Can We Use Social Distancing To Improve Efficiency and Profitability?
Social distancing…. words a few short weeks ago we wouldn’t have put together. But here we are! Social distancing is a very real issue, even for our industry. So how will we use this time? If jobs slow, how will you keep techs busy and focused on your company goals? As estimates slow, how will you help sharpen your estimator’s skills? As times get more difficult, the companies that focus on the profitability of the company will have a better chance of being successful now and even more so as we get back to more of a normal flow. So, what are some tips to being successful in this period of social distancing?
Some will be stifled by social distancing. But just like any challenge, social distancing will open new solutions not practiced often or possibly never tried before. For example, how will you perform jobs, estimate claims and continue to market while keeping your staff safe?
Keeping Techs Safe
Can your techs take calls remotely or be deployed directly from their homes? They will need to be fully prepared to either drive in and pick up the truck when they get a job, similar to when they are on-call. Or could techs be paired off in crews and team leaders/lead techs take the truck home. Their trucks will be their domain which will need to be decontaminated regularly. Set company standards to make sure techs are wearing PPE while on a claim for their protection and the safety of the homeowner. If jobs slow down, take advantage of online training for your technicians. With Reets Tv, techs can sharpen their skills and learn how to be more profitable on the jobs they are going on. They can learn about technical skills but also how those skills directly affect average dollar sale. Increasing your average dollar sale while your lead conversion lowers is one way to maintaining profitability during this time. Techs can watch these videos from their homes while practicing social distancing. Maintaining communication with your techs will be very important. With Reets TV you can track their tests to make sure they aren’t just ghost watching the videos. Or you can come up with another solution like setting up a Kahoot, which will let you administer a game or test as a group. Keep the competition strong and reward the winner.
Keep Estimators Safe
For estimators, how can they keep estimating at this time of social distancing? Using a job management software, can you get your scope of work, photos and notes to your estimator? Can you use this time to develop a spreadsheet that can be used on a tablet and uploaded to the cloud? This document could have your scope of work, dry logs, etc. on different sheets. Does your estimator need to stay in the office? If they are one of the few individuals in the office, maybe. But there are other options as well. Using Xactimate online or the desktop version of Xactimate, the estimator will be able to work anywhere… like at home. When working at home, make sure you are staying focused and on task by having a designated work area. Let your family members (including pets) know you will need to section yourself off to get work done. Pretend you are going to the office. That means brush your teeth… shower… and GET DRESSED FOR GOODNESS SAKES! Use tech to communicate with the office like GoToMeeting, Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc. If estimates are slow to come in, use the time for online distance training. RDA’s Estimating and Negotiating class will be handled via a Zoom meeting for the first time! With the assistance of a live trainer, you will learn how use the program Xactimate but also how to make the most profitable mitigation estimates you can justify and get paid for! This course is scheduled for April 20th-23rd. Sign up today! Since it will be done online, seating will be limited to make sure everyone gets the most benefit.
Lastly, while marketing, be safe! Having your SEO in place, google search words, ad words, etc. handled will help. Instead of going to agent’s offices, keep in touch via email and phone. Can you get your hands on antibacterial? Slap your logo on it! Be sure to check in and make sure your plumbers are staying safe. Check to see if you can help your local property managers and real estate agents. Keep your efforts going while maintaining your own safety and local regulations.
If you have people in the office, make sure to decontaminate each day. Stay diligent in washing your hands. Hit a fist bump or chicken wing elbow instead of handshakes and hugs. If you’re sick, notify your doctor and stay home. We will get through this! In addition to just getting thorough it, if you use this time wisely, when everything is back to normal, you may have solutions that stick with your company that make procedures, training and marketing more efficient and fluid. Keep your heads up and stay safe everyone!
Nick Sharp has worked with Jeremy Reets for over a decade now. He started in carpet cleaning and mitigation before moving to the construction side as a project manager. He then was the senior estimator for Champion Construction for over 8 years. Since its inception in 2015, Nick has been an instructor of our Restoration Estimating & Negotiating course. His most recent venture is as a restoration estimate consultant. Nick is an Xactware Certified Trainer and is also has his Level 3 Certifications in Xact 28 and X1. He’s a bad boy on that sketch too.