With the some of the highest annual rates of lightning strikes, tornadoes, hurricanes and rainfall in the U.S., the Sunshine State is no stranger to extreme weather events. While Floridians have become accustomed to these dramatic metrological phenomena, these storms often leave an expensive path of destruction in their wake. Based in Orlando, Baxter Restoration has quickly become a leading disaster and property restoration specialist serving residential and commercial customers throughout north, central and south Florida.
Founded in 2011 by David Baxter, the independently owned and operated company offers a range of restoration-related services, including fire and water damage, mold removal, storm and wind damage and disaster recovery construction.
Baxter Restoration also offers more specialized disaster recovery and cleanup services such as debris removal, document and media recovery, contents cleaning services and biohazard cleanup. “The business is David’s namesake, so he has a vested interest in making sure everything we do is up to the standards we set,” says Justin Mainit, business development representative at Baxter Restoration .
On the commercial services side of the business, Baxter Restoration performs HVAC cleaning, commercial mold remediation, commercial maintenance services, emergency water cleanup and indoor humidity control, making the company a one-stop shop for a range of property damage needs. Commercial clients include businesses and offices, hospitals, nursing homes, educational facilities, municipal buildings, churches, community centers, multifamily housing condominiums and apartment buildings.
Widening the project pipeline
President and CEO David Baxter is a 13-year restoration industry veteran with ample experience as a general contractor. Baxter left the restoration firm he started with a partner in 2011 to form Baxter Restoration, launching the enterprise from a single 22,000-square-foot facility in Orlando.
In mid-2014 Baxter opened a second office in Boca Raton and in 2015, unveiled a new, independent facility, which is located in Jacksonville. “We’ve been managing jobs out of the Orlando office, but as of Jan. 1, 2016, the Jacksonville office will be on their own for daily work with their own networks and work coming in,” says Baxter.
The expansion into northern Florida allows Baxter Restoration to better serve all corners of state, but the company’s reputation as a leading restoration provider in one of the country’s most extreme weather environments has allowed Baxter Restoration to extend its geographical footprint across the Atlantic coast.
“Right now we work primarily in Florida, but we’ve helped with a lot of the stuff from the bad winter storms in Maryland and the New York-New Jersey area. We actually sent some crews to South Carolina for their recent flooding,” says Baxter. “We were one of the first companies to send folks up to South Carolina when they had flooding. We were actually so early that state officials turned us back because they hadn’t even cleared the roadways.”
“We’ve really fine-tuned our marketing campaigns and done more to diversify our sources rather than just relying on the work we get through the insurance industry.”
– Justin Mainit, business development representative with Baxter Restoration
Baxter Restoration is currently experiencing record growth, with revenues up 38 percent over last year. Mainit credits a portion of this growth to Baxter Restoration’s recent decision to join the Restoration Affiliates (RA) network, an organizations of 28 independently owned restoration companies covering 38 states. “Each affiliate company has an equal stake in the network and the organization is able to provide national coverage using local firms, delivering the same standard of excellence across the country,” says Mainit.
Baxter was one of the first restoration specialists to sign on with RA, which plans to expand its network to all 50 states by the end of 2016. “It allows us independents to compete with some of the bigger guys that are franchises and gives us a little more national reach and ability to take on larger-scale projects because of the other companies we can pull in to help,” Mainit says.
Another factor in Baxter Restoration’s meteoric rise has been an increased focus on expanding the company’s overall scope of work and marketing efforts. “We’ve really fine-tuned our marketing campaigns and done more to diversify our sources rather than just relying on the work we get through the insurance industry,” says Mainit. “We’re working with property managers and agents now instead of just adjusters, which has allowed us to diversify our business sources and opened up new channels in multifamily housing through our partnership with the Apartment Organization of Greater Orlando.”
Baxter Restoration is often called in after major weather events and fires, and some of its recent projects are no exception. The company recently completed a project addressing damage at a St. Augustine hotel that had been hit with both fire and water damage after a recent blaze. “When a fire department comes in and blasts everything with water, there is a twofold loss in that situation,” says Mainit.
The company has also completed a number of hotel-related jobs in one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations over the years, including a project at a Value Place hotel in Sanford, Florida.
While it’s not always the cheapest option, Baxter Restoration prides itself on its commitment to using environmentally friendly products whenever possible. “We are a progressive company, we do things out of the box and we use some pretty cool products,” Mainit says.
A growing brand
Baxter Restoration self-performs a vast majority of its work, including mitigation efforts and cleaning. All reconstruction work is subcontracted out, with Baxter Restoration acting as the general contractor on any such projects. This approach requires the business to maintain a well-vetted listed of trusted subcontractors, which has been a big focus at the company as of late.
“We have grown our network of subcontractors extensively. We joined business referral networks where we’re able to get to get feedback on partners we’d like to work with testimonials and a list of who has used their services,” Mainit says.
The family-oriented nature of the company is a significant point of pride for Mainit and the whole Baxter team. “When there are issues there are never fears about talking to Dave or Carlos [Catalani, general manager]. They have an open door policy,” he says.
Moving forward, the team would like to expand its footprint into the Florida Panhandle and the Tampa area, with plans to eventually service the entire state. For now, Baxter Restoration will continue performing to the high standards of quality and craftsmanship that have seen the fledgling company experience so much success as a premier disaster and property restoration specialist serving customers throughout Florida.
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