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Alan Olson: All right. Well, welcome back to another episode of Adjustments in Life. It’s been a little bit of a break here. Jason, how did your holidays go?
Jason Dyson: We’re great. Welcome to 2022.
Alan: Yeah, I’m excited for the year. Got a little break, got to spend some time with the family for Christmas. And I know that you had some activities you did over the period of the last month or so. But I’m glad to be back. We’re getting some time into get to looking forward to 2022.
Jason: Yeah. You know, the holidays were great. Good time. Glad, we’re through them, though, honestly.
Alan: Yeah, you know, I do enjoy being home for the holidays. I enjoy the time with family. But like we discussed earlier in our conversations, you know, when you’re in business, or you’re a business man or woman, sometimes the holidays can interrupt things and make a little more difficult.
But hey, you know what, we know this is coming every year, and we prepare for it. And we enjoy the time while we can. But it’s time to get back to work.
And I know it’s kind of more for you having, you know, 13 kids, but it’s still a good time. And the weather’s been great. We’ve had a couple of cool days. But heck, I was out on the boat the day after Christmas, so can’t complain too much about that.
Alan: Yeah, you know, our Texas weather has been pretty mild this winter. So we have had some pretty warm days. In fact, I think Christmas Day was like, what, 77 degrees or something.
So we have a couple cold spells coming up. It’s that time of year, you know, last year was a pretty rough February for a lot of the South.
Let’s look forward into the year 2022 is going to be a good year, I think for everybody. I hope and so, you know, let’s kind of talk about that a little bit what’s taking place here in while our break has gone on throughout the winter season.
Jason: It’s been fairly quiet. I’ve handled some daily claims very few, you know, a handful of claims a week kind of thing, your standard still there’s being in North Texas, there’s always hail claims doesn’t matter what year it is. So I’ve handled some hail claims a few little water claims.
Nothing major just enough to get me out of the house a day or two a week and run a few claims, which is always helpful, you know, we budget our money throughout the course of the year to be able to make it through essentially predicting that there’s no income for three months during the winter and anything that I can make during that time just prevents us from having to go into that back savings and helps out a whole lot.
But you know, there’s been a few opportunities out there. I know I was asked about a deployment for the tornadoes that’s the big one that went through Kentucky and in that area, and drove some work. I know some adjusters got out there and got working from that.
I think it was a good opportunity for some people I know. It seems like a lot of the names that I know that are very experienced probably didn’t go to that event.
Jason: Saw some new names, which is great, getting out there to be able to handle and get their feet wet on a wind event like that. But those drove some other wind claims and stuff. Did you see a piece of that?
Alan: No, I chose not to partake in any of those deployments I did. Just like you get the opportunity to get out if I wanted to. You know, for me it was one of those the day before Christmas calls and after as busy as the year was….
I probably wouldn’t have been married past that day if I had chose to leave the day before Christmas. And I know that some of you out there either If you’ve got that opportunity, you may not have had a choice, especially the inexperienced adjusters, when the opportunities come, you don’t always get to pick when those come.
Alan: I know one fella in particular, he’s a part of the TAG community, private community, and he took up that opportunity to deploy and…
Jason: It was very well, as far as I know.
As far as what he’s communicating with us. He’s been doing pretty good, very pleased with his performance that he’s expressed to us.
But he had to make that choice that he was not going to be with his family this year for Christmas. And you know what, when he left, I told him, I said, you’re going to be sad that you’re not home. But since you’re not going to be home, make it count. And it sounds like that’s what he’s doing.
And that opportunity really is a prime example of what we’ve said all year for new adjusters coming into the industry is when you get the opportunity and the phone rings, the answer is yes, because those managers, you go out there and do a great job.
And those managers that were new, it was going to be a hard event to staff simply because of the time of the year. And they had an a new resource that stepped up and did a good job and took the deployment that nobody else wanted to take. You’re now on their radar, and that’s a great thing.
