With the advancement of technology and companies (individuals) pushing out free YouTube videos for Xactimate training, is attending a Xactimate training course in the classroom worth the expense? Can one learn enough from YouTube or any other video series?
Let's just knock a few "givens"...
1. It's a given that furthering your understanding, knowledge and speed of a software program like Xactimate® will only be beneficial. So no matter the choice you make, online, YouTube, classroom, in-depth training courses, it is in your best interest to keep progressing.
2. It's a given that Xactimate® is the largest estimating platform used by 22 of the top 25 property insurance companies in the U.S. and 10 of the top 10 Canadian insurers.
"...Xactware features software solutions for every phase of a building's life: from remodeling to totally replacing a building, from determining the cost of rebuilding a structure to preserving and repairing a home."
Any Xactimate training is vital to your business success.
So, the question is how do you learn and retain information? And more specifically how well do you learn software programs?
Some people can learn Adobe Photoshop just by watching a YouTube series and become great at it! And Photoshop is a lot more complicated than Xactimate.
On the other hand, most individuals need some sort of traditional education when tackling AutoCAD or similar CAD-type programs.
Most individuals utilizing Xactimate come from a non-technology related field such as construction (roofing) or real estate. So working in these fields do not necessarily require an in-depth understanding of computer programs, their uses and overall system functionality. Therefore, when starting to use Xactimate the learning curve (for some) is quite steep.
It can be learned and mastered!
"Successful online students are self-motivated, highly organized and focused on their goals."
Carolyn Gist, the R.N.- B.S.N. advisor at University of Texas at Arlington
Pros & Cons
- There is no travel time.
- You can attend class at any time of the day or night.
- It is convenient for those who work a full-time job.
- It may be hard to express your thoughts, feelings or opinions in writing.
- Emails, discussion board posts, and chats may be misunderstood because there are no visual cues to your/the sender's intentions.
- Lots of reading-- from the
lecture,to textbooks, to discussion board posts which you must read and respond to, you have to be sure not to miss vital information.
- It is difficult to form a real connection with your peers.
Pros & Cons
- There is face-to-face instruction.
- You are able to ask questions
- There is face-to-face interaction with classmates.
- Networking is easier.
- You must travel to campus
Classis held at a specific time and you must attend.
- You have to work at the speed of the class.
So, how do you learn?
Would you rather have some one-on-one tutoring in the classroom or do you think you can pick up all the vital tools from some videos?
What it usually comes down to is money!
Not so much "time" because training can be done in the off-season when it doesn't hurt to take a couple days for some training.
But money is always and will always be the issue that drives more and more adjusters and contractors to find any kind of free help they can. And therefore it drives more and more trainers to produce high-quality virtual content so their training business can continue to grow.
As our industry moves towards less and less human touch during the claim process, it is still vital for adjusters and contractors to get the training they need to run Xactimate at it's fullest potential.
You can expect to pay around $100 per hour of training. And depending on your existing computer skills and understanding you can expect to need anywhere from 5-15 hours of training. Then add your travel expenses (~$1,000).
So is $1,500 to $2,500 worth the investment?
You need to ask yourself 1 question...
How fast can I write an estimate AND how accurate am I?
If you spend more than 30 minutes on ANY typical hail claim then some training may be required.
There's a lot of great tips and tricks that can be learned from someone that has dug deep into the program and found the "not so obvious" ways to navigate or insert sketches, photos and line items.
This is your benchmark. An accurate, well noted, well documented, properly indemnified claim in 30 minutes or less!
If you are already there then your training mainly consists of staying up-to-date with the new features and releases which are usually added to speed up the estimating even more.
But if you are struggling to get there in 30 minutes than check out some of the helpful paid/free classroom/online training in the links below and take action NOW before another passes you up.
"The claims process (including adjusters) LIVE and DIE by the numbers!"IA Firm