Unlike most public adjusters who farm out the detailed work of cataloguing each item lost or damaged in a catastrophe, SMW keeps that work in-house. We’re really fortunate to have Dayle Swerling Burke as a principal on our team, because she brings more than 30 years of experience in detailing and documenting post-loss damaged personal property to ensure the best possible recovery for her clients.
Dayle spends most of her time out in the field, preparing detailed inventories of personal property in homes and businesses that have suffered property losses. One of the important parts of Dayle’s job is pricing items. She often spends time pulling data on what things cost today. It’s kind of addictive…Her office mates, meanwhile, see her online and they just think she’s shopping! So do online retailers. Because she’s searching the current costs of replacement items, the various algorithms that drive e-commerce and other internet sites identify her as a target for promotions. As a result, her Facebook and Instagram feeds get a LOT of related pop-up ads.
What’s funny is when she gets hooked on a deal. Occasionally during an inventory, Dayle might find a unique item that piques her interest. When that happens, she has been known to click ‘Buy Now’ – one for herself, and one for each of her besties. Recently, for example, she was doing an inventory at a loss – a house that was damaged by fire. She came across the ‘Sleepy Tie” as one of the damaged personal property items. What’s that? Well, you use it to put your hair up at night. When you pull it out in the morning, your hair has maintained the previous night’s form. Perfect hair! Who knew? She immediately thought to herself: “I want one. I have to have one.” Then she bought five.
The last time Dayle was that impulsive was several years ago, when she came across the ‘Corn Zipper’ while inventorying a burnt-out kitchen. This product has been useful in her own kitchen. We talked to Dayle about these purchases:
“It’s always fun to find something that I already own – and makes it much easier to price in the claim. And then I find something I’d like to have – beautiful shoes, a handbag, bedding, towels…There’s so much out there, and basically, I’m in it. Sometimes I see it and think ‘I want one.” So, I get one for me and one for all my friends.”
Any other items besides the Sleepy Tie that have caught your eye, Dayle? Here are a few: Souper Cubes (stackable freezer food trays); a peavey (a wood-cutting tool that has a pivoting arm and metal spike at one end); and the Oura ring (to track your body’s sleep patterns).