After watching the success of a friend’s Paul Davis location, the Clifton family (mom, dad, and three sons, above) decided to open their own Paul Davis Restoration franchise in Panama City, Florida. Mark Finnerty, the company’s director of franchise development, says those types of referrals have been happening more and more and have led the restoration franchise’s explosive growth. Here, Finnerty shares his insights on Paul Davis Restoration’s recent expansion and the qualities that set the brand apart.
Please share details of Paul Davis Restoration’s recent growth
The pandemic created a lot of interest in the restoration space during 2020. We sold 21 new franchise locations and assisted with three resales. In addition, there are more approved new locations and resales pending deal completion at this time. The quality of candidates we are attracting and selling to is better than ever before.
How do you explain the success of the past year?
To me, one of the things I am most proud of is the number of what we call internal deals. These happen when our own franchisees bring us phenomenal candidates. One third of our new deals last year came from franchisees buying additional territories and we have more of those in the works. It is pretty awesome to see a franchisee who is investing in his or her team and creating opportunities for the team to grow and take on new responsibilities. The other really fun type of internal deal is when a franchisee brings us a close friend or family member who wants to follow the same success path.
We sold a location in Florida to the Clifton family, which includes a mom, dad, and three sons (above). Mom and dad have been friends with one of our franchisees in Maryland for 40 years. The Cliftons have been watching their friend for the last 10 years building his Paul Davis business. Last year, they sold the air conditioning company they built and called Paul Davis to start their next adventure.
Another similar situation involves one of our Utah franchisees and his brother. The older brother has owned his three Paul Davis Restoration locations for about 10 years and does a little under $20M per year. When his younger brother finally finished medical school, and became a doctor, he realized that he did not enjoy the field, so he and his brother partnered on another three units. There’s no better testimonial than to see someone you trust and care about succeeding.
What does franchise development look like for the next 12 months?
This is shaping up to be a great year too! We still have lots of great turf available. While the pandemic is still an issue for some, it has also created a lot of opportunity to place candidates in this great brand in a very essential industry. We have amazing numbers starting to show in our 2021 FDD Item 19 and that should help candidates realize that this is the right choice regardless of their background and experience.
What sets Paul Davis apart as a franchise opportunity?
In my opinion, it is our culture. To our candidates, that is probably less important than what the opportunity represents. We help our franchisees build really big businesses. The right candidate has an opportunity to join a business with an average location bringing in around four times the sales of any of our competitors in restoration.
Paul Davis has a company-owned, state-of-the-art training center (above) where new and existing franchisees earn IICRC-approved certifications in property damage-related courses. The facility includes an IICRC approved flood house, and other hands-on training modules, providing students some of the best preparation available in the industry. The Paul Davis Restoration training program includes:
- Interactive training at the state-of-the-art national training center in Jacksonville, FL.
- Continuing education courses
- Practical instruction on business management, production, and customer service processes.
- Education on local marketing initiatives and how to implement them.
- Continual opportunities to train in the latest equipment and techniques