Servpro is a company with more than 50 years of experience in the world of cleaning, restoration, and remediation. It operates throughout the United States and Canada under a franchise model. The corporate wing is headquartered in Gallatin, Texas, although the franchises operate in almost every part of the country.
The company specializes in cleaning up after damage caused by water and fire, although they also offer ongoing cleaning services (particularly for commercial buildings). Because of their expertise, Servpro is also well-placed to provide professional cleaning services that go beyond what a non-specialist can provide. This includes things like biohazard and crime scene cleaning.
Servpro operates a tight leash when it comes to its operations – the franchisees operate within a very narrow framework, meaning there is a high consistency of quality throughout the country. To put it another way, you know what you’ll get with Servpro, whether you’re in California, Maine, Florida, or Washington. Their cleanup procedures are market-leading and their expertise is plain to see.
Number of Locations
Servpro is a well-established brand throughout North America. There are more than 1,700 locations throughout the United States and Canada.
Servpro offers a wide range of services under the umbrella of fire and water damage. These services can be either localized (i.e. offered to one specific house) or generalized in the case of natural disasters. The main services Servpro offers are:
HOME RESTORATION SERVICES
The main service that Servpro offers is water and fire damage restoration. If your home has been damaged by either fire or water, Servpro prides itself on being able to restore your home as closely as possible to its pre-damage status.
This is true regardless of the cause of the fire or water damage – such as water coming in after a storm and other major natural disasters. Connected with water restoration, Servpro also specializes in mold remediation.
HOME CLEANING SERVICES
As can be expected from Servpro’s restoration services, it also offers ongoing cleaning that is not related to damage.
Servpro’s residential cleaning services touts expertise in the following areas of your home:
Servpro also offers specialist deep cleaning when it comes to things like removal and cleaning of biohazards, sewage and toilet overflow, trauma and crime scene, as well as vandalism and graffiti. In addition to cleaning, they can also remove odors from your home.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the cleaning services outlined for residential properties are also offered for commercial properties.
For example, Servpro provides commercial water and fire damage restoration, mold remediation, and cleanups after large storms or natural disasters. Servpro also offers ongoing cleaning services for businesses.
RATINGS AND REVIEWS
BBB RATING: A-
Servpro received an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau.
PROS AND CONS OF USING SERVPRO
Many of the services that Servpro offers are shared with local companies, meaning that – aside from major cleanups or niche contaminations – they are in direct competition with a number of other companies. For the consumer then, the question is why call Servpro and use its services. Below is a list of pros and cons to help guide the decision.
Many of the pros of Servpro center on the size of the operation (which has been discussed in detail above). In comparison with its competitors, Servpro offers the following:
Despite the clear advantages, there are a number of reviews on individual franchises that suggest some of the potential issues you may face when working with a Servpro franchisee:
Based on everything we’ve said above, we give Servpro a ‘Good Rating’ – based on our five-point system:
Put simply, you don’t get to where Servpro is without being a top-notch company. Although operating in a fairly unglamorous field, Servpro has managed to achieve brand recognition – something that is born of a commitment to professionalism and strong operational control of services.
Despite that, Servpro doesn’t achieve our highest ranking – Excellent – because of their high employee turnover, as well as some complaints online of careless service (breaking furniture and the like). While these are absolutely in the minority, and some complaints are to be expected, these take some of the sheen from the idea that Servpro operates a tight ship. They are though, our top rated large operation water damage restoration service.
Servpro was founded in 1967 by Ted and Doris Isaacson in Sacramento, California. Although the Isaacsons had backgrounds in cleaning and remediation, their company was initially a painting business. However, they soon returned to their area of expertise, converting Servpro into a company specializing in cleaning. The business model proved to be successful, and Servpro expanded at a rapid rate throughout the country.
Within two years, Servpro had its first franchisee, and by 2000 there were over 1,000 franchises throughout North America. In 1979, Servpro acquired Bristol-Myers Domesticare, bringing 175 franchises and launching Servpro as a truly national company.
Because of the size and scope of Servpro’s operations, it is well-placed to offer support in the case of major emergencies. After Hurricanes Katrina and Ike and Superstorm Sandy, Servpro provided widespread cleanup in the aftermath.
HOW SERVPRO OPERATES
Servpro is a market leader in their field. Moreover, they operate in a distinct way from many other companies offering comparable products. The three key areas in which Servpro differs from its competitors are branding, franchising, and operations. In all three areas, they have a very clear sense of identity.
Throughout its branding, Servpro leverages its size, using it to cement a reputation for trust, competence, and relationship with insurance companies. As with many franchises, the branding around Servpro is tightly controlled.
The Servpro brand focuses on the breadth and expertise of the services on offer. For example, Sevrpro highlights its 24/7 emergency service. Again, because it’s a national operation, there is a scale to the way it functions, it has the ability to provide service any time of day or night.
As a result of its scope, Servpro also highlights that it operates as an emergency service – touting its ability to be fastest to respond to a disaster.
In many respects, the business of Servpro corporate isn’t to provide cleaning services, but to sell franchises (which then provide cleaning services). In order to encourage local franchisees, Servpro offers its own financing to cover franchise fees, equipment, inventory, and the like. It also offers 20% off franchise fees for veterans and strong processes to make franchises easy to launch.
For the customer, this has a discernible benefit in that the franchises tend to be highly standardized and provide services as advertised. This means that, regardless of location, the customer taps into a strong nationwide set of experiences and expertise.
ULTIMATE SELLING POINT
The true mark of difference between Servpro and other companies is the sheer size of the operation. Servpro has multiple local competitors (many of which trumpet their local knowledge and history). However, when it comes to cleaning, customers require efficiency and professionalism, and this is what has set Servpro apart.
Servpro’s rapid response to large national disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, allow it to highlight its capacity to respond to all circumstances. After all, if Servpro has the capacity and operations to clean New Orleans in 2004, it can clean your home or office – and this is what Servpro relies on to distinguish itself.
In 2019, Servpro was subject to a corporate buyout, with the Blackstone Group acquiring a majority stake for a reported fee of over $1 billion. The Isaacson family (the family of founders Ted and Doris Isaacson) retained a minority share. Because of the close involvement of the Isaacson family, family members have remained at the VP level and it is difficult to see there being too much of a change in the corporate culture or operations of Servpro.
Servpro has also shown itself to be relatively recession-proof, meaning that fluctuations in the market make little difference to Servpro’s business. Other than increasing the number of franchises or expansion to new markets, it’s difficult to see major changes to Servpro’s setup.
Overall, however, if you need cleaning services, Servpro should absolutely be on your list of companies to call. The more extensive the damage or the more hazardous the cleanup required, the better it is that you call Servpro.