Before you can begin working on a water damage restoration job, it’s important to know how you’re going to get paid. If homeowner’s insurance is covering the cost of restoration, than it is your job to provide the homeowner’s insurance company with an estimate of the cost of labor and supplies.
If you’ve been working in the restoration industry for any amount of time, you know the quality of the estimate you provide matters. If you want to get paid, and we know you do, you have to make accurately describing the loss and what it will take to get things back to pre-loss condition your top priority. Mastering the art of writing restoration estimates doesn’t have to be mystery, but it won’t happen without excellent systems in place and a clear understanding of the elements necessary in every estimate.
What Every Water Damage Estimate Needs
The purpose of a restoration estimate is to provide the homeowner and their insurance company with the information they need to determine how much a restoration job will cost and how their money is going to be spent.
The simplest way to get all of the necessary information across to the reader is by making sure every estimate your company writes follows a set format. Typically, this format should allow for a room-by-room estimate of the loss. Within the description of each room, the components of the room that need replaced or repaired should be listed in the same order each and every time. Decide what order works best for your team and follow from now on. If it is necessary to deliver consistent results, include detailed instructions on your estimate form for your team members to follow.
In addition to a consistent format, every water damage estimate also need pictures of the damage. Pictures are crucial to making the reader understand the extent of the repairs needed and how the money being asked for is will be spent.
Lastly, a water damage estimate needs to clearly outline what needs to happen to get the residence back to pre-loss condition. Remember, you are the expert on water damage restoration, so it is your job to help your reader understand what needs to happen and how much it will cost to get a home back to a comfortable condition for its owner.
How to Take the Guess Work Out of Writing Restoration Estimates
So, you’ve identified what a well written water damage restoration estimate should look like, but how do you put that into practice? We know from experience that it is one thing to say something and another to get everyone on your team on board with the vision. Even if your team is small, training everyone to write estimates that follow your selected format won’t be easy.
This is why systems are so important to taking the guess work out of writing water damage restoration estimates. Remember, at More Floods, when we talk about systems we are talking about any documented methods or processes for the day-to-day operations of your business that offer consistent results. We’ve talked extensively in that past about how systems are key to making sure your business runs smoothly, even when you’re not directly involved.
The same goes for providing estimates. Since estimates are integral to how your business makes money, it would be foolish to neglect to create a system for making sure estimates are written well each and every time.
Of course, a system doesn’t have to be complicated. In this case, providing a consistently accurate estimate could be as simple as creating a check-off list that prompts team members to closely adhere to a list of tasks before they can call an estimate complete. For business that prefer to go paperless, a system may also look like taking advantage of a software for writing estimates and simply customizing the software to your organization’s needs.
No matter what you choose as your system for writing water damage restoration estimates, make sure you are setting your team members up for success. Thoroughly document what the system entails and take the time to train each and every employee. The hard work of creating a system and training your employees now will pay off big time in the future.
Resources for Restoration Estimate Writing Success
If you need a little extra help mastering the art of writing water damage estimates and training your employees to do the same, there is good news for you. At More Floods, we have created resources for precisely that purpose.
When we first began our careers as water damage restoration specialists, we didn’t understand the value of systems for providing estimates. Instead, we learned through trial and error what goes into an accurate estimate and how following a set format can simplify the estimate and payment process.
Since learning these lessons, we have developed a passion for helping independent restorers run profitable businesses by providing them with the operational resources necessary for simplifying their day-to-day. To learn more about the estimate writing systems we can provide your company and how to become a member of our online network, click here or call 1-866-667-3356.