4.5 ‘Must Do’ Steps for New Adjusters to Get Deployed During a Storm Event

I was sitting at the Dining Room table today, with my daughter painting my fingernails (yes, you read that right) - and I had a thought (you read that right, too).  It occurred to me that my readers would want to have this information- they may even want it NOW!

 

My phone rings a lot!

"Hey, Chris.  How do I...."?  Sometimes it is Xactimate related, sometimes not.  Adjusters ask me the secrets to getting deployed, contractors ask me the secrets to dealing with those pesky adjusters.

I get questions about a lot of things.  For whatever reason, this week was filled with "I can't remember my password.  how do I get into Xactimate".  Man, could I have fun with that one!  A quick response of "Well, you're in deep trouble.  Xactimate is very sensitive about this- you may be on hold a while."  Then tell them the real solution takes about 10 seconds - open the program, sign on with a new User ID, DO NOT USE A PASSWORD, and get right in.  Your files ARE THERE.  The relief and laughter on the other end of the phone is priceless.  One caller this week has been using the program for his entire professional career, and forgot his password.  Another was a lady that was so sweet, eager to get going, at the end of day 1 of a 3 day class, and using the DEMO version of the software.  I hurt a little for her thinking how much more info she could have gotten, retained more, and spent way less money had she found my site first- she expressed the same frustration.  I digress....

The #1 conversation?  The #1 call?  If the title of this piece caught your eye- you already know.  "I'm starting my independent adjusting career RIGHT NOW, and you seem like a guy that would know - Specifically, what steps should I take to get deployed RIGHT NOW?"

If you know me, you know I give basically the same speech, with variations depending on the background and goals of the person asking.  That speech is right on the money , and yields results - IF you have time to go through the various processes, get on rosters, get licensed, develop relationships and build your career.  Whew-  hold on while I catch my breath!

Hurricanes change all that.  If you start the licensing process today, it will be several weeks before you get that license- you missed the boat.  Your nephew is getting rich, and you're getting cramps from standing at the mailbox for 6 weeks.  So, then what?  Let the opportunity pass?  NO WAY!!!  If you don't have a "Come hell or high water" attitude, this job won't be for you anyway.  Let's go for it.  "No" is only an answer for people that take NO for an answer!

I am a HUGE believer in licensing, but you will notice that it is not number 1 on this list - due to the time factor.  If you make the license your number 1 priority - you'll likely miss the opportunity.

 

Here's a list of 4.5 'Must Do' Things to maximize your odds of immediate deployment as a New Adjuster in a storm event:

 

1. Get Xactimate Certified- Level 1 AND Level 2
I'm reading your mind.  You're thinking "Man, I thought I was going to get something out of this, and the Xactimate Trainer is suggesting Xactimate training.  Gosh, shocker!  He wastes no time with the sales pitch!  I'm outta here!"

Give me a second here.  This makes perfect sense.  In an industry that has a painfully high failure rate, the folks that hurt the most from turnover (Okay, maybe they suffer slightly less than the folks that go out into a brand new industry and fail in 2 weeks with no income).  I'm talking about the carriers and the adjusting firms.  The resources they pour into people to keep them from failing is astonishing.  And, still, most folks fail on their first attempt- and there is no second attempt!  How do I display to the firms that I am a lower risk?  The answer is simple- email them your Xactimate Level 1 & 2 certificates!  You have now demonstrated competency in the single largest problem area.  Not to mention, you will actually have a greater skillset and comfort level with Xactimate.  It so happens that I have webinars that are On Demand, can be viewed for 30 days as much as you want, and Level 1 is just $75.

There is no better way to display your skillset as a new adjuster than to become Xactimate Certified.  Don't worry- even if you're brand new, my webinars will quickly build your confidence and your skillset.  You'll love the program, you'll be comfortable with it, and you'll pass the exam - I guarantee it!

I've never had anyone go through my webinars and fail the exam on their first attempt.  Read about an experiment HERE, where I had a chef that had never heard of Xactimate go through the webinar and test level 1- He passed!  He was shocked at how easy it was.  His score?  98%!  It certainly won't help his cooking, but it does prove that the webinars teach every single person from every walk of life- and they will pass the exam!

When developing a strategy that is based on time (or lack of it), getting Xactimate Certified on 2 levels in 2 days makes a lot of sense.  Start now - you could be certified tonight!

 

 2. Adjusting Firm(s)

Notice the (S)?  I am a huge believer in finding a firm that works well for you - and one that fits your style and personality.  You'll know what I mean very soon into your career.  The only way to find "The One" is to communicate with several.  Each firm has it's own personality - that's not good or bad, but it is a fact.  There's no sense staying with a firm that doesn't fit well with you.  Again- we're dealing with a time issue here.  Get on several rosters.  Call the HR folks and be open and honest with them.  Many times, based on the way they treat you over the phone on those initial calls, you'll know who you PREFER to work for.

