Today, we interview Charles Thayer from All Around. If you listen to the radio here in the Twin Cities, you’ve surely heard his company’s rock-anthem slogan: “We get it done and we do it right! Chya!” Charles explains that while his company is an exterior contractor, he himself is probably the last person you’d want working on your home. He’s in the relationship business, and he hires people to do the work on homes.
Charles also discusses the background of his weekly radio show, the All Around Home Improvement Hour. For the final segment of the show, Charles gets into the nitty-gritty details of storm chasing, insurance claims, and we end the show with Charles explaining why two different insurance adjusters might come up with completely different results when looking at the exact same roof that has potential hail damage.
To those in the insurance and storm damage restoration business, this might be old news, but to us home inspectors, we were quite surprised to hear how the process actually works. Charles shared some fantastic insight with us in this episode.
The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Charles Thayer: I think in the year 2014 we peaked out, we were rehabbing somewhere in the area of around 350 homes average a month and the average cost on that was between $6000 and $7000.
Bill Oelrich: Wait a second, wait a second, a month?
CT: Per month that’s right.
BO: 350 homes a month?
CT: That’s exactly right.
BO: Holy cow.
CT: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Omaha, Nebraska, and Iowa.
BO: Welcome to Structure Talk everybody a Structure Tech presentation my name is Bill Oelrich your host alongside Tessa Murry and Reuben Saltzman faithful co-hosts. Tessa Murry is a Building Science Extraordinaire and Reuben is Home Inspector Extraordinaire also known as the savant. [laughter]
Reuben Saltzman: According to you that’s it.
Tessa Murry: And everybody else on the team. [chuckle]
RS: I’m very well known as.
BO: Yes, on today’s episode we’re gonna be spending the next 25 minutes with Charles Thayer, the owner of All Around Construction. Is there a construction on the end of All Around?
CT: But that’s alright today there is.
BO: Awesome, perfect. So Charles as everybody you can hear his voice in the background, you’ll hear him on AM 1130 on a regular basis on Saturday mornings as well but we’re gonna be here today talking about exterior repairs, storm damage, all things all around and so Charles, why don’t you just take a minute and kinda give us some background and tell us about you.
CT: Yeah, no. I appreciate it. Thanks so much for having me on. I feel like a lucky person because I have a pretty wonderful team. 12 years ago, we started this company called All Around and we were actually designed to just rehab and clean up foreclosed properties back in 2008 there was just so many of them.
BO: Wow! Okay.
CT: And so the realtors needed help, banks needed help and my wife and I decided that was the avenue we were gonna go down for a while. It wasn’t meant to be a permanent solution but anyhow, after a few years of doing it, we became a preferred vendor for some very big banks out there and grew. We ended up in four different states and I think in the year 2014 we peaked out. We were rehabbing somewhere in the area of around 350 homes average a month and the average cost on that was between $6000 and $7000 per home.
BO: Wait a second, wait a second, a month?
CT: Per month that’s right.
BO: 350 homes a month?
CT: That’s exactly right.
BO: Holy cow!
CT: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Omaha, Nebraska, and Iowa.
TM: How many employees did you have?
CT: So actually we kept it, it was a pretty tight-knit team because we were more of a management style company so we were kind of a call center and we managed the jobs that the banks would send to us. So we peaked out at about 29 employees but out in the field we had a list of over 450 different subcontractors, vendors, mechanical contractors but anyhow, that was how we started but we knew that that wasn’t gonna be a sustainable business forever because the foreclosure boom, if you will, was gonna bust at some point. The market was gonna correct itself so when we knew we were making good money, we knew we had to put away some of that money and start to plant seeds into other areas. We decided that we knew enough and we’re good enough at exteriors, both storm damage restoration and just capital improvement roofing, siding, window replacements that we had something we could start for a retail division and that would become the second leg or the sister company if you will of All Around.
Well that today is who we are. We are that exterior division that we propped up as a back-up plan kind of. So the market at the time started to correct itself. Banks didn’t have to rehab homes as much, in 2014-15 they almost completely stopped. Houses got put just on the market as is, the way they are and they didn’t need to improve them. So most of that business went away, all of it, about 15 million a year worth in rehabs went away in a year and a half and luckily we planted enough seeds in our new model to have what we are today which is an exterior contracting team. We replace exterior cladding of all kinds on residential properties and light commercial properties.
