Questions That SHOULD Be Asked
You sub-contract out roofing, siding, plumbing, and more, but who has ever heard of sub-contracting their estimating? It’s a strange concept, and we’re sure you have questions. So, here are some answers. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask. More than likely, if you ask a question that’s not already here, it’ll be posted within the next day. That’s because if you’re asking it, others probably wonder the same thing, and we believe you should be informed as an existing or future client.
How do you know what to put in the estimate?
Your project manager sends job notes and photos via email, Google Drive™, OneDrive™, or your preferred method of file sharing (including CRM’s). We create the estimate based on this information. If additional information is required, we will contact the project manager via phone or email.
Need help setting up or using a CRM or file sharing service? We can help you set them up and train your team to use them, or point you in the direction of some great guides and tutorials which are simple and easy to follow.
*On-site inspections are available to local clients.
How much do the estimates cost?
Our fee varies, but is typically based on a percentage, depending on:
- Type of estimate (Hail, Water, Fire, etc.)
- Size of estimate (Commercial is typically a bit higher than residential)
- Discounts applied (i.e. High job volume vs. on-demand estimates when needed)
- Whether or not we perform on-site inspections
Keep in mind that things are not set in stone. Every company is different, and you have different wants and needs than the next contractor. We’re willing to work with you to tailor our services to fit your business and your budget.
Why don’t you charge more?
Many contractors we work with can’t believe we charge as little as we do for the services we provide. The truth is, we’ve landed in a beautiful niche. We have the combination of construction knowledge, computer using superpowers, and experience in working with insurance adjusters that works out to a perfect fit for what we do. Our business model minimizes an already low overhead, and we’re trying to slowly expand and grow our company, not get rich quick.
Also, since we work for contractors and not individual homeowners, we don’t need to find each and every project. One contractor can provide thousands of projects each year. Since we can spend such little time and money on marketing and lead generation, we can focus our time towards quicker estimate completion and improving our services.
When will I get my estimate back?
Estimates will typically be completed and returned within 1 or 2 business days after receiving the project information. The time depends on the scope of the job and the type of work, as well as the quality of the information received from the project manager.
If we perform the on-site inspection, many estimates can be completed in the same day. Also, we can provide you and your team with helpful scoping guides and documents, as well as pro tips from experience, which can help them get better job details and notes the first time and reduce the chance that they’ll have to go back for more information.
You know how it goes – you get back to the office to prepare your estimate, and find that you forgot that one piece of information or need that one photograph, and now you have to schedule another appointment, spend time and and fuel going back to the project, and take down additional information that could have been recorded the first time around. We can help you avoid that, saving you time and making us look great!
When will the estimate total be finalized?
It is our goal to finalize the total of most estimates with adjusters in a 2-3 week window.
If the project is large or complex, all parties may not be able to come to an agreement so soon. However, we’ve found that by promptly creating the estimate, sending it over the the adjuster with the necessary project details and photos, and getting them the information they need quickly to form their decision, that we are able to agree to a final project total much faster than usual.
Once you realize that many adjusters have dozens of open claims on their desk at any given time, and you take the time to be courteous and actually show that you want to make their job (and life) easier, then they are much more willing to work with you, and put your project – and your client’s livelihood – to the top of the stack.
What if the adjuster is unreasonable?
If the adjuster you’re working with seems unreasonable, there is probably a reason for it. You have to try to see things from their point of view:
First and foremost, their workload is likely as big or bigger than your own. It’s quite possible that they have dozens, possibly even 50 to 100 open projects at the same time. It’s unfortunate but true. They have limited resources available to act on these projects, let alone keep track of them all. Because of this, it’s important to make it easy for them to work on your projects, and simple things such as including a claim number in the email subject line can help tremendously.
Second, you have to consider that not all contractors act fairly. Some try to bully adjusters into approving work that shouldn’t be approved. Others may attempt to pad their estimates with unnecessary charges and work items. Others just treat adjusters poorly in general, potentially even blaming them for things which are not necessarily the adjuster’s fault.
Lastly, every adjuster has a boss – some superior looking over their shoulder, questioning why they are trying to pay for certain things or why different aspects of work were actually approved. This can make it hard, because adjuster’s likely won’t tell you this, or are simply not allowed to due to company policy.
At REPS, we prefer to keep the golden rule in mind: “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” We’ve found that many adjusters respond very well to us, and it has allowed us to make sure our projects move forward faster and checks to be sent out quicker. Help out the adjuster’s you work with, and you’ll find that making things easier for them can make things 10x easier for yourself, and 100x better for your client, the property owner.
Have a question that’s not here?
Let us know and we’ll get you an answer asap, and then we’ll likely post it here as well.