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VanDeusen Remodels Business Plan, Again

August 2013

Rainbow International of Northeastern Maryland

When long-time Harford County and Baltimore County residents hear the name Jay Van Deusen, they think remodeling. Homes, certainly, but those in the know are aware he’s done a little remodeling on his business plan, too.

When the recession hit, regional remodeler Jay Van Deusen launched a Rainbow International Restoration franchise to complement his construction company. Staffing his Bel Air office are (from left): Customer Service Representative Lisa Garrett, Office Manager Linda Van Deusen, Jay Van Deusen and Bookkeeper Sherri Tolley.

When the recession hit, regional remodeler Jay Van Deusen launched a Rainbow International Restoration franchise to complement his construction company. Staffing his Bel Air office are (from left): Customer Service Representative Lisa Garrett, Office Manager Linda Van Deusen, Jay Van Deusen and Bookkeeper Sherri Tolley.

Four years ago, Van Deusen launched Rainbow International of Northeastern Maryland, a residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services franchise with locations in 49 states, Canada and Ireland.

“There were drastic changes in the economy, and it became clear the slowdown was not a blip but the new normal,” says Van Deusen. “I was looking to diversify and Rainbow was actively recruiting contractors with a firm financial footing to join the franchise. They wanted owners with a good understanding of building science, who understood structural drawings, how buildings breathe and where water might get trapped.”

Van Deusen notes that he was recruited by Ben Tyler of the Louisville, Ky., Peer Group, saying, “We were both looking to diversify and looked at other restoration companies. None seemed to have backup at the franchise level; they just sold you a territory. The franchise impressed me with their hands-on technical training and that there are technicians who I can call 24 hours a day.”

In 2009, Van Deusen opened Rainbow International of Northeastern Maryland as a complement to the now 25-years-strong Van Deusen Construction Co. Construction supervisor Buck Chestnut pulled double duty as a restoration technician after earning certification and Tammy Limbach was hired to bring in business. Four years later, Limbach is still doing outside sales now to keep five technicians and four office staffers busy.

Rainbow International of Northeastern Maryland provides immediate restoration services for fire, flood, chemicals and biohazards, as well as mold remediation. Van Deusen explains, “The company recruited to fill out its national footprint. They do work with the major insurance companies that want to be able to call one restoration service, no matter where the claim is.”

Limbach notes about 25 percent of the company’s business comes from referrals from the national program, with outside sales comprising about 75 percent. Insurance companies and agents represent the majority of each referral base.

Van Deusen learned the value of relationships while growing his construction company. He brings that experience to his new company by helping insurance agents strengthen their client relationships.

“When the insured has a claim, I recommend that the agent stay involved and help during the remediation process, rather than turn the client over to a 1-800 number,” Van Deusen says.

Over the past four years, Van Deusen estimates he has spent $10,000 for him and his technicians to attend the required and optional training courses offered by Rainbow International. To support the agents he serves, his franchise offers 15 courses each year through that insurance agents can earn continuing education credit.
Van Deusen says that his company developed the classes, and he and his employees teach them, a testament to how qualified his staff is.

Cynthia D. Jones works for AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group and comes from Glen Burnie to attend the free courses. She says, “This was actually the best CE class I have ever taken in my 26 years in the industry. The instructor made the class fun as well as educational.”

Van Deusen is moving toward constructing a new headquarters building for his businesses. A 15,000-square-foot building is planned for 2228 Conowingo Road, which he hopes will open by Feb. 14, 2014. The new office will include a classroom to support continuing education courses. Van Deusen also hopes the national office will use his space to offer the regional trainings he and his employees travel to Texas to receive. I95

When the recession hit, regional remodeler Jay Van Deusen launched a Rainbow International Restoration franchise to complement his construction company. Staffing his Bel Air office are (from left): Customer Service Representative Lisa Garrett, Office Manager Linda Van Deusen, Jay Van Deusen and Bookkeeper Sherri Tolley.

Rainbow International of Northeastern Maryland
www.rainbowintl.com/belair

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