Schools Training

Succeeding as an Auto Body Estimator – Focus on the Little Things

13 SEP 2012
Career Path : Automotive

According to one recent study of the body shop industry, more than half of the collision-repair shops in the United States are run by members of the Baby Boom generation. As this cohort nears retirement, they will need to pass the auto body estimator torch on to the young folk. This means that auto body schools could gain in attractiveness for young people interested in pursuing a career involving automobiles.

Taking the time to explain

As an auto body estimator, estimates are your bread and butter. You read and write them every day. But for the customers who come in to your shop, an estimate may be a foreign entity. They may struggle to understand the information it contains. They rely on your auto body training for a clear explanation.

Remember: A good auto body estimator will take the time to go through the estimate, item by item, with the customer.

Taking the time to listen

Some customers are reluctant to discuss the accident, but if you can get them to share the details with you, it will help you create a better estimate. As auto body schools teach, the more information you have on a repair, the better.

For instance, as an auto body estimator, it can be helpful to you to know whether:

– the car was driving or parked when involved in the collision

– how many passengers there were at the time and where they were sitting

Remember: A good auto body estimator knows that the more information he or she has, the more accurate the estimate will be.

Ensuring the necessary repairs get done

One phrase familiar to most graduates of auto body schools: “Can you save me my deductible?” As an auto body estimator, you will have the task of explaining to people why saving money on repairs may be doing them a disservice in the long run.

Remember: A good auto body estimator makes sure that his or her customers understand that you get what you pay for. When it comes to a body shop, there are no shortcuts.

Choosing tools wisely

Like the rest of the automotive industry, bodywork is trying to become greener. There is a new trend towards using paints, for example, that are water- rather than solvent-based. Auto body schools can teach students about the existing technologies, but graduates have a career-long commitment to keep up with emerging trends.

Remember: A good auto body estimator stays abreast of industry trends.

Belonging to a direct repair program (DRP)

Looking for a way to increase your sales volume in your auto body estimator shop? Sign up as a repair partner for an insurance company. Shops that do so tend to make more money and are even able to pay their employees more.

Remember: There is more to auto body training than welding and painting. A good estimator also needs to know how to maximize business relationships.

Contact Automotive Training Centres for more information on auto body training.