Alan: That’s right, he’ll probably… If he continues to do well, like he’s doing now, it’s likely that he’ll continue to work throughout the year because he was willing to sacrifice in the beginning to make that step and go…
Jason: And be an asset to that firm.
Alan: That’s right.
So I didn’t deploy like we discussed, but there was some other opportunities throughout Iowa. Some of the wins that took place there. I think currently, they’re desperately needing people that are willing to go to the West Coast.
And that’s kind of almost always year round. But I know I got a notification yesterday requesting if I wanted to go to California, I did not… But you know, that’s always an opportunity.
Alan: Come on, man! Jump on that.
Jason: I’m good.
Yeah, that’s one of the things that we say for the new adjusters in the industry. If you want to work, get California and get New York and you will never be without…
Alan: Washington and Oregon are hot commodities right now too. They’re getting pretty substantial snowfalls up there. Which, you know, you think well, snows not going to do anything.
But when you get extensive, you know, heavy snow falls, you get building collapses, you get homes that are ice damming occurring, leakers, stuff like that. So may not be large, complex claims. But there’s probably for those that go there’s probably an abundance of them.
Jason: Yeah, there was also fires in Colorado.
Alan: That’s right.
Oh, yeah. From the Reports, of course, I don’t know anybody, particularly who’s got their boots on the ground there. Several 100 homes burned in that area, which isn’t going to create a large mass of adjusters to go work.
But if you get asked to go to that, you’re more than likely as an IA, you’re more than likely a very experienced adjuster that can handle those types of complex claims. Sure.
Yeah, there was some opportunities out there. Some daily work in the area. But for the most part pretty slow. Like it normally is pretty quiet through the winter months, and probably going to be that way for another, at least a month, two months, maybe before things really kick off, and we have an excellent hail season in 22.
Alan: Man! I’m hoping and praying every moment that that’s what happened. The fact we’ve talked a little bit about this. And the kind of the consensus is, it’s kind of been slow in the South last few years for hail.
Alan: The prior years before that Colorado and South Dakota and kind of the Mountain Front Range. Towns kind of took the cake for large hail storms.
But it wouldn’t surprise me if we get some pretty good sized storms through the South Texas, maybe in Louisiana. I don’t know if Nashville or any of the, you know, moving east have gotten some large hail in a while either.
Jason: Before we get too much into 2022 in our predictions. Let’s talk about you know, during this downtime during the winter, what should adjusters be doing?
Whether you’re seasoned, whether you’re brand new, whether you’ve never deployed or got 20 years under your belt? What should this time of year look like for an adjuster?
Alan: Well, there’s a lot of things that we could be doing things that are actually going to be very beneficial to us, especially the newcomers or are new to the industry…
I’m going to say first thing is that the newer adjuster should be doing is taking opportunity for any training opportunity that they can get through even if that’s a paid opportunity. Sometimes you your investment needs to go be larger than other times.
You know, there’s a lot of opportunity for online training. But sometimes it’s going to be more beneficial to you to get out, rub shoulders and pay for a training class, because you might get a little more in depth information out of it.
Well, in one of the things was getting your house in order, you know, there’s a lot of things you can do tool wise, your setup, you know, getting your truck ready, your car ready. You know, again, having reiterating on those discussions with your wife and your kids or your family on okay, you know, we’ve had a little bit of break now, Dad’s been home for a while or mom’s been home for a while.
And we need to start kind of getting back in that motion of… You know, at some point, there’s going to be a call come in, I’m going to be gone. Do we have everything in order here at home?
You know, in our industry, we think of our tools as our tape measure and our Pitch Gauge, etc. But it’s also your knowledge. And when you’re an independent adjuster, you’re essentially a business owner, you’re a small business owner, you’re subcontractor.
And you have to invest in your business to make it grow and make it better. And don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money… Don’t get crazy.