  • Be sure the info they have on file for you is up to date - licensing, certs, address, email, phone, whatever.
  • Always have a POSITIVE reason for calling them.  I remember early in my career, I would call to say "I just got this cert or that one".  NOT calling to nag them into deploying you.  Be nice, be professional.  Check in and treat the folks on the phone with respect.  Every single interaction is an interview.  Besides, if dealing with HR stresses you out and causes you to lose your manners - stop reading now and pick a new career path!
  • DO NOT wait for your adjusting license to arrive before starting this process.  Start now!
  • Many adjusting firm web sites boldly proclaim "We only use adjusters with 3 or more years of experience" (or something like that).  Click past that and apply anyway- you have to trust me on this.  Some mean it, some don't.  You'll know who didn't mean it when they call and ask you to go to work (especially since you're Xactimate Certified).

 

3. State Licensing

So far, we've focused on things that can be accomplished quickly and will get you higher on the deployment totem pole for a quicker deployment.  You're on several rosters, you're Xactimate Certified, and you're on the deployement radar.

Let's settle in and pursue the State License now.  "Settle In" DOES NOT mean SLOW DOWN!  You're eligible for deployment, and may be deployed before this step is accomplished - but this is important to your long term career.

Get on line and enroll in a class that will teach you AND waive the state exam.  The list of classes is too long for this post.  If your state doesn't offer these courses (many do not), then go for a non-resident license in TX or FL.  I happen to like the one taught by Polk State College here in FL.  What makes their training different?  You learn, waive the state exam, AND get an Accredited designation from a college.  It's not more expensive, and it doesn't take any longer than the others.  You can CLICK THIS LINK if you are interested in their program (NO- I don't get kickbacks.  They just have a good program that benefits my students).

 

4.Training and Certifications

You're standing out by being Xactimate Certified, you're on several rosters, you're taking the online licensing course.  Put 'er on cruise control, sit back , and WAIT!

Yeah, right.  

Take note that many adjusting firms will offer certification courses for the carriers they work for.  Get on the list, accept any free training they offer.  This is a no brainer!

  1. You get FREE training.  They may have scoping classes, certification classes for their carriers, Rope & Harness - who knows?
  2. You display a clear interest in working with that firm.  If they offer and you refuse- do they really want to choose you over the other 10,000 applicants?  No.  They invest in you and you invest in them.  That does make sense.
  3. You get one on one time- face to face.  In a business that seems very "Cloak & Dagger" to the newbie, you get to meet and introduce yourself.  More decisions are made at sign in, lunch, and after class than at any other time in this business.  Seize the opportunity to become a person, and not a number!  Get in there and learn the secret handshake!

 

4.5 Attitude/ Marketing Yourself

Packed with cliche's, but accurate nonetheless.

  • Be patient -  Persistent, but patient.  Diligent, but patient.  Determined, but patient.
  • Be friendly -Said it before, and I would say it a thousand times if I could.  Being a pushy jerk with the deployment folks pretty much confirms you were going to be a pushy jerk to your insured's and management at some point anyway.  The folks that can "weather the storm", so to speak, are the ones that make it.
  • Be Flexible - I see so many people that lock their fantasy job in their head, and wait for that AND ONLY THAT.  That's plain crazy!  If you love sunshine and wind in your face- TAKE THE INSIDE JOB if that's what you're offered"But I don't like inside work" - SO WHAT?  You're asking to enter an awesome career, then limiting your options!  Take the inside job, learn as much as you can, then politely request an outside job on your next deployment.  What bugs deployment personnel the most?  New Adjusters begging for work, getting the call, and turning down the opportunity.  Think that will keep you high on the list for the net slot?  NO WAY!  Take the job- that said, if you're afraid of heights, go ahead and turn down the Steep & High assignment.
  • Make your YES a YES - Let's say you are on standby for a couple firms.  I would STRONGLY suggest that you be transparent with those firms and let them know you're on standby with other adjusting firms.  Then, when a deployment call comes in, call the others and take yourself OFF standby.  This is crucial.  These folks have a very large challenge when it comes to the logistics of their business.  DO NOT wait for them to call you for deployment before telling them you've already committed. There is no greener grass.  When you commit to an adjusting firm, go with that firm.  Do the best you can and don't look around to find out who's making how much money - They're Lying Anyway!  Just move forward and do the best you can.

 

There you have it.  These tips will surely help you in your quest to be deployed as a new adjuster.  Feel free to browse around my blog - you'll see several free tips on how to make the best of the adjusting career.  It's great, it's true freedom, and you can do very well at it.

Debbie Moroy from claimsmentor.com suggested I add this valuable piece of advice - *** A word of caution - DO NOT SIGN A BLANK CONTRACT!!!!***

***Be sure you do have a contract and that you agree to the terms before handling claims for any vendor.***

Drop me a line at chris@topadjuster.com if I can help in any way.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog - "4.5 steps to survive (and thrive) on your first deployment"

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