah, let’s jump into question, uh, question answers with our special guest Clark Clark, can you tell us a little, let’s just start off, tell us a little bit more about what you do. Give us some background about how you got into the restoration industry, maybe restoration and buyers, advisers, and air. Um, could you start off with that please?
Klark Brown: (05:28)
Yeah. Uh, I’d love to thanks for having me on. I’m always, I love doing this is I think my third or fourth webinar on different topics for Levelset. I love what you do for contractors and I, I get so many followup conversations and calls about what you do. So it’s a, it’s a much needed, but, uh, yeah, so I’m originally from Texas that we’re going to be talking about today. I currently live in Richmond, Virginia, um, grew up in a whole different industry, but still a service industry. And it was tiny became related to some of the restoration disaster work. I was a subcontractor and what I did and I joined the industry is, as daddy said, 2002 with a really, really stellar company out of Texas. And we only did commercial and natural disasters across the country. So I worked with them and one other company for quite a long time, had some incredible mentors, got a great education by fire, hard knocks, the whole bit traveled.
Klark Brown: (06:26)
The country, traveled the world, 11 other countries doing disasters and tsunamis and whatnot, and, um, started my own company for a couple of years and built that up and sold it. Um, wouldn’t quite say I’m a serial entrepreneur, but I’d probably fall into that category. Um, but I found the love for teaching and coaching. I have always been the person that people came to for, for advice or coaching assistant. And I’m real relational. I’m not a transactional person. I look at everything relational and not transactional. And so I formed a restoration advisors in, uh, around 2016, 2017 as Jew. I’m a business coach and a mentor and a consultant, kind of all those things want, you know, real small firms, just myself and another person. We only have a stable of a few clients at a time right now. Um, but I’m pro contractor. I love helping the end-user, but my best needs and services aren’t to help a contractor number one, stay in business and be profitable and then follow a path of growth of how to help more people.
Klark Brown: (07:31)
Um, and then being so pro contractor, we started, we saw such a need in our industry of, and every industry is the same way. There’s good actors and bad actors. Well, we found out that good contractors like to be surrounded by other good contractors, like where are people like us? So we started the Alliance of independent restores, which is a trade association a little bit. And then just the community mastermind, if you will. But it’s also giving a lot of, uh, we’re taking away the learning curve for newer contractors on how do I go from where I am to where I want to be without spending a lot of money without making a lot of mistakes and taking an ungodly amount of time. And so we just try to mentor people. And then those of us that have been in the industry a lot longer, we get to continue to stay on top of things like level-set with new technology that wasn’t around when we were in before. So it’s just a great ecosystem that I get fortunate to play in and meet thousands of contractors all the time, which is what I love to do.
Liam Duddy: (08:30)
Thanks for sharing that. And it has been a pleasure working with you past couple of years, Clark and developing this relationship with, with air and your members. It’s really something I love working with. It’s, I’ve developed a love for restoration work and restoration contractors through you. And it’s been a really an ultimate pleasure, and we are thankful for you to be here today. Um, leading into, I do want to start off with just Texas storm recovery. So I see on Facebook Clark, you’ve been flying back and forth, uh, hitting up Dallas, going down to Houston, you know, all over the whole entire state from Virginia back to Dallas, I think the past couple of weeks. Um, what is the most important thing that you’ve learned from those jobs that you could think of on the top of your head?
Klark Brown: (09:13)
The most important thing that I’ve learned? Um, well, the most important thing is we’ve never seen anything quite like this. Um, it’s, it is deceiving. It’s deceptively a major event. Um, you mentioned Austin, Houston, Dallas were the three main places. I went driving down the road, driving down 35 or any road there. You don’t see anything affected. This is not a storm. This is not a hurricane is not a hailstorm. This is inside of structure. So a lot of people have undervalued what the size of this is and what daily what’s talking about. Some of those figures are absolutely things I’ve heard. And I completely agree with the belief. So I think that a lot of people were called, uh, the resources, the services that we need to supply chain demand was really, really a big challenge in the beginning because no one ramped up for this. Um, and then another interesting thing is there are way more claims than there are adjusters right now, which are gonna make this insurance part very interesting, especially on the emergency services, the, the early part where you just know, no one’s going to get to the job. There’s going to be a lot of questions about your documentation a month from now. So for those reasons, it’s been very, very interesting.
Liam Duddy: (10:31)
That’s interesting. I haven’t heard that last point that you made about the sheer number of just adjusters. What I’m just curious, just on top of my head, I’m thinking payment issues, right? They’re slow payment dragging their feet. Have you seen that similar just contractors, still having to maybe pull teeth or, you know, really have a process to where they’re being reaching out to the necessary people to try to make sure that they’re getting paid on time. Have you seen that post issues when there’s less adjusters or people available to get that processed?
Klark Brown: (11:02)
Uh, yes and no. Um, some of it is varies depending on the carrier. Some carriers are much better and have much better practices and are much more customer centric than others. Um, we probably have heard that a million times. Um, there’s also a true that the adjusted the carriers know from a retention standpoint, this were just in Dallas only they could, they have enough independent adjusters that they could swarm thousands of adjusters and handle that stuff. But because it’s so many, they are being a little bit dare to say a little more liberal, but at least a little more forgiving by getting some funding over to some people. Because these floods in these homes from, from freezing freezing pipes, a lot of times they were pretty substantial cause they, you know, they had no power for a week. It affected the entire, maybe the floor or the whole house.