I’m not saying you need to spend the winter flying around the country $1,000 conferences and seminars everywhere. If you have the capital to do that, that’s awesome. But don’t be afraid to spend a little bit for your own knowledge and to grow and to shake those hands of the managers in the firm’s you know, if you can hit a conference here, it is an investment into your business.
Jason: Yeah, get your projects at the house completed, you know, the broken sprinkler head and your heart guy and get everything in order so that you are ready to pull the trigger and go when that event occurs. You know that’s just as important as keeping up with your CE’s which is do it now.
You know, your CE’s may not be due until August. But you got time now, you can take them any time during that two year period. And in fact, there’s been a number of occasions where mine are always due in January which works out perfect for me.
But in February, I’m still haven’t deployed yet. So I’ll go ahead and take him again. And then two years from now, I’m already set, I’m good to go.
Jason: Exactly, you know, the worst thing that you can do is be on a deployment, or CE’s doing August, you’re working on a hurricane. And all of a sudden, I’ve got to do 60 hours of CE while I’m working this storm, and that’s not a good place to be.
Alan: Our CE program in Texas is really quite simple. When you look at the spectrum across the United States, other states, you know, they specify certain hours have to be for certain things more so than Texas does.
So they may have to strategically plan how they take their CE hours. And they can’t just, you know, pop online and get it all done that quick. So be conscious of that.
What we’re really getting at guys is utilize all the time you have now to do everything you can so that you don’t get caught needing to do this while you’re on deployment. That’s the wrong time to be having to get all this stuff taken care of.
One of the other things that we were talking about earlier was take the time now to reach out to your different firms.
Jason: Hey! Merry Christmas. How was your new yours? Again, I want to reiterate, don’t pester them, don’t call every single… Don’t call them every other day.
Don’t be afraid to touch base at the first of the year… Hey! Merry Christmas, you know, reach out to your managers, reach out to your resource development teams and let them know.
And again, we say this almost every single episode, get on the portals and update your information. Because you’ve now got another year under your belt from 2021.
If you were able to deploy, maybe Ida was your first event, update that information. Most of them ask how many claim have you ran. What’s your biggest claim you’ve ever written.
Update that data so they have it? Even if you ran the claim for that firm, I can guarantee that data doesn’t push over to their portal.
Alan: That’s right.
If you’re going to be spending time going in to see what all training is available, update the portal while you’re in there. Every firm may have different training available on their portal.
So go to every one of them and spend some time on their portal. So they’re going to see that you’re active on their portal, and that’s going to help.
But going back to the communicating with your managers. As I grew in my career, I made… Every year I made… I got to know another manager. And of course you would get their number because that you were communicating with them regularly. I just didn’t want them to forget who I was.
So even if it was a simple text once a month through the offseason, and say hey, this is John and we work together in San Francisco and just wanted to let you know I’m available if something comes up and see how you were doing if there’s anything I can do for you let me know. You don’t have to call him and bother him. Just send him a text.
Jason: For sure.
Alan: Again, it’s just… They’re going to not forget who you are, if that happens. They may not have anything for you. And who knows, they may not want to give it to you, but at least you’re reaching out to them and letting them know if something comes up, you’re available.
Jason: Yeah, keep those lines of communication open. And let them know that you’re still available, you’re in the area, what area you’re in.
Alan: That’s right.
Jason: You know, update your information, if your phone number changed, or your email changed, or whatever it may be, just make sure they have all the information on you.
You know, another good one is I take this time of year, and I haven’t done it yet, and I’m kind of kicking myself. Go back through your pay for the last year and reconcile your invoices.
Jason: I have a simple spreadsheet that as part of closure of every single claim, I keep track of the day I closed it, the claim number, the name of it, how much my invoice was, what my percentage of it was, was their mileage or anything paid on that.
And I have a running total. So at any given time, I can go back and say, “Oh, on Alan’s claim, I build this much money, it was turned in on this date”. And I have another column I go back through and when I reconcile it, “Okay, how much was paid on that?”
