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Alan Olson: All right. Well, welcome back, folks. It is another episode of Adjustments in Life, and I am your host, Alan Olson. Back in the studio again with me today is Mr. Jason Dyson. How you doing man?
Jason Dyson: Doing great, Alan, thanks for having me again.
Alan: You bet you. Hey, I just want to say what you’ve been up to, you know, we don’t talk just you and I much, How’s life going? How’s everything doing?
Jason: Doing great, you know, kind of trying to get things in order and take care of all the rat killing that I need to get finished up before this year really kicks off and also trying to enjoy a little bit of life and enjoy the downtime while I can.
Alan: Well, I think that’s the main thing is, is we work really hard. During the storm seasons, all of us all gestures out there, everybody I know we work as hard as we can, you know, considering what we do is seasonal. So I hope that if anything that you… I know I have as much as I can. But I hope that you take advantage of that home time and enjoy life. Without that what are we out there working for?
Alan: So hey, I’ve got this topic on my mind that I’ve been thinking about here lately as I scroll through social media, and you know, all the adjuster forums and everything that’s going on out there. And I see a constant flow from not just new adjusters, but even adjusters that have been around the industry for a considerable amount of years.
And I see this continuing question what’s going on out there? Where’s the work? Why aren’t we? I’ve been sitting at home all this time, and there’s nothing to do. Can somebody please guide me as well? Who’s hiring?
You know, and I think it makes me consider that maybe folks are looking at the time of year, and today’s Friday, March 4, they’re wondering when are the storms going to start.
And, you know, I know when I was starting in this, and probably you as well, we weren’t accustomed to the length of the offseason. And when it actually stopped and started, we’ve been home since…A lot of us since the end of September, maybe some of us extended on into October, November working some of these hurricanes.
And we have been off of work this whole time, you know, we might have picked up a claim or two here and there. But for the majority of us, we’ve been off work since the end of the hurricane season.
And so we’re projecting when that New Year is going to kick back into gear and we’re actually going to get out and go to work. And I think a lot of us are sitting here thinking, man, it’s really slow. And what’s happening, why aren’t the storms occurring?
Jason: Yeah, I can definitely see that but having a lot of years in the industry. This is more typical than atypical in my opinion, this time through January and February especially, and can even push into March.
There might be a hailstorm here there might be pipe breaks, there’s always your little daily work; but everybody has to understand in this time of year the general amount of work goes down there’s not the hail claims all the time.
In Texas, we’ll always have hail claims but they’re not as thick as they are in the other months. That does a couple of things. There’s a lot of staff adjusters sitting at home doing nothing as far as insurance companies are going to fill up their staff before they form it out. I think it’s just how it’s going to work. And I think there’s a lot of other things going on there if you know that we can discuss too.
Alan: Backing up though I think that people are taking a look at this in the wrong way. And especially if you’re brand new, you and I have some experience we have some history behind us some data to collect that we can say okay, how long were we going to be in that offseason? How long can we expect to not have the income that we want to have?
Now granted, we get these things warms now and then that pop up in the middle of the winter, you know, depending on where what regional area, the country you’re in could determine whether you get the opportunity to work some of these smaller storms.
Because just like a week and a half ago, North Texas had a severe thunderstorm system move across. it was snow across the Midwest, but you know where we’re at, we’re going to get a rain event and possibly some thunderstorms and drops a little bit of hail in a concentrated area north of Dallas.
Okay, well, if you’re in that area, you’re probably going to be able to pick up some claims off of that. But I think what’s happening is even for us experienced guys, we all went through this 2021 February season of this incredible cold spell that froze the entire southern region of the United States.
Unexpected cold that nobody knew was actually going to come or to what extent was actually going to happen? Okay. And what it did is it created this February storm,
Jason: The full-blown CAT.
Alan: A full-blown CAT in February. That’s exactly right. I was trying to think of a more advanced way of putting it but at the end of the day, it was just a storm.
But we go in, and now we’re kicked into full force, storm season activation mode on the 17th of February. And we’re not used to that. So we’re sitting back here now after last year of having that and then going into hail season and then winds and then hurricanes.
We had a really busy year for a lot of us that started much earlier in the year than normal. And so we’ve kind of just in that one year, we kind of lost the concept of wind storm season should start back up.