Klark Brown: (11:54)
There’s a lot of situations where people having to move out. So that gets into what’s called ale, allow, allow living expenses. They need money to move into temporary housing, get their goods for emergency things they need right away, cleaned and moved. So I’ve seen, I’ve been very impressed and pleased with some of the response from the carriers, but then there’s others that are just saying, we won’t get anybody out there for two months, do what you have to do. And there’s no direction which causes the insured, the homeowner or business owner, a little paralysis analysis, a little frayed to go forward without some direction or at least some affirmation of coverage. And so that’s where I’ve just been telling everybody, just have them cite. Is this loss covered? Yes or no, because you have an automatic duty to mitigate in your policy. You have to mitigate to keep it from getting worse or then you start seeing some denial issues.
Liam Duddy: (12:48)
Yeah. That’s interesting. I’m glad to hear, um, the compassionate people overall in the state has really transcended all the way from the carrier down to the yeah, exactly. It’s been, it’s been great. And funny you say that I know three people on top of my head that had to move where they’re living now and go somewhere else because they were in an apartment or their house, a pipe broke. So it it’s, it is just rampant. So I’m glad to hear that that compassion is, is all over. Um, going into that. This is a piggyback off the last question, but obviously a lot of people are coming into Texas and they’re traveling here to do this restoration work. A lot of restoration companies from all over. I know people from Indiana, my home state that have came down. I know, you know, a lot of members as well that probably been doing the same thing. People that are traveling into a new state or maybe doing Texas or not Texas, a storm recovery work for the first time. What is some advice that you’d give them about getting paid on these type of jobs?
Klark Brown: (13:45)
Well, first off contracts and understanding what every state may as many things that we made me alike in contracting world, every state, including Texas has some very specific guidelines that you must follow when contracting on a relationship like you’re entering. So understanding what those are and getting, making sure your contract will cover your butt to do this work. It’s we have an overwhelming amount of empathy. You just mentioned that on the previous thing to people, the compassion Fogg’s over, sometimes the logic and forgetting that we’re a business and not just people doing an compassionate thing. It’s a real tough balance for some people. But I, I brought probably, or I didn’t bring, I encouraged a lot of members of air in any, any contractor. If you have capacity to come down here and do this kind of work, this state needs you. These people that you, this is a time for you to put all your training to use, but make sure your ducks are in a row.
Klark Brown: (14:46)
Make sure you, um, especially we’re talking about water damage. We’re not even talking about mold remediation yet, but we’re talking about straight up water mitigation, you know, make sure your insurance covers you outside of the state you’re in. So just, I would say on the front side of that, and then just best practices. I’m the first one Liam that tells everyone. I know we are dealing with an insurance company involved, but if you treat every job like insurance is related and be consistent and say, this is how I work. I cannot finance for six months, your, your, your remediation, I’m going to have to get paid. This is how I get paid back home, the way I’m going to do it here. And if a customer can not agree to those terms, it’s not the customer for you. So that whole thing FOMO comes in fear of missing out. Let me get down there and gobble up as much revenue as I can. It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t collect on it. So I would just say, pump the brakes, the fire’s out now, just slot into really good, smart business and use that to help people with.
Liam Duddy: (15:48)
And that’s my dog barking. I knew I appreciate that by the way. And if you heard my dog howling and you liked what you had to say, Clark, I appreciate that. That actually led into my next point. You can actually see them here. We’re all working from home now. It’d be nice to be in an office to run these so I could leave the dog at home, but he’s been my, uh, he’s been my roommate here for working from home. But yeah. Um, Clark, going back into that, I appreciate you sharing that with me, that actually led to my next point, you know, bout working with homeowners, um, they’re in a crisis situation or, or they’re in a post crisis like we have with Texas storm conversations with the property owners about payment. Oftentimes it could be stressful, you know, they’re in a stressful situation.
Liam Duddy: (16:25)
Um, it can be a stressful occurrence or post some issues, I guess now in Texas general contractors, in terms of lien rights, they’re not required to send out what we call preliminary notices, just a general notice setting expectations, but when you can send them, that’s exactly what you can do. You can set those expectations and onboard your customer in a respectful manner and show them you’re serious about protecting your lien rights. Um, so Clark, can you talk about just the benefits? I know I already touched on those a little bit, but just the benefits of having maybe an onboarding process, including preliminary notices and how that might help with those conversations.
Klark Brown: (17:03)
Oh, of course, this is a very, you know, you’re not talking about this many times. I think it’s, it’s, it’s beyond the technical experience that you get for to do the work that we do onboarding and being able to understand the customer does situation paves the way for success later on, though, the better you are at it. We know we both don’t people that are extremely good at it and that’s it onboarding properly. Setting expectation is just leading you to the one thing that’s gonna make you a break you and that’s trust. If the customer trust you, which might be through you, sound competent, you had seem to have some processes, your uniforms look great. You have the right tools. You’re not showing up with a hammer. You’re showing up with an infrared camera. You have 500 online, five star reviews that all is coming as one recipe of success.
Klark Brown: (17:51)
But those that don’t do well in that area. And just say, your insurance is going to cover it all. That’s the worst thing to say. You know, it might be true, but I’m not going to speak to what their I’m not going to set the expectation to where I’ve said something is abs I don’t deal in absolutes, but I will tell you that we’re going to do work. And we’re going to document what we do so efficiently and proficiently that there won’t be an argument that we followed best practices, which fit into what this template that the carriers like so that you can have an incredible chance to be fully reimbursed. Those kinds of things. But onboarding is we can’t help more people if we go broke. So we’re going to pick up our equipment and we’re going to finish on the last day. This is what the next one to two weeks are going to look like.
