So, you’ve scheduled an appointment with a property owner to evaluate their damage and provide an estimate for the repairs.
They are in need of your help, and are relying on your expertise, but in the end may be hiring you simply based on your professionalism.
The question is…Are You a Pro or a Joe???
Here is a checklist of things for an estimator to keep in mind when trying to make a good first impression with a homeowner.
1. Be Branded With Your Company’s Logo
a. Always wear a clean and neat company shirt.
b. Company vehicles, jackets, and hats can also set you apart.
2. Be Prepared
a. Be well groomed and always make sure that your company shirt is tucked in.
b. Make sure that you have all of your paperwork ready for the insured.
i. Company Information
ii. Work Authorization Contract
iii. Business Cards
c. Don’t forget your pen and clipboard along with any other items that you may need for your inspection.
i. Tape Measure
iii. Moisture Meter
3. Make a Professional First Impression
a. Be on time for your appointment.
i. Call on your way to inform the insured and apologize if you feel that there is even a chance of being a minute late.
b. Do not park in the driveway unless you absolutely have to.
i. This can feel imposing and be a turn off for some people.
ii. If you do then you had better make sure that your vehicle doesn’t leak.
c. Ring the doorbell and step back away a few feet from the door.
d. Greet the insured by “Mr., Mrs., or Ms.” along with their last name.
e. Introduce yourself and any additional team members by full name.
f. Inform the insured of each of your roles and what you are there to do.
g. Hand the insured your business card(s).
4. Bring “Footies” and Cover Your Shoes Before You Enter (if Appropriate to Do So)
5. Break the Ice and Build Rapport
6. Watch Your Language
7. Your Empathy is Often More Important Than Your Experience!
a. The insured already expects that you’re an expert so make sure to focus on listening and understanding to show them how much you care.
8. Be Sure to Ask Key Questions
a. “What do you believe happened?”
b. “When did the loss occur?”
c. “Have you contacted your insurance company yet?”
d. “Do you have any questions or concerns that I can address for you?”
9. Offer a Solution for Every Problem
10. Establish a Scope of Work to be Performed and Explain the Restoration Process
11. Offer to Do as Much or as Little as Necessary
12. Ask if They Have Any More Questions or Concerns
13. Plan the Next Step
14. Schedule a Time to Either Meet or Speak with Them Again and Go Over Your Estimate
15. Thank Them for the Opportunity to be of Service