To All Authorized Members,
I hope everyone is doing well and surviving whatever Mother Nature is throwing in your direction - excessive heat and humidity, epic floods, smoke-filled skies, or all of the above. In what is becoming a broken record, HMI is coming off another record quarter. So, I know you have all been busy! This year is shaping up to be an important year for HMI’s Authorized Member Network. Not only are we collectively expanding the use of professional tree care companies by the insurance industry, but we are also setting the standard for what property owners and insurance carriers should expect from the industry. Our member network offers a high level of customer service, subject matter expertise, high-quality workmanship, personal and business ethics, and empathy. It’s a formula that’s creating a lot of opportunities for all of us.
I won’t spend much time reflecting on the volume of referrals HMI distributed in the first half of the year. But it is worth mentioning that our emergency tree removal claim volume was up 30% over the first half of last year. For some context, the first half of last year was 180% above the first half of 2021. Which means last year was going to be hard to beat, and we all did, by 30%.
To help you all handle the added volume, I’m pleased to announce that the much-anticipated upgrade to our mobile app is in the final stage of testing. The new app, HMI Connects, uses technology that is faster and more reliable than the HMI-RMS app. Testing so far has shown a significant improvement in connectivity with the RMS, many users reported uploading 50-100 photos in seconds. Use of HMI’s mobile app is becoming increasingly important as insurance adjusters and homeowners are expecting immediate responses, and we’re all asked to handle more assignments in less time.
If you have been waiting for HMI to ramp up our commercial property referrals, then I have some good news for you on that front as well. Doug Malawsky’s team just closed a contract with a large property management firm with properties in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. The contract provides the company with access to HMI’s Network of professional tree crews to clear trees and debris from their properties after major storm events. Like HMI’s other clients, they were tired of being exposed to unscrupulous companies like the ones they felt had taken advantage of them following Hurricane Ian last year. HMI expects to sign additional contracts like this one before the end of the year.
As stated above, the first half of 2023 set a record for HMI and our Network. The second half of the year is starting off just as strong with July shattering our prior record for the month by over 50%. This, without a hurricane! We fully expect the trend to continue this year as we are planning to add two more significant programs to our residential emergency tree removal business, and the additional commercial clients noted above. Plus, we are now heading into the teeth of a 2023 hurricane season that is one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. Current forecasters expect the record-warm ocean temperatures to drive more and stronger hurricanes than you would typically see in an El Niño year. Regardless of what happens, the HMI team is ready to assist you to make sure your participation in HMI’s program is a rewarding one for you and your team.
Thank you all. Stay safe!
President, Horticultural Asset Management, Inc.