Klark Brown: (18:39)
And I want you to be on board with me as we go through that. I’m not doing an adversary, we’re in a, we’re in a contract here and I want to close it out on is good to note is when I showed up and you were happy to see me and want to leave, would you happy to see me? And we’re going to need to work together. We’re going to need to make it real clear to the carrier, what we’re doing. So that whole thing is something that I traveled the country teaching on. And when you get it, and when you have people in your team that really do it well, it things change. You get paid quicker, you get great reviews. You get, you know, customers that refer you, future jobs. Um, they don’t when you’re like, man, that, that whole thing went so sideways because unfortunately, if you aren’t onboarding, the carriers are going to whatever it is. They’re going to say, they’re going to say, well, your is just kind of a thief because he’s trying to get you to pay for work that I don’t approve those kinds of conversations. And they do happen. You’re allowing that wedge to get put in there. If you don’t have, if you don’t have the first opportunity to kind of build that bond, does that help answer that?
Liam Duddy: (19:43)
Yeah, no, definitely that, uh, it touches on the whole aspect of onboarding customers and what Levelset can help with as well. And I know that you’ve been a big advocate of just onboarding the customers, not of Levelset, but I’ll Levelset as well, but just also onboarding the customers in a way that’s respectful to the relationship and is showing them that you’re also serious about getting paid. Actually, I use this phrase a lot and I stole it from you, Clark. I don’t know if you took it from someone else, but I love it. The last webinar we ran, you used the phrase fair and firm. And I loved that. And I’ve been continuously saying that as well, you know, being fair, but also firm that you are a business and you need to get paid. So
Klark Brown: (20:23)
I think anyone that uses Levelset or even understands lean process, you owe it to your customer because that lean word or someone that doesn’t know what it is, they probably can Google it. And it looks real scary. So you have to have the acumen and the vernacular to kind of break it down with the terms that they understand saying, it’s the last thing we want to do. It doesn’t hit your credit. You know, all the things it’s, it’s not the end of the world. It can be taken off. All we need for is leveraged to make sure we don’t get stuck holding this and your carrier doesn’t, uh, indemnify you, or you get the money someone away, but having a good language about that. But yeah, being fair but saying, you know, we, we hope we don’t get to that point, but we will, if we have to. Yeah. I think I probably stole that from somebody.
Liam Duddy: (21:08)
I loved it. I’ve been using it ever, ever since I’ve been saying that. And it, it does. It makes sense. Um, you mentioned something also to me actually, the other day, when we were talking on the phone, Clark, you mentioned about most of these pipes bursting in Texas, that was covered because it was a, the insurance coast covered because it was a pipe thing. What about when the property damage isn’t covered by insurance? What should contractors be on the lookout for when it comes to collecting payment?
Klark Brown: (21:35)
Um, I’m about to sneeze. So if I, if I pushed my head away, it’s going to be, because this thing I, I coach every client. Every even if they’re not a client, every service industry professional adopt the idea of financing, get a financing company, make that easier, give your customer options. But if it’s self pay, they already have a perception of what you cost. So that’s where your sales come into plays, not sales, like buy, buy, buy for me, but let me show you the value and why things cost, what they cost. If I tell someone that your water mitigation services are going to be $14,000, they’re like, Holy, wow. Why would it cost that? Why did a couple of fans and dehumidifier? How would that come out? You need to be able to say, because there was a lot of, lot of things that go into place here.
Klark Brown: (22:29)
We’ve got to use the right equipment. We’ve got our guys, can’t be just guys off the parking lot of home Depot. We’ve got to have trained people to not break your stuff, to not steal from you. And he went, you’ve just got to be really, really good at that. But having financing for people, I will tell you in Texas right now, um, it’s incredible. How many homes there have these high deductibles? One to 2% of the home value. Now parts of Dallas are froze there. Some houses that are half a million dollars, 2% of a half million dollar house. It’s $10,000. That will be out of pocket for someone. And not a lot of people have even people have half a million dollar house don’t have 10,000 sitting around having some options would financing is one of those ways that I recommend doing it. But, um, and that’s a third-party company. I wouldn’t do it in house. I wouldn’t mess with, with that kind of a accounting for anybody.
Liam Duddy: (23:22)
Yeah. And then another thing too, we’ve kind of been touching on it. You know how to maintain these positive relationships with our customers, you know, onboarding, like you mentioned Clark being fair, but firm offering financing and other wheel and another tool in the wheelhouse. Do you have any other tips that can help contractors maintain positive relationships with their customers during these, um, during these storm recovery jobs? Yeah. Even during
Klark Brown: (23:46)
The storm recovery jobs, or even in general, general onboarding doesn’t stop the night or the day that you meet the customer. You need to have a culture of, if not you, someone is in constant or relatively reasonable contact with the customer, updating them. You may have told them the timeline of how things are going to go. But you also told them in a minute, whether adrenaline was way up here and they didn’t hear that. So you have got to keep nurturing and reminding through and say, Hey, we’re at the point, remember we said that our reconstruction team is gonna come in and we’re gonna do some measurements. And we’re going to start putting together this. Or I’ve got the electrician coming today just for moving the surprises for the customer. Because at this point you’ve told them, I’m going to take care of this for you.
