Contractors are frustrated with the insurance claims process.
Many have found their villain in the various estimating software programs.
Of particular note, Xactimate draws the ire of property restoration contractors. One doesn't have to search far to find a social media rant about the inefficiencies of estimating tools.
BUT, has the listener ever silenced the impulse for blame long enough to consider that Xactimate, and similar estimating resources, are primarily communication platforms?
Join us for a discussion that will help listeners update their mindset and habits regarding estimating tools and approaches.
Listen to The DYOJO Podcast as we share insights for better insurance claims and construction outcomes.
Clips from The DYOJO Podcast, Episode 111, A Simple Formula for Better Construction Estimates.
Xactimate can be a Common Estimating Language
In the insurance world, Xactimate estimates are written room by room, and line by line. It's not a format that many contractors outside of the restoration space are familiar with. Nor are customers. They're not used to seeing a 28 page bid for a two room project. But there is one party that is familiar with this format. The insurance companies.
In an insurance claim project, the insurance carrier has the money. So, if they have the money, it is in the best interest of the contractor and the policyholder to consider presenting their estimates in a manner that the insurance company can understand. COMMUNICATION.
Learn more from our How to Suck Less Estimating Course.
The Xactimate Sessions Podcast
Xactimate estimates are built with a diagram or a sketch. There's actually a lot of really helpful calculations, scope notes, and different project elements that can be derived from this tool. If you are new to Xactimate or trying to teach your team you will find value in a series we produced called The Xactimate Sessions. You can search for Episodes 65 through 79 of The DYOJO Podcast.
The Xactimate Sessions
One of the our prior videos on sketching will help owners and managers who are training new restoration team members to sketch in Xactimate.
From Estimation to Project Management
Does your team regularly create an estimate that the insurance company, the entity with the money, the customer, the entity with the pen to sign the contract, and the production team, the ones who have to complete the work, all understand? COMMUNICATION.
If one or all of those parties don't understand the scope you need to fix your estimating process. The estimate itself is a byproduct of a series of processes that start with client intake. A simple topic and process that we discussed on Episode 86 of The DYOJO Podcast.
Site observations and the notes that go to the estimator are critical pieces of communication. Whether that's A) the same person, IE a write and run estimator, or B) there's a central estimator within the company. Or, as many companies are finding success with, perhaps your team utilizes C) remote estimating services like our sponsor Epic Estimates as an external resource.
The details include all the data from the site. As we share in our estimating course, these details have to be communicated thoroughly thorough data capture. Data captured and communicated thoroughly to whoever's going to create the estimate. It must be thorough because it creates a series of following steps which include, the customer being able to understand what you're contracting for. Clarifying what is and is not in your scope. If insurance is involved, this thorough data helps them understand what they are responsible for.
Construction Estimating Accuracy
Accurate scope leads to accurate construction cost estimates.
Thorough Data Capture (site observation and transfer of details) leads to Accurate Data Input (estimation).
When the scope and cost gets down to the production team, it's very important that whoever is writing an estimate always does so with the production team in mind. Clarity, consistency, and accountability, which is something that we go over in detail in our last book, How to Suck Less at Estimating by Jon Isaacson. This book is also a course available online through our friends at Restoration Technical Institute. This course has six modules, which reflect the six chapters in this book. If you sign up for the course you get a free PDF copy that is designed to correspond with the course on how to suck less at estimating this book is available on Amazon.
If any of these topics hit home, or seem to be helpful to yourself for your team, you should tune into the full discussion from episode 111 of The DYOJO Podcast
The DYOJO - helping contractors shorten