Edwin Fotheringham

Christine and Charbel Najem know that reputation is everything in business, so they certainly don’t want to be seen as ambulance chasers. The owners of insurance restoration company Capstone General Contracting, http://gccapstone.com/ in Worcester, Mass., subscribe to the same emergency systems used by police and fire crews, so the company can be on the site of a fire loss quickly. Specially trained staff members use the opportunity not to be pushy but to comfort shocked homeowners.

Appropriate Response

“An emergency like a fire catches a homeowner totally off-guard and often unprepared,” Charbel says. To make sure Capstone’s response is appropriate, the company has two former members of Salvation Army and Red Cross first-response programs on staff. “The first thing our responders and I do is to make sure no one got hurt and everyone is safe,” Charbel says. “Then we offer the homeowner a brochure with a business card and a list of tips to follow whether they hire us for the restoration or not. We don’t hound them — we just want them to know we’re there for them if they need help.”

Because of their special training and experience, Capstone General Contracting’s first-response staff can help walk homeowners through the dizzying process of recovery, from retrieving valuables, to finding a temporary place to live, to simply offering a shoulder, a blanket, or a hug to families in need.

“We have great employees to back up our vision for our company and what we do,” Christine says. “Charbel and our whole staff truly care about people, and we find people gravitate toward that. We would never wish a tragedy on anyone, but for those who experience a disaster, that attitude keeps our business flowing.”

—Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.