This article originally appeared in Technology Innovators
When asked about the secret behind his success, George Tsintzouras pointed out the sweet spot between hubris and humility which is the key to achieving great things. “Being an entrepreneur is to strongly believe that your company’s solutions can fulfill the demand in the market better than all the other solutions available, but there’s also the need for equal humility,” opines George, CEO & Co-founder, Alert Labs.
George is a blend of passion and confidence that allowed him to build the most innovative commercial-grade solutions for property/facility managers, building owners, and contractors to help manage water usage, reduce utility bills, and minimize property damage. Being a consistent solution-maker, George’s aim through Alert Labs is to leverage the best insurance technology to empower insureds with a proactive approach to avoiding water damage claims.
While on a business trip, George received a phone call at 3 in the morning from one of his tenants who complained about major water damage at his rental property. Concerned about the damage to his property and the inconvenience of getting it repaired, George didn’t realize that the experience would turn his professional world upside down. “I had no idea that my search for a technology that could monitor leaks and floods to prevent water damage and promote water conservation would result in the creation of Alert Labs,” he notes.
Gradually, George discovered that water solutions to detect leaks had been around for decades but were not widely used. They often required invasive plumbing, an installation that took hours by a professional to complete. Moreover, they were expensive to purchase or had other barriers that prevented adoption. “I learned that the amount of water being wasted every year due to undetected leaks was estimated to be in the billions of gallons, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars. Also, property owners and insurance companies are constantly looking for ways to reduce the frequency and cost of water damage claims.” Through Alert Labs’ smart technology, early detection of water damage events and 24/7 monitoring of all water flow at buildings are possible, which significantly reduces the risk of catastrophic water damage, lowers the likelihood of making an insurance claim, and minimizes the costs for repairs, premiums and deductibles.
For some organizations adopting new technology can be complex, but Alert Labs creates simple and user-friendly solutions, driven by improved technology forces. The smart building sensor technology available today is giving insurers unprecedented insight into the best ways to avoid risk so that fewer and fewer people have to endure the emotional and financial hardship caused by water damage events. For instance, an entire 100-unit building can be outfitted with Alert Labs’ leak and flood sensors in less than one day. Their easy set up ensures that customers can start monitoring their buildings immediately and that they continue to use the technology to mitigate water damage risk. “Today, insurance providers are beginning to recognize the demand for this technology and are adapting to be more efficient, remain competitive and provide the products and services that meet the needs of their customers,” points out George.
Alert Labs’ water flow sensors, Flowie and Flowie-O, strap onto indoor and outdoor water meters in seconds, without tools, for real-time water use and leak detection monitoring at residential and commercial buildings. They use a cellular connection to remotely monitor water flow minute-by-minute to determine normal water use patterns. If there is unusual activity, the system sends 24/7 alerts (no WiFi required) with powerful analytics about water use to your phone and computer, even during power outages. They send alerts for leaks, floods, unusual water use, power outages, humidity, and pipe freezing temperatures.
“Our customers have the flexibility to shut off water from anywhere based on the property’s unique water usage patterns and alerts. Using a cellular connection through a water flow sensor, Shuttie (their battery-operated water shut-off valve that automatically shuts off the water lines at properties to help prevent water damage) keeps working when WiFi based devices shut down. The backup battery in Flowie/Flowie-O keeps the system working, even during a power outage,” says George.
Having out-of-the-box solutions at hand, George assures that he and his team take a tremendous amount of pride in being able to help save their customers from water damage disasters. “We’re dedicated to continuing to assist organizations reduce their wasted water, minimize property damage, and meet their conservation, sustainability and business goals,” concludes George.
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