Being the owner of a company you can be sure you will wear a lot of hats, but being the one and only person has a lot of advantages as well as challenges. When hurricanes hit I leave town to assist contractors write estimates by still keeping my hometown customers happy and serviced properly. It's difficult but for the past 3 years I have managed it well and feel very proud I am a company who has the ability to help at home as well as across the country. This hurricane season I have spent most of my time in Emerald Isle North Carolina and wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences as a solo estimator in a strange city.
When I first arrived I started in Fayetteville where I found myself driving hours to each loss wasting so much time on the road. I was contacted by a consultant who had customers in the Emerald Isle area looking for estimating help. The owners of the company, Zak and Mike, were great guys from the Raleigh area and we really hit it off right away. The offered a room in the condo they were staying at for no charge making my life and bank account a lot easier to manage. After writing about 10 of their losses they gave my name to a few other contractors from the same area. After that I found myself working for 5 contractors by word of mouth keeping me pretty busy and very happy.
One of those contractors was a good ole country boy from North Carolina who loves to hunt and fish and buys hunting dogs from his cell phone while we are walking a loss. Anthony and I hit it off immediately and started busting each other's chops right away. It's true people are the same where ever you go and I can say the people in North Carolina are some of the nicest. Most of the claims I estimate are 2 story beach rentals with laminate flooring and basic cabinets but every once in a while I found myself in a mansion with hardwood floors, media rooms and top of the line materials. These are truly beautiful homes with endless rooms and ocean views that take your breath away. It's a pleasure walking one of these losses while looking at a sunset view with rolling waves and purple and orange sky.
One last experience I wanted to share with you proving how nice and trusting people can be to strangers. One of the condo owners offered a vacant office at his real estate company just down the road. He actually game me the code to open the door after just meeting me, that is defiantly "Southern Hospitality" at its best. I consider myself very fortunate having the freedom to travel and meet people all over the country and although it can be lonely at times missing my family, I get the personal satisfaction of being a small part of helping people put their lives back together.