I was called out to a fire Friday afternoon it was for a previous customer of ours that has used us several times in the past. I was onsite within the hour and once I got there it was like going to a family reunion. The tenant’s mom and son who live in the apartment were customers of mine as well. The son is in a wheel chair and we had modified the mom’s house to make it more user friendly to him. He touched me with his positive personality he is always smiling and yes, even though his condo had just burnt down and he lost everything he owned, there he was smiling and he asked me how I was doing. I thought wow, here is someone who just lost everything but doesn’t focus on themselves but on others.
We then walked the unit to see how much damage was actually there. It was extensive all of contents were destroyed. The entire unit will have to be gutted; the only thing salvageable is the framing. I began taking my notes on the damage and getting all the details I will need to write an estimate to replace it to pre-loss condition.
First thing on Monday, I met with the adjuster and walked through with him to go back over the details of what we both saw. We both wrote estimates and although we had the same notes and the same pictures, the estimates were ten thousand dollars apart. We will work with them to come up with a price we can both work with. This is actually very common. I think it comes from the fact that I am writing an estimate to actually do the work and they are writing what they see only.
Their job is to write a fair estimate that is cost effective for the insurance company and my job is to write an estimate that I can fix the house exactly as it was and although the estimating software we use is great, it is for the average house and to this day I haven’t found one house that exactly fits into its mold. I am currently reviewing the adjusters estimate to find the discrepancies and then will address them.
I tend to become very close to my customers working through the details of the job and the constant back and forth communications we have while the project is going on. It is a tough time for them and they usually only get to meet me if they have just had their world changed in a significant way. I care about my customers and that is why they all keep coming back.