I think a lot of people whether you’re new to it, last year was your first year, you know, a lot of newcomers in that freeze event, or even somebody that’s been around for a while.
I think people lost perspective of when our season to shine really is to think that we’re going to have an event like that in February every year is to kind of think that we’re going to have a major hurricane every year.
This doesn’t happen. And when it does happen, we all love that it’s a bonus. We’re all going to take advantage of it. But that’s not something that can be counted on.
Alan: No, no. So I kind of want to set the tone here to address adjusters across the spectrum. Because I know for me, I’ve had days, even this year that I’ve went “Gosh, it is kind of slow.”
You know, I’m–we’ve had a mild winter, we’ve had a few cold snaps, but I’m itching, I’m ready to get back out. I’m wanting that work to come.
Alan: And I have to sit back for a second and look at the calendar and go, ‘Okay, it’s March 4, how many years in my 11-year history of doing this? How many years have I been actually working on March 4?’
Jason: Exactly. And they’re few and far between? And if you were working on March 4, more than likely you were on the backside of a winter deployment in somewhere you probably didn’t want to be in the first place.
Alan: That’s exactly right. And actually, last year, I was probably complaining about all the claims we were running on March 1. You know, and I shouldn’t be but you know, the real reality of it is we are early in the year still, even though we’re all seeing the sunshine start to appear in certain areas, the snows melting away.
And if you live in the south, we’re hitting 75, 80 degree days, we are thinking “golly man! What are we doing? Send it home, we should be working…”
Well. Realistically, we probably shouldn’t be working yet. You know, I always figure that most of the time I can plan and stay and be home and do anything I want to do until about the 20th of March. That’s when I start considering “Okay, should I plan a vacation for the first week in April? Should I plan it? Should I go do this? Should I…”
You know, there’s a number of things I can be available to do. But the reality is generally in my years of experience, I’ve always been working by the second week of April, there’s only been a few years I wasn’t…
In the storm season just it activated and took off. It just took a few more weeks longer than normal to actually kick into gear and storms to start appearing. But you know, I don’t want to beat a dead horse into the ground here. But I think we just need to remind folks that it’s not that time yet. Enjoy your time at home and not be so anxious because once it kicks in goes it’s going to go.
Jason: And I hear from guys, you know whether it be in a heavily adjustor populated area like North Texas or anywhere, man, there’s got to be claims here. They’re just not giving them to me.
Well, two things: A) There are daily claims that occur. We do run a handful of daily claims throughout this time of the year. But I don’t think it’s the fact that the firm doesn’t want to give them to you. It’s twofold.
B) The insurance companies are keeping their staff busy, first and foremost. And then what does come into the firm for the most part, they’re trying to spread that around to everybody to try to keep their exact roster riding along with them.
You know, just because you’re that guy in DFW, well, they’ve got to give it… They’ve got to spread that love around a little bit, and don’t get discouraged, it’s going to come.
Alan: Yeah. And if you’re a new person and you haven’t had the opportunity and you get the opportunity this year, you are likely if you’re successful in your attempts and you do well throughout the season, maybe next year when it is slow.
And we’re in the offseason, you might now be on that list to start sharing some of that love with, yes, that’s part of working your way in.
Alan: You know, we just need to be cognizant of the fact that as much as we want to kick storm season into gear, let’s look at the calendar, let’s be realistic.
If you don’t have the history behind you to know, you know, reach out to some folks in I kind of feel like maybe some of the folks on the forums on Facebook should probably be communicating this Hey, guys, I know, it appears like we should be working. But you know, keep in mind, it’s still early, we’re not quite there yet.
And typically, it’s going to start in the south, you know, those of us that are in Texas, maybe into Oklahoma, you know, we’re generally where the season starts to kick off and generate, and then it kind of works its way north and probably east, you know, South East a little bit.
And that carries us on into hail and up through the northern states, you know, we start the season off in the south, and then as the season progresses, the temperatures change going north, and that’s where the majority will get up into the Midwest for the work and stuff like that. But, you know, it’s just early, that’s all.
Jason: That’s all you can say. I mean, my wife and I, we tried to budget knowing the reality of the industry, we try to budget our year, essentially, to where there would be no income between, let’s say November and March.
Now I do go out and make an income. But anything that’s coming in is, is on top, we planned for $0. So if $1 comes in, that’s more than what we planned for. And I think that’s what every adjuster should strive for, to be able to have that… I’m not worried about it, might be a little concerned about it.
