The DEMA Chronicle August 2012
This picture was taken at the June Los Angeles Chapter Meeting and they are going to be a great chapter to host the first annual DEMA convention!
The Convention is almost here and we are finalizing all of the details, so be sure to look for many new announcements for speakers and workshops. We are pleased to announce that Steven Ferry, author, world renowned educator and Chairman of the International Institute of Modern Butlers has been added to speak on Sunday at the convention.
Every Power Player in the Private Service Community will be there, will you?
Early Bird Registration is ending soon, so don't miss your chance to be a part of DEMA history and attend.
Teresa Leigh of Teresa Leigh Household Risk Management discusses the industry and the latest trends in Private Service. Teresa also gives her thoughts on why to attend this year's convention.
Who Has Your Back?
by Alexander Dahlgren of The Ancon Group
We all know the importance of computer back-ups. Putting them off is an assurance that your hard drive will fail at the worst possible time. You probably have them scheduled to occur automatically, but unfortunately we can’t do the same for our property manuals, and vendor/building trade lists. We have to do these the old fashioned way with research, networking and a telephone.
Recently (I relay this story with his permission) a client called in a serious panic. On a sunday evening, while using the restroom in his wine cellar, he noticed a small drip from the supply line to the toilet. As a transplant surgeon, he knows his way around the tools of his trade and thought “how hard can this be to fix”. He decided that he might simply tighten the nut to stop the drip rather than disturb his house manager who was on the first day of a seven day vacation. All it took was one twist and 18” wrench he was using broke the supply line off in the wall. Imagine turning on a garden hose at full blast and aiming it toward a wall of mahogany cabinetry sitting on a stone floor. He was unable to reach his house manager, so he called me. I was able to retrieve the copy of his house manual on my iPad, let him know where to find the water shut off for that part of the house and avert further disaster. However, the wine cellar is below the Master Suite which meant that until the pipe was capped or repaired, there Master Bath would be out of commission.
Who to call? When we had been contracted to write the household manual two years prior, the emergency plumbing contact was the company that had been a sub-contractor on this then new home. We placed a call on the owner’s behalf, but found that the company was no longer in business. The number disconnected.
Fortunately, since this occurred in Dallas, one of our primary service areas, we were able to get a vetted plumber on the job in about an hour. We also sent the water extraction team and a site manager. All of these individuals have had background checks and a history working with our company which made it possible for us to respond quickly and positively to situations. The last thing you want to do in an emergency is to get on the phone and start hunting around for someone that “come right now!” while hoping for the best.
So what's the status of your emergency contacts list? Does the Principal or lead staff member have access to your household manual? Is it easy to use, well organized and most of all, up to date?
How current is your back-up?
PO Box 192688
Dallas, TX 75219
Dallas: +1 214 432 6596 Los Angeles: +1 213 291 9558
Peter Van Ryder of Estate Management Solutions sits down in this edition to give a sneak preview of "Are you in it for the Profession?" which he will lead a workshop on at this year's convention.
AN ESTATE INVENTORY, can’t I do that myself?
If you are an Estate Manager, you know that your responsibilities are varied and many. Within the scope of your day, nothing can remain undone or unfinished.
How many hats do you wear and does each hat define your role or you job? Not on your life! You juggle those hats quickly and efficiently, remaining calm and professional.
No matter what the question; you have to know the answer, confirming to your client that you are the expert!
So what’s the trick? How do you do it so that you don’t fade into the oblivion of exhaustion?
You keep a list of those people that you know will give you their expertise and knowledge without claiming any recognition for themselves. These experts make you look good; they assist in your goals of getting everything done and keeping the client happy.
You may have multiple properties to manage, multiple people to negotiate with, multiple decisions to make, multiple headaches! And in the middle of all that you have to inventory their home.
Without question, it can’t be done in a day or even a week but the items in the home are your responsibility. Documenting those items, listing them is part of your job. If something happens, natural disaster, fires, theft, you have to make sure your homeowner has proof in order to be compensated.
In the past there has never been an alternative to doing it yourself. There’s never been an “expert” home inventory professional to handle the job and make you look good. Until now, when you have many options.
So how do Professional Home Inventory professionals charge?
These are the top 4 ways, but many other forms of charging exist. Be sure to ask about pricing structures when you book the inventory.
1. Square footage – The most commonly used form of charging customers is by square foot. EXAMPLE: 0-1200 square feet might be $499.00. What can change this price are collections, ie; if you require one photo per item in the collection instead of putting 5 pieces in one picture. Documents are scanned, up to designated amount. Anything over that amount may be charged by the sheet. Normally included in the square footage price is the compilation of the Inventory Portfolio and downloading of the videos, pictures, scanned items and listings. And the package should also contain downloaded forms of backup such as USB Drives or CDs. Other variances exist and should be discussed during the initial consultation.
2. Hourly - Some home inventory professionals charge by the hour. Again, the hourly rate varies depending on the level of service and size of the job. This rate may also be applied to processing time while your inventory is compiled at the office.
3. Single price - Inventory professionals sometimes charge a single fee no matter how big or small the home is or how long it takes to finish.
4. Combination Pricing – Home Inventory professionals sometimes charge a minimum price for up to 4 hours of work and then charge by the hour over and above that.
These are not the only methods of billing; just the most common. Professional services and payment structures vary. A good home inventory professional will offer full disclosure on how they bill their clients.
Relationships created out of necessity have a low rate of success. Relationships created with knowledge and expertise can be long lasting. As the expert in Estate Management, don’t let the minutia drag you down. Help is on the way.
In the next article, we’ll discuss the process. How an inventory is done and what it takes to prepare for one. Excitement abounds because very soon you’ll be able to add Inventory expertise to your library of accomplishments. Don’t you just love it when that happens?
CYA Home Inventory Services
Longwood, FL 32779
Upcoming August Events
Attend a meeting in your area and feel the heartbeat of the industry! No matter how digital our society becomes you cannot replace "face-to-face" networking.
DEMA Recommended Trainings This Month
August 11th in NYC
August 17th-19th in Chicago
The DEMA Convention Early Bird price of $185 is ending soon, so be sure to purchase your ticket! You can register through the main DEMA site under Events or go directly to www.demaconvention.com
|2012 Convention Updates!!!
New speakers have been added, click here to view who they are!
More to come!
Listen to what our speakers are saying about the convention in these new podcasts!
Be sure to follow us on all of our social media using the links below!