5 Questions with Michael Cousino

Michael Cousino, CR, CERC, has been in the construction business for more than 32 years. He began his restoration career under his father, Forrest Cousino, with Cousino Construction. His business sense has grown the company and its services to be a full-service restoration company offering all aspects of emergency restoration and cleaning. Here, Cousino offers his opinion and feelings regarding the work he does on a day-to-day basis.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TREND SHAPING THE FUTURE OF RESTORATION TODAY?

I appreciate the symbiotic relationships that are being formed, the rapid and diverse nature of the industry, and the fact that M&As are growing fast with broader consolidation. Technological advancements that are taking place are exciting — much more advanced and at a faster pace than ever before.

WHY ARE YOU INVOLVED IN ORGANIZATIONS LIKE RIA?

I enjoy the networking aspect and seeing different solutions that others have employed in the art of restoration — others such as the “fathers of restoration,” so to speak. The insight and wisdom gained is invaluable.

WHAT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE INCOMING GENERATION OF RESTORERS?

Find an awesome mentor now! Obtain as much education specific to this industry on a boarder scale as you can; you can never have too much or too deep of an understanding. Then be able to use it all in the marketplace. Knowledge, training and education — along with the ability to turn that combination into marketable skill — will be the basis of your future and will lead to the legacy of your success. Network, network and network. Be prepared for a grinding and demanding schedule.

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE RESTORATION INDUSTRY?

I followed the footsteps of my father, my best mentor ever. I wanted to expand what I learned and gain insight from some of the others in the industry. I heard about this restoration prophet, Marty King, and a movement that was starting to take place within the industry, and I wanted in.

WHAT RESOURCES — OTHER THAN RIA — DO YOU TURN TO FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH, INDUSTRY EDUCATION AND NEWS?

Each and every day I read about an hour and research many, many topics. I am involved in many groups within and around the world of insurance and risk management, and I study legal cases, have conversations, write position papers, and take place in group chats about a variety of topics within the industry. It’s not the way it used to be; there is not just one place you can turn to if you want to remain on the relevant edge of what is evolving.

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