Cleaning & Restoration Tools and Gadgets / Restoration

Xactimate 101: The Basics

July 2, 2012

The restoration industry has been on the fast-track to growth with the advancement in technology. Companies are now utilizing electronic signatures, multi-tasking devices and the best up-and-coming trend is arguably the implementation of tablets and the iPad. But perhaps the best available tool in the marketplace is the estimation program Xactimate.

For more than 20 years, Xactimate has been used to estimate claims from insurance adjusters and contractors. Over the years there have been many different versions of Xactimate that have been introduced, all with exceptional updates to the overall functionality of the software that has given us the estimation platform that we have today. The basis of the program is to provide an accurate tool to record claim information, create sketches of homes or buildings, provide pricing for everything construction and restoration-related and compile it all into various reports that can be utilized by its users.

There are many features that Xactimate has become well known for. The simplicity of being able to document all the related claim information needed to bill the insurance company, sketching the layout of a home using various tools to capture its detail or using the variables and sub-variables in calculations to make creating the actual estimate easier are just a few. But the latest features are what have made Xactimate a better program for your company. The first new feature is actually an update of a previous one: Aerial sketch has been revamped and improved to make sketching roofs even easier than before. It still operates the same way - allowing a roof to be sketched using an aerial photograph provided by pictometry - but the program will find all the valleys, ridge lines and pitch of the roof for you.

The other notable new feature is the updated Xactscope 27.5. Xactscope is a portable version of Xactimate that is useable with the iPhone or the iPad and can be downloaded through iTunes. Projects are accessible once they have been transferred to Xactsope through Xactimate. Once the device has been synchronized, the user is able to update the project. Once done, the user can synchronize the device and transfer the project back into Xactimate. In its initial debut, the program allowed its users to create a scope for projects from the jobsite with limited ability to create a sketch. Now, it’s compatible with the iPad or iPhone. Full estimates can be completed using current price listings for quick input of line items on the jobsite. Once the estimate has been completed, multiple reports can be generated and sent to a printer or e-mailed right from the program. Even pictures taken with the iPad or iPhone can be put into the project directly from the camera. Xactscope is definitely a must-have in the restoration industry. There is nothing better than sending out your project manager with an iPad to retrieve a sketch or finalize a scope without ever having to go to the office to pick up a file.

Such features also help solidify the professionalism of your company. Representation of the work you will do is very important and proficiency with Xactimate is evidence of all your qualifications to get the job done right.  Not to mention how impressive it is to be sketching a home using your iPad while you walk a loss with the homeowner and insurance adjuster. Using the tools that are available with Xactimate not only make it easier to perform your work, but put your company ahead of the competition.

Despite the yearly cost of using Xactimate, there are many benefits associated with using the program in your company. One of the biggest associations with Xactimate is operational cost savings. Utilizing the program to its fullest can actually decrease your overall time spent estimating jobs and your overall labor time. Using the different components or time and material reports generated by Xactimate provide detailed information regarding what supplies are needed or accounted for the work estimated and the labor time that it takes to complete a job from start to finish. Simply print out the list of materials and use it as your shopping list at Home Depot! Even the break downs on the labor costs in Xactimate will save you time and money on figuring your profit from jobs.

Xactimate has been used in the restoration industry for more than 20 years and has been improving ever since its introduction. With the most recent advances in technology, there has hardly been a step missed in bringing you the right tools to keep your company ahead of the competition. Every year there are updates to the program that make it easier for every user. Xactimate has been helping those in the restoration industry make a name for themselves and secure their positions in the marketplace. It is in the greatest interest of every company to provide the best service possible and Xactimate will be able to provide the tools you need to stay ahead of the competition.

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