How to Look and Act Like an Auto Damage Appraiser

We’ve done it since we were kids, played dress up. There is something fascinating in the human mind that is ignited when we dress up as some character we’ve seen in the movies or as the firemen we’ve seen battling flames. Looking the part can be as important as how competent you are to the human mind.

A young kid falls and scrapes his knee, but easily brushes it off because, “I’m Superman!” Strap an 8-year-old in a helmet and shoulder pads and suddenly he feels he can tackle a gorilla. Perception is powerful and its equally as powerful for us, as independent appraisers, to look and act the part that we are hired to do.

This isn’t a complicated task, but it is a task that requires dedication, practice and care. Our desire to look and act professional should come from a desire to serve others. Our clients, vehicle owners, and body shops are put at ease when we present ourselves in a manner that portrays confidence, professionalism, and attention to detail.

Professional presentation is not only nice clothes, it is involved in every aspect of our job from how we talk, to the photos we take. Knowing some of the key things that reflect strongly on whether you appear to be a professional auto damage appraiser or not, can give you the opportunity to make better impressions and earn trust with all you encounter.

Let look at some of the major opportunities we have at making impressions and how to not only meet but exceed the expectations.

Inspection Etiquette

During your inspection of the vehicle is a great opportunity to show off how professional you can be. Making sure you treat the vehicle owner and their vehicle with respect is a must. There are a few things you can due to ensure you come across as mindful.



No, a suit and tie are not required, but to maintain the appearance of an auto damage appraiser, proper clothing is a must. Good fitting slacks and a polo shirt will give you immediate credibility in the eyes of most vehicle owners. This doesn’t require you to break the bank or to be very creative. Here are some standard tips to look like a pro.


Phone Courtesy

During most claims that we handle our first opportunity to make an impression on an individual, is on the phone. Making sure that this interaction is a professional one will go a long way to getting started on the right foot. Give yourself the best chance of success by following these basic steps.



Not much is worse at making a bad impression than not being on time. Showing up when you have a scheduled claim is imperative to being received as a professional.

Life happens, but by setting yourself up with these few tips you can help yourself avoid the embarrassing phones calls of an upset customer or adjuster.



As pro independent auto damage appraisers, we have the pleasure and privilege of driving our own vehicle. You tell me if your auto damage appraiser pulls up, (who is there to look at your damaged vehicle), would you like it to be a rusted, scratched, and a dented car that is in desperate need of a wash? Or would you like to see a car that is clearly cared for. You don’t need to go buy a new car, but by taking care of and cleaning the one you do use will help your professional appearance.

Take a few simple steps to make any car look more professional.


Wrapping up the vehicle section, many cities have car washes that have unlimited wash plans. You pay 1 monthly fee to get as many washes as you’d like! As kings of the road this may be a good option to investigate and to build into our daily routine. Most of these car washes also have free vacuums as well.


Yup, its true the handshake is “one of the most crucial elements of impression formation,” (according to psychologist Geoffrey Beattie). For us to appear pro we need to have a good handshake. Apparently 70% of people don’t feel confident in give a proper handshake, well lets try and solve that one so we can be  confident during our next inspection. Some Scientists devised a formula for the perfect handshake, lets see what they found. See the full article HERE



I am not just referring to improper language, but also the words and grammar that we use in our status, line notes and reports. Proper use of language results in good communication. Look at these tips to be more professional with your language.


Have a better career and be the best appraiser in the business by being the most professional and serving person you can be. Now go out there and be a professional auto damage appraiser.

Not an appraiser in our network? Apply at

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