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Top 10 Lead Sources for
Water Damage Restoration Work

Top 10 Lead Sources for Water Damage Restoration Work

Lead generation for damage restoration companies is all about investing your time and money wisely. Everyone’s marketing budget has limits, so getting the biggest bang for your buck is critical. To build the best lead generation strategy for your damage restoration business you will need to find the most effective combination of tactics for your unique goals. First you must understand the most commonly used channels, how they work and how they can bring you more water damage work. 

In this article, we identify and rate the most common lead generation sources for local residential water damage work. We utilized information from the Cleanfax Restoration Benchmarking Survey Report as well as first-hand experience from our nation-wide network of More Floods Members to compile this list.

As you explore the Top 10 Lead Sources for Water Damage Restoration Work, you will gain insights into each major channel by comparing the Pros and Cons and discovering helpful tips for how to harness them. These tried-and-tested sources are waiting to be tapped, and YOU are about to get a sneak peek of how they work!

1. Plumber Referrals

The largest source of residential water damage leads is plumber referrals. Makes sense, as most residential water damage is plumbing-related, and most homeowners turn to plumbers first when they have a water damage emergency. In fact, the majority of homeowners do not know damage restoration companies exist.

The largest source of residential water damage leads is plumber referrals. Makes sense, as most residential water damage is plumbing-related, and most homeowners turn to plumbers first when they have a water damage emergency. In fact, the majority of homeowners do not know damage restoration companies exist.

Fact: According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average home in the U.S. only floods once every 52 years!

Pros

  • Plumbers see more residential water damage than any other source.

Cons

  • Not an ‘instant’ lead source. It takes time to establish a relationship and get them to start referring you.
  • Referral fees for plumbers are on the rise. You need to know how to combat that with relationship-building that isn’t exclusively focused on paying referral fees.
  • They may be easier for your competition to “poach” by paying higher referral fees.
  • Competition is extremely high for this lucrative lead source.

TIP

Before you fire up the plumber marketing jets, make sure you are operationally sound. You must validate the plumber’s decision to refer work to you beyond the referral fee you pay them. Things like answering your phone live 24/7/365 and getting to the loss fast are critical so that the plumber knows they will never get an angry call or a bad review because they referred you!

TIP!

Before you fire up the plumber marketing jets, make sure you are operationally sound. You must validate the plumber’s decision to refer work to you beyond the referral fee you pay them. Things like answering your phone live 24/7/365 and getting to the loss fast are critical so that the plumber knows they will never get an angry call or a bad review because they referred you!

More Floods has a complete Plumber Marketing System to make you the #1 choice of plumbers in your area. We also offer Elite-level training for your Marketing Reps designed to help them foster long-term relationships with referring partners.

2. Insurance Agent Referrals

While agents don’t typically get involved in the claims process, those with a strong commitment to customer service or those who have had a poor experience with a contractor often will.

Pros

  • They are highly loyal to you, and not likely to be poached by your competitors. The agents who get involved in the claims process to ensure a high degree of policyholder satisfaction are inclined to make you their sole go-to company.

Cons

  • Not an ‘instant’ lead source. It takes time to establish a relationship and get them to start referring you (longer than plumbers generally).

If you are looking to tap into Agent Referrals, More Floods can help you. We offer a complete marketing system with dozens of steps and tactics aimed at Insurance Agents.

3. Third Party Administrators (TPAs)

TPAs work on behalf of the insurance carrier to manage claims. They are highly focused on keeping the severity of the claim down. Unfortunately for you, they achieve this by dictating pricing to any damage restoration company on their ‘program’. 

Pros

  • TPAs will send you work without you having to market to them.

Cons

  • Less control. You will agree to their pricing and terms. This often results in steep discounting of your pricing and profits.
  • Your job average and overall company profit margins may take a hit the more you rely on TPA work versus other sources.

TIP

Try to avoid becoming too ‘TPA heavy’ in your job mix. The age-old wisdom about not having all your eggs in one basket applies here.

TIP!

Try to avoid becoming too ‘TPA heavy’ in your job mix. The age-old wisdom about not having all your eggs in one basket applies here.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In today’s digital era, having a strong online presence is crucial for water damage restoration companies. Search Engine Optimization works by optimizing your website and content for relevant keywords so you come up higher when a flooded homeowner searches the internet for help. 

Pros

  • Pays off long-term. Investing in your website to make it generate leads for you has long-term value.
  • Improves your reputation. With the help of SEO, you can create and maintain a positive online reputation by highlighting the valuable content you provide and engaging with your clients online.

Cons

  • Not instant. Compared to Pay-Per-Click (PPC), SEO takes much longer to start generating leads.
  • Typically requires an expert. Unless you are well-versed in SEO, it is recommended you hire an expert to run your SEO.

TIP!

SEO for water damage leads will generally take longer, and require different approaches than other services, like mold remediation. This is because water damage is usually an emergency, as opposed to people ‘shopping’ and ‘educating’ themselves about mold or cleaning. Your SEO provider should know this. If they don’t, you’re probably talking to the wrong provider.

TIP

SEO for water damage leads will generally take longer, and require different approaches than other services, like mold remediation. This is because water damage is usually an emergency, as opposed to people ‘shopping’ and ‘educating’ themselves about mold or cleaning. Your SEO provider should know this. If they don’t, you’re probably talking to the wrong provider.

More Floods partners with a digital marketing firm to provide digital marketing (including SEO, PPC & more) at a discounted rate for More Floods Members. They are well-versed in SEO for water damage restoration.

