CompanyCam’s very own Michael Gogan brought the spice this week in his interview with Paige Sosnowski, Business Development Director at Solutions For You (SFY) where they talk about golf, burgers, blue jeans, and all things SFY.
Sosnowksi entered the contracting industry when SFY did. Her dad is a contractor and her step-dad is a landscaper, so she’s grown up in the field. She had previously worked for non-profits and sort of fell into her position with SFY as business has always been a great interest of hers, though in the early days her father had her taping windows and digging holes with him on the job site. She loved the culture around SFY and the ability to golf, eat burgers, and wear blue jeans to work. “I decided then that this was my industry,” Sosnowski said jokingly.
What does SFY do?
SFY is a supplement company that handles everything from start to finish on the claim. Their role includes writing Xactimates, doing all the supplementing, back and forth phone calls between the insurance company. They also handle the money side of things — making sure checks have been released so contractors can get paid faster.
Sosnowski’s role is particularly between the roofers and the insurance companies. She’s the person that makes sure the entire roofing company comes onto a job without snags. She’s the one that answers all the questions, makes sure everyone knows what they should be doing, and she makes sure they know where they should be sending forms and the like. She defines her role has half business-marketing and half sales.
“I get to do a lot of client relations,” Sosnowski said. “And I just love people, so it’s a good fit for me and the company.”
What Areas are Business Owners Struggling in the Most?
There are two big problems roofing business owners face, according to SFY. 1) The owner’s crews aren’t taking photos or they don’t ever get the photos that their guys take, and 2) Delegation, in general.
“From an outside perspective, it’s pretty common that there’s one person taking on all the roles themselves, which is impossible to do in storm season, or there are huge gaps that need to be filled, but haven’t been,” Sosnowski said.
The example she used for this was an instance where an assistant was also doing supplementing, but doesn’t know how to supplement. Sosnowski mentioned that SFY’s role is basically an extended employee of a contractor’s company. She explained SFY is obviously third-party, but their ideal situation is they are an extended partnership with the companies they work with.
“Whatever company we’re working for, we’re just the claims department,” Sosnowski said. “This just helps the process be more seamless for the homeowner when they get their paperwork, for the insurance company when they’re dealing with us, as well as just for the contractor to have more of a unified front.”
Sosnowski explained that a lot of the time it’s the owner who handles supplementing work or they say they have an in-house team — which usually means their salespeople. Some people have mastered the balance of those roles, but Sosnowksi believes most people don’t necessarily have enough time in the day be selling, or managing, or owning and on top of that have to work on supplements. Supplements are something that can be easily delegated because it’s something a contractor doesn’t necessarily have to do if they’re documenting stuff well. With great documentation you don’t have to do the supplement yourself, but have experts handle that for you.
How SFY Can Help You
“[SFY] does a ton of in-house training and virtual training to help contractors understand how to use our system,” Sosnowksi said. “Our real goal, outside of making our business successful, is overall education.”
She said SFY understands that if people in the industry are more educated on what to do and how to deal with adjusters, for example, then it’s a win-win for everyone, because each roofer would be pushing the same arguments, they would all be documenting correctly, and Sosnowski said.
“We’re doing training five days a week,” she said. “even if a contractor isn’t directly working with SFY they’re at least educated on doing things correctly, which sets a standard for the entire industry.”
What Photos Should You Be Taking On The Job Site?
“Taking good photos is one of the most important things you can do in the supplementing process,” Sosnowski said. “Good documentation helps whether you have an in-house team, your crews are doing it, or you have an outsourced team.”
It helps everyone know what’s going on with the job, but it’s also a huge ticket item. For example, let’s say you’ll increase around $2000 more having taken the correct photos on the job. Sosnowski said their average goal is $150, but some of their customers take on an increase of $5000.
“We can consistently see those high percentages companies are hitting at every job and it comes from good documentation,” she said.
SFY has a photo checklist you can utilize here, that you can use for documentation. CompanyCam also has a checklist of its own that you can see here. You may not use every angle at every job, but just the ideas on the list can give a better scope as to what’s necessary for documentation.
“Our ideal situation is that a contractor takes those photos upfront,” Sosnowksi said. “So, when you sign the client the photos are already taken, and by the time we’re on the phone with the insurance adjuster, we feel confident because we have everything we need.”
There will obviously be some production photos in there or photos of things that come up once the tear-off starts, but those are pretty small in comparison to the photos SFY would like up front.
“That’s another reason I pitch CompanyCam so heavily… because of those production photos,” Sosnowski said. “It’s easy to get photos when you’re selling or on the job, but when it comes down to getting production photos from the crew an app like CompanyCam is an asset because you can make sure that you’re getting those photos, which are the big ticket items.”
How to Get Set Up With SFY
Sosnowski suggests getting started with SFY before the storm season gets hectic. There’s no onboarding fee, no month-to-month fee, no maximums or minimums, so signing up with SFY to have as a backup plan if overflow is the direction you’re going, it’s a no-brainer.
Onboarding in the slow season when you’re not too busy to train your whole team is ideal. It’s an easy process, but it’s even easier when contractors aren’t stressed out from all their work.
“If your sales guy is a great sales guy, he should be wasting 30 minutes on the phone with the insurance, he should be out there doing what he’s good at,” she said. “That’s where delegation comes back to and that’s where SFY comes in.”
Most companies use SFY to handle their supplementing completely so they can focus on their strengths and priorities. Sosnowksi suggests that if you choose to use SFY as an overflow option, however, she recommends getting set up when the storm season ends.
Huge thanks to Paige and SFY for joining us this week on Taco Bout It!
Stay tuned for more episodes and blogs next Tuesday.