1. Create a routine for scoping losses for an Xactimate estimate. Some prefer to scope from ceiling-to-floor and then clockwise around the walls. The important thing is to choose your routine and stick with it. This will help ensure thorough scoping which will help you maximize earnings on your jobs.
2. Remember Xactimate codes and pricing for each activity. This is a daunting task, however the time saved scoping jobs will be a great benefit. Also, create pre-lined forms that will help you itemize your scope including measurements, quantities, material quality, etc.
3. Think like Xactimate. You need to know that each activity is going to be priced differently based on labor and material costs. differently as well. Knowing this while you’re scoping, will help you ensure that you account for each activity accurately.
Let’s consider a common mistake we have seen contractors make when removing and replacing a plaster wall. For ease, many contractors simply account for this activity in Xactimate by removing and replacing blueboard and plaster when the are actually removing plaster and wood lathe, then replacing with blueboard and plaster. Xactimate will afford you approximately $1 per square foot for removing blueboard, whereas you are afforded around $1.50 per square foot for removing plaster and wood lathe. As you can imagine, this simple mistake can prove costly on large jobs.
4. Spend more time scoping the loss the first time to prevent multiple trips and disputes with adjusters. Take photographs in the same order that you scope as well (see #1). It is a great practice to have 50 to 100 photographs to document each job thoroughly. Please see our article on how to take great loss photographs here: 5 Ways to Take Better Pictures to Document Damages.