Small Business Spotlight: Crime Scene Cleanup Service Helps People Through Difficult Times

Joe Connolly
February 19, 2020 - 5:00 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Sometimes a clean up job requires a bit of compassion and discretion, and that's where ITS Environmental Services comes in. 

While the company disinfects properties throughout the Tri-State area, it specializes in crime scene cleanup, encompassing homicides, suicides, unattended deaths, decomposition, medical trauma, industrial accidents and anything that involves bloodborne pathogens.

Doug Baruchin founded the company after running into a few biohazard claims while working as a restoration contractor and brought in Bill Bernstein as a partner.

Now, while Baruchin suits up in hazmat gear, Bernstein cold calls landlords who may need their services down the road.

"Most people have a need," Bernstein said. "We are a contingency based service. A lot of people in this day and age with the way society is going are starting to think more along the lines of contingency programs for emergencies or shootings. It's a sad state of affairs, but having a contingency plan in place means that we are on their rolodex, if you will, and we can be called at a moment's notice to go take care of any situation."

Bernstein said one of their major selling points is the transfer of liability their business offers.

"Bloodborne pathogens and things that are infectious are not good for the employees of a property management company or a landlord, so we can take over the liability because of our full range of insurance, our full range of education, certifications — we're probably one of the most certified companies in the region," he said.

He credits his old school approach to scalable growth.

"What we do is limited as to how we can market. A lot of our business comes from word of mouth, direct sales and referrals," Bernstein said. "With the advent of email and social media, which are important parts of our business, the voice-to-voice face-to-face meeting is still the most effective tool in my toolbox. Having people understand who I am as a person, what my background is and my affinity for what I do and the carefulness in which we perform our work goes a much longer way face to face than it ever could in email."

That personal touch is something that also extends to the work site.

"It's actually very rewarding to do what we do; we get to help people through probably the most difficult time in their life," Baruchin said. "We did a suicide not too long ago and it was pretty severe so it was a five-man crew and one of the guys on the crew ended up talking to the father of the decedent and that was it. He was talking to him the entire time. That was his job for the day was to actually console this person or just listen to his story, listen to him talk, while the rest of us actually did the formal clean up. So at the end of the day, I get to see this guy hug one of my technicians and say, 'You know what? I really appreciate you were here, I wouldn't have gotten through this without you.'" 

"It's the discretion and compassion on that we think set set us apart," Bernstein.

Check out the full interview above to see their advice for business owners on building a genuine marketing machine.