I’m not worried about it, we budgeted we planned for this. And any dollar that I can make in that period of time is extra, it’s that less than I have to go into my savings, which now maybe you can put into your retirement or wherever you want to put it but be realistic with yourself that it’s just not time yet.
Alan: That’s right. And speaking in terms of budgeting, my wife and I do the same thing, we have a little bit different way of approaching it. But same deal.
You know, as the spring progresses, if the storm season doesn’t kick into gear, as soon as I want, I might start you know, kind of raising my eyebrows a little bit going well, what’s going to happen here, it gives me a concern of what’s going to come in the year.
But at the same time, like he said, we budgeted for this, we knew that we didn’t have a set date, we didn’t know exactly when we were going to go to work. We took care of our finances ahead of time so that we didn’t have to panic about whether there’s work available or not
And guys and gals out there, if you’re starting off in this industry, as you work those big deployments as you work those busier times a year, you’ve got to put the money back and budget your money, put that money aside to where you know, our first goal was we can go six months with no income.
Once you hit that goal, and you’ve got that money set aside, make another goal. And keep growing on that to where it’s not a big shocker. It’s not a big… You know, I’m not missing a mortgage payment, because I didn’t go to work until March.
Alan: That’s right.
Jason: But there’s got to be that goal. And you’ve got to put that back money aside. You know, we keep preaching that you are a business and your business has to save money for a rainy day. You just got to understand that there’s a rainy day from November to March
Alan: And sometimes there’s rainy years. We also operate on you know, it’s all based off of Mother Nature. And Mother Nature has years where she just is not active. So we have to be prepared for that, too.
So my question to the listeners is now that we’ve brought this out and we we’ve got everybody going okay, well, yeah, we get it. It’s just not time yet. Storm seasons coming but we’re not there yet.
So, you know, let’s calm down a little bit. We’ll be good. We’ll make it through. So my question to the listeners is, is what are you doing with your time? What are you doing with your resources?
And if you’re one that is on social media going where’s the claims? Why aren’t we working yet? Are you really prepared? Have you got all your gear together? If you’re wanting to go to work? Are you ready to go to work?
Jason: Yeah. Are you at a point when a firm calls you and says we’ve got an opportunity in Iowa? Can you say yes and leave tomorrow morning?
Are you that that point? It’s one thing you know, have you gone through your list? Have you got your cat kits set aside? Have you taken care of all your stuff at home?
You know, we talked about this in several episodes, preparing your home, you know, and folks, we’re going to continue to speak on these things. Because these are important things that you have to get into your head.
These are things that are responsible for you to do every year. Every year you need to be cognizant of have I done everything I can do? Have I prepared my home? Have I prepared my finances? Have I prepared my vehicle? Am I ready to take the deployment when the deployment comes in?
Right now, I have a small farm here in Texas. But there’s responsibilities that need to be addressed from the winter that need to be fixed on my farm before I can leave town and go anywhere.
So that’s my goal right now until we actually kick into gear is make sure all repairs have been made. I’ve set my home up, my wife’s got everything taken care of, my kids are good with everything they need. And I don’t have to worry about taking a deployment and leaving and having everything fall apart on me at home because I addressed all those things pre-storm season.
Jason: You know, you touched on your CAT kit, have you opened it up since you came home from the hurricanes?
Alan Olson: That’s right.
Jason: Have you looked? Is your tape measure working? Or is it rusted out is you know, if you if you bought a shingle gauge and Pitch Gauge and all your equipment last year, maybe it’s time to order another shingle gauge?
Alan Olson: That’s right. Have you got your chalk?
Jason: Yeah, you were strapped with a big out of pocket expense at the beginning of your career. But now this year, maybe spend a little bit of money and buy that the second one because you’re going to lose those tools, or their break or whatever happened.
Maybe there’s another piece that you want, maybe it’s time this year, hey, I made a little bit of money, I’m going to invest in a Hipplock or whatever it is. Go and open up your cat kit. Make sure it’s all there.
You know, make sure everything’s.. Do you need a ream of paper? Do you need printer ink, just make sure everything works and is ready to go.
Because when you take that first appointment and you hit the ground, and you go to write that first claim and your computer power supplier, whatever isn’t working, that’s not the time you want to find out about it.
