PuroClean is set to add 60 new franchises this year — and has no plans to stop.

By Alan Dorich, Knighthouse Media

When investors choose to buy a PuroClean franchise, they are confident in their future success. “Our ownership commitment of building a world-class brand is something that resonates with franchise candidates,” Chairman and CEO Mark Davis says. “They see that we believe in this.”

Based in Tamarac, Fla., and known as “The Paramedics of Property Damage,” PuroClean offers water, fire and smoke damage remediation, mold removal, biohazard cleanup and reconstruction services. The company started operations in 1990 and has enjoyed great growth over the years, Davis says.

When PuroClean began franchising, it saw value in building relationships with brokers and broker networks. “That was really the catapult, if you will,” Davis says. The company also experienced a wave of growth in the mid-1990s, when the need for restoration work grew due to the recession in the construction industry.PuroClean fact box

Davis, who previously co-founded BELFOR, the largest restoration company in the United States, bought PuroClean’s franchise system with Vice Chairman Frank Torre in 2015. “Our growth since then has been significant,” Davis says.

In 2016, PuroClean added 21 franchises and doubled that number last year. “We are on track to add 60 new franchises in 2018,” Davis says, adding that the company has 265 locations across the United States and Canada.

PuroClean continues to work with brokers to find potential new owners. “We believe that they’ve got some of the greatest access to qualified franchise owner candidates,” Davis says, adding that the need for its services has increased after the recent hurricanes and the California wildfires. “Franchise brokers do not to have to go far to explain to people what restoration is,” he adds.

The Long Haul

Davis and Torre are actively engaged with PuroClean’s franchises. President and COO Steve White oversees the company’s day-to-day operations, but “Frank and I are involved every day in business development,” Davis says. “We literally work 24/7 on national accounts to drive the franchise business to our franchise owners.”

When they bought the company, “There was $2 million of revenue driven to the franchise owners,” he recalls. “That number in 2018 will exceed $30 million.”

Their involvement inspires confidence, Davis asserts. “When franchise candidates realize the owners of the brand are proven operators of the industry, they know we’ll be around for the long haul,” he explains.

PuroClean is experiencing positive trends under their leadership, including existing franchise owners buying more locations. “That’s happened for the first time in the history of the company,” Davis says, noting that six franchise owners have multiple locations.

Some franchise owners have also renewed their agreements. “The main reason [for it] is the value that they see in the growing brand, and the fact that we’re driving revenue to our franchise owners,” he says.

Recognizing Opportunities

PuroClean’s franchise owners benefit from the work of its partner company, Signal Restoration Services (Signal). PuroClean takes on traditional residential and small commercial claims, but Signal specializes in larger commercial work that can range from $20 million to $120 million in budgets, Davis says.

“There are very few franchise owners in the industry who could handle large jobs like that,” he states, but notes that Signal prevents PuroClean franchise owners from completely walking away from a project.

For example, after a fire at a major university in New York City, a PuroClean franchise owner provided water removal services. When he discovered that the client needed fire repair services, “He recognized the opportunity and called us,” Davis recalls.

Signal won the $10 million project and hired the franchise owner as a subcontractor. “He also received a referral fee for the completion of the job,” Davis adds.

Company Commitment

PuroClean has a strong record of avoiding disputes with its franchise owners. “I can count on one hand the number of times that this has come up,” Davis says, noting that a primary reason for conflicts is territory. The company has avoided this problem by giving franchise owners territories that are twice the size of those offered by its competitors. Davis and Torre’s focus on unifying the brand also has reduced disputes.

“We came in with a fresh start and said, ‘Here’s our commitment — we’re going to keep the money in the company,’” he recalls. “We’re also going to work eight days a week for our franchise owners.”

This has boosted morale at PuroClean, as well as profits. “Our franchise owner revenue is going up double digits each year,” he says, adding that he sees further growth for the company as it follows its “PuroClean 500” initiative. As part of this plan, PuroClean will grow to 500 locations, putting it in all 50 states and all Canadian provinces. “[We’re] building out the footprint in North America,” he says, adding that the company also plans to add locations in Puerto Rico.


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