BO: Okay and Ruben you and Charles have known each other for how many years?
RS: How long has it been, maybe eight?
RS: 42. 42 years. [chuckle]
RS: Well, just like you…
CT: And I’m only 38 years old. [chuckle]
BO: Okay, so I love this commercial on TV right now where Derek Jeter goes up to that girl and she’s making a bracelet and he’s like, “How long have you had this dream of this company?” And she’s like, “12 years or 10 years” and he goes, “How old are you? I’m four.”
BO: Wow! You’ve been thinking about this a long time.
CT: Kinda like that.
RS: It’s not the same. No we met, Charles came to a CE class that I was teaching to real estate agents and I don’t know, I think it was about everything, it was the Home Inspection Homeowners class.
TM: Oh wow! A four hour class.
RS: But it was back when it was a two and half hour class.
TM: Oh okay.
RS: It’s gotten a lot longer now and I was teaching about ice dams and all that and he… I don’t remember why but Charles sat in on that class for some reason and we just…
BO: Who was teaching who, come on now?
CT: Oh, he was for sure teaching. I just remember the one random slide where he slid a cookie in the middle of his presentation for no reason other than to make sure people were paying attention and that’s what told me yeah, I gotta work with this guy. [chuckle] In some capacity because anybody that just throws out random stuff like that is somebody I wanna hang with so.
RS: Funny, nice.
BO: Alright, so what was your background before you got into the rehabbing business?
CT: I was a mortgage broker. Honestly, I’m a sales and relationship person. If I were to describe what my trade is that’s what I would say it is and being in a contracting business and also hosting a home improvement radio show, people think all the time, “Well, you must know, you’re just a modern day Bob Vila aren’t you?” No, actually I’m the last guy you would ever want working on any part of your house, anything, name it yes, no.
RS: What about hooking up a dishwasher would you do that Charles?
CT: Not a dishwasher, not a fridge. If I can plug it in and it works and it can stay right there that is me but why I’ve been…
TM: Plumbing gets dangerous, we don’t want to mess with plumbing.
CT: Well and I guess I’ve been told, I have a unique way of bringing people together and formulating teams and then marketing what we have to offer, how we bring value and so that’s what we’ve tried to do.
RS: And that’s what he’s done with the radio show. I mean I was hoping we could talk about that too. Just kinda explain a little bit about the radio show ’cause I remember when you told me how the whole thing works. I had no idea how paid programming actually worked and when you broke it all down for me I was like, “Wow!” there are so many radio shows out there that work exactly like this.”
RS: I thought it was really neat.
CT: Do you remember watching shows when you were growing up and there was always that message like, “Just so you know, the views of this program are not the views of the station and whatever they say, we’re not responsible for.” that’s what paid programming is, right? It’s a company that buys a slot of time from that radio station. They own that slot of time and they can re-purpose it however they want so that’s why the stations always said, “Hey, just so you know, we’re not responsible for them.” And they don’t say that about my show only, about all the other shows but they might wanna consider making a special one.
It’s a good time to bring this up actually because when we were looking for that next business, what’s gonna sustain us long-term. We know we’re good at rehabbing foreclosures. We know this is booming right now but what’s our thing long-term and then we turned to exteriors. We knew we needed a way to market that. At the time, we were looking for other radio shows so the best things in life sometimes come from your mentors and help and your friends. We found a real estate show, the Minnesota Real Estate Show which has a formula that is just like ours.
We joined the Minnesota real estate show. We would go on there and talk and advertise, talk about all around the services that we have but what I thought was really unique about radio is that people got to know you when you just would walk up, people would walk up to you randomly and say, “Hey are you… Okay, you’re that guy from news talk? Oh gosh, I hear you all the time. That was funny when you said this and I was like, “Oh my gosh! They’re actually getting to know us.
