Restoration Industry Trends: What to Expect in 2024

By definition, a trend is “a general direction in which something is developing or changing” (according to the Oxford dictionary). Trends change the way we operate; they force us to take on different strategies in order to be successful amid changes from previous norms.

Over the last year, property restoration experts at CoreLogic have observed some trends in the restoration industry that will continue to persist in 2024 – and beyond. There are trends on multiple fronds – involving climate, the global workforce, and even technology.

Here we discuss the trends impacting the property restoration industry – and how companies can adapt to them to find success in today’s market.

A Look at the Restoration Industry

It is important to understand the trends that dominate the restoration industry – and how to respond to them – because there is so much opportunity in this space. The restoration industry is currently projected to be worth upwards of $210 billion, and this number is only expected to climb.

More natural disasters will translate to more homes and commercial buildings needing services. There is no shortage of other disasters, either. Take residential house fires, for example. According to FEMA, in the ten-year period between 2012 through 2021, there was a “44% increase in residential unintentionally or carelessly set fires.”

There are also other factors that play into the upward trend in the restoration industry’s growth. For instance, the largest generation of people – Baby Boomers – are aging, and so are their homes.

This industry presents opportunity, too, because property restoration businesses don’t suffer during recessions and economic instability the way businesses in other markets do. Regardless of peoples’ economic circumstances, they will file claims against their insurance policies when their homes or commercial buildings suffer damage. Keeping a sound roof over your head is not a luxury you can go without when you need to tighten your budget.

All of this being said, here are the trends facing the property restoration industry this year:

Weather Trends Impacting the Restoration Industry

2023 was a record-breaking year for storms and catastrophic weather events, according to NOAA. Weather uncertainty will continue to be a trend that impacts the restoration industry. The worse the weather, the better business can be, so it is important for restoration firms to be proactive instead of reactive.

While the trend of weather uncertainty makes it impossible to prepare precisely for jobs, it is possible to mold your company into a flexible function that is prepared to respond to an increased number of projects in any given area.

One sure way to shift toward adaptivity and proactiveness is to ditch old analog processes that make everything more time-consuming – and chaotic. Shifting more processes to the digital realm will inevitably make a restoration company better equipped to restore more properties.

There are many ways that leveraging technology can free up a lot of resources to accomplish more jobs, more quickly and soundly. For one, workflow solutions designed for the restoration industry can handle manual, administrative, repetitive tasks so that workers can be on job sites in less time, more prepared to tackle the tasks at hand.

Workforce Trends within the Restoration Industry

Labor Shortages within the Restoration Industry

After the 2020 global pandemic came the Great Resignation, when record numbers of people left their jobs. Including within the restoration industry, people began to seek greater meaning out of their work and wanted more job flexibility and remote work opportunities.

Although the economy has settled, the “war for talent” is not over. Labor shortages remain a trend for restoration companies today. As a result, these companies have to focus heavily on employee recruitment and retention. This involves investing more in employees – financially and otherwise.

According to the C&R 2023 State of the Industry Report, “data clearly indicates that increasing base compensation for technicians has an influence on the length of their tenure with the company. This means that companies will likely have to consider increasing their labor costs” in 2024.

Companies will need to create job opportunities that allow for more remote work and flexibility – that put more accountability into a restorer’s hands. Having a digital tool set in place for technicians and other restorers that enable them to do more work offsite can help with this.

Firms will also have to start communicating attractive employee value propositions to attract more candidates. With more people in today’s collective market wanting to find greater meaning in their work, companies must be able to effectively communicate how the property restoration industry – and how their specific business – makes a difference in the world.

Workplace Burnout within the Restoration Industry

For multiple reasons, workplace burnout is an ongoing trend among property restoration companies.

According to the American Psychological Association, workplace burnout is “an occupation-related syndrome resulting from chronic stress that has not been successfully managed… It involves ongoing emotional exhaustion, psychological distance or negativity, and feelings of inefficacy.”

Burnout is chronic across the property restoration industry for multiple reasons, including:

  • Labor shortages that result in existing employees taking on more work with less resources
  • The emotional toll of working with people in distress (policyholders who have suffered loss)
  • Painstaking data entry and duplicate administrative documentation tasks for employees at companies who do not leverage modern technology

Employee burnout leads to high rates of turnover, and the cycle of constantly re-hiring is expensive and time intensive. The best way to deal with this trend is to avoid it altogether. Companies must find ways to eliminate the frustrations that they can for their employees.

For instance, property restoration professionals are only compensated for tasks they can prove that they completed, and in compliance with the requirements of insurance companies. This demands them to document every component of their job. So, to lighten the burden of complex documentation processes for technicians, restoration firms can integrate software that streamlines and simplifies documentation workflows. For instance, having one platform for all photos, job notes, and signed agreements is a gamechanger.

Technological Trends in the Restoration Industry

With all the challenges that property restoration faces with climate and economic trends, property restoration firms need ways to increase profit margins. To do this without adding manpower and labor costs, restorers can use sophisticated, new age workflow technologies that result in operational efficiencies and productivity gains.

Enter another trend in 2024 (and beyond): even more companies will be using advanced job management software, photo documentation software, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI itself will be a massive trend within the property restoration industry in 2024 and for years to come. In fact, according to restoration industry statistics found in the C&R 2023 State of the Industry Report, respondents voted it the top trend in the restoration space, with “more than 70% of restoration leaders … either embracing the massive productivity gains that AI can bring to organizations, or are at least interested in seeing it prove its value.”

AI is a major focus for CoreLogic in its product vision because of its ability to enhance workflows and job performance. For example, AI solutions can streamline claims processing and determine repair costs by assessing photos of property damage. Also, restoration firms will be able to use AI to analyze the emotional context of customer conversations and job notes to better guide their responses to policyholders. CoreLogic is currently working on a customer sentiment product for the property restoration industry.

Responding to Restoration Industry Trends with CoreLogic

Trends are emerging throughout the property restoration industry on multiple fronts. Many of these trends pose challenges to restoration firms. On the other hand, embracing technological trends can counteract the hurdles that other trends bring.

Job management solutions like CoreLogic DASH can help you overcome labor shortages, employee burnout, and increased workloads by making your existing workforce more effective – and more satisfied. DASH is a streamlined platform from which to budget, distribute labor, schedule, and allocate and track resources. Also a photo documentation solution, DASH empowers restorers in their field to be more productive.

AI functionalities within DASH and other platforms also drive efficiencies for restoration contractors.

To learn more about Core AI and other technology that can help you future-proof – and even trend-proof – your business, contact us today.