Klark Brown: (24:32)
Well, you got to actually do that. Because again, that trust goes out the window on day three, this is nothing like you sold me. You sold me that first day. But man, since then, I haven’t seen you. Where does the challenge is in, in Texas right now, if you, if you came in from Indiana, go Colts, you might be handling 12, 15, 20 projects, which is probably more than your capacity, but it’s taking the most important people that normally would nurture relationships out of the equation and putting them into a production role. And the customers are just like, I haven’t heard anybody, anything what’s next, what’s next. And then they’re calling you, they’re having to bug you for information. Maybe their insurance company is saying, Hey, I don’t have this yet, that transaction. But if you get in front of that and do what you said, you would do saying we’re going to be, the expectation is we’re going to over-communicate until you tell us to shut up.
Klark Brown: (25:23)
And then, you know, I even asked customers, do you like email best? Do you like texts? Do you want Facebook messenger, Snapchat? How can I what’s how do you converse? Because I want to meet you where you are. And again, that’s building trust and they’re like, man, you’re as you’re, you’re exactly what we needed in this situation. Then after that, I hate to say it, the customer is kind of in your hands until you screw it up, but just, just continue in conversation. Just having a really good being a customer centric company. Like my Chick-fil-A all the way until they’re paid and they’re rolling out the door, then they’re going to come back and see you again or tell somebody else to come see you again.
Liam Duddy: (26:01)
It’s funny. You said that. I know, you know, uh, Tyler stoner, he told me about, uh, his Chick-fil-A restoration idea, um, or, or approach treating his customers. Shout out if he’s ever going to watch this cool guy, but, uh, no Clark. That’s awesome. I appreciate you sharing all that. You know, all your knowledge and answering all these questions. I didn’t have too many, uh, more questions. Um, really in general, about the Texas storm recovery work, do you have any parting advice or any other resources that you would recommend to contractors doing restoration work? Something that maybe we didn’t touch on? We have plenty of time here. So
Klark Brown: (26:39)
Absolutely. I would like to really come back to what’s my, uh, you know, restoration advisors is my farm. Not everyone is in a position to hire a coach, but what you are in a position to do is check us out at the Alliance of independent stores, go to AI, restore.org. I think when we post this, we’ll probably put this in some notes. I will tell you whether it be people going to Texas there went to Sandy and Louisiana or Florida, or wherever you go, if you will put yourself in a tribe of other restores, other people like you, and I’m talking about good quality people that you trust, the thing, when you stumble and struggle, you’ve got somebody there to help you out. I can tell you in Texas, the referrals were going back and forth. Hey, I’ve got as much work as I can get to for the next three days, I have this whole apartment complex, or I have this commercial building that they want someone good, and I want you to go get so that type of internal stuff, or I don’t have enough equipment, or I’m short on people today or chemicals, or that job is, you know, anybody that knows Dallas or Houston, you can be on two sides of towns.
Klark Brown: (27:48)
And that could be a two hour drive. Hey, can you stop over at this job? And I’m gonna tell the customer that one of my partners is coming, but I would just say, don’t look at your competition as competition, find a way to align with people and be something bigger than yourself and your again, your customer would be like, I liked that you view things that we don’t talk bad about the guys in green or grasping the yellow or red, don’t talk bad about the franchises or your competition. Just, just don’t say anything at all, if you have to. But I will tell you that people that have partnerships with others that do what they do usually can expand their capacity quite a bit, and usually benefit from that as well. And as well as learning, they get opportunities to go see jobs. They don’t, but so that’s what air, why, why am I saying that?
Klark Brown: (28:36)
Because air, we cultivate that we have chapters, we have national and regional events that we, that we bring people together. We continue to contribute to that mindset that if you just meet some others, and I will say, since we mentioned franchises, Liam and Danny franchises, and I’m an, I am completely about franchise as well. But what they have a habit of is staying stuck inside of the circle of their franchise and hearing the same thing, pull out of that and put yourself into some other places where people are doing things different. And, and you’ll, you’ll be amazed about, wow, this is a whole new field. This is a whole one pasture. There’s an app. Here’s a program Levelset. We’ve never heard of because maybe my franchise doesn’t talk about it, but they should. They bring it back to their franchise site. Holy cow. So I just tell people to kind of step out, be, you know, be contributors into their industry, be involved in stuff like that.
Klark Brown: (29:32)
But that’s one of the biggest things that we built air for because we found that most people want to do that. They just don’t know how. And we’re Al I’m hoping that we’re a little bit of a conduit for that. And, um, and we have masterminds. We have mentorship groups where someone’s brand new in the industry and we team them up with someone that’s been in 15 years. And that’s a, that’s a million dollar education. If anybody’s ever been in business, if I can flatten that curve of learning, that’s worth way more than whatever the dues would be for joining air. And then you start bringing your team, you know, we’ve got online learning some training courses and stuff like that. So a lot of benefits, but that would be one thing I would say, um, that this get involved with that.
Liam Duddy: (30:16)
Yeah, I’ll second that I’ve seen it, myself, people coming together. I went down to a, went up to Dallas and I met all a bunch of air members. There was people from service, masters serve pros, um, just starting out people, helping each other, giving each other leads, equipment knowledge. And I saw it firsthand. So I know you are doing that. And it is really something special. And again, just to, just to say again, we are thankful for the, uh, the partnership with air and its members and appreciate your time here again today. And I appreciate all those again, answering all those questions as well. You’re always wealth of knowledge, our second section or second of the last section, what I want to do. Um, I want to give you a quick overview about how Levelset helps getting paid. You know, we already touched on the payment process, onboarding your customer, setting those expectations, but I want you all to see how easy it is to file these notices or send these notices and track your cashflow using Levelset. So Clark, I’m not sure if it’s been a while, if you’ve jumped into the program, but
Klark Brown: (31:18)
I shouldn’t while I’ll talk about it all the time, but you guys are such, you’re such innovators.