So it’s not just a commercial. They’re actually getting to know a person behind the brand. We really needed it at that time and so we kind of just imitated what our buddy Ryan at the Minnesota real estate team was doing. He bought a block of time. He would have a mortgage person, a title person. All of these different other professions in his industry come in and talk about what they do. It’s all relative to real estate, right?
CT: What are the loans doing? What’s the attorney think about these rules? What’s the tax person think about these laws and bring them all together and create a show around it and then take live calls, as well. That’s what really makes it feel like it’s a program on the programming side of it, on the entertaining side of it. One that actually gets paid to be on the radio, doesn’t have to pay to be the radio. Well we have to pay to be on the radio but boy, it would seem so boring if it were like one of those infomercials from back in the day.
BO: Oh yeah.
CT: So we make it fun and entertaining too.
BO: No, it’s awesome, it’s awesome. We have to take a break real quick but when we come back we’re gonna continue on your journey to where you’re at today and talk more about All Around.
RS: Yeah and I think we even have a commercial for All Around, we can play at the break here.
BO: Yeah fire it up.
RS: To transition to that. Yeah, let’s do it.
Speaker 6: Hey bro. I’m here in the neighborhood doing some pre-storm damage assessment.
Speaker 7: Storm damage?
S6: You know, for that wicked hailstorm you got last week.
S7: I think you’ve got the wrong neighborhood. We just had a light drizzle.
S6: Oh no. You had a huge hailstorm. You know what I’m saying? Like you have so much roof damage your insurance company will need to replace the whole thing free, am I right?
S7: Are you winking at me?
S6: Dude. You’re not supposed to say that. You’re just supposed to know that means.
S7: That I actually don’t have hail damage and we should lie to the insurance company.
S6: Yeah. No, you’re not a cop. Are you?
S7: No. But I know their number.
S6: Okay, we’ll keep in touch.
Speaker 8: Whether or not you have storm damage, you want a roofing exciting company whose word is good with the insurance company and with you. At All Around, we’ve staked our reputation on honesty and integrity. Honest fair pricing and solid hard work. For a free honest consultation for your roofing or siding job visit allaround.com.
BO: Welcome back everybody. You’re listening to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich alongside Tessa Murry and Reuben Saltzman as always and we’ve got Charles Thayer in the studio today and we’re just chatting about All Around and we just listened to a commercial. I’m like I love that jingle. It doesn’t get annoying and there’s a good hook on it.
CT: Well, if you grew up in my era, you may have listened to do a little bit of Metallica or Guns and Roses. So that’s… Yeah.
RS: You guys know who that is singing, right?
TM: Is that you singing?
RS: That’s Charles singing.
BO: Oh awesome.
RS: That is him doing that.
BO: Holy cow!
CT: Charles Rose.
RS: He’s the voice. Charles Rose.
BO: Your physique is a little better than what Axle’s is right now.
CT: Wait till I turn sideways.
RS: Yeah, I love that. Where does that commercial play? That plays on a lot of stations, doesn’t it?
CT: Yeah, 93X, Newstalk, KateFan, Bob. We have an assortment and we’ll switch it from year to year depending on what’s good for us, what our advertising agent thinks is good for us or whatever.
RS: Awesome, yeah, I love that.
BO: Does that power a lot of business?
CT: It really does and one thing I can say about radio is that if you’re talking to the right people and you have the right message, that’s great but if you can infuse it with entertainment, comedy, something that they can remember. Oh, it’s like sticking an ad with steroids, you’re just… You’re blowing it up. I remember the first year of Radio where we didn’t do any of that and it was kind of bland it was, come to us were great. You can trust us. Yeah, like everybody says that same stuff, right? But when you make people laugh, let’s face it, you’re interrupting their entertainment so maybe you should give back a little bit of entertainment.
BO: Sure that’s great advice.
CT: Yeah, it was the best advice we were given by our ad agency is to change it up, get some comedians and voice-over people involved and then couple that with some of the stuff that we bring to the table and…
BO: Yeah. So all those stations you noted were Clear Channel stations is that where you’re ad…
CT: A lot of what we do is Clear Channel. Except for 93X, QUS and KQ and those stations over there.
BO: Okay, awesome.
