As hundreds of thousands of acres continue to burn across Northern California this week, we asked Stephanie Suchocki, General Manager of Superior Restoration, to share her experiences from helping to restore commercial and residential losses from the 2018 Holy Wildfire in Southern California. She also gives women advice about entering the restoration industry and how to lead with company values.
Tell us about Superior Restoration.
Superior Restoration was founded by Skylar & Jessica Lewis about 10 years ago as a small carpet cleaning business. It's grown into a $10 million restoration company, servicing all of Southern California with approximately 40 team members. At Superior, we specialize in commercial and residential losses, including fire, mold, and water damage. We offer mitigation, contents, reconstruction, and storage services. Our mission is to ensure that our team members view every project as an opportunity to make someone's life better.
How does Superior Restoration use Matterport? How have your customers benefited from it?We scan losses with Matterport, allowing us to decrease travel time, improve efficiency, and expedite claims processing and approvals. Matterport is a key differentiator in helping us win new business and allows us to be decisive in our decision making.
It is heartbreaking to watch the wildfires devastating Northern California. How has Superior used Matterport to help residential and commercial owners recover faster from wildfires?
When the Holy Fire devastated Southern California in 2018, we serviced eight of the twelve schools in the Lake Elsinore Unified School District impacted by the fire. We scanned all eight schools, which helped us strategically mitigate the loss from severe ash and smoke damage in a record week’s time.
We were the only restoration company in the area using Matterport at the time to document losses and as a result, we were able to settle our claims with the district quickly, while the other restoration companies went into litigation.
When restoration companies need to respond rapidly to wildfires devastating hundreds of homes and businesses, Matterport enables companies to scan and estimate losses quickly.
Superior Restoration takes pride in its culture, focusing on unparalleled customer service and the personal and professional goals of employees. Tell us about these commitments and your role in integrating them into the company’s brand.
This is really the crux of who I am as a general manager. Our culture is unparalleled. I work every day for my team. I want them to love their workplace and take pride in their contribution to the company.
To accomplish this, I spend time individually with each of our team members, making sure that their personal and professional plans are in alignment with the company’s vision and values. We all need to know where we're going, so we can achieve success together.
When our team members feel they’re part of a company that cares about them, their quality of customer service is off the charts. My team has learned the value of going above and beyond the experience that our clients would expect from a restoration company.
As a result, we have grown tremendously from word-of-mouth and shared experiences.
Tell us about how these values have helped the business grow.
A couple of years ago we documented our core values: Collaboration, Own-it, Mindful, Efficient, and Thirst for learning. Being a young company at that time, we didn't realize the impact of establishing those values would have on our culture.
Now, we spend a great deal of time in everyday conversations, reflecting on how we are individually and collectively fulfilling our values. We measure and market our net promoter score monthly, which has helped us grow our brand tremendously.
Would you say Matterport is a critical method to support the company’s vision and values?
Yes. Absolutely. Because we offer so many services at our company, including mitigation, restoration, and documentation of contents, Matterport enables us to send fewer team members to the property, reducing our overhead. With one scan, we can write multiple estimates for mitigation, contents, and restoration. We provide a copy of the scan to the adjuster to get the estimate approved quickly.
Our clients absolutely love it when we share a Matterport scan with them. Many times, businesses will request the scan from months or years prior when they need to plan for an onsite program or facilities plan. Providing a link to their Matterport 3D space is like sending a thank-you note our clients can continue utilizing to run their businesses.
How is 3D documentation leading to greater accountability and efficiency for the restoration and insurance industry?
I see how Matterport helps insurance carriers make more conclusive decisions in items they will cover. In the past, documentation with a JPEG or photos might not have been clear. With Matterport, there’s more data to substantiate claims.
3D documentation has dramatically reduced claims processing time. When we first adopted Matterport, our accounts receivable time for getting paid reduced from 2-3 months to 27-35 days on average, simply by attaching the link to the Matterport scan to the billing packet, rather than sending hundreds of photos.
What advice would you give to women trying to break into the restoration/industry field?
At Superior, we strive to hire a qualified, diverse, and inclusive team which, I’m proud to say, includes six women who are incredibly committed, detail-oriented, and dedicated to results. It's what drives us.
In every industry, there is some form of barrier for women. In restoration, specifically, it's often a question of competence in a field traditionally operated by men. I believe that women are competent, savvy, brilliant risk-takers, who deserve the opportunity to lead.
So it's my responsibility, as well as the six other women here at Superior, to blaze a path for any woman who wants to join this industry. We can make a big impact by making our voices heard, so that gender becomes truly irrelevant.
I offer my team members the following advice:
- Ensure you ask questions and receive answers before you leave the room. Learn as much as possible.
- Don't be afraid if people consider you assertive or bossy.
- Be the change you want to see in the industry, so women want to grow in leadership positions.
Overall, it takes a lot of tenacity and hard work, but the reward is huge.