We love hearing about restorers overcoming challenges and we are always here to support you. Last year, over 7000 restorers attended our virtual events and you had some great questions for us. We sat down with CR Kris Rzesnoski and asked him to weigh in on your top questions from the year!
Your property restoration questions, answered.
How to handle adjuster objections in property restoration 🛑
Question: What are the top strategies for handling adjuster objections? Especially if they’re opinion-based.
Answer: “One of the top strategies I used was actually providing some of the evidence that you need to support your argument — not so that you can come at it from an aggressive standpoint, but more to help educate the other side. You have to understand, if you’re dealing with a junior adjuster or an adjuster that maybe wasn’t dealing with property restoration, it’s to give them some education, make it a safe place for them to ask questions of why you did something, and then go back and refer to standards and explain how it worked in your job or why you had to apply certain techniques to your job.
That’s usually the best way to avoid a serious confrontation in property restoration; sometimes you’re going to have to elevate that up to a senior adjuster or manager to further the conversation. But that was my best strategy, and it’s the one that worked the most for me.”
What makes an incredible report 📃
Question: What does a great report look like? What’s the list of things a property restoration report should always include?
Answer: “You get this question a lot, ‘how do I get a great report?’ And the best reports that you see out there are going to cover off the basics, which is: do you have the cause of loss or source of loss covered off. That’s big because that’s answering the question of ‘is there coverage and does the coverage apply?’
And then inside every affected room, you want to have the overview photos, pre existing conditions, resulting damages to contents, and resulting damages to the building. Any of the information that you need to provide — such as video, or photos, or 3D imaging — you want to make sure you get to the adjuster so that you have that report telling the entire story of what happened on the loss, what did the property look like before the loss, and how are you going to be handling it.”
Fixing missing documentation when the job is already complete 😱
Question: Are there best practices for fixing missing documentation if the job is already complete?
Answer: “If you’re missing information on a property restoration job, that’s one of the tough things; there’s no good way to go back and create that information. A friend of mine, Noris, says if you do it before, it’s an explanation; if you do it after, it’s an excuse. And it really looks that way when you start to document things after the problem has occurred.
Normally it’s there’s a problem, and that’s why you’re going back and having to fix the documentation and answer questions that you didn’t collect in the beginning. The best way you can fix that is to put really good processes in place so that on all your property restoration jobs going forward, you’re actually collecting the information you need to answer those questions.”
Documenting your way to better profits 💰
Question: How can documentation help you be more profitable on a loss?
Answer: “If you look at the difference between restorers that are making money and restorers that are struggling to make money, it has to do with the documentation that you’re doing on a property restoration job. It’s the story you’re telling, it’s the explanation of what did you need to do, why did you do it, and then what was the outcome that came from that.
Everytime that you go and apply equipment to a job and then you get questioned on it, you need to have that supporting documentation to be able to hold your ground to explain what you were trying to do. Especially when you’re dealing with an adjuster that’s inside programs, you’re going to have to understand how those documentation practices apply, and then how it will be impacted by the rules of a carrier.”
Saving time while documenting ⏰
Question: What are the best time saving tips when you’re documenting a loss?
Answer: “Trying to save time on a job isn’t as intuitive as you would think, but that’s because the technology hasn’t been there like we have now. In the past, it usually was the project manager that would document every room, and they were responsible for gathering all that data.
But now with today’s technology, especially within Encircle, you can have multiple people documenting the job at one time. This means you can spend less minutes on the job site and still get the same great results, or even better results, because you have multiple people documenting rooms. Now your project manager can focus on the customer, and not on doing the administrative task of taking photos and explaining the loss.”
Final thoughts on property restoration in 2023 🤔
Question: Closing thoughts as we move from 2022 to 2023?
Answer: “In 2023, with the recession looming and potentially coming or already here, you’re going to see a lot of pressure downward on you. This is because the insurance companies aren’t making their money on investment income — they’re going to have to make it in claims income. And at that point, that’s going to put pressure on your property restoration business. You’re going to have to do your due diligence of really documenting your jobs, making sure that you can justify all your charges. But the result should be that you’re delivering a better product, you’re delivering a better service, and you’re helping the adjuster do their job."
Start your year off right, see our Profitability Master Class on demand.