Xactimate estimators are professionals who use specialized software to create detailed cost estimates for construction projects. These estimates take into account the cost of materials, labor, and other expenses associated with a project, and are used by contractors to bid on and plan for construction jobs.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards remote work in the Restoration estimating field. With advances in technology and communication, it is now possible for estimators to work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a reliable internet connection and the necessary tools and resources.
The focus of this blog post is to provide tips and tricks for succeeding as a remote Xactimate estimator. We will cover topics such as setting up a productive home office, maintaining strong communication and collaboration, and staying motivated and productive. By following these guidelines, you can build a successful career as a remote Xactimate estimator, no matter where you are located.
Setting up a productive home office
One of the key components of succeeding as a remote Xactimate estimator is having a dedicated workspace at home. This could be a spare room or a designated area within a shared space, such as a living room or kitchen.
To create an ergonomic and organized home office, consider the following tips:
Invest in a comfortable and adjustable chair to prevent back and neck strain
Make sure your desk and computer setup are at the proper height to prevent eye strain and wrist discomfort
Keep your workspace free of clutter and distractions
Consider adding plants or other natural elements to your office to improve air quality and create a calming atmosphere
In addition to physical comfort and organization, there are certain tools and technologies that can help make remote work more efficient. These may include:
A high-quality computer and fast internet connection
A reliable backup system, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage service
Communication and collaboration tools, such as video conferencing software and project management platforms
A virtual private network (VPN) to protect your data and maintain privacy while working online
By setting up a productive home office and investing in the right tools and technologies, you can create a comfortable and efficient work environment that enables you to be more effective as a remote Xactimate estimator.
Maintaining strong communication and collaboration
Effective communication and collaboration are crucial for success as a remote Xactimate estimator. Here are some tips for staying in touch with team members and clients:
Set regular check-ins with your team and clients, whether through phone calls, video conferences, or email updates
Use project management software to keep track of tasks and deadlines, and to share progress updates with your team
Keep an open-door policy by making yourself available for communication during business hours, even if you are working remotely
Use video conferencing software to have face-to-face meetings and discussions, as this can help to build stronger professional relationships and improve communication
To effectively collaborate with your team, consider the following best practices:
Set clear expectations and guidelines for communication and collaboration
Use shared documents and project management software to ensure that everyone has access to the same information and can contribute to projects in real-time
Encourage open and honest communication, and be open to feedback and suggestions from team members
Encourage team members to work together and help each other out, even if they are not in the same physical location
By maintaining strong communication and collaboration, you can ensure that your team is aligned and working towards common goals, which is essential for success as a remote Xactimate estimator.
Staying motivated and productive
Remote work can have its challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is staying motivated and productive. Here are some strategies for setting and achieving goals as a remote Xactimate estimator:
Set clear and specific goals for yourself, and break them down into smaller, achievable tasks
Use a planner or project management software to track your progress and stay on track
Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it as much as possible
Take regular breaks to rest and recharge, and make time for activities that you enjoy
Find ways to stay engaged and motivated, such as joining professional organizations or networking with other estimators in your field
To maintain a healthy work-life balance as a remote Xactimate estimator, consider the following tips:
Set boundaries between work and personal time, and respect those boundaries
Make time for self-care, such as exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation
Take advantage of the flexibility of remote work by scheduling time off and vacations when it is convenient for you
Find ways to stay connected with friends and family, even if you are not physically present with them
By staying motivated and productive, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you can build a successful and fulfilling career as a remote Xactimate estimator.
In this blog post, we have covered several key tips and tricks for succeeding as a remote Xactimate estimator. These include setting up a productive home office, maintaining strong communication and collaboration, and staying motivated and productive. By following these guidelines, you can build a successful career as a remote Xactimate estimator, no matter where you are located.
We encourage you to try out these tips and see how they work for you. With the right tools and mindset, you can overcome the challenges of remote work and achieve great success as a remote Xactimate estimator.
As the trend towards remote work continues to grow in the construction industry, we believe that the future is bright for remote Xactimate estimators. With the right skills and approach, you can build a fulfilling and lucrative career in this field, no matter where you are located.
Getting paid the ethical way, fast and in-full. Where do some contractors fall down and make mistakes?
Why insurance companies don’t like to pay for profit. A little history of what happened in the industry. We (contractors) laid an unethical foundation.
Should OMP be negotiable? Why are you entitled to your OMP? How to stand up for your rights and what you charge. Who is your actual client?
Bulk pricing/invoicing. What is it? Does it work? Should I use it?
Advocating for flat rate pricing. How to make them take you seriously. Documentation gets paid. You need a system, like The 24 Hour Tech.
Being a better sales person. Soft sell vs. hard sell. What’s happening with deductibles? The need to remind property owners. Skin in the game and cash flow issues. Getting property owners on your side. What are they in for? How big will their final invoice be?
The need for a clean contract. Have you read your fine print? Don’t give up your power. Don’t use boiler-plate contracts. You don’t need to feel guilty about charging your worth.
Don’t be a Hyundai. What does that mean? The insurance company wants that. Do you?
TPAs are Necessary? We’re all in business to make money. Here’s an alternate opinion.
Insurance Profit Game. We’re certainly not getting the money. The insured isn’t getting the money. Who’s getting the money?
Making the case that CONTRACTORS are the enemy. We know this is ridiculous, but the insurance company paints this picture.
