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April 5, 2024

Quick guide to better restoration documentation: get paid faster

In property restoration, the equation is simple: Proof equals payment.

Yet, a staggering 29% of restorers surveyed by Cleanfax in 2023 reported waiting 6–8 weeks for payment. The culprit? Inadequate documentation.

But there's good news: the right approach to restoration documentation can cut down on those wait times.

Thanks to ‌insights from Andrew McCabe, we've filled this guide with essential tips on documentation and talking to adjusters, making sure you have what you need to get paid faster.




Large Loss Claims Consultant & Xactimate Estimator Founder, QuickCheck

Streamlining restoration workflows with the right documentation tools

Choosing a documentation solution that's tailor-made for restoration work can transform your workflow. Look for features that prioritize ease of use, reliability, and offline capabilities.

A unified documentation platform, like Encircle, simplifies your process, cutting down on app clutter and making your work smoother.

Find out how Restoration Made Simple increased profits for their clients with Encircle’s platform.

Quick tips: Better reports for quicker payments and smoother restoration jobs
  • Visuals at the forefront: Quick, clear visuals‌ — ‌photos and videos‌ — ‌directly embedded into reports make your case undeniable. Organize by location to highlight damage extent and required work, simplifying complex cases for adjusters and clients.
  • Simplified photo documentation: Use technology to sort and tag photos automatically, reducing manual sorting and highlighting the damage and repairs clearly for adjusters.
  • Clear, complete reports: Craft reports that clearly tell the whole story. Use short, direct text to describe the loss, the restoration steps, the costs, and the timelines. This approach cuts through confusion and prevents adjuster pushback.

See how Encircle helped Ultra Clean Service Corp tackle adjuster pushback and increase profitability with comprehensive reporting.

Proactive communications: Don't wait, anticipate

Waiting for adjusters or clients to ask for documents? Being one step ahead can make all the difference.

Maximize your project approvals and speed up payments by combining thorough documentation with proactive communication. Here’s how to streamline the process:

  • Combine clarity with strategy: Make sure your reports are comprehensive and clear, detailing every aspect of the job. Pair this with a proactive approach to sharing these documents with adjusters, anticipating their needs and questions.
  • Pack your initial communications: Attach all necessary documents, photos, and legal paperwork when you first submit bids or invoices. It showcases thoroughness and can significantly cut down on follow-up requests.
  • Stay one step ahead: Regularly update adjusters and clients, even before they ask. Anticipate their inquiries and provide answers proactively to keep your project moving forward without unnecessary delays.

Legal essentials: Keeping documents updated and in check

In restoration, it’s crucial not only to have all your contracts, work authorizations, and legal documents in place but also to keep them updated.

A streamlined system for managing these documents not only safeguards your business legally but also provides smooth operations. Here’s what you need to focus on:

  • Comprehensive coverage: Make sure every contract, work authorization, and necessary legal paperwork is accounted for and readily accessible. This is your first line of defense in protecting your business and maintaining transparency with clients and adjusters.
  • Stay current: Regularly review and update all legal documents, including insurance policies and licenses. Changes in regulations or your business operations can affect compliance, so it’s essential to stay informed and proactive in managing these documents.
  • Use technology to your advantage: Implementing a documentation platform that allows you to easily store, manage, and access your legal documents can drastically reduce the time spent on paperwork and improve your compliance posture.

Building better relationships with insurance adjusters

Fostering strong adjuster relationships is foundational for smoother claim processes. Personal interactions and a mutual understanding can expedite solutions and lead to more favorable outcomes for all parties involved.

Gain insight into the adjuster's viewpoint and learn how to build stronger relationships with them through our Quick Tip video below.

Seeing through the fog: Handling adjuster misdirection

Ever feel like adjusters throw curveballs that don’t quite add up? Sometimes, the obstacles might seem like smoke screens or distractions from the main issue. Here’s the lowdown on cutting through the clutter:

  • Know your stuff: Being well-versed with industry standards is your shield. The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) offers position papers and resources that define these standards clearly. Use them to reinforce your stance.
  • Stand firm: If you sense a red herring‌ — ‌something that just distracts from the real issue‌ — ‌trust your expertise. Use documents, photos, and your knowledge to steer the conversation back to what matters.

Armed with knowledge and confidence, you can navigate through these tactics, keeping your projects on track and guaranteeing fairness for your clients.

Training your team for consistent documentation

Consistency is key when it comes to documentation. Establishing and adhering to standardized processes guarantees that every team member knows exactly what's expected of them. Regular training keeps everyone up-to-date with best practices and the latest documentation strategies.

Making restoration work easier with unified documentation technology

Juggling multiple apps can complicate your workflow unnecessarily. Opting for a comprehensive solution that meets all your documentation needs can save time and reduce complexity, allowing your team to focus on what they do best: restoration.

Turning documentation into your competitive edge in restoration

Good documentation isn't just paperwork; it's the bedrock of a thriving restoration business. It protects your earnings, earns trust at every turn, and leads to quicker payments.

By adopting the right tools and practices, you can elevate documentation from a tedious task to a key asset. In restoration, being well-prepared means not only staying ahead but also redefining what excellence looks like.

Boost your documentation today

Elevate your documentation with our step-by-step checklist, crafted for restoration professionals.

Step up your game at Navigating Restorer-Adjuster Relations. Gain expert insights to improve your business.


Get complete and consistent field documentation everytime.

Learn how Encircle can help you and your field teams ease the documentation burden.