Liam Duddy: (31:25)
Well, it’s a, it’s a big team back, uh, you know, behind everything here that really works hard to make, to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our customers. So I want to show y’all the program. Everyone here that’s attending just quickly, just a quick overview. This isn’t here to be a full demo. I’m not going to click through every note and show you every notice, but I want you to see just jobs here. This is where all your projects are going to be located. Your universal site of all your projects. You can see specific notices. So if you were in a state where a preliminary notice was required, say California, for example, you’ll see that that’s due in two weeks. Another example, you’ll see an Austin job here. I actually traded for this. You’ll see that lean is doing three months getting notified on those deadlines weekly, or, you know, some sort of variation, you know, maybe it’s five days before the deadline, whatever it may be.
Liam Duddy: (32:18)
Those notifications will keep you up to date with your lean deadlines and make sure that you are being proactive and PR and protecting yourself. Another thing, if you were to actually click on one of these projects, it’s going to take you into the project page. We can ultimately take this information from your accounting software, so you don’t have to enter any data. And then from here, it’s really easy to send out notices, you know, say you want to create a notice just to set expectations. You can go here, create notice, and we can send something out. You know, these notices are ultimate. Ultimately you’re able to customize them, add the language that you want to include it on them should load up here soon. Just show you the first cover letter. And this could get sent out right on the star of the job. You know about you, about your company, who you were hired by any other stakeholders. And then the last page, maybe talking about the onboarding process or talking about your expectations to payment. So let me get out of here,
Klark Brown: (33:24)
You know, w while you’re doing that, Liam, I want to tell everybody the thing I get from the most from people is aren’t my customers going to get angry because I’m using lean and, and, and, um, and I’m like, again, it goes back to the onboarding, but no, not once you tell them what it actually, why you’re doing it. Um, and, and I can tell you that from getting paid standpoint, you and I both know several people that say this there’s one person that gets paid in an average of 18 days, because claims go in two different piles. Those that have been notified that lean processes will be followed. And those that don’t and believe me, there’s a pile that goes a lot quicker than the other ones. So don’t be afraid. Um, I know people that put, they send out 300 lien notifications a year, but have zero. I’ve never put a lien on a building because they’re paid well before that. And you can, uh, advertise that.
Liam Duddy: (34:20)
Yeah, I was gonna, I was gonna actually ask that Clark, you know, a lot of people think, and what you’re talking about is that notice of intent, a lot of people think are maybe scared to send this, but like what you said, Clark, if you set those expectations in the beginning and say, no, this is a tool for you and me to go to and make sure it prompts insurance to take action and pay us, pay you pay. So you can pay me, um, as a, not a tool to place any pressure on the homeowner, but more sort of a tool for them to motivate and get insurance to have that payment coming in sooner. So that’s that document Clark’s talking about that notice of intent to file a lien. And ultimately we’re going to be able to send all these out for your business. That was just so quick, quick Garvey. I just wanted to show people here that maybe aren’t too familiar. And then think that was the last point on my end. Um, Danny, if you want to wrap us up here,
Klark Brown: (35:15)
I’d love it. I’d love some questions if anybody has any questions.
Liam Duddy: (35:18)
Yeah, for sure. For sure. So, yeah, we do have some time for anyone in the audience to ask questions. So, uh, there’s a Q and a button on the bottom right there. So if anybody wants to throw something in there, uh, you can get Clark, uh, up close and personal answer. Also
Klark Brown: (35:38)
Tell you the reason that I’ve always been attracted to level-set is because it’s just me or anyone in a business that’s growing. You’re usually wearing 42 different hats for 43, trying to remember these days and trying to make sure it’s on your calendar and everyone else sees it. And you get busy. I can tell you when people have missed their opportunities on jobs to, to not file a lien or to send those intent. So this just handles it. And to literally one job can pay for the annual cost of this one, getting one job collected quicker, we’ll actually cover it. So I certainly won’t be able to put it into that perspective. Instead of that question always is how much does it cost is how much does it cost if I don’t do it? And that’s always what I usually do that boomerang on that question with,
Liam Duddy: (36:28)
We have, uh, we have opening positions. No, I’m just kidding.
Klark Brown: (36:31)
You have so many, you know, I wouldn’t tell you guys give, like, um, I’ll follow you on LinkedIn. And you’re so prolific with your educational based webinars like this on so many different topics that I wouldn’t know, attorneys, engineers, accounting is you every week. It seems like you’ve got a webinar with an expert or a guru at something. And I just hope if nothing else, until someone’s ready, they will at least be on LinkedIn or Facebook and subscribe because I have watched most of those. And I’ve learned something every single one, but a lot of people will do that for a season, but you guys are just prolific all the time.
Liam Duddy: (37:11)
Yeah. We appreciate that. We are a, it’s a motto ad Levelset, or I guess within the sales team, and maybe this is internal, but it’s help first sell second. You know, we want to extend a helping hand first, really help the customer, do whatever we can to help them first and foremost. And then if they want to pay for our services. Great. But we do offer those a lot of those free resources and, uh, and thankful for you to be the guru here today on the webinar. Do we have any Q and A’s anybody want to me Danny or anybody? We may must’ve touched on everything. Clark you’re you’re too thorough.
