Rainbow International Restoration
Number of Locations
Rainbow International has over 400 locations throughout the world. The vast majority of these are in the United States and Canada.
The primary services that Rainbow International offers are based on fire and water damage. The company is less focused on everyday cleaning. The specific services it offers are:
CLEANING AND DEODORIZING
On top of the ‘emergency response’ services offered, Rainbow International also offers secondary services, designed to minimize the impression that any damage has occurred.
Much of this centers on cleaning and deodorizing, intended to remove smoke smells and mustiness from fire and water.
These services include:
In cases where water mitigation is not possible, Rainbow International also provides reconstruction services. These range from the (very) short-term solution to more comprehensive remodeling:
❏ Board Up & Tarp Over Services
❏ Full-Service Reconstruction
Rainbow International actually operates as a subsidiary of Neighborly, which is a large holding corporation, owning 18 major service-based franchises. Neighborly also owns companies such as Mr. Rooter, Drain Doctor, Real Property Management, and Molly Maid.
Rainbow International was actually the first of these companies to be founded, and the Neighborly holding corporation grew out of Rainbow International. It is currently headquartered in Waco, Texas.
RATINGS AND REVIEWS
BBB RATING: A+
The BBB rating for Rainbow International varies, as each local office is rated separately. A significant number of their franchises hold an A+ rating.
PROS AND CONS OF USING RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL
Rainbow International operates in a relatively crowded business environment, and as such, it is well worth considering the advantages and disadvantages in comparison with some of its competitors.
The three main services that Rainbow International offers are water, fire, and mold remediation services; most of these are one-off services with a number of competitors. Of these competitors, some are at a national (or international) scale, like Rainbow International, while others are more locally based operations.
Rainbow International has achieved its size and success through strong operations; moreover, its size now allows it to further cement its operations. Rainbow International’s services offer the following advantages:
Despite the obvious advantages of using a large company’s services, there are a couple of questions hanging over Rainbow International’s performance. These bear considering, particularly given the range of potential other companies available.
Using our five-stage rating system, Rainbow International gains a score of ‘Average.’ Certainly, some of the branches are able to offer a service that is good or even excellent.
However, the variance between different branches implies an absence of quality control at a corporate level and a resultant slip in standards. That is not to say that Rainbow International provides poor service, or that calling them will result in substandard work; instead, it is more a commentary on the overall standard of operation.
The strength of Rainbow International’s competitors in exerting a strong centralized, standardized, and highly controlled product means that there is additional scrutiny of any deviation. This is, unfortunately, the case with Rainbow International.
It’s not that Rainbow International offers a bad service – it may offer a better service than its competitors – it’s more the fact that for a customer to use a large, national chain, the chain has to offer a reliable service. This is the primary reason for choosing a large chain over a local provider. If the chain cannot offer this, they very quickly lose their point of difference.
RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL HISTORY
Rainbow International has a truly inspirational rise to success. Rainbow International was initially a carpet dyeing and cleaning company, purchased in 1981 by Don Dwyer in Waco, Texas.
As Rainbow International grew as a franchise, Don Dwyer quickly began to acquire other successful cleaning and repair companies into the Dwyer Group. Eventually, the Dwyer Group became Neighborly (Neighbourly in the UK and other British-English speaking parts of the world) – a holding company that controls a wide range of franchises.
Rainbow International currently operates over 400 locations throughout the world. It specializes in commercial restoration and carpet cleaning, particularly after extensive damage. Rainbow International prides itself in fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, mold removal, smoke damage restoration, and other related services.
Neighborly is still headquartered in Waco, and while Don Dwyer passed away in 1994, the company is still run under his guiding acronym of ‘RICH’ – Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus, Have Fun While Doing It!
HOW RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL OPERATES
Rainbow International focuses its branding on its award-winning services. Unlike other companies in the same market, it doesn’t try to inject too much of a business ‘personality’ into its products, preferring to rigorously promote its excellence across the board (in terms of value, equipment, franchisee training, and customer service).
Like many other companies in the industry, Rainbow International operates as a franchise system. As mentioned above, this is centrally controlled from Waco, Texas, with over 400 locations throughout the world, primarily in the United States and Canada.
One of the big tenets of its model is that its operators are trained in professional qualifications, and many achieve industry-level certification as part of what they do. As a result, many of their operators develop lifelong learning qualifications, which gives them a competitive advantage, particularly when it comes to new pieces of technology.
Similarly, the speed with which Rainbow International was able to respond to the demands of COVID-19 is also a testament to the high levels of training, and the responsiveness of the business model to new issues.
ULTIMATE SELLING POINT
One of the biggest points of difference between Rainbow International and other companies in the restoration and remediation industry is that Rainbow International has built strong relationships with insurance companies.
This represents a significant advantage, on the basis that most people who use Rainbow International’s services will be those who have experienced some sort of home or commercial building emergency, and therefore will be looking to pay through insurance. Rainbow International markets itself directly to insurance agents, using its established brand presence and the quality of service to advocate for being the first call after an emergency.
On top of this, Rainbow International focuses on its established systems and extensive training. However, while this may be the focus of the marketing push, it is less of a point of difference than is the explicit connection with insurance agents. Almost every competitor discusses their excellence of training and smooth processes. However, Rainbow International shows that it knows who its real market is.
To become a Rainbow International franchisee, the fee is $40,000, with an additional investment range of between $193,670 and $287,295.
Don Dwyer talked in many of his books about the benefits of owning a franchise (which was how he learned about the Rainbow International model), and as such, there is a strong focus on investment in terms of time, money, and human capital in the franchise model, both from Rainbow International, and the franchisees themselves.
Ultimately, Rainbow International struggles to differentiate itself in a marketplace that is crowded with very similar products and business models. Partially, in fact, this is the point. Because it offers little difference, it can piggyback off other companies’ offerings and models and still grow.
There is not a scarcity of customers in the marketplace, and the value of each job is high when you focus on water and fire damage (particularly when being paid by insurance companies, making it effectively a B2B industry).
As such, Rainbow International can operate unspectacularly, part of a diversified portfolio for the Neighborly portfolio. Although the quality may differ across branches, it is difficult to imagine this being too great to affect service to a noticeable degree, and certainly not enough to cause reticence in the face of a flood or house fire.