And make sure and paid correctly on the claims that I ran. Most of the time, the firm’s are pretty good at getting you paid right. I have found some errors.
Jason: And don’t be afraid to bring that up. Most of the time it’s an honest mistake. And I have never had an issue where when I did find an error, I send it to their payroll or to my manager, and it is taken care of immediately.
Alan: Well, don’t think for a minute, anybody that’s listening… Oh, let me put it this way.
‘Somewhere in that process, every invoice is manually entered somewhere, whether it be by the adjuster, or by the reviewer, or by the manager, somebody is manually doing that. There is a lot of room for error.
When somebody has to manually do it, it happens. So don’t get the idea…. First of all, don’t get the idea if you weren’t paid for a claim that something was wrong. But don’t get the idea that you can’t contact the firm and say, “Hey, I’m going through my invoices. And I did these three claims and I haven’t been paid for them.
Jason: And they probably want to hear that because there’s a good possibility that they haven’t been paid for either.
Alan: That’s right.
So you know, depending on the account, depending on the firm as the adjuster, you may actually be the one inputting the information in and sending the invoice to the carrier. And accounting may not get that until the end of the month.
So again, they may not even be paid for that claim.
So it’s a good idea. If you’re not tracking your payment on a per claim basis while you’re in the field throughout the course of the year, you should start doing that.
Simply because, again, I can’t say it enough, you are a small business.
And how do you know if you’re being successful if you’re not tracking your accounts receivable or your accounts build? I mean, it’s the same thing as whether you’re a construction company or you own a Wendy’s franchise, you need to know your data.
Alan: That’s right.
Jason: And you’ve got to track that information at the end of the year, it needs to be reconciled to make sure that all your books even out.
Alan: That’s right, that’s 100% right.
Okay, so let’s move on a little bit, because I want to talk a little bit… Just let’s go back to the predictions.
We backed up a little bit here now. Let’s go back in that direction, because we had a really active hurricane season, I would say that the wind and hail season was less than average, in my opinion. But we did have another fairly active hurricane season, or they’re already putting predictions out for 2022.
Okay, so we’re looking at, they’re predicting now for 2022. 13 to 16 named storms. Okay, that’s average, I would say maybe a little bit above average, and a possibility of between six and eight of those becoming hurricanes.
In my opinion, that’s pretty much average. I don’t see that being above average, but over the last three years or so four years that’s kind of been the average hurricane…
Now just because they are hurricanes doesn’t mean they’re going to be landfall hurricanes but they will be hurricanes and then two to three majors. Now they’re still not saying in really don’t ever say what they think will be landfall.
Jason: Just because it’s a major hurricane, it may not be landfall and effect the U.S.
Alan: I mean, I would love for these predictions to actually be landfall.
Jason: I don’t think the insurance company.
Alan: Get two to three majors make landfall a year then, you know, what would that be 2006, 2007 or ‘04 or ‘05 actually? Yeah, so it does happen now and then…
Jason: I think those predictions are just kind of the Safe Mode predictions. That’s kind of the middle of the road. We’re not getting crazy. But, you know, here’s our prediction.
Alan: So, I’m not going to go for name storms because it could be anywhere out there.
Jason: I mean keep in mind now we’re talking named storms, we’re talking hurricane in tropical, but now we’re putting names on everything.
Well now we have land canes and it’s you know, got to keep the Weather Channel alive. So I’m just going to go for landfall. I’m going to put a prediction out there that we’re going to have three landfall hurricanes in 2022, one of them being a major.
Jason: So you’re saying three CAT-1 are better?
Alan: CAT-3 are better. And I’m going to hope that two of those are in Florida.
Jason: But that’s pretty big prediction there.
Alan: Now, you know, who knows, we never know. But I’m just going to go out there and then we’ll look back on it end of next year or end of the year and see who was closest.
Jason: What I would rather see is a whole bunch of hail storms.
Alan: Well, that’s true, hail storms would be a little more bread and butter to us. But I’m not betting on hail anymore.
You know, looking back I mean, Colorado got spared last year for a big hailstorm event at least and man, I think they’re due…
Alan: Oklahoma City?
Jason: Yeah, I mean there’s always little pocket stuff but like we explained in… I think our last episode was it never really had the major event last year that was the huge call outs and were due.
And what I always love to see is not just the big call outs, but multiple locations, then you really get into… You start seeing percentage paid change, you start seeing some change in schedules, and we all love that. So that’s what I really hope for is the multiple events at one time.
Alan: Let’s try not to have a big freeze this year.
Jason: I’m okay with that. I don’t mind my water claims. I don’t mind to work a couple busted pipe claims but I don’t necessarily need a full blown cat for freeze.
Alan: Yeah, that last year kind of satisfied me for another 10 years that would be good enough.
Jason: I got a feeling we’re experiencing in North Texas here a very mild winter so far. And I got a feeling we’re fixing to get it handed to us in February. So we’ll see how that goes.
Alan: Yeah, well, I don’t know. I do read the Farmer’s Almanac from time to time, which some people live by that, some people don’t even know what it is.
Alan: The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a another somewhat of an event in Texas this year in that late March or late February 1 of March area. But it stipulates it’s not going to be to the extent of what we experienced last year.
Jason: You know, we keep talking about how bad it was last year and we had the cold weather. Yes, it was extremely cold. But the biggest problem we had wasn’t necessarily the weather Yeah, it was ERCOT
Alan: It was ERCOT. That’s right, the power went out and when once the power goes out, you’re done. There’s no way to keep everything together. So you’re right about that.
What’s in store I want to talk about this a little bit. All of you know that the podcast is just a piece of The Adjuster Guy adjusting school. Okay, so let’s tell them a little bit of what’s in store for 2022 with opportunities for new adjusters or people inspiring to be an adjuster.
Jason: So first of all, if you haven’t checked out The Adjuster Guy’s website, go check it out.
Alan: Pretty quickly after the release of this episode, January 24th, 25th and 26th will be a Texas adjuster certification class.
24th, 25th, 26th of January. I know it’s kind of short notice from when this podcast is released. That class will be held in Granbury. Texas.
Alan: That’s right.
We’ll be doing the all lines, the Texas all lines adjuster pre licensing certification course, and final exam. So if you’re on the fence about wanting to be an adjuster and or you’re ready to make the move and jump in and get licensed, it’s a great three day event to come be part of.
We’re going to cover all the information you need to know in order to pass that exam. Currently, The Adjuster Guy has 100% success rate for people that have come in certified through the Adjuster Guy. So jump in, take advantage of that.
If you want more information on the certification, specifically go to the website. It’ll give you all the ins and outs of what you need to know if you want to take that course.
Alan: That’s right.
Jason: Immediately following that, as you can kind of bundle it as a package is going to be a three day event 27th, 28th and 29th.
Alan: That’s correct.
Jason: First day will be “Introduction to Industry Software”.
Alan: That’s right and just for a tidbit of information on that basically we’re going to take what is the most well-known software used among the adjusting industry. And we’re going to do an introduction to walk through that and get familiar with it.
This is not an exact make certification. But it is an introductory for those that have never used it before or are struggling, understanding it to get a chance to sit down, spend an entire day, walking all the way through the process, getting some idea on the functionality of the tools, asking questions, and that gives us opportunity to spend some time with you guys to get that information that you’re needing.
Following the next day by I like to call them practicals, essentially a mock claim scenario, do an exterior claim will go out to a property, do a full walk around photos, look at different products, do a full exterior inspection for a mock claim, go back into the classroom and write that estimate from start to finish.
That’s essentially be a whole mock claim of starting from first contact all the way through final bow on the product.
Alan: That’s right, we call that the claims adjuster field training in the real gist of that is teaching you guys that are interested in taking that course, a standard routine inspection.