RS: I’m taking mental notes furiously and really underlying this quit doing boring commercials, we gotta do something fun and entertaining ’cause…
CT: Nobody cares about home inspections. They just want it to work and they don’t want problems. So they care that you know everything that you need to know so their life is not interrupted.
RS: Yeah, but how do we make it entertaining?
TM: Let’s have Ruben sing and dance on the commercial.
CT: You just put Cha at the end of it. And then…
CT: That’s right. And when you say it, Cha.
RS: Yeah, and if you guys have ever noticed his vehicles. Charles has got a whole fleet of vehicles and on the hood, it says real big, Cha. That’s what that comes from.
CT: Yeah, they’re all… What is it, Siberian military camo with Cha written all over the front of them? I mean we just wanted them to stand out.
BO: So Siberian military camos have the tan?
CT: That would be the blue like winter cold ice.
CT: Blue Russian like…
BO: Alright. I love it. Okay. So, let’s talk more about your business, right?
BO: Like, what do you do at All Around that… Are you dealing with insurance companies all the time or are you just fixing stuff? Or what is it that…
CT: Yup, great question. We’re exterior contractors and that means the outside of the building envelope. So outside of the home. Roofing, siding, windows primarily but people come to us for a number of reasons, right? They either had a loss, storm, something happened or they’re looking to improve or they have a problem. So a defect, right? Which you guys are experts at. We don’t want to be the, “Well, we only take this and we don’t do that.” We wanna be able to help people with all three of those facets, if you will. Improve or restore or you have a problem, we need to figure out what it is.
CT: In our state, we tend to get a lot of storm damage. For some reason, more so… Even lately, there’s just more and more hail-storms and they’re more severe and they’re hitting populated areas. So insurance premiums are going up. Things are changing in the industry and I think people are starting to get more savvy about it but there’s so many people out there that have no idea how to navigate through the storm process and…
BO: Do you guys walk clients through that?
CT: Yeah, we handle every part of it but we really try hard to not be known as a storm-chaser, right? That’s why I said we won’t hang our hat on whether it hails or not, right? We’re an expert exterior remodeler. We can customize a plan for you but if you happen to have a loss, if your neighborhood happens to have that wicked storm come through, you’re gonna be inundated immediately with contractors. They come from other states, it’s amazing. They don’t even wait sometimes for it to stop raining. It’s still raining… Hail’s still falling down and you’ll get a knock on the door and that’s the truth. I mean, we see…
BO: Are they licensed in all these states or? How are they getting around?
CT: You have to be in Minnesota but they have satellite offices sometimes so they just have something open here to keep the name. Or they’ll work with another contractor and utilize their license but your first line of defense is knowing what’s in your insurance policy and knowing that you’re covered there. A lot of people that we meet and see what’s on their statement or what they’re gonna get from their insurance company after the damage, they don’t realize but they didn’t buy the insurance that they should have bought or their agent didn’t update them when the policy changed. Do you guys ever get mail where… It’s from your insurance company and you’re like, “It’s junk mail.”
RS: I always throw that away.
TM: Always, throw it away.
BO: You might wanna read that.
CT: I pay my bill, right? So I don’t need this.
RS: I’m sure I might, yeah.
CT: So here’s the problem with not reading it is… A lot of times it looks like it’s just an, “Oh buy more insurance from us” or “We got you covered, you’re in good hands,” right? Go to the last page of it. A lot of times they’ll put that change just all the way tucked behind advertisements because they want you to throw it away. I just got one. I just got one four months ago, it said, “By the way, your policy now requires you to notify us within six months if you intend to have a claim. Otherwise, we might not cover you.”
CT: And that’s just one version. There’s many other versions of changes that can happen and then, you would wanna know if something changed on what you’re paying for, right?
BO: I’ve always wondered about insurance. In our business, we do a home-inspection, we send out this great report and what we find is a lot of people aren’t actually looking at it. They’re not reading the details of it and then when something that comes up that we talk about, they’re like “Oh, I should have read that.” I feel the same way about insurance companies and when you buy a house, there’s just so much going on at that moment, right? You’re getting this, you’re getting that and you have so many documents coming at you. How can you read through it? Like, who’s got the bandwidth to read through several hundred pages of important information; mortgage, inspection, insurance documents. You need a whole staff of people to do it.
