In an effort to provide comprehensive services to our customers during their time of need, Aftermath Inc., the experts in crime scene cleanup, is proud to partner with other reputable businesses throughout the nation. This referral network compliments Aftermath’s highly specialized services by expanding our repertoire to encompass the fields of restoration, reconstruction and general contracting, as well as carpet cleaners, HVAC/air duct cleaners, biohazard remediators and funeral directors.
Whether the loss is large or small, residential or commercial, Restoration Coalition has the right contractors available. Since 2008, Aftermath partner Marina Collazo has been helping families and businesses mitigate the damaging effects of disasters by bringing together contractors from all industries that are considered the best in their fields.
Marina Collazo/Restoration Coalition Q and A
Give us your background. How did you come to be in the remediation business?
“If you would have told me at 19 that I would be doing this, I would have told you that you were crazy.”
Marina was born in Dallas, Texas, but raised in Chicago. Before moving to the restoration side of the business, she spent years working on the commercial end of insurance with several big name companies. Exposure to both aspects of the job allows her to handle her client’s needs with knowledge and skill.
“Then Hurricane Katrina happened. I spent 8 weeks learning restoration 101.”
Following an intense first-hand experience, Marina helped her employer file over a half million claims. But she wanted to do more. In July of 2007, she attended a women’s conference where she discussed the need for advocacy. The advice she received was straightforward: start your own company.
On August 1, 2013, Restoration Coalition celebrated 6 years in business.
Where is your business located and what areas do you service?
Restoration Coalition is based in the Chicago area, but operates nationwide.
“If I have contractors I trust outside the area, then I refer them.”
Marina answers each one of her client’s questions by maintaining a diverse and well-connected network of experts. She provides her cellphone number to every client, and instructs them to call whenever they have a question.
What is the industry like in your particular location? What trends have you seen in the past year?
“You are only as good as your network. I have never needed to cold call in my business.”
According to Marina, the biggest problem in restoration is that many providers are not trained professionals. Clients searching for the lowest price can be quickly taken advantage of. She focuses on educating her clients and insurance agents on who not to hire. When partnering with other businesses, Marina looks for certified, licensed companies who have a reputation for strongly adhering to regulation standards.
How is being an Aftermath Partner important to your business and to your customers
“People are kidding themselves if they think they can do it alone.”
In her role as partner, Marina hopes to get the word out to restoration companies about the value of Aftermath’s service. She reaches out to fire and police departments with the hope of increasing visibility and promoting safety for her customers.
Why do you choose to direct your own customers to Aftermath?
“Make me look good and I will use you again. Show me that you believe that the client comes first, no matter what.”
Marina chooses her contractors based on how closely they follow her business philosophy. She strives to provide the best for her clients, and looks for other businesses who share a similar outlook. Her experience with Aftermath is founded on a sense of personal trust and contact.
Do you have any stories you can share, either about being a partner or about restoration in general
“The core of my business is amazing people who make me look good.”
In January of 2013, a client called Marina regarding a leaking roof. Neither the family’s insurance adjustor nor their preferred contractor would examine the structure for fear of ice. Understanding the urgency, Marina’s contractor drove nearly two hours to check on the home. An emergency repair was deemed necessary, as the shingles/tile had been lifted by heavy winds, exposing the wood surface. Fortunately Restoration Coalition acted quickly: the house might have been destroyed by torrential rains that occurred just a short time later.
Finally, how does your business participate in the community?
“My grandmother instilled in me that it’s important to be involved with the community. It’s your village, and it takes everyone to make it work.”
Marina is active with her church and other volunteer and charity organizations. She is a member of the Rotary Club and a board member with her local Chamber of Commerce. Restoration Coalition regularly performs pro bono work for seniors and uninsured families.