5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Of all the lead sources, one of the quickest ways to get leads is Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Google Ads and similar services work by displaying your website when someone searches using specific keywords you define. You pay each time someone clicks on one of your ads.

Pros

  • Fast return on investment. Within a short time of a PPC campaign being live and running full speed, you should see some leads coming in.

Cons

  • Can quickly become high cost if your PPC campaign isn’t hitting on all cylinders.
  • Lower closing percentage on leads. The homeowner who comes to you via the advertising link they clicked online has zero relationship with you which is very different than being referred to you by a trusted third party.

6. Lead Generation Services

The most instant solution for getting water damage work is using a lead generation service. These organizations sell leads to you.

Pros

  • Fast. You will start getting leads immediately.

Cons

  • Extremely expensive.
  • Highly competitive. You may be racing your competitors to the same lead.

7. Carpet Cleaner Referrals

If you haven’t considered marketing to carpet cleaners for restoration work, you may be missing out on a largely hidden source of water damage leads. It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to call a carpet cleaner when their floors are wet so establishing relationships with them can pay off.

Pros

  • Not only can a carpet cleaner refer work to you, they can also be an excellent source of on-call labor when a surge happens.
  • There’s a good chance that your competitors have not tapped this source, so you may be able to snap them up.

Cons

  • Not an ‘instant’ lead source. It takes time to establish a relationship and get them to start referring you.
  • May view you as competition. Increasingly, carpet cleaners are adding ‘restoration’
    to their own service mix. Note: You can use this to your advantage. While carpet cleaners may be equipped to tackle smaller losses, educate them on what is involved in larger losses and the upside to partnering with you to take those types of losses on.

More Floods believes strongly in the power of referring partnerships. That is why we have a complete marketing system built to help you market to carpet cleaners.

8. Social Media

Social media has become an indispensable tool for all sorts of businesses. While posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. may not bring damage restoration leads in the form of new targeted clients, it can bring you leads in the form of referrals. It is important to stay top-of-mind with your referring partners as well as your past clients so when someone needs help, they will think of you.

Pros

  • Increases visibility and brand awareness. Posting regularly keeps you top-of-mind.
  • Positions you as the industry expert. Sharing helpful content like tips related to damage prevention and restoration builds trust which is essential in our industry.
  • Referring parties may be checking you out here. Building a feed that establishes you as the type of company they want to partner with is important.
  • Improves SEO and website traffic. Regularly posting to social media with relevant keywords, hashtags and links to your company website can help you rank higher on search engines.
  • Can have real-time communication with customers. Social media is a great tool for building customer relationships by responding to feedback, inquiries and more.
  • Easily measurable. Social media sites make metrics like engagement and reach easily accessible so you can see the impact of your posts.

Cons

  • Not a great source for direct new leads. Think about it, people are not going on Facebook the moment their house floods.
  • Time consuming. It can take a lot of work to build an active social media presence across all platforms. 

TIP!

You want to be posting 3-4 times per week on each social platform.

TIP

You want to be posting 3-4 times per week on each social platform.

We understand Social Media can be a time-consuming lead source. Luckily, one of the exclusive member discounts that More Floods Members enjoy is discounted digital marketing (including social media posting, SEO, PPC & more). 

9. Networking

By now you know the power of relationships when it comes to lead generation for water damage work. Networking through business groups, Chambers of Commerce, etc. is another way of developing key relationships in your area.

Pros

  • These groups are designed to facilitate referrals.
  • Allows you to tap into an extended network of your contacts’ family, friends, etc.
  • Networking groups are a good place to connect with referring parties.

Cons

  • Not an ‘instant’ lead source. It takes time to establish a relationship and get them to start referring you.
  • Some networking groups are exclusive. Be prepared to find they only allow one company per industry vertical into the group. So, you may have an issue breaking in if there’s already a restoration company in the group.

10. Traditional Media

Last in the rankings is traditional media – print ads, billboards, TV and radio. For water damage, these are not likely to generate enough return to warrant the cost. Remember the average home in the U.S. only floods once every 52 years! Because homeowners do not need damage restoration on a regular basis, it is unlikely they will remember your name when an emergency comes up.

Pros

  • Not many.
  • May create brand awareness with referring parties when used strategically.
  • May help to create awareness of services people “shop” for like mold & cleaning services.

Cons

  • Cost vs. Return. Your money and time are probably better spent on other lead sources.

TIP!

If you do want to explore traditional media – like radio, TV or print – consider earned media outreach. Make yourself available to reporters during a surge. Provide tips for homeowners. Then feature the news story showcasing your company’s expertise on your website to super-charge your SEO.

TIP

If you do want to explore traditional media – like radio, TV or print – consider earned media outreach. Make yourself available to reporters during a surge. Provide tips for homeowners. Then feature the news story showcasing your company’s expertise on your website to super-charge your SEO.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to water damage leads, do not put all your eggs in one basket. We recommend using different marketing channels to generate leads so you are not overly dependent on any one channel. At More Floods, you will learn how to generate your own leads so you are not reliant on things like TPA programs that give you little control over your own business. If generating more water damage work is high on your list of goals, contact us today to see if your exclusive territory is available!

About More Floods, Inc 

At More Floods, we specialize in helping independent water damage restoration companies dominate their local market through marketing systems and operational systems specifically designed to create a superior experience for your referring parties and loss victims. We’ve helped hundreds of companies in markets all across the country grow their water damage business to new heights. Want to learn more? Email us at info@morefloods.com or give us a call at 866-931-4231. 

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