RS: Yeah. It’s crazy.
CT: Well, you should have… That’s why having a relationship with your agent is important, right? That’s what you pay that agent for. “Hey, what would you do if you were in my shoes Mr. Or Mrs. Agent?” Right? That’s the kind of agent I wanna work with. I don’t wanna work with… Trust me, you don’t wanna work with over the… 800-number agent, E-insurance agent. Just go online and click insurance. You wanna have somebody that you can walk into their office, once-a-year, have a quick little refresher and if something happens, honestly those people are like your lifeline. You do call them. I know it seems really cliche but when something happens, having somebody you can pick up the phone and call and say, “I’ve known Stacy for 15 years. She’s been my agent 15 years, she’s gonna help me out. I’m calling her right now.”
BO: Mine since… Let’s see, I don’t know. 2001? Same agent, all that time. I leave my first name, and he knows to call me back. It’s not like I have that many claims with them but we do a lot of business.
BO: So. Anyway, we should take a quick break real quick. We’re gonna step away, play another commercial from All Around and you’ll get to hear Charles’ pipes again, it’ll be awesome.
RS: Maybe. Yeah, can’t wait.
S8: Blue. What does it mean to be blue like All Around?
Speaker 9: I’m blue.
Speaker 10: I’m blue.
Speaker 11: I am blue.
Speaker 12: Blue means being a good neighbor.
S1: Blue means helping your community.
S8: Charles, your turn.
CT: What? How… I’m not sure what’s going on right now, Mark.
S8: Be blue, Charles. Like the polished blue All Around vans that watch over our twin-cities.
CT: That’s just the color we picked?
S8: Blue, Charles. Not just any color, like red or green but blue. Like All Around’s lifetime roofing, windows and siding.
CT: Some people pick blue but…
S8: Well, tell that to these All Around heroes in blue.
S1: I’m blue so I can be my best.
S9: I’m blue, like happy blue, not sad.
S1: I’m blue, like when the mountain’s are ready.
S8: You see, Charles, being blue like All Around is being…
CT: Hey, I get it. Blue, like us.
S8: Yes, Charles. Go.
CT: Over 10,000 homes improved, and we still stand behind each project.
S8: That’s it.
CT: We know we’re not the cheapest and we’re proud of that.
S8: Seize it, Charles. It’s blue.
CT: And I mean people buy All Around because they’re buying reassurance that they’re not gonna have future issues. How was that?
S8: Boomsticks. So be blue, or be that sad guy over there in the corner. Be blue, like All Around. Finishing the job you said you would finish, when you said you would finish the job. Okay, what?
Speaker 13: I’m blue.
TM: It appeals to the younger generation, I think.
BO: It works.
TM: Yes. Older people might be like, “What was that I just listened to?”
TM: What does blue mean? I don’t get it, that’s like…
CT: Well, we’ve had people call us and like yelling at us, saying that “that’s a political message”.
CT: That we’re blue.
BO: Welcome back everybody to Structure Talk. A Structure Tech presentation. That ladies voice, you just heard is Tessa Murry, I’m Bill Oelrich alongside Ruben Saltzman and Charles Thayer’s in the studio with us today. So we just wanted to kinda get back to a storm chaser conversation. Reuben’s looking at me like I asked that the wrong way, I’m sorry.
BO: So Reuben, I’m gonna tee you up right now.
RS: I wanna talk about the commercial. I love that commercial. I love the end. I laughed out loud when I heard that.
CT: You remember that song.
RS: Oh yeah, yeah, exactly.
CT: Those characters are something else. When you watch those people do those commercials and they, in the studio become that person, even though they’re just in front of a mic, in a sound booth. They still become that person, like “When the mountain is ready!” You’re just like, “Wow man! You just changed totally into that new person.”
RS: I gotta work with one of those guys for a commercial for us, we’ve got the most boring commercials on the radio.
CT: Mark and Joe with Shell Creative. Great people and I’ll introduce you any time.
RS: Okay. Yeah, I will do that.
BO: Alright, well, let’s go back to something that’s less fun, roofs and siding damage and that kind of stuff, some insurance.