Klark Brown: (37:49)
Yeah. Um, Texas, it still needs a lot of help. Uh, if no, one’s asking questions, I’d like to throw something out real quick that, um, I told you guys I would like to, to bring up, um, Texas is a state that’s regulated for mold. So water damage is one thing. Um, those all started, you know, it quickly turns, especially the warmer declining got up to 75 degrees. Water turns into mold really, really quickly. And there were so many cases and so many, um, claims that there weren’t enough for contractors. So we are getting into mold. And the real concern amongst all of us was what happens in a state that you have to be licensed to do it. It’s going to happen to all these projects. Well, just this week, the TDLR, the department of resources has lists that they govern this process. They’ve lifted the lead to be licensed.
Klark Brown: (38:43)
And now they just ask for anyone inside or out of state, and it’s not licensed to register and have some acumen and some training and certification and mold to allow more people to be able to do that. So, and Texas has always required an assessment for the mold first, which means a particularly trained hygienist needs to come in and do testing. That’s been lifted just from a state of emergency, trying to get these things into a healthier same point. So if you are experienced at mold remediation, which is a much more scheduled, methodical, planned out process, it’s not urgent and it’s not. So professed, Texas still needs you because there are hundreds of thousands of homes that need it to some degree. Um, so team up with someone and go down, but you now have the capacity to do that because mold as anybody on this call, if they do mold work, you know how much it can make people sick. So I, from a PSA standpoint, I wanted to point that out today. Thank you.
Liam Duddy: (39:43)
That’s good. That’s good to know. We have, we’re going to have to put some information maybe about that.
Klark Brown: (39:49)
Yeah. I’ve got that. I’ve got that release that I’ll send over to you. And if you want to put that on your website, you could, right?
Liam Duddy: (39:54)
Yeah. That’s, that’s really good information. Now. I see that mold also. Unfortunately, hopefully it doesn’t. But do you foresee a lot of those mold issues coming up in the future and the maybe later future with maybe some improper places not being fully dried out or
Klark Brown: (40:11)
Yeah. So about that. So I also want to mention that in Texas, because there was a huge mold frenzy many, many years ago that it’s not widely covered and people may not have mold coverage. And this conversation may be back towards the self pay, find ways that people can pay for that to get done. Um, so as par as mold becoming an issue because of improperly, uh, mitigated no drying habit, I’ve told everybody that, you know, hundreds of homeowners and business owners, if you, because everybody was on the phone, trying to call someone to come out and respond to they and they couldn’t, or wouldn’t document every attempt that you make, you’re going to want to prove to your insurance company. This was not me sitting on my hands doing nothing. I was attempting. I called this many people. This was the time of day I was on the list.
Klark Brown: (41:02)
No one showed up finding when someone did show up, it’s been three, four weeks. It’s no longer just water. Now it’s mold growth. I can’t speak for insurance companies, but I would say there’s almost a certainty that in a court of law that would not fall under a maintenance issue, that would just be an area wide disaster state of emergency issue. And it would probably be covered in, I’ve seen some cases for better insurance companies saying, we understand let’s now move into the mold and let’s get a number together and do that. So it’s certainly a concern we’ve got as we move along. I think there’ll be a lot of attorneys, a lot of PAs for many, many years to come.
Speaker 5: (41:42)
Wow. That’s interesting. I know you’ve been a big proponent of communication, communication, communication. It’s also, uh, taking, uh, taking pictures, you know, record keeping, making sure you have all that documentation information as well as communication.
Klark Brown: (41:58)
Always, always. It’s just, you know, it’s not something you think about till after anyone hears this recommended. If any contractors are watching this, put those kinds of things on your social media and tell the public. And even not just in this case, a homeowner could do a lot to help themselves by doing a lot of documentation, keeping us accountable, taking pictures, knowing what got damaged and how much it cost and where to get it replaced, because those are all questions you’re going to get asked later. Great. Okay.
Speaker 5: (42:30)
It looks like we don’t have any Q and A’s coming in. Um, we will be sending out or Dan, do you want to wrap up?
Danny Stagliano: (42:35)
Yeah, I can wrap everything up. Um, this was awesome guys. I’m really, really happy to have everyone who came here as well. So as I mentioned, uh, previously, you’re going to receive a recording of this webinar and email either tomorrow or over the weekend. Um, and I also want to mention that if you want more information about how level-set can help you with filing liens setting notices and just helping you, uh, be more organized or proactive with your lien rights management approach, uh, we’re happy to provide a customized demo, uh, for you or anybody on your team. So, uh, visit the website listed, uh, on our screen. It’s just Levelset.com. Um, but, uh, again, I appreciate everyone coming and, uh, have a great rest a rest of your week. Oh, it looks like we have a hand raised.
Speaker 5: (43:33)
Are we able to, I think Roger, do you want to, uh, Oh, you got a Q and a cool give, can I give my, yeah. Roger, we can have someone reach out to you. Um, we’ll be sending you over an email. It will be coming from, uh, Oh, here we go. You can hear us. Can you hear me okay. Um, is it like the four of us? It is, uh, we have some people, we have some people watching from it. Uh, Hey, no problem. We can do Q and a. I do a lot of zoom and I didn’t know if you had that, you know, if you had that capability, like, Hey, can’t see anybody else, except the main, the main sponsors Clark, um, I’m 37 years in Florida and 24 years in Texas. Um, and I started my post camp, um, disaster recovery career back in 92 just before hurricane Andrew.