How much money do you need? You should know how much you have spent on a job. You need to make at least that much. Everything else is profit. What if you don’t know? The insurance company knows…
Having bad intentions from the start. This leads to difficult discussions later on. Be honest from the start. Trust us.
Power Question FREE DOWNLOAD. Put the adjustor in his or her place. Tell your client EXACTLY what they will say. Arm them with the right answers.
TOO MUCH TO COVER! Seriously. There’s a ton of golden nuggets in this one.
You did the job. You hired the guys. You put in the sweat and tears. Now the insurance company wants to cut you a deal. Wait a second. A deal for who?
Don’t back down. The insurance companies are all bark. If you stand your ground, they will be forced to pay you in full.
Still don’t know how? Well, first you have to pull on your big boy pants. Don’t think you can? We can certainly do it for you. Our pants are big, indeed.
You can roll over and show your belly. You can take the offered 80%. Before you do that, think of how that will affect all of us. The insurance company gets used to screwing the little guy.
We want you to take the third option. We want you to fight back.
Are you ready?
STEP ONE: Set the tone and proper expectations.
The insurance company doesn’t want to pay you in full. Everybody knows that. To think otherwise is just crazy talk.
Out of the gate, they’ll try to pay you less. Here is an example of the types of emails I exchange with insurance companies all the time.
They are quick to throw the first punch.
“Your case is under review” they say. That’s all fine and good. You can review the case as much as you want, but you still need to pay the invoice.
This is not a negotiation. If they want to negotiate, they can take it to court. We know full-well that we would win a case if it went to trial. Properly documented losses never go to trial.
Xactimate shows in detail all the work that was done, along with what that work is worth.
There’s a term for this. It’s an “open and shut case.”
Your first email back to the insurance company should cover the following points:
You signed a contract with the insured.
They are legally not able to change the contract.
The invoice that was sent is for services rendered and is non-negotiable.
If they don’t pay promptly, there will be late fees.
STEP TWO: Maintain pressure and stay the course
Let me repeat: The insurance company does not want to pay you in full. We all know this. We expect this.
Their next email will list some reason why they can’t pay you in full.
This is a lie. They are likely a billion-dollar company. The way they became a billion-dollar company is by ripping off folks like you and me.
Your next email should remain firm and non-negotiable.
Include the following in email #2:
You don’t care what the given reason is.
You signed a contract with the insured, not the carrier.
This is an invoice and not an estimate.
You cannot change your line item by law.
Making a change to a signed contract is a felony.
You stand behind your quality, and you are fully certified.
Remember: The insurance is playing a game with you. They want you to back down and take their low-ball offer. They have no teeth in their threats.
Under no circumstances should you accept their first offer unless that is an offer of payment in full (hey, it could happen!). Or you can decide you are willing to accept it.
STEP THREE: Count Your Folding Money
We aren’t doing anything illegal. We aren’t doing anything immoral. We’re getting paid for work we already performed.
Usually, after putting up a small fight, the insurance company will pay you in full.
Really, it’s not much of a fight.
If they thought they had a leg to stand on, they would take you to court. Since they know they would lose that battle, there is no legal fight.
Most legal battles are not started by the insurance carrier. Instead, they are started by the insured party. When they realize that they’re on hook to pay the contractor invoice, they sue the insurance company to get full restitution. If the insurance company is smart, they would settle at this point.
Some aren’t so smart. As a contractor, that isn’t your fight.
ABOUT CLAIMS DELEGATES
In 2012, Andy McCabe founded the property claim estimating and claims consultancy called Claims Delegates. Claims Delegates retains an army of dedicated professionals who write Xactimate® estimates for contractors, attorneys and adjusters across the country. They also consult on Large Loss and CAT events. They are currently accepting new client applications. Contact us today!
It’s a common dilemma. You had a flood in your house. The insurance company offers $10,000 to fix it. You can’t find a contractor to do the work for under $40,000. You may feel this is unfair. It certainly is. This is also by design. The insurance company makes more money when it pays you less than what you’re OWED.
Insurance companies use a very complicated program called Xactimate. This is also by design. If it were easy to use, the common property owner could master it. Xactimate software is very expensive. If it were affordable, the average property owner would have a copy.
We’re not talking about Microsoft Word, here.
Is it starting to feel like the deck is stacked against you? The insurance company is trying to get you on the ropes. They want you to feel powerless and hopeless. When you’re in that position, you will accept ANY low-ball offer they give you. Hint: You don’t have to accept the first offer.
Time to get US in your corner!
Like it or not, the insurance company uses Xactimate. That is their “language.” Speaking the same language as the insurance company generally leads to bigger and more successful claims. That’s why you need Xactimate.
Don’t let the insurance company tell YOU how much the damage is worth. Let an advocate fight for you. We’re on YOUR side!
We’re industry veterans. We’ve been doing restoration jobs for decades. We know the REAL cost of fixing a damaged property. Hint: The first offer from the insurance company will ALWAYS be less than what they think your claim is worth.
We need to be on the same page when we go to the mat with the insurance company. They have a “professional” quote that says the damage can be fixed for $X. We have a quote that says the damage can be fixed for $Y. Which quote is going to succeed? Hint: The property owner (YOU) have more power than you think you do!
Andy McCabe is a licensed Public Adjuster. He is insured and bonded. He’s been doing this a long time. Let him go after your carrier! Put me in, coach!