RS: And insurance, yeah.
BO: Quick, are you out of Blaine yet? Like Have you finished up the Blaine Project?
CT: Yeah, just when you thought Blaine would never finish up, coincidently this year, people that were hit in 17, were hit again this year with a new hailstorm.
TM: Oh no!
CT: Yeah, there were about 10 major storms, not exaggerating, around the metro. This year was a very stormy year and so just when things were finishing up in Blaine, there’s new damage in Blaine.
BO: You know what I’d say about that. They’re just unlucky but if they moved in the SUC, just a little farther. They might miss some of that.
RS: Oh, zip it Bill.
RS: Bill calls the Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the center of that area, the sustainable urban core, “the SUC”. That’s his own made-up acronym.
TM: Bill makes up acronyms for everything.
BO: Actually, if I’m gonna get full credit to this, that’s an ode from years ago. I think Joe Sushray on Garage Logic talked about “the SUC” but I’ve fully adopted that way of thinking. I love it in the city. I’m just a… I’m a city kid.
RS: Whatever, We argue about this a lot, yeah. But no, we wanted to talk about storm damage and storm chasers and I was hoping you could share some advice, for what people can do after they get hail damage or suspect they’ll get hail damage. How do you differentiate good companies from storm chasers, just door knockers?
CT: Yeah. Well first, let me be clear. There are a lot of good companies out there. Unfortunately, the list is shorter than the amount of bad companies there are that are out, just to take advantage of this opportunity that they have to make a quick buck. So the first thing I want you to ask yourself, when you know you were hit by one of these wicked storms. You look at your siding and you have some holes in it. There’s a lot of activity, a lot of buzz, contractors are everywhere. Your gutters are dented, like crazy. You have… You’re gonna make a claim, right? Think to yourself, is my home leaking? Do I have a leak in my home? That’s the only thing you should care about at first, right? And then get that patch repaired first before anything else. That’s what you should think about. Once you’ve done that. You have a lot of time, you have plenty of time to make calculated decisions and figure out, what’s the next best move? We highly recommend, that you don’t sign a contract with somebody you’ve never met before that knocks on your door. I know it seems…
RS: Good advice.
CT: Well, it seems like, duh, right? Like, oh? But it is crazy.
RS: If it didn’t happen all the time, you wouldn’t have to say it.
CT: I’m not even saying, it would sound bad if I was like, “Well, don’t sign a contract with anyone else but All Around.” That’s not what I’m saying. There’s a lot of great companies out there but if you just met the person that day, they’re creating some sense of urgency, don’t sign a contract. There’s no good reason and I can’t think of one advantage to doing that.
RS: And you know, to that point, when you’re saying check your roof to see if it’s leaking. Bill, Tessa, Charles, how often have you guys seen a roof that’s leaking because of hail damage? Like once? How many? Once in your life ever? Any of you guys?
TM: No, I haven’t, never.
RS: Everyone’s shaking their head.
CT: No, I know it’s great, radio right? Shake your head all day long. No, I actually have been able to say never until this year.
RS: Oh, you actually saw one leaking?
CT: We had about baseball, I mean I call it racquetball sized, no one uses the racquetball. But the racquetball-sized hail, hit in Watertown this year, massive destruction out there and we had a gentleman with ridge cap but see, that’s different. There’s a ridge vent cut into the roof, okay? So it’s not like it would have gone through roofing and sheeting and everything else, this absolutely would’ve leaked, if we didn’t patch it. But, guess what? We patched it and now we’re still working with the insurance company to get a good settlement out of it and his roof is currently patched still, going into winter, everything. We’re fine. You see, that’s an example of you have time. You don’t have to sign this thing that… And then people pretend to read like a carbon copy contract right there when the person standing at the door, you’re not reading anything.
CT: Are you sure, you think… Is this? Yeah, you guys? You have a logo on your shirt. I guess that’s good.
RS: Yeah, yeah.
BO: We took a call from an attorney who lived on the southwest side of town who wanted us to come out and give a third party inspection of his roof where a door knocker got him to sign a contract, an attorney.