And you have the time now like we said, it’s not time yet. We know that we know by the calendar, we know by the history, we know by the data we’ve collected over the years. But just because it’s not time today, doesn’t mean it can’t transpire in the next three days.
Weather systems change frequently. And you know, I’m not scared to plan a vacation for next week. But I’m a little concerned about planning a vacation for the weeks after because a lot can change in a week’s time weather-wise across the United States.
And we’re not quite into the right time of season yet. But we’re standing, our toes are on the line, and at any moment, we can cross over that line.
Jason: But you know, you kind of mentioned the vacation thing. For years and years, my wife and I have done vacations in January and February, because that’s the most logical time to do it for us. And Mexico is not bad in January.
For those of you that are religious in any way, Easter is a pretty important time of the year. It is for me, and I hate being gone over Easter. So I do make plans to be home and to celebrate Easter with my family, but there’s been many times we celebrated Easter as a family on the road because we went to a storm.
So with that being said, don’t be afraid to make plans if you feel like you need to with your family but at the same time be cognizant of that’s another thing I need to be prepared for now so that I’m not on vacation with my family get the call while I’m on vacation, decide I do need to go to the storm. And I still haven’t prepped any of my stuff and had it ready.
Jason: Exactly and it’s not just your stuff, you know, the tires on your car the oil changes cetera et cetera. It’s have you that we beat this horse and beat this horse. Have you updated all of your rosters?
You know, are those clients ready to call you because you’ve now got a little bit of experience or you’ve now got this extra certification or whatever it may be. You know, have you updated your rosters? Have you been in portals?
Have you signed up with other firms is your CE in line I mean, this is the time to be doing all of that. I know I’m horrible about it myself. My CE will be due in August which is right in the middle of when I don’t want to mess with it. I really should be doing more of it now and I’ll get it done. But now is the time to be thinking of all of that.
Alan: Absolutely. I know for me… Well I just took a week-long course last week and that sufficed all my credit hours but I usually work really avidly at trying to make sure I get my CE’s done in the dead of winter just for that reason is…
You know as you guys excel in all adjusters as they become more and more successful in the industry, the busier we get, and I want to try to eliminate anything from slowing me down during the storm season.
When I’m at my prime and can make the most income I can possibly make and I have slipped I have forgotten about things or delayed things. But that doesn’t give me an excuse to tell you guys the listeners that it’s okay.
Yeah, I felt her like you do. But I still need to be able to tell you “Look, this is a better way to do it.” And I want you to try to make every effort and you brought up getting updated on the portals.
What about, you know, if you were a brand new adjuster last year, or you’re a third season adjuster, and you’ve only worked one carrier, throughout your career, and you went to the hurricane and you saw other adjusters that were working these other carriers that you want to go work now because they made more money.
Okay, now you’ve got enough under your belt, you’re doing good, you’re running claims, but you’re seeing a carrier that’s paying better did you go and get in take the opportunity to certify with those carriers, because those carriers may pay better.
And there may be opportunity for you to move over to those carriers, but they require a certification. And when the deployment comes out, you don’t have the certification because you didn’t go online and try to get it.
Think about those things, you know, there may be, they could use you on those carriers, they need good adjusters. But if you didn’t certify, they can’t use you.
So take advantage of this time to get all of the certifications you can get. And I’m not talking necessarily a level-2, level-2, level-3 Xactimate. Not that I’m telling you that those aren’t a good idea. Because those are wonderful programs.
And you can learn a lot and become much more efficient in what you do by doing those. Make sure you’ve met the criteria for the certifications that give you the qualified basis to go work where you want to work.
Jason: Yeah, I mean, if you’re not getting that work, and it’s because it’s you didn’t go get that certification when you had the opportunity to it’s nobody’s fault but your own, and you shorted yourself.
I mean, if you’re wondering to yourself, when are we going to get busy? Why isn’t there work? Or if you’re one of those posting on social media, you need to ask yourself, have I done everything I need to do?
And if the phone rings right now and says we have an opportunity for you in Iowa? Can you say yes, I’m leaving tomorrow? And if you don’t have if you can’t say yes, then you’re not ready.
Alan: And what do we say should always be said, when that phone call comes in. We should always say yes, we should always be prepared to say, yes.
That’s the whole intent for doing what we’re doing. That’s the whole intent, or you guys wanting to be adjusters or wanting to be available to be adjusters is. So when the call comes in, we can say yes.