Speaker 5: (44:24)
And so, uh, moved down to Texas, uh, after working Andrew for about two and a half years in 94 and a half with that said, um, in my, in those 29 years, I’ve got 74. Well, Texas will be 75 post cat markets under my belt. And with that said, um, I want to, I, as you know, that insurers like Allstate right now, there’s a problem. Uh, and, and I’m, and I’m, I’m going to go into TDI and see what they got to say about it. You know, about Allstate’s like, Hey, you know, you got two days to speak up or, you know, if there’s a burst pipe, you’ve got two days to speak up or
Speaker 1: (45:12)
Roger, I was really enjoying.
Klark Brown: (45:17)
Yeah. I like where he was going with that. Let’s see, let’s give a second to come back. Cause I think it’s gonna be important here. And I want him to know that I’m, I am talking to generalities every everyone has that need us to tell you that if you check with your own company, what do you need from me to file this claim appropriately? They should ask that question. What am I exclusions? What are my limits? What are this, ask those questions. And I hopefully, if you ever want, if you have an agent that’s, who could be helping you because the carriers aren’t going to the phone line, people aren’t really gonna know, but, um, the sea of Roger comes back and see what he’s finding, but certain carriers are going to have some, but I would also warn everyone. Don’t just take someone on the phone forward for it, to your policy and prove it to you that that’s written. And that’s some kind of thing. So Roger you back.
Speaker 5: (46:05)
I, I just, can you hear me okay. What I did was, uh, I, I don’t have the mute on, on my end, so it may be something with zoom or, or between, you know, between the panhandle in Florida and wherever y’alls y’all are. Anyway, I lowered my hand and then I raised again, and hopefully, you know, maybe that corrected, we’ll keep you on. We’ll keep you on. We’ll make sure we don’t knock you off. That’s one of the things, one of the things that I emphasize to contractors, and I think a lot of them are kind of paranoid about the unauthorized practice of public adjusting. That carriers try so hard to twist and turn into something. Um, here in here in Florida, that can easily end up being a felony, uh, by just, you know, just by their kind of logic, um, in Texas. And, uh, of course there’s that thing also.
Speaker 5: (47:00)
And so I think that, um, there’s a multifaceted thing that carriers are going to take advantage of it besides like all States two days thing to make a claim, um, that things are being lined up to, uh, shut the mouse of contractors, uh, regarding policy language and things like that. And over the years, I have constantly told contractors, public adjusters, attorneys and others, even the tax department of insurance were going in and looking if you’re going to be an imp, like I was there. And I still practice at working with other contractors and training PAs and giving counsel, I mean, giving consulting, you know, my end of things, that attorneys and all in on that contractors absolutely have to, if they’re going to get in the insurance related, uh, insurance related construct reconstruction projects, they have to look at these policies of their clients, commercial or residential.
Speaker 5: (48:01)
If they know what they’re stepping into or need budget wise, w what do we start moving into? And with hybrid policies that are coming out where, you know, say the roof is ACV and everything else is, you know, what is supposed to be, um, and all of that, that I think Clark, I want to get with you on refining those details about what, what should contractors do when they go into a, uh, let’s just say, this freeze, Thall water, uh, now mold thing. What can you do by looking at the policy, not to, um, discern what coverage is so that you can stay in business to find out what the reconstruction budgets are, but also, uh, so that when you let someone know, like on the carrier, and you’re looking at these policies not to negotiate claims or effect or affect, or move along the claim, you’re looking at these things to protect your business.
Speaker 5: (49:07)
That’s what you’re looking at. These contracts, these buffer insurance policy contracts for, um, besides that, do any of y’all have, I know plenty of people in my network over the year from the different trades, different specialty trades, what are mitigators on, uh, people that, uh, and myself that can build, if a tornado takes a house down, how to go in and get those rebuilt, and also look at policies and see if they have an extra, if they have O and L, if they have, um, an extra 25% for market surge, you know, coverage and on and on AOE and everything that I’m aware of that goes on, on either side of the indemnification fence to get stuff done with that, with that, and the current thing in Texas about water causing mold. Um, and, and, and I was there. I was there when that whole mold thing both legitimate and taken advantage of by mode.
Speaker 5: (50:05)
Mitigators just took off crazy, took off and, and all of that, what happened, but as it’s swinging back around, and now we’ve got this attached to me to look at a cat three water is what I’m interested in, water damage, being the cause, mold, being the effect, so that even a year or two, or whatever the road, uh, ones can turn around and go look, uh, we’ve got it mapped out. And, and, and it may be we’re doing where the typical homeowner can be traded D trained to do, um, mold mapping, take the pictures, you know, just, just get everything in place to show the molds and whatever flavors they are, but that it all goes back to water. And at what point did that water coming through structures or spreading throughout structures and the stuff behind walls and on walls from day to day living, at what point did that water turned into cat two and cat three water, and no matter what, it’s, what it’s eventual makeup, that it is why mold exist.
Speaker 5: (51:14)
If not for the moisture, even if it was evaporating and settled on services and triggered mold growth, it’s water damage that we’re looking at. And then by proxy, we have the mold thing going on. So Clark, that’s what I think when you brought up about the mold coverage, I get that. And I lived through it and was never a proponent for it, but it’s, it is what it is. So I think that insurers are going to try to wiggle out of a mold, this and mold that without them realizing their clients may not be aware of how forensically and physically water works and, you know, in its solid state and liquid. And then, and then as a gas and, and, and mold growth subsequently. So what are your thoughts about taking the mold issue and getting ones, whether it’s through TV stations, radio stations, uh, zero Rez and their reach out of Dallas and all that, and, and getting the public educated that look, folks here, here’s the way to contain it and, and not just kill it, but also break down the toxins in it, not necessarily behind the walls, unless you go in with this machinery and yada yada yada.
