Xactimate Estimating

It's not easy pricing for contents restoration. There are several theories out there on how to price effectively. Share your thoughts here

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Xactimate Estimating

Postby motige » Tue May 06, 2008 2:42 pm

Anyone willing to trade contents estimates? All pertinent information could be removed before swapping. I am really interested in hearing what and how other Contents Mangers are formatting estimates and line items they are using. I want to make sure we (The Company) is being reimbursed correctly and fairly from Insurance Companies. If you are interested just post a reply or PM me.
Thanks,
Motige
St. Louis MO
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Postby Ken Larsen, CR, WLS » Tue May 06, 2008 5:40 pm

Motige,

This is a good topic because there is such a wide range of estimating protocols out there. We have all heard of the "clean any box of contents in 4 minutes" (or whatever the time frame is), and the potential ramifications of such a performance claim can darn near kill the contents restoration industry!

It is my hope that marketing campaign is duly squashed so that it will never arise from the ashes ever again!

From what I have seen, most restoration estimates for contents are displayed in either of two ways: time and materials.... and unit costs.

The time and materials estimating process is (in my humble opinion) the lazy man's way of estimating, but clearly the most accurate. It can be backed up with not only time cards and materials usage reports - but in the most extreme cases, I have seen restoration companies actually video tape the staff working on the contents to back up the time cards. There is no way that the insured / adjuster can argue with the invoice. It is all fully documented!   However... it is the least profitable estimating process. (the reasons are obvious. The only way around the profitability problem is to raise the hourly rate of the techs).

As for unit costs - well - the faster the techs work - the more profit is to be made. The only problem is that the estimator has to REALLY do their Xactimate data entry diligently so as to charge a line item for every item restored.

As a personal beef... I HATE it when I see estimates that have the Xactimate line item: "Clean knick-knacks; bric-a-brac"... 4800 units @ $1.48 = $7104.00    Man! that just looks so darn hokey. It is a common practice in the North Eastern States to enter that line item like that, and adjusters apparently pay it without question.

Good question. I look forward to everyone else's comments / perspectives.

Ken Larsen
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Postby TBA Contents » Wed May 14, 2008 2:36 pm

I'd be willing to trade estimates.  In fact, I have done this with several of our business partners around the country and have received some pretty good information.  Send me a PM and see if we can work this out.

Also, I do most of my estimates in POI, but did them in Xactimate for 5+ years before that and still do some in Xactimate.
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Postby Ken Larsen, CR, WLS » Wed May 14, 2008 3:29 pm

[;welcome1;] Welcome to the Board TBA...  [;welcome1;]

That may be a very interesting component to be able to view other estimates from those among us.

Just an FYI...  it is very easy to upload a .pdf Xactimate to this board. When you are posting a message, simply scroll down the screen a bit and you can see how you can upload attachments to your message.  If you were interested in getting feedback on your estimate and sharing with others, this may be a very friendly venue to do so!

Again - Welcome!

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Postby TBA Contents » Thu May 15, 2008 6:35 am

Sounds like a good idea to upload the .pdf.  I can also upload one from POI so others can see how you can invoice straight out of POI.
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Estimating

Postby motige » Sat May 17, 2008 8:16 am

Thanks Ken, Barb and TBA for support on this subject and this forum. I am excited to see a forum that has contents related issues - instead of just subjects about the "structure" end of the job! I also am will to post one of my estimates submitted to an adjuster for payment.
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Postby Ken Larsen, CR, WLS » Sat May 17, 2008 8:59 am

If you need help uploading the estimates to the forum, please private message me and I will help you with the process. (or do it for you)

Thanks for your participation.

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Postby Ken Larsen, CR, WLS » Mon May 19, 2008 3:33 pm

Posting this file for Motige..... See her message below.

Ken Larsen
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Sample Estimate.PDF
Motige's sample estimate.
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Postby TBA Contents » Tue May 20, 2008 6:56 am

Here's a recent estimate from a fire damage pack-out we peformed.
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CMS Invoice.pdf
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Estimate

Postby motige » Tue May 20, 2008 10:08 am

Ken,
Thanks for the help uploading my estimate. I tried several times!! If anyone has some feedback on how to improve the estimate - just PM me.
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Postby AmRestore » Wed May 21, 2008 2:33 pm

I will try to post some of ours as soon as I dig out from all of this paperwork.  We have been hammered!  (a good problem to have)...
Will Lamb, MSR,MWR,MTC, nice guy
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Re: Xactimate Estimating

Postby John Middleton » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:27 pm

WOW I can see I need a lot more work in my contents processing side of things.

I've mentioned elsewhere that we're doing an upgrade of our contents processing facility... if you can call it an upgrade, more like a new facility compared to what we're using currently.

Anyway, the problem I have is how to charge.

Obviously, things will be processed quicker and thus cheaper for the insurer.

Soooo how do you realise greater profitability for the company to offset the investment, yet still sell the cost savings to the insurer?

We currently do everything on charge up. As Ken says above, that's the least profitable way to go. Hourly rate wise, we're almost twice some of our competitors.

Yet we don't do a full scale inventory like I've seen in the estimates above.

Because we've got a relative monopoly and are the only service provider for pack out -> contents processing -> storage, we rarely get a request for quoting/estimating PRIOR to the job. So we keep track of hours, expenses and consumables and charge up at the end of the job.

We're in a low population region and have only got 3 full house packouts this year so we're not talking HUGE workflow.

For you guys that inventorise everything at the packing stage in the home, do you KNOW at that point what your bill will be? As in put the data into your system/software and it spits out the likes of the above and then if you can get through quicker, it's more money in your pocket?

Just trying to get my head around a few things.

John
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Re: Xactimate Estimating

Postby John Middleton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:52 pm

Hey guys,

I've had a look at the above documents and see there's a few things I don't understand.

Can someone please enlighten me as to the difference between the tag and item numbering systems and why it's necessary to have both?

Also, can someone please detail the cleaning code if possible so I can get an idea of how it's made up.

Thanks, John
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