I am proud that I was born and raised in Texas. Being from here I hear all the talk about “everything is bigger in Texas.” Recently, I’ve participated in spirited Internet forum debates and attended a few contractor seminars, and each event found us addressing issues surrounding the merits of being a “bigger contracting company” versus being a “smaller contracting company.”1 After some conversations took twists and turns that went beyond mere “spirited debate,” it made me stop and contemplate: is bigger always better?2

Public Adjusters

I read a well-reasoned and written guest blog recently discussing traits of great public adjusters. While there are no doubt great public adjusters that work for the larger public adjusting firms, “bigger” failed to make the list of great public adjuster traits.

I’ve done primarily first-party work representing policyholders for many years. As a result, I have known many public adjusters. I’ve had fantastic relationships, and more than my share of the not-so-good. Looking back, overriding facts remain: both the bucket containing fantastic relationships and the bucket containing the not-so-good share some common traits. They each contain folks from both from the larger firms and the guys running their own shop.

General Contractors

Most of my work these days, along with my friend and colleague Larry Bache, revolves around representing general contractors in states that approve assignment of insurance proceeds. The debates referenced in the opening paragraph involved contractors discussing smaller local contractors competing with bigger contracting companies. As one might imagine, strong opinions emerged supporting both positions.

Identical to the public adjuster situations referenced above, I have great relationships with folks from the larger general contracting companies and the smaller operations. Guess what? Yes, you nailed it. Nice relationships—and the not-so-much—come from both types.

What Does This Mean For Me?

We’ve all done battle with the opposition in our industry. The conflict that goes along with the very nature of our business—including intentional comments and actions to bring others down—should never come from within our own ranks. Whether you work with a large operation or are running your own smaller version, always strive to do the next-right-thing and you will be fine. Maybe we’ll all have to find another way to make a living someday, but it seems first-party property damage work will be around for a while. Be kind. Be helpful. To each other. To yourself.

Motivational Poster Of The Day

1 As some of the debates took place on a closed internet forum, I refrain from posting a link for public display.
2 Since I recently spoke at a seminar in Las Vegas called “Damages: Go Big Or Go Home,” I must admit to thinking a “bigger” damages jury verdict IS ALWAYS BETTER!