30 Dec An Estate Inventory, Can’t I Do That Myself?
by Toni Zufelt of CYA Home Inventory Services
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?