How to Properly Scale Your Property Restoration Business with Greg Marthaler Jr.

Marisa Sanfilippo
Marisa Sanfilippo
Jul 11, 2023

In our third YouTube episode of Jeepin’ it Real, we catch up with Greg Marthaler Jr. from Solutions For You (SFY). We discussed how important it is to place a systems and process in place to scale a business properly, how business owners can gain time back with their family by learning to offload some work, and how Artificial Intelligence will affect the restoration industry in the near future.

Ryan: I'm Ryan Holliday here with Greg Marthaler of SFY Solutions For You, Catalyst Group member and yes, Supplement King of the Industry and we're excited to be at the Restoration Remediation Experience Conference here in Fort Lauderdale. Greg tell us a little bit about SFY and how your company is helping restoration professionals all over the country.

How SFY Helps Restoration Professionals All Over the Country

Greg: We handle supplement claims, we write claims, and we help contractors get through that process quicker. We help on the administrative lift that is in writing, the estimate, and as well as also training your own team members to do that. So instead of spending time training team members how to write estimates, you can spend time with them out in the field, and them getting the actual new jobs and managing that site.

We also do a lot of training. We actually have two certified trainers, Xactimate certified that teach exactly level one level two certifications. We also do other trainings with our SFY University that we have out there. Really trying to help lift and elevate this space.

Ryan: Awesome, fantastic! So I guess duplicating your knowledge is a big part of scaling your business right?

Greg: Yes, yes it is.

Importance of Getting a System and Process in Place to Scale Businesses

Ryan: How important is it for you to very quickly put systems and processes in place and take that knowledge out of your brain? Put it down onto paper down into a system in a process for other people to fall into it you can scale your business?

Greg: I think this is what most contractors struggle here in the water space. They struggle in learning how to scale properly and that's creating proper assistance. We can start with something simple that's been around for quite some time. That's the accounting practice right when we talk about counting bookkeeping and those types of things.

Those are really easy to systemize and get done I think really easy to offload. If you haven't started in that process and if you are an owner and you're doing your own accounting, you need to really stop and assess the value of what you are in the organization and if you're interested in growing your company to the next level.

If you're interested in scaling, that means you need to learn how to offload tasks that you're doing off to someone else and get to the point. That you could literally step away. If you were to leave your company for 60 days what would happen to it. And, that's a great fail-safe test on how well your company is doing. It'll show you great successes as well as great failures. And then from that, you keep working on it.

Ryan: Absolutely. You know you bring up such an excellent point with the accounting right because right I've spoken to a lot of small business owners who know their trade. They know their craft really well but the one thing that scares them the most out of owning their own business is the accounting service. The one thing that scares them the most about owning a business is the accounting side of things. Really just the businessing of it right.

One of the things that we're very passionate about solving here at iink is helping contractors with their cash flow and the accounting of that—that restoration money that's coming in from the insurance companies. So we're trying to make it as easy as possible for them to track all payments coming in from the insurance companies and make sure that everybody has that transparency, so very good for you.

Greg: Yes I'd agree because when you talk about accounting and moving that I think sometimes business owners, they focus too much on the data input instead of actually your job is actually to review the data that's been there and the oversight right. We're not saying you step away from accounting, we're saying you give that task to someone and then they give you a report updating you with the facts and numbers and your accounts receivable.

And that's when you call iink to help you move the cash flow. You can actually see how much money is sitting in reserves and manage it and know if you're over leveraged too far or under leveraged right because in business we're leveraging ourselves all the time. Our income coming out, our expenses going back and forth and learning how to manage that properly.

Ryan: Interesting, funny story last night we were hanging out in the pool over at the Hilton here and some of the folks from the event and a couple contractors that we were speaking with. We were discussing some of the challenges of scaling their business. One of the primary challenges for the owner of the company was that he's very type A—he likes to have his hands on everything.

That's I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that when you are delegating a task to somebody else within your business you're not just giving it up you're not just you know, trusting in someone else to handle it. You still have the ability to review everything and you should have systems and processes in place so that you are checking their work but not in an overbearing manner or a micromanaging manner. Just make sure that you're keeping an eye on things but also ensuring that it's being done the way that you've put into place.

