Xactimate Lowdown is a blog about Xactimate news, classes,
helpful hints and any news that affects its users.
helpful hints and any news that affects its users.
May 2, 2019 Xactimate desktop release (v1.19.400)
System Requirements for X1 were released. Click on the image to enlarge and see the new requirements as compared to the old. With every update it seems to get better. With the current update, you no longer have to rotate stairs. Whatever wall you get near , it rotates it for you. It's pretty cool. The next post will have the new features and fixes from the May 2nd update.
Here are a few things that don’t work as well as they did in X28 (at least for the moment)
If you are used to the shortcuts Shift-Enter & Ctrl-Shift R in sketch, they don’t work as seamlessly as they did in X28. In X28, you could use them continuously. In X1, you can’t use them continuously, you have to left click on the screen in between before Shift -Enter will work again.
Also, in the items section of the Sketch tab or in the Estimate Items tab, if you are used to hitting the enter button and typing into the next box below like in Excel, that no longer works. It goes to the next line, but you have to click on the box below to select it before you can type into it.
Also, they got rid of the Contact Manager (which was rarely used because it was rare you had the same insured or customer more than once), but they left the Import from Contacts tab in the Claim Info>Insured info tab.
With the release of X1, the biggest change to the demo is that there is no demo per se; you are getting the live version with downloadable price lists for 30 days, which is the industry standard. The old X28 demo could not have anything other than a training price list downloaded, so it couldn’t be used for anything other than training. So, it was not unusual for the X28 demo to be extended another 30 days if you wanted more time to train. Those days are over with X1. Since you are getting a live version, when your 30 days are up, put a fork in it because you are done (at least under that Xactware ID). This leaves you less time to practice before you are cut off.
Since that window has been shortened, I have started putting videos as part of my class that are available before class so that you can start sketching even before you get to class. Sketching is something that you get better at the more you do it, provided you know how. So, the better you are at it when you leave class, the easier it will be to get better and the more you will retain.
After teaching so many classes, I could go into auto pilot because I have done it so many times. So during class, I watch anyone that is slower than the rest or struggling and constantly look for ways to better my craft by making minor adjustments to my teaching methods. But I have come to learn that there are practices that only repetition will make those practices easier. I have identified 2 things that seem to give certain people trouble because of habits that are hard to break and a lack of understanding dimensioned drawings. Bad habits are hard to break because they are just that – habits. The pre-class videos allow you to start sketching the correct way in the hopes that the pre-class practice combined with the 3-day class will get you to good habits faster. The 3-day class is not hard, but it is intense because of the shear volume of information you get. By the 3rd day, some peoples mind starts to turn to mush because your brain wants to shut down due to information overload. It’s like the hard drive gets full.
So I also started offering videos after class to highlight many of the functions from the 3rd day to review and help with your memory retention of the class.
I really love teaching this class and want everyone that takes my class to really learn this program because it can do so much that it makes you more valuable in your career. I tell my students, a good goal is to get your certification, but that is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to get really good at this program because the certification may get you the job, but getting really good will extend the job and make you a lot of money.
The reason for the creation of this blog was to have an outlet to pass on information regarding Xactimate whether it be news about Xactimate, changes to the software, information regarding my classes, the occasional helpful tips and anything else I could think of. It is a place where people can go to see what is happening within that world. As a Certified Trainer, Xactimate is a large part of my world and takes up a large percentage of my thoughts. I spend a lot of time thinking about how students of Xactimate can increase their retention of the program, especially in the beginning when it is all so new. Everyone learns at a different rate. When you are in a class, the person on either side of you will be retaining more or less than you. It is just the way it is. Young kids make everyone look bad because they were born with a computer in their baby hands. I constantly look for ways and teaching methods to try to bring everyone’s retention to a higher level. I have seen way too many teachers with massive egos going all the way back to college days that concentrate on how great they think they are; always looking inward. My belief is you have to look outward to what the students need to get more out of the material to be a good teacher. That is my constant goal.
The great news is that Xactimate doesn’t require a certain level of intelligence or God given talent. The worst person in Xactimate can be just as good as the best person, they just need more practice. There is no need to ever get discouraged in Xactimate, because any deficiency can be overcome with knowledge of the program & practice.
Someone once gave me a very long technical explanation on a subject and ended the explanation by saying “You didn’t get a thing I said did you?”. I asked “how did you know?” He said “I could tell by that glazed over look on your face.” I explained that I was sorry and that I learn things by doing them and then they stick. That is Xactimate in a nut shell. You learn & get better by doing and the more you do, the better and faster you get.
Remember the goal is not to get an introduction or dip your toe in the water. Nor is it to just get your certification. The certification may get you the job, but being good and fast is directly proportional to how much money you can make. That is the goal!
I truly hope this blog helps you in your Xactimate experience.
I find myself beginning this blog showing the natural beauty of Utah, where Xactware & Verisk reside. This photo and the one above was taken in Moab, where there are 2 national parks and 1 state park within a few miles of each other. Surprisingly the views are very different from one park to another, but not surprising is that they are all very beautiful. It is hard to take a bad picture. I go to the Xactware conference in Salt Lake City every year and have found myself staying before or after the conference to make a vacation out of it and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding areas.