Commercial/Residential Hybrid: Affiliated Companies
Since 1979, Affiliated Companies has evolved from a one-man roofing business into a national, full-service contractor specializing in both large-scale commercial projects and residential storm remediation. According to President Spencer Rutenbar, it’s merging these two sides and delivering the same product nationwide that makes the company successful.
“Our unique model of commercial/multi-family and residential business gives us a competitive edge,” Rutenbar said. “We are able to complete the same quality work whether it’s next door to our corporate office or across the country.”
Headquartered in Dallas with 10 offices throughout the country, Affiliated was founded by its current owner, Gordon Kirk, who got his start traveling coast-to-coast and providing clients with immediate, face-to-face help with any roofing needs. He prided himself on offering consistent service on a national level for high-profile clients including Wonder Bread, Holiday Inns and Sheraton hotels. By the early 90s, Kirk had a 40-person staff and began tackling many large projects on properties affected by hail and hurricanes. In 2010, Affiliated started a nationwide residential service geared toward restoring storm-damaged areas.
Rutenbar got his start in the industry at Roofing and Restoration Services of America, where he worked first as a salesman, moved up to sales manager, and later ran some offices. He joined Affiliated in 2010 after a meeting with Kirk and Jeff Danna, who runs the commercial division. “I wanted to get more into commercial and multi-family while starting the residential side of Affiliated,” Rutenbar said.
To develop both sides of the business, Affiliated’s veteran salesmen solidified relationships with long-term commercial clients, while the younger group traveled to storm areas and cultivated new residential business. The company now functions as a hybrid and runs under two divisions: Affiliated Multi-Family Services for large jobs and Affiliated Contracting Services for storm restoration. This versatility has allowed the company to grow despite hard economic times.
“Very few roofing companies have maintained a presence in this business for as long as Affiliated has. Strong financial capabilities, steady leadership, and a commitment to customer service have brought us a long way,” Rutenbar said. “We are mobilized for every large-weather event, and we are capable of assisting homeowners, property managers and building owners with complicated, weather-related losses and insurance claims. With long-term clients, we are able to assist in true asset management in relation to the exterior of their buildings. We inspect, photograph and document the entire portfolio, and help design cost-saving maintenance programs.”
According to Rutenbar, Affiliated’s alternative approach to storm remediation helps set it apart from the competition. “Most companies can chase a storm and do decent business, but there’s no transition,” he said. “We stay in an area and leave permanent offices, while typical stormers set up make-shift offices and partner with local companies. We can be anywhere, any time and roll out the same product everywhere.”
Affiliated is also a founding member of the United Association of Storm Restoration Contractors (UASRC), a nonprofit organization established to promote high standards within the storm remediation industry. According to Rutenbar, homeowners often fall victim to unscrupulous storm chasers who misrepresent themselves, offer to cover deductibles and take deposits without ever doing any work. As a UASRC member, Affiliated can assure its clients that they are getting accurate, ethical information and high-quality work.
“Our biggest challenge is educating customers and competing with misinformation,” Rutenbar said. “When we go to a storm, our job is to show them how a successful claim is processed, despite the misinformation they receive from other companies and media outlets. People are going to get a lot of information, and the UASRC has the correct information.”
Rutenbar summed up Affiliated’s ultimate goal: to deliver quality roofing, exterior repair and insurance claim consulting on a national level; to react instantly to every catastrophic storm event; and to provide its customers peace of mind when restoring their properties to pre-storm condition.