Meet 1-800 WATER DAMAGE Franchise Owner Luis Balmaceda
Entrepreneur Luis Balmaceda transformed his restoration and repair business into a thriving 1-800 WATER DAMAGE franchise
Like many 1-800 WATER DAMAGE franchise owners, Luis Balmaceda saw this opportunity as the perfect complement to the business he was already operating. In his case, it was a thriving asbestos-abatement company. The two together, he says, along with his Blue Kangaroo Packoutz contents restoration franchise, allows him to provide a turnkey service to individuals who need water damage repaired and also must deal with the contents of their homes while that work is being done. Here’s how he lays it all out.
How long have you been a 1-800 WATER DAMAGE franchise owner and how did that come about?
Balmaceda: My wife, Lizbeth, and I purchased the franchise in February of 2018 and own it with our partner Josue Iniguez. I’ve been doing asbestos-abatement work for 18 years now and a friend of mine knew someone who owned a water-restoration company. I wasn’t too familiar with that business, but within a short period of time, I’d become a primary contractor for him, and we worked together for about four years.
When he let go of that business to do other things, I began to reach out to some of the great contacts I had made and leverage that network. Shortly after, I wanted to start my own company so that I could control my own business.
Given that you had experience, why go with a franchise rather than launch an independent operation?
Balmaceda: By that point, my wife and I had already built three different companies from the ground up, including a restaurant. We did not want to do that again, to start from scratch. I knew a franchise would give us a good head start because there’d be training and a way to learn some of the basics that I didn’t already know.
How did you settle in 1-800 WATER DAMAGE?
Balmaceda: I almost went a different route, and then, I was looking at franchises one day on YouTube and a 1-800 WATER DAMAGE video popped up. What caught my attention was that it was a BELFOR Franchise Group company. I have known about BELFOR since I was about nine years old. My dad and my brother had worked for them in the past so I knew how large they are and all they had to offer. I said, “this is it; I don’t need to look any further” and it just went on from there.
How has it been working with the 1-800 WATER DAMAGE team since?
Balmaceda: It has been as good as I expected. I knew they were a great team from the minute we engaged and the support has been great. We are growing and our relationship with them is growing, so it’s been good for everyone all around.
What got you into the 1-800 WATER DAMAGE franchise opportunity?
Balmaceda: With the asbestos-abatement business, adding on the 1-800 WATER DAMAGE franchise made good sense. This was work we were already doing, why not go ahead and create the business around it?
How was the training with the 1-800 WATER DAMAGE team?
Balmaceda: They provide so many different things to help you grow and so many resources to tap into. You can leverage what you want, and if you need some help, they are right there to pick up the phone and have a conversation.
BELFOR gives you a lot of confidence. When you go into someone’s office or home, you have a very big team behind you. I’m not just some small restoration company trying to grow my network, I’m big — I’m BELFOR big!
What would you tell an entrepreneur who calls you right before their discovery day? What would you say they need to bring to this kind of business?
Balmaceda: Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You have to work your way up. I was always out in the field on the job so this wasn’t new for me. I’m not someone who sits around in an office, although I do that a lot now since I am running three businesses!
You’re going to need to know how to do everything. Taking those calls in the middle of the night, that’s part of it. You also need to build a great team so you’ve got people who know how to do the job and can go into a site and take good care of those clients. It’s not a nine-to-five job – at least not as first – and you need to be OK with that. You’re building a business so you have to put the time in.
A 1-800 WATER DAMAGE franchise is one of the most affordable businesses to own in the property restoration industry. The total investment for a standard franchise ranges from $102,422 to $191,987. These costs include everything from equipment, vehicles, and access to our state-of-the-art training platform. You also have the option to convert your existing business with an investment ranging from $39,613 to $170,137.