Elite History

It all started in the tank...sort of.

Shark Tank spin off

Elite originated from an internal shark tank competition

To understand the beginnings of Elite, we have to rewind nearly two decades back in time to the humble beginnings of another business, 123 Exteriors. Elite Owner & Managing Director, Mike Braun, launched his own storm restoration company – you guessed it, 123 Exteriors – in 2006 with the core belief that every homeowner should have the right to work with an honest contractor.

Over the next 14 years, Mike and his team grew 123 Exteriors from a 900-square-foot office in Illinois to a $10M+ company with eight permanent offices across the Midwest with more than 60 employees and independent contractors.

One of the most important money-generating business tactics Mike learned early on had to do with supplementing. In 2012, he realized that he had been paying about $125 a job for permits. He ran the math and realized that he spent $76,000 a year for permits without getting paid for it. So, he hired someone to supplement for permits. 

And as he and the team learned more about the supplementing process, he realized that supplementing isn’t just about getting paid for a permit. It’s about getting paid for all the work that you do. The insurance companies have made the rules. Xactimate has set the standard. If you can figure out Xactimate and know the rules of the insurance carriers, then all you’re doing is asking to be paid what you deserve on each job.

And with this knowledge, 123 Exteriors built a whole new division dedicated to supplements: Customer Accounts and Claims (CAC). This division quickly grew and became an integral part of 123 Exteriors’ business model.

In 2017, Mike hosted his own internal version of the ABC show, Shark Tank, where all of his senior leaders pitched an idea for a new business. The winner got a bonus and some money to start the new business idea. The head of the CAC pitched the idea to help other contractors with supplementing and Elite Claim Solutions was born.

Mike sold 123 Exteriors to a long-time employee in 2020 and asked some key team members to follow him to Elite.

While 123 Exteriors’ mission was to give homeowners the right to work with an honest contractor, Elite’s mission is to give like-minded contractors the right to work with an honest supplementing firm.