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Documenting Jobs Like Crime Scenes featuring Jeremy Gilstrap


Three steps: beginning, middle, & end. Start your job with the right mentality by thinking like adjusters. Document thoroughly at the beginning — Jeremy says it’s worth the investment. Then, set a high standard and be as thorough as possible. Being detailed will save you later! And lastly, let the pictures tell the story & take up the opportunity to engage with your customers.

During this webinar, Michael Gogan met with Jeremy Gilstrap to discuss how to effectively use CompanyCam. Jeremy joined the roofing business as a teenager, hoping to make money. Roofing quickly evolved into a successful career he is now very passionate about.

Jeremy is the owner of Dreamworks Restoration Contractors, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Dreamworks has been in business for four years and Jeremy has been in the industry since he was 19 years old. 

CompanyCam is one of the reasons Dreamworks is having such great success.”

Follow along below as Jeremy walks us through how to effectively use CompanyCam: from the beginning of a job till the very end.

Make sure to view all our COVID-19 resources.

The Beginning

When starting a job, having the right mentality is fundamental. To do that, get your head in the right space: start to think like adjusters. Go into the inspection with the intention of finding a story. That’s the biggest part,” says Jeremy. 

Make sure you are on your A‑Game and ready to be thorough. Insurance companies are still in business because they save and make money. They don’t give money if it’s not required.

When arriving at a job site, Jeremy’s team starts with a 360 inspection. This means documenting everything — here is where CompanyCam comes in! 

They recommend taking photographs of the house, capturing all angles. They mark down any damages seen and evaluate the siding, windows, and roof. All the photos will then be geotagged and stored within a designated project on the CompanyCam app. Images are organized and confidently secured.

Michael asked Jeremy: Do you believe spending time upfront documenting saves you time overall? And does it help with the relationship with the insurance? Jeremy’s answer: It certainly does.

Being thorough and intentional from the start ensures you don’t skip steps. And it guarantees you will get the money promised. If you aren’t thorough, you will lose money throughout the process.” 

Documenting early also allows businesses to charge the correct amount. If companies are consistently undercharging because they fear business will be lost, the lower price will soon become the norm. Therefore, be diligent with your assessments, and then brutally honest with your fees.

Michael also wondered, how are homeowners reacting to roofers still trying to do business during COVID-19? Even though there is a pandemic going on, people are still receptive to work being done on their houses. 

People are at home more because of the pandemic! Take advantage of this opportunity. Dominate neighborhoods and get your company’s name out there. 

People want your help. Be considerate of people’s space, but understand that jobs can still get done using apps like CompanyCam. Jeremy claims, you are missing out” if you don’t take up this opportunity. You are essential!

The Middle

Now that you’re in the right mindset, with the right attitude and perspective — it’s time to prove yourself to the employer. Start with thorough documentation. 

When you have all the documentation upfront, supplementing becomes easier later in the process. The turnaround is also quicker! Jeremy claims it can be done within 7 – 14 days if the documentation is done correctly. 

Keeping up with the fast pace can be difficult — organization is key. Jeremy says his company is working on about 3 – 6 jobs a day. Each supervisor is a CompanyCam user — which improves documenting and arranging photos/​reports accordingly.

Quick Questions:

  1. Tips and tricks on how to be consistent? Set a new standard” — everyone is expected to be paid on Friday, so Dreamworks holds their employees to a high standard. They must get the work done. Don’t expect anything else!”
  2. How did Dreamworks build their inhouse supplementing team? Jeremy, and his wife Megan, found employees already within their system who understood how estimation and insurance works. Utilizing teammates’ skills takes advantage of the resources you already have! Inspire your company to be coachable and enthusiastic about learning something new.
  3. How are you able to utilize CompanyCam in the selling process? Small or large — Companycam allows you to distance from the customers.” This is huge — particularly during this period of social-distancing. Customers can view the issues of their house and then watch your business solve those problems. CompanyCam is the line of communication between business and customer.
  4. How long should house inspections take? Don’t rush an inspection — be efficient.” Give the homeowners common courtesy. When your company is thorough in evaluation & reporting, homeowners get what they’re entitled to. And in return, you get their business! It’s like a revolving door.” Once you get permission to do an inspection, give it all the time in the world!” Michael chimed in emphasizing that if there is no damage — great! It is your chance to build a relationship with the homeowner. And don’t forget, you can’t take enough photos.” Better to have too many photos, than not enough.

Balance Claims is recommended for building your inhouse supplementing teams. They help with overflow. HailTrace was another recommendation. HailTrace can assist with estimations. 

Not only is HailTrace valuable in estimating, but they are also reliable and quick to build genuine relationships with their customers. Both Michael and Jeremy highly endorse them.

Jeremy shared an experience of how CompanyCam saved him thousands of dollars. Storytime! One day at a job site, a Dreamworks employee was being difficult in regards to the harness regulations. 

Eventually, the employee wore the harness, but with no rope. Ultimately he fell off the roof and shattered his shoulder. Within four days, according to Jeremy, the employee was filing a lawsuit against Dreamworks. 

But! Thanks to CompanyCam and the documentation of the supervisor, they had an image proving the employee’s violation of the company’s safety guidelines. This saved Jeremy thousands of dollars. That ONE picture saved me probably $50,000.”

The End

Once the inspection is done and a claim has been filed, advocate on behalf of the policyholder. Many insurance companies do not understand what it takes to reconstruct a roof. How can you expect them to come up with an accurate estimate?” 

Being an expert at the job site, documentation is the best evidence. The pictures tell the story” — having the correct photos keeps insurance companies accountable for what they owe.

Take advantage of all opportunities you have to interact with customers. The other day, one of Jeremy’s employees did an inspection and found no damage. The homeowner was impressed and pleased to see all the photos the employee had to show him, regardless. So, the homeowner shared about a thousand homeowner contacts with Dreamworks.

It is our job and duty to educate the customer. If they let you on the roof, you have the job!”

When it comes to documenting jobs like crime scenes, you never know what you’ll find. You may find nothing, to which you put your photography and interpersonal skills to the test — befriend the homeowner; impress them. And if you do find something, excellent! With such high-level documentation, evaluation, and inspection abilities — you will get the job without a shred of doubt.

Thanks, Jeremy for your input and advice! Click HERE to watch the full webinar.

As the Brand Strategist at CompanyCam, Micki builds compelling narratives about those in the trades, researches brand positioning opportunities, strategizes effective distribution of content materials, interviews customers, and meets all the cool influencers at trade shows. After work, Micki can be found watching FIFA highlights, analyzing drama from The Bachelor, trying out new recipes, and lecturing her incorrigible cat, Tommy. It’s the little things.

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