Greg: I know for myself I have an accountant. I have a bookkeeper, an assistant to that right. So I have three people helping in the accounting process that goes through that but every week they send a report. I require a couple different reports. They send that to me every week and I'll review them.

I tweak those reports all the time. I'm looking at them, and I'm in like hey look I want to now also track these things or hey look when you're giving me numbers now I'd like to see this compared to this. So I understand the ratio of the percentage of this whatever that happens to be for your business and then you can manage more effectively and you buy time like you buy your time back. I know a lot of people like, ‘hey look I can do it,’ and I've seen that all the time, but I think people forget the time with their family.

As business owners we spend 60, 70, 80 hours a week but then we neglect that from our family and we don't ever put time back in our family.

So this may be you offloading work so you can actually spend an evening with your wife, an evening with your kids, an afternoon, like you take off a whole Friday evening. You pick up your kid early from school and you go do something fun. You go on a hike with your kids and family on a Friday. There's nothing wrong with that.

I think as owners we get to the point like we always have to be active, we always have to be busy, we always have to be producing and you feel guilty spending time with your family members and growing them because they're suffering all the time because you're bringing the work home. Owners bring the whole work home as much as we don't want to, it always comes home and go from there.

Ryan: One of the things we're very passionate about obviously here at iink is saving time for contractors. As our company scales up and as we are launching some new services, one of the things that we're looking to do in the future here very soon is helping automate that depreciation request and submitting those supplements on the back end that you know they may not have even remembered to put together. Just making that easy for them to get paid through their (property/home) insurance claim process.

How Helpful Better Accounting of the the Property/Home Restoration Payments Could Be

Ryan: How much do you think that would be beneficial to the industry if we can help them with a better accounting of just the restoration payments?

Greg: It would be huge. Roofing companies fold all the time, property restoration companies fold all time because they can't manage cash flow and it's understandable. It does become very complicated.

When you're newer and smaller in the business you don't have an accountant actually helping you as a business or you think you have everything. You hire someone better than you. Hire a great accountant that helps you manage everything properly.

They give you the information. You can see the actual how much money is outstanding but more than that, you can get the speed of money moving quicker. That's where most people lose is they forget how long it takes to get stuff moving forward and I've been in this situation when I owned a roofing company where it takes a month to get a check endorsed by a mortgage company.

[Further Reading: What to Expect from Monitored Claims in the Property Insurance Claims Process]

You're phone calling, you're emailing, you're FedExing with tracking numbers back and forth reissuing the check. 

Or there's two mortgage companies. One wants to endorse and the other one wants the other person to endorse it first. The other wants control of the money. It's just this nightmare then the mortgage company is like, ‘hey by the way I also need proof of loss that the work was repaired,’ all these other things and it's just this nightmare project just getting paid. 

You're like, I just want to get paid.

Ryan: We actually love doing that!

Predictions: The Future of Property Restoration and SFY’s Impact on the Restoration Industry

Ryan: Greg, last question: what do you see for the future of restoration and where is SFY going to be most impactful for the future of this industry?

Greg: We're gonna have to learn to elevate ourselves. I think with AI would be a prime example. AI and what it's able to do and the product is able to kick out there is pretty staggering. In under a minute you can kick out a nice essay of whatever it is at a high level, professional level, like most of us probably couldn't write. It would take us hours to do that.

So, I foresee us having to elevate our expertise and our professionalism to another caliber than we've ever been before. Where I think the slogan the Chuck and the Truck I think some of that's going to start dying.

You're going to have to really elevate yourself to be much more professional you're gonna have to start among people like iink to move your cash flow more effectively—to move it more effectively and understand the technology that's coming around.

Be aware of what's going on in that and I think that's where we're gonna have to elevate ourselves and marketing is going to go completely different if you don't think AI is going to change how we market things, you're you're naive. Like it's going to radically transform the marketing space. How we move money around and all that stuff so that that's where I see is we're gonna have to elevate ourselves completely.

Ryan: Greg marthaler from SFY thank you so much Greg for stopping by. We appreciate you and so does the industry.