Pure Restore, a full-service restoration business with 13 employees, has been all hands on deck since…well pretty much since they started in 2020.
In late 2021, they were looking to expand their services to include contents work. In order to do so, they were beginning to set up a warehouse facility and had committed to training the team on Encircle, the new software they had been testing.
Little did Pure Restore know, that as the final days of 2021 dwindled down, the most structurally destructive fire in Colorado history was just ramping up, a mere 12 minute drive from their HQ. An abundance of dry grass and a humid spring, followed by a dry summer and fall, allowed for a major grass fire to begin. Unusually high 115 mph wind gusts caused the fire to spread rapidly, amplifying the devastation.
The Marshall Fire burned over 1,000 houses in Boulder County December 30th through to January 1st. To make matters worse, the majority of the people affected were not fully covered by insurance.
With their community stricken by such horrific damage, it became clear to Pure Restore that the residents needed support and guidance dealing with the aftermath of the fire, and navigating through the slow-moving property claims settlement process.
Inundated with frantic calls, most restoration companies would not consider implementing new software immediately following a massive record-breaking crisis. But Pure Restore recognized that rolling out Encircle to their entire team would allow them to work more efficiently, and help more people in their community, faster.
Max Pena, Pure Restore’s Marketing Manager, discussed their decision to dive head-first to help, “being a restoration company, naturally, we just started problem solving. We had most of the content stuff laid out. We know how to do fire and smoke cleanings. We kind of had Encircle in our repertoire. We decided if we're going to really learn Encircle, let’s start now, as a team.”
The early months of 2022 were spent fielding phone calls, visiting jobs, giving estimates, and cleaning structures. “There's a huge spectrum of how these homes were affected,” Pena explained. “Obviously, we wanted to frontload the homes that had suffered the most severe damage. Then, once we figured out the structural cleaning estimates, we'd begin the contents process.”
Although the fire ended on the first day of the 2022 new year, the sheer volume of losses and the lack of other shops specializing in contents in the region meant that Pure Restore would remain extremely busy well into the summer months. Pena explained, “we are still receiving calls on a weekly basis with people who have not been able to find content companies or restoration companies yet. The structural side has finally slowed down a bit, the contents side is busier than ever.”
Due to the data-intensive nature of contents work, Pure Restore knew they needed a tool that would simplify the process as much as possible. Pena explained, “we realized that if we plan on staying a small team while keeping revenue high, we needed Encircle to help close the gap on all of this information. We cannot have 10-15 people on a job. Labor is far too expensive, and insurance companies are asking us to be as efficient as possible. ”
Easy to onboard, easy to use
Pure Restore was able to get their entire team up and running with Encircle quickly to handle the huge influx of jobs. Designed to be easy to navigate for restorers in the field, the app’s simplicity allowed them to train existing staff and onboard new hires faster.
Pena asserts, “Encircle is so straightforward to train employees on, even if they’ve never used apps in their day-to-day life. They can learn it within hours, and already be in the field, using it like a professional.”
Additionally, by using Encircle, Pure Restore was able to reduce the amount of new hires they needed, and focus on their existing staff. “Encircle has helped with retaining employees and making them feel like a lot of their documentation work is done for them. They just need to run the app. As long as they follow the steps, everything else is taken care of on the back end,” commented Pena.
Organization + efficiency = time saved
In a time when they were busier than ever before, the Pure Restore team was able to easily and consistently document all of their work in the field using Encircle. This information was accessible for all staff members, meaning everyone could view how jobs were progressing and where equipment was being used, in real time.
“Every person on our team is more connected. It’s totally revolutionized the way we’ve done business digitally. We can find information from the office easily, and then give it to project managers in the field,” commented Pena. He then went on to explain that minimizing the time between those interactions and increasing their accuracy has been game-changing: “Encircle buys you time, which is literally the most expensive and hard to acquire thing in this business. What would have taken eight hours, we can do it in 30 to 60 minutes now. ”
Pure Restore’s admin team also benefited from the increased organization Encircle provided during this high influx of claims. Instead of having to seek out job information from different sources, they had access to all the information they needed in one place, formatted the same way.
“Encircle provides the perfect centralized hub for our business. We get a full overview of multiple departments and projects within the company. When it comes to saving time and creating accurate documentation for each job, Encircle can’t be beat,”
- Emma Carroll, Office Manager at Pure Restore.
Enhanced operations in other business areas
While Pure Restore was heavily focused on helping their clients through their claims from the Marshall Fire, they also needed to continue operating the other areas of their business. Pena explained that their team has been able to use Encircle to document all job types, not just the fire and smoke-related restoration claims. “We are a small team, and we're running multiple contents jobs, we're still running water jobs, we're still getting mold inspections, we’re still doing indoor air quality requests. If it wasn’t for Encircle, we would be absolutely jammed up right now. It's making our lives so much easier when we would otherwise be very overwhelmed."
“Of any software we use right now, Encircle is our swiss army knife - it does everything we need it to. Some people may have heard of Company Cam. But that doesn't achieve the same level of organization and equipment tracking as Encircle, while also tracking contents inventories.”
Increased professionalism, reduced pushback from adjusters
Having an organized and repeatable process translates to professionalism. Pure Restore witnessed this while navigating the Marshall Fire claims, “when clients see how fluid your company’s process is, despite the complexity, it instills confidence and faith, providing relief during a stressful situation.”
Pure Restore has also seen positive results wrapping up projects and submitting final reports to insurance carriers for processing. Pena asserts,
“Encircle has helped a lot in our interactions with adjusters. Showing is a lot easier than telling, and Encircle is a powerful presentation tool to help the adjuster and insurance company understand how you operate and why. We knew Encircle would provide a full narrative of a job from start to finish, capturing all of the details. And that’s what adjusters want.”
Growth and Expansion
Pure Restore has gained a wealth of experience and confidence to handle contents work in the ongoing aftermath of the Marshall Fire. In fact, several restoration companies in the area, who normally are competitors, have started referring contents work to them. As a result, Pure Restore has decided to create an entirely separate contents business: Best Contents Cleaning. Staffed with its own dedicated team and armed with Encircle as their software of choice, Best Contents Cleaning is ready to serve their community and help more people through tough times.
When asked about the future of Pure Restore and Best Contents cleaning,
“Pena responded: “as the company grows, everyone has a little less contact with each other. As our guys become more experienced and independent we're spreading them all out in the field. Encircle is helping fill our communication gaps, and it has been a huge safety net. Whether we're running a contents job today, or a water job tomorrow, or we're checking on a water job from two days ago, it's all on there.”