So if we’re not taking advantage of the times that we have, when there’s no claims to run to be available, or more available to them when there is claims to run, then that’s…
What do you always say that’s not a good business model, right? We want to make sure that we’re properly handling ourselves as a business and a business is not going to limit their opportunities.
Jason: Sure, you know, have you reached out to your clients, to the managers that you made contacts with and relationship with? Have you reached out to their HR people or resource development?
You know, again, I always want to say don’t bug the heck out of them. But don’t be afraid to touch base. “Hey, I know the season is going to be kicking off. I just wanted to make sure that you know, I’m on your radar. Can’t wait to work with you guys.”
Again, had a good time with it last year, build those relationships, and now’s the time to do it when there is that event. If you made that phone call today, and that something happened tonight, and that manager’s putting together his roster the next day, your name is on their mind.
Alan: That’s right. That’s 100% right. Well, hey, I want to remind everybody about the TAG private community.
Jason: If you’re not involved with the private community, check it out. At least go get some information on it go look, check out the website, look at it, and consider what it is.
It is such a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips at any time. It’s unbelievable the amount of interaction that I’m seeing on there and positive stuff.
Alan: Absolutely. I had another adjuster that seasoned has actually been in the industry for 27 years. I was on the phone with him the other day, and he commented to me says “you know, what you’ve developed from that is what every adjuster less than three years in the industry needs.”
Jason: Yeah, I mean, it’s from just simple questions of what should I expect? Or, you know, all the way down to the technical stuff of what is this product and it’s non-judgmental, and you’re not going to get beat up over it or even just a good community.
I mean, there’s funny things that we did and light stuff too. But I don’t know of another place to go and be able to ask questions, get answers, honest answers, knowledgeable answers and answers that aren’t driven with any other motive other than to help.
Alan: Absolutely, and that’s what it was designed to do. So if you haven’t checked that out, please do so. Go to www.TheAdjusterGuy.com Click on the page that says TAG Private Community and you can learn anything you want to learn about it.
Anybody that signs up and goes through one of the TAG courses, in-person courses, that is all of those courses come with either 6 months or one-year subscription to the private community.
So we’re rapidly growing with the courses that we’re doing, the community is getting larger every month with what’s happening. And it’s really been a fun experience for me. And I know, Jason, you’re considered one of the experts on the community.
So for those of you that are listening, you’re getting us at your fingertips to ask questions too.
Jason: Sure. And at all hours. I mean, I’ve seen, I’ve woke up in the morning, look at my phone, I’m scrolling through Facebook, before I get up, brush my teeth and somebody posted a question or two in the morning, and I’m answering.
I mean, it’s if you’re out there, there’s no other place to be able to go when you’re out and you’re handling an issue and it pops up you can answer and you probably be surprised at how quick you get a response.
Oh, if we’re all out deployed during the hurricanes last year, we’re all out deployed, we’re up at the same time doing the same thing you are. And we’re answering those questions as you’re getting them.
Alan: Absolutely. It’s not just questions, it can be anything along the lines of “Hey, guys, I’m headed to Boston and I need suggestions on a centralized… This is my area, what’s a good place to stay? Has anybody been here before I need something economical?” or whatever we can assist you with that’s what we’re there to do.
And like you said, it’s a constructive manner, where our 100% intention through the whole process is to help you and not hinder you. And I see so much social media out there that it really has no positive response to it whatsoever. And I want to try to eliminate that.
So yeah, check it out. Again, it’s www.TheAdjusterGuy.com check on the private community.
Also, guys, again, we appreciate the mailbox we really want to hear some responses out of you. We really want to know what you guys want to hear about. That’s what we’re here for.
We’re here to inform you on the things that you have questions about. Shoot us an email P-O-D-M-A-I-L@usa.com. That’s email@example.com. And hey, man, we are pushing the envelope of time we got to get out of here, you got one more thing,
Jason: And you can remain anonymous. If you don’t want your name read over the air. We won’t read your name over the air.
Alan: Absolutely. And if you say I want to be mentioned, we’ll be happy to mention you. We love to reach out to people. We love to see the people involved. If you want us to tell your name. We’ll be glad to do that as well. So hey, man, let’s get out of here and go eat.
Jason: I’m hungry. Sounds great.