New Adjuster Strategies – Part 1

New Adjuster Strategies
It seems everywhere I go lately, I am surrounded by folks that are new to the adjusting field (probably not a coincidence, considering I AM an Xactimate trainer). I get the same questions over and over, so it seemed appropriate to address some of those questions in our very first newsletter.
I would give a little advice on some things that may seem obvious -

  • 1. Go ahead and get a license in your home state. If you live somewhere other than Texas or Florida, get one of those. The reciprocity is well worth it. After obtaining FL or TX, go to www.sircon.com and apply for other states you may desire. It's relatively painless.
  • 2. Find an adjusting firm that you want to work with. I suggest "finding home" as a dear friend and mentor of mine frequently says. You'll know what she means pretty quickly. As you contact adjusting firms, large or small, you will find they each have their own "personality". If they ask you for info, provide it. If they offer you training, take it. If they tell you they have no interest in hiring you, don't be offended. In fact, be grateful they didn't encourage you to waste your time and energy chasing something that never was going to happen.  When you find "Home", every single contact you have (with ANY person at ANY level) should be viewed as an interview. By that, I don't mean to spout out your entire resume'. But do be polite, professional even. If talking to HR stresses you out, you're probably getting into the wrong business.  The firm you choose may want to invest some of their training resources in you. If they do, go for it. Quality training is very difficult to find, especially as a new adjuster. The market for your money is huge, and convincing. Be deliberate where you spend it. It shocks me how many people spend 10K+ before ever getting deployed. This is not a pyramid scheme, it's a career. When treated as a career, the rewards are vast. When treated as a job, the stress and frustration can be overwhelming. Be a true student, learn from very qualified people with stellar reputations. They are out there, and truly enjoy contributing to the newer folks.
  • 3. Buy "stuff" AFTER you make money. Buying tons of equipment that will make you better at a job you don't have yet is just silly. There are some basics you need, for sure. But the truth is, most claims CAN be handled out of a Honda Accord (I know, I've done it).Sure, a huge extension ladder is an asset.  A laser measuring device is awesome, but not necessary (at least not at first- try taking mine from me and see what happens).  A 1 ton truck is probably overkill for a laptop and 2 ladders (I'm a hypocrite on this point, but it's still valid).  The point is, start off reasonable, make a few bucks, THEN go buy some fancy gadgets.
  • 4. You knew I was heading this way- Xactimate. Xactimate is the language of the claim file. Know it, close happy files. Ignore it, close nothing. The system is powerful, huge, accurate (I'm sure the name "Approximate" was available when they invented the software), and easy to use. That's right, I said it. The program is remarkably simple when viewed from the correct approach. If you find someone that has truly mastered the program, you can tap into their experience and knowledge and REALLY learn to use the system. I can't get through any class without hearing the words "I've learned more from you in one morning than I learned in any 3 day class prior to this".  The folks that have mastered this software actually enjoy coming across a roof shape or floorplan they have never seen before. Estimating is an adventure in itself.

This job is very rewarding. When the stress of "how-to" goes away, it is even more so. I look forward to seeing the new folks in the field.

Feel free to post any relevant information here.  We'd love to hear from you.

 

Written and hosted by Chris Hatcher, AIC- Xactimate Certified Trainer

Visit us at www.topadjuster.com

 

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