Speaker 5: (52:34)
But what about the first line of defense of getting it covered as water damage in whatever category it is, uh, by insurance? What are you, what are your thoughts about that potential? Well,
Klark Brown: (52:47)
Doing that, Roger. So I’m deeply entrenched with the public adjusting side of the world. Um, the right ones. We obviously know just like mitigation companies, like contractors, there are bad representatives of every, there are some PAs that you don’t want anywhere near your building here, your client, but that from the right people have the right thing to heart. We’re already doing huge education efforts in all the major cities with Facebook ads and whatnot. Listen, my whole platform is education. And I, I educating the customers what I want, every single restoration company, every contractor, to get a YouTube channel and become a subject matter expert. Like did not fan learn that book inside and out and have that vernacular. Um, so I won’t say I’m already there. We’re already doing ads. We’re doing commercials and promos. I’ve got a podcast. I talk about this nonstop to see not everybody hears it because they don’t know about it, but it picks up traction every week, but I’m going to win the storm.
Klark Brown: (53:48)
I’ll be on stage there. Um, I’m, I’m a huge advocate and a public speaker on educating the customer and the contractor so that the, both, and I’m not anti insurance. Listen, if I owned an insurance company, I would do the exact same thing. They’re doing it. It’s borderline on ethical, but it’s not illegal until it is. So I’m important. I’m a member of the APA Liam, the American policy owners association. It’s a non-profit association that the watchdog group for bad faith and false engineering. So, yeah. So I appreciate all your comments, Roger. It is certainly it’s not as black and white, but what I don’t like, and I’ll stop at this cause I have another call. I don’t like contractors who are not educated enough to start making claims on policy language and really making it worse for everybody else. So they don’t know. I’d rather them shut up. If you don’t know, go, go figure it out or refer your client to a PA or an attorney. But I just watched way too many laymen try to become legal experts at policy language and completely put their customer in harm’s way.
Speaker 5: (54:52)
No, I absolutely. I absolutely agree. On the other hand, um, I have the highest respect for ones like Cal spoon that name’s gotta ring a bell, Cal spoon and Prince busters. Yep. Okay. Uh, him and I have been on roofs together. Okay. And when he opened up his office, um, after the 2015, uh, tornadoes, you know, we were working together on stuff. I know a lot, a lot of people in the, in the, in the market. I know the, the major players or the ones that are responsible for getting APA together. I know Doug Quinn, not, you know, it’s over the phone, get your conversations online or whatever. Not, not yet me, but I understand, uh, over the years having
Klark Brown: (55:36)
Roger, Roger, can I interrupt you for just a second here? What I’d like to do first off? I think we’re steering away from some of the, I mean, obviously this is great conversation. I’d like to connect with you. I’d like you and I to get on a podcast together. But I do have to jump off this call. I don’t know. Maybe if Liam and Danny, you want to keep going with it, but I don’t want to deep rail our primary and get on our cause me and you probably have a soap box built up as high as the empire state building. It’s interesting to hear. I want to listen to the good I have to. I have to bounce. Roger, Roger. I’d like you to reach out to me. I’d like to get on my podcast with me because we know a lot of the same people, chip Merlin, Cal spoon, and, um, we can continue our, uh, our, our, our, our life’s mission, which is to educate and get people covered.
Speaker 5: (56:22)
We’ll let you run. I
Liam Duddy: (56:24)
Know we’re running up to the time. Appreciate for coming. And Roger, I can, uh, I can pass on Rogers and book to you Clark, or we can get it some way the other. All right. Thank you. I’ll find him. Awesome. See, Roger, I appreciate you jumping in here.
Speaker 5: (56:39)
Yeah, I, I didn’t. I was, I came in, I got the invite, uh, about, uh, I don’t know, a week ago or so I could check my email, but I had a bunch of dust work today and got caught up in some other stuff. So I came in, I think about the last 20 ish minutes. Yeah.
Liam Duddy: (56:55)
Will send over a recording for the full one so you can check it out. And in Clark, Brown is not hard to find contact info, but if you need anything, we’ll be sending an email. You can reply to us and we can get that over to you. And if you’re open to, uh, anything more about Levelset, we’re here to answer your questions as well. So,
Speaker 5: (57:13)
Yeah. Are you, are you, are you leaving right now?
Liam Duddy: (57:16)
We’re going to wrap it up here and then if you need anything more, um, we’ll send over some info and definitely, uh, we’ll make it. We’ll make sure it’s easy to contact us.
Speaker 5: (57:24)
Thanks, Liam. Is that, is that like a real name? Liam duddy. Yep. Cool. I was like, I don’t know. That sounded like something. Daddy.
Liam Duddy: (57:33)
He’s the payment cowboy. Yeah. I appreciate you. I appreciate you catching that. I’ve been telling people since it’s hard to spell daddy with the U. Um, but that’s probably for an off, we can probably talk about that off this webinar.
Speaker 5: (57:47)
Liam is like, I think some Irish strong Irish name. It’s Irish. I don’t know, man.
Liam Duddy: (57:53)
It’s a black Irish, but we can talk about that. A full heritage. That’s clear the black guy Rose. That’s awesome. Thanks a lot, Roger. It’s been a pleasure.
Speaker 5: (58:05)
Thanks guys. Thank you too. I look forward to it.
Liam Duddy: (58:08)
Thank you everyone so much. Take care.