Why you should start mitigation estimates on Day 1
When a house floods, the clock starts ticking to get the situation under control to prevent secondary damage to the property. While restoration contractors are the experts in handling these 24/7 property emergencies, their willingness to help a homeowner in their time of need often means that paperwork comes second, including getting their estimate written. But just like secondary damages on a property, failing to complete an estimate in a timely manner can cause secondary damages to a business’ profitability, reputation, and credibility down the road.
Get homeowners back to normal
Restoration contractors are in this business because they care about and are looking out for the homeowner on every job. Day 1 mitigation estimates can play an important role in ensuring satisfied customers.
- Peace of mind: Homeowners are understandably distressed when their property is damaged. Providing a quick and accurate mitigation estimate on Day 1 reduces uncertainty and helps them feel like they are on a path to returning to normalcy. Easing some of their anxiety during this difficult time gives them confidence in your abilities, and increases trust.
- Faster restoration: Quicker estimates mean faster restoration. Homeowners can return to their normal lives sooner, minimizing disruption and inconvenience.
- Customer satisfaction: Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your services to others. Meeting their immediate needs by initiating estimates on Day 1 can lead to positive word-of-mouth and referrals.
Collaboration instead of conflict
Most restoration contractors work with insurance carriers to facilitate the property claims process – whether through a direct relationship, through a managed repair network, or on behalf of a homeowner filing an insurance claim. Recent years have seen rising tension between contractors and carriers, but steps can be taken to stay conflict-free.
Starting a mitigation estimate on Day 1 serves multiple purposes, including:
- Carrier satisfaction: Insurance carriers operate on tight schedules. Having a mitigation estimate ready on the first day shows off your efficiency and responsiveness – an excellent first step to building positive relationships with adjusters and increasing the likelihood of future work coming your way.
- Reducing claim costs: Timely mitigation estimates allow adjusters to accurately assess the scope of the damage, compare it with the policy and communicate approvals or disputes. With this out of the way earlier, contractors can perform mitigation services that they know they will be paid for, and carriers can control their costs – a win-win for everyone.
- Faster claims processing: Carriers aim to resolve claims swiftly. By providing Day 1 estimates, you contribute to a faster and smoother claims cycle, reducing delays and potential disputes.
Banish back and forth
Friction in the claims process frustrates everyone, but Day 1 mitigation estimates can help with:
- Transparency: Delivering an estimate early provides clarity about the restorer’s perspective of the extent of the damage and the estimated efforts to mitigate and restore the property. This up-front clarity builds trust and prevents misunderstandings and disputes down the line.
- Effective communication: When homeowners and carriers receive estimates quickly, it facilitates easier communication across the board. Everyone is on the same page right from the start, creating a smoother claims process.
- Faster approvals: Carriers are more likely to approve estimates that are presented on the first day. This prevents delays in the work to be done and ensures contractors get paid.
How sketchy are your sketches?
Every mitigation estimate starts with a sketch. Illegible hand-drawn sketches, missed measurements, and inconsistencies are the biggest barrier to getting an accurate estimate started on Day 1.
If you want to conquer Day 1 estimates, it's crucial to standardize the sketching process around a digital tool. You want to make sure that the digital tool you choose makes the sketching process fast, easy, and accurate or it won’t deliver the results you want.
A tool like Encircle Floor Plan delivers professional, 2D floor plans into Xactimate sketches in 90 mins on average (always under 6 hours), so you can start every mitigation estimate on Day 1. It’s so easy that anyone can do it with the smart phone they have in their pocket. And because it only takes 5 minutes to scan a property, you will want to use it on every job – big or small.