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Asset inventories speed recovery process
by Jessica Garcia
Sep 04, 2008 | 754 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lizz Stanley, owner of Virtual Image Solutions, specializes in personal and business asset inventories.
Lizz Stanley, owner of Virtual Image Solutions, specializes in personal and business asset inventories.
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Lizz Stanley has saved all of her son’s early school projects, such as beaded jewelry, that he made just for her. One day, she’ll pass on the box of treasured trinkets from his childhood with notes telling him how meaningful they all were to her.

“What he does with them after that is up to him,” she said.

It’s sentimental, but it’s just the type of thing she wants to convey that should be a priority to businesses and residents.

Stanley, who owns her own Reno-based business, Virtual Images Solution, releases a book on Monday, “How To Create A Photo Asset Inventory and Protect Your Investments From A Catastrophic Loss” on asset management and protection. The 175-page guide offers detailed information on how to help business owners and residents organize themselves with the essential tasks and records they should keep in the event of a catastrophe, such as flood, fire or earthquake, or even after a crime such as a burglary.

“It’s a big issue,” Stanley said. “A lot of people are not prepared or know how to ask questions (in the event of loss).”

Stanley offers a free one-hour consultation to help clients assess their needs when creating an inventory that will assist them with insurance documentation, financial planning or to avoid probate in estate planning. Sometimes, she said, clients need minimal help, enlisting her to simply take photos of valuable items, or hiring her to complete the entire process from documentation to storage.

She typically charges for her services based on square footage and client needs. Stanley charges $350 for a 2,400-square-foot home. for videotaping and individual photographs of antiques or jewelry, she said.

The more specific business owners or residents can be in their inventories, the better, Stanley said. All items should be documented with a time and date stamp to hold up in court if necessary.

The CD that comes with the book has a predesigned database that makes it easy for someone to enter the crucial information that will help insurance agents and estate planners in recovering the lost value, Stanley said.

Her own brother, who owns the Reno Fly Shop, has already had his business inventoried from his products to the improvements he’s made to the stores, including the new tiling on the floor, she said.

“There are many reasons people should do this,” she said. “People have enough heartache to deal with” after they’ve lost a home or valuables.

September is the American Red Cross’s National Disaster Awareness month, so being able to document and provide essential information to insurance companies before an emergency strikes is important, Stanley said. She learned this concept through personal experience when a house she was restoring in Atlanta on Christmas Day several years go flooded and nearly destroyed the structure.

“The pipes burst on the third floor, the ceiling fell down, the plaster on the dry wall came off,” she said. “But the insurance made me whole because my insurance agent had all the pictures.”

Stanley had all her antiques replaced – not the exact same ones, she said – but received back five figures in money for everything that was destroyed.

Because the job can be so daunting to people, Stanley offers to do whatever the client needs.

“The biggest problem is procrastination,” she said.

Stanley said a photo asset inventory is one of the most important records a person can have to protect their property.

“It provides a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

Stanley's book can also be ordered for $24.95 online at www.photoassetarchival. com.

A $5 donation from every book will be donated to the Northern Nevada Chapter of American Red Cross.
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