BO: Signed a contract on his step to get his roof, which had hail damage that was ultimately denied by a insurance company but now he was stuck with these people and so I guess my point is, people can kinda melt down at particular times and when somebody’s there telling you, you’ve got a problem, all the gears start winding really fast.
CT: Some of these storm chasers are masters at creating a sense of urgency and they’re… If there is a trade that they’d have I’d say it’s getting that commitment and that trust upfront from people but what they lack at unfortunately, is the actual trade of putting a home back together, restoring a home. Because there’s one way to do it, it’s the right way. It’s not like the insurance way versus the capital improvement way. If you’re paying your own money we repair the house this way, if the insurance… No, it’s not that way. There’s one right way. So I guess I’ll leave you guys with this too. This is probably the best advice is this, consider your long-term goals and what you actually wanna do to your house, the insurance money is just one part of it. Anybody can slap up some labor and material, put it on your house and get it together. But are you really doing yourself a service especially when this is your chance to have the insurance company cover your restoration. Get with a company you can trust.
BO: And typically do insurance companies pick up the entire tab or is, it depends?
CT: Well, they pick up what’s damaged. They’re not gonna pick up you taking it to the next level and improving your home more than that and then there’s always deductibles. Deductibles are going up and up because more and more claims are being made, policies are getting slimmer and slimmer, things are being excluded, people should know what’s in their policy and all of those questions should be answered before they decide to make a claim.
BO: That’s a great point.
TM: What happens, just a quick question, to that attorney then who signed a contract with one of these storm chasers and then they get denied, what happens?
CT: These contracts are contingency contracts. So the guys are saying, if you sign up with me now and you get approved for a roof, then you have to hire us. If the home gets denied, there wasn’t enough damage, that contractor is long gone, they don’t care. They’re not gonna hold them to anything.
BO: Yeah, and I think what this attorney had this now seed of doubt. He’s like, somebody was here and said I’ve got damage and I’ve got 27 squares of shingles that supposedly have damage and I just don’t wanna make a wrong decision and I was like, well we sent somebody out there and they gave our opinion but we have no authority, we have no jurisdiction over this, we’ll tell you what we see.
CT: I’ll tell you right now, over half of them tell everybody that their roof is damaged. It doesn’t matter. They don’t really inspect anything, they don’t really care, it’s a numbers game to them and they just want an adjuster to go out to that house and hopefully that adjuster feels like buying a new roof. Total different discussion is the adjusting game and why adjusters buy roofs that have no damage. That’s extremely interesting and that’s truly the reason why we have such a crazy, crazy industry where hundreds of people will get new roofs and their neighbors won’t.
RS: You teased it, tell us why?
CT: Really, you wanna know?
CT: These adjusters are paid on a fee schedule. These adjusters sometimes can be really not ethical. They’re not doing their job the right way. So I’ll give you an example, if I’m an adjuster and you made a claim and I’m showing up to your house. Let’s say Allstate Insurance is hiring me, I’m an independent adjuster. I don’t really work for Allstate. If I show up to your house and I notice there’s no damage really, I turn in a report, I’m done. I only get $75-ish, to do that report. If I show up to your house, I take a whole bunch of photos, I do notice that there’s damage, I diagram the roof and I put a big report together and then issue you a check, I just did two hours worth of work instead of a half hour worth of work, my paycheck is about $400. They’re paid to find damage, they’re paid to buy damage. So the chasers know that there’s a lot of independent adjusters out there that will push damage and is just you’re in that vicious cycle and it never…
RS: Could you guys imagine if we got paid like that?
TM: That’d be awesome.
RS: Oh my gosh.
TM: Well, what if health insurance work that way?
RS: So many things.
CT: It probably does.
TM: People would be covered.
CT: That’s why it’s falling apart in a lot of reasons.
RS: Wow. That’s some good insight.
BO: That’s amazing. And so what Charles just did is, he teased the next podcasts where he’s gonna… We’re gonna go deep on that conversation.
CT: Investigate adjusters, here on Structure Talk. Going deep inside.
BO: That voice you just heard is Charles there from All Around. You’ve been listening to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech presentation. Thanks everybody for listening, we’ll catch you next time.
CT: Thanks so much.
Author: Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections