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Roof Adjuster Meeting Preparation Do’s & Don’ts

Hey, Adam, here at The Roof Strategist. Today, we’re going to talk about how to prepare for an adjuster appointment. I put together this list of do’s and don’ts to help anyone new to roofing sales and sales managers who are running teams.

Now, when it comes to the roof adjuster meeting, it may seem like you just show up, but there’s actually a little bit more to it. So, I’m going to teach you a few strategies for getting ready for that adjuster appointment, so you can manage the expectations, get that job approved, and win more referrals.

Let’s jump right in.

Roof Adjuster Appointment Tip #1: DO Set Clear Expectations

It’s no secret that not every job gets approved. And not every insurance adjuster is going to agree with your assessment of the roof.

So, it’s really important that you manage the homeowner’s or the commercial property owner’s expectations out of the gate. Let them know that:

  • This initial inspection is not the end all be all. The outcome could be anything.
  • Even though you see the damage on the roof, that hail damage is subjective. There could be a variety of reasons that it may not be warranted to be fully approved by the insurance company.
  • Insurance policies and coverage change. So does adjuster training.
  • When the adjuster sees the roof — the lighting, granule loss from rain, and more — can also be factors in their assessment.

You want to manage those expectations right out of the gate. That way, you don’t have to go back to the homeowner and say something like, “Mr. or Mrs. homeowner, what I expected to happen didn’t happen. The insurance says that there’s not enough to warrant a replacement.” It makes you look and feel like an idiot. You don’t want to be in that spot. So, manage those expectations out of the gate.

Roof Adjuster Appointment Tip #2: DO Show Up Early

It is so, SO important for you to show up early. You want to be prepared because adjusters are busy people. And sometimes, not always but sometimes, they have a big ego. If you’re there and ready to go, you can start the relationship off the right way.

I also highly recommend having your ladder set up already. Some adjusters will use it, some won’t (from a liability standpoint). Still, it shows you care and you’re taking care of them. So, have that ladder set up and be prepared.

The other thing is to make sure that you have your EagleView (your aerial measurement or your HOVER) ready. That can only help you out. And it can go a long way in terms of building that relationship.

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Roof Adjuster Appointment Tip #3: Do NOT Chalk Anything

No chalk. The reason I say that is often insurance companies will not take photos of anything that you’ve chalked. So, don’t chalk a roof.

With rare exception, like on siding or window wraps, you can grab your chalk. You can turn it horizontal and rub it over the dents to make them more visible. Generally speaking, though, I do not want to chalk anything specifically on the roof.

Roof Adjuster Appointment Tip #4: DO Kill Them with Kindness

This is an absolute must — kill the adjuster with kindness. If you do, your reputation will spread like wildfire in the industry. They will see this logo on your shirt and associate you as a “good one” or a “bad one.” It’s that simple.

So, be kind to people. Even if you don’t agree with them, remember, arguing never helps.

Think of it this way — you’re never going to argue your way out of a speeding ticket. If a cop pulls you over and you start arguing, the cop will never say, “Oh, you know what? You’re right. I’m really, really sorry for wasting your time. Here’s your driver’s license and insurance card back. Have a good day.” That doesn’t happen.

So, don’t argue your way into trying to get a roof approved. It will NOT work. Instead, kill him with kindness.

Roof Adjuster Appointment Tip #5: DO Have Your Measurements Ready

I set up my ladder and have my EagleView ready. That way, when it’s time to get on the roof, I can say, “Hey, I got the roof measurement if you’d like a copy.” Sometimes, they’ll say yes, and sometimes they’ll already have an EagleView. Regardless, I’ll then say something like:

Listen, you know, obviously, I have an agreement with the homeowner. I’m here to help. I respect your position and your job. All I’m here to do is to offer my assistance if you need it, okay?

Then, you hop up on the roof and let them do their thing. I usually make small talk. I’ll mention where their license plates are from, where they’re camping, if they’re a CAT adjuster, whatever. And I’ll say “Listen, if you want another set of eyes, I’m happy to help.”

Roof Adjuster Appointment Tip #6: Do NOT Point Out Damage

I never ever point out damage. Ever. If you do, you get ego involved. They’re going to challenge you on it. So, if you are going to point anything out, the best thing that you can do is to say, “Hey, what do you think of this?”

That way, when an adjuster sees you asking these questions — what do you think? — they know they’re in control.

This is a persuasive tactic in a way because you’re NOT saying, “this is hail damage” and starting a debate. Also, you never know if the last contractor they met on the roof took the ladder away and left them up there. It happens. Don’t ever do that.

Remember, the adjusters are on our side. Whether you like them or not, they’re on our side. We’re on the same team. They write our checks.

So, ask them, “What do you think of this?”

That way, they feel like they’re in control, and you’re not bullying them or pushing them around. If you do, you’ll see many times that they’ll even come up and say, “Hey, if you can help me find one more hit, I think we can get this roof approved.”

They’ll ask you for help. If it’s that close and they want to help the homeowner, they just need the evidence or a photo to make sure their file is up to snuff, you could get an adjuster asking for your help.

Recap: How to Prepare for the Adjuster Meeting

So, here’s our list of do’s and don’ts for meeting the adjuster:

  1. Set expectations with the homeowner out of the gate: Let them know that it might not go their way while reminding them that they have the option for re-inspection. Also, explain that, even if the adjuster offers to pay for some of it, call it a “working commitment,” that means they’ve acknowledged that there’s hail damage up there. In that case, there’s a good chance that we can get this turned into a full replacement.
  2. Show up early and come prepared. I know sometimes adjusters will call and say, “Hey, I’m ahead of schedule. I got here early” when you’re an hour across town. It happens, but still, show up early for the set appointment time. And set up your ladder. Even if they don’t use it for liability reasons, setting up your ladder shows you’re prepared.
  3. Do NOT chalk anything for any reason. No chalk — ever. With rare exception, it may be OK only on metal, but never use chalk on a roof.
  4. Kill them with kindness. Just say, “Listen, I’m not here to step on your toes. I know you’re pro at what you do. If you need another set of eyes, I’m here to help.” Be kind because your reputation depends on it. Word spreads, and it can reflect on the company too. You want to make sure you have a great reputation. So, kill him with kindness.
  5. DO have your roof measurements handy. Whether you use EagleView or HOVER, make sure you know what you’re looking for and that you’ve inspected that property first.
  6. DO NOT challenge or fight the adjuster for any reason. Don’t do it. You’re never going to talk your way out of a speeding ticket. It’s the same idea. Instead, always ask “what do you think about this?”

Bonus Tip: Ask to Learn

When you show, some adjusters will want to instruct you. So, don’t be afraid to say something like:

Hey, listen, I’m newer in this industry. I’m just here to offer my assistance and help. And you know what, I’m always open to learning anything. If there’s anything that you want to show me. I’m happy to hear it.

I can’t even tell you how often I did this when I was new. And I encourage my team, my new guys to do it because adjusters love to teach. They love to show off how much they know. And that can help you out a lot.

I hope these tips help you stay prepared for insurance adjusters. If you’re running a team or if you’re an owner, pass this along to your team. Small little tips can make a BIG difference.

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