And the icing on the cake is sitting down and putting that information into Xactimate and creating an estimate. But the real intent behind there is to give you a standard routine process to go out and do your inspection, where you know what you’re there to do.
And once you get this routine down, you’re not going to miss things while you’re inspecting, because you’re already in the process of doing it.
Jason: Yeah, and I think the key word there is the process, you know, we could spend months on product ID and damage restoration. But it’s really more how to complete that inspection, things to look for and what the clients and carriers are looking for in that package as well.
And then the last day of the field training or practical is going to be something new is an interior claim.
Alan: That’s right, interior water loss basics is what that class is going to consist of.
And it’s the same deal as what we’re doing on the outside only we’re moving it inside this year, we want to give you a scenario of a standard or typical interior water loss that we deal with on a regular basis, generally 1 to 3 rooms, nothing major, but a loss that we can give you a routine inspection process on and then again, sit down back down in the classroom, take the information that we gathered during that inspection, put it into an estimate and produce an estimate.
And it’ll be a great not only just the process that we keep talking about how to build that, how do I go through the steps wouldn’t show you what Alan and I do as far as our process and you take that and build upon it. But how to measure out a room.
Alan: That’s right.
Jason: How to enter it into you know, into the software, what photos to take, how to take them and just all those questions and have it there in a scenario where you can real time ask those questions.
Alan: So essentially, the package, obviously, the package of the three day event together beyond the certification is combined, is the real value of all of it.
And if you really want to get down to brass tacks, what’s that’s going to do is you’re going to be able to say, Okay, I know what I’m going there to do instead of the guy that says, ‘Well, I’m certified, and I’m here to do, let’s see, what am I supposed to do when I get here?’
So again, the whole intent behind it is to give you a routine process so that when you get deployed for the first time, or when you’re getting deployed, and you’re struggling, when you get there, you can revert back to your routine.
And at least at that point, you’re gathering the information you need, where a manager, somebody can help you move through the rest of it.
Jason: And you’ll have that claim that you’ve built an exact amount that you can use as your base to build. That’s right further on.
Alan: That’s right.
So check out the website. Again, the certification class will be the 24th, 25th and 26th. The three day combo of the field training will be the 27th, 28th and 29th. All held in Granbury, Texas.
Jason: Yes, sir. Looking forward to it.
Alan: So all right.
Well, we just want to say one quick real quick thing here too, for those of you that have not got involved in the TAG Private Community up to this point. We have had some newcomers that came in this last year and throughout the winter.
It’s been a real fun experience, being able to see them get deployed for the first time, share their thoughts, be able to guide them along. We’ve seen some true success come from some of these folks that are joining in and it warms my heart to be able to have a spot to pour my cup into you guys that are joining in when you need, it’s a community that I want you to know is based around you guys.
Someplace for you to go to get constructive information without all the disappointment I say that you get from social media. Yeah, getting beat up. And we may guide you sometimes and not give you a direct answer when you ask.
But we do that because we want you to dig in your heels in and look for those answers. Instead of just being told exactly what it is, every time.
Jason: The support that I’ve seen on through the community, especially like you mentioned is the first time adjuster getting the first deployment and the comments that are made in support and the behind him.
Alan: I love that.
So if you haven’t checked that out, check it out. It’s on the website as well. www.TheAdjusterGuy.com. Click on the Private Community. It’s a small fee to be part of that but that small fee goes to compensate those that are there to support you.
Jason: So it’s a great platform.
But Alan, as far as the podcast goes, I can’t wait to keep moving into 22. I think we’ve got some great topics on the books here. I know we’ve got some mailbag questions that we’re going to be addressing. And I just looking forward to it.
And listeners. Hey, if there’s anything in 2022 you want to know or you want us to specifically talk on We’re all ears. Send us an email P-O-D-M-A-I-L@usa.com. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, hey, man! Let’s get out of here and start getting prepared.
Jason: Yes, sir.
Look forward to ‘22.
Alan: Yes, sir.
All right, folks. We’ll see you next time.