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X-site

Discussion in 'a la mode (TOTAL)' started by Robert Hronek, Nov 8, 2006.

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  1. Robert Hronek

    Robert Hronek Junior Member

    0
    Jun 3, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Nebraska
    Does anyone use X-site? Do you get much business from it?

    Are there any other sites that you have used and recommend!
     
  2. Dr Seuss

    Dr Seuss Junior Member

    0
    Jun 25, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Robert,

    I put my web site/Xsite up in June...more of a web presence at first, but I have had two orders strictly from web searches by clients. I figure the two orders I received already paid for the year in full.

    I found it an advantage to have my license, E&O, resume, etc available on the page (password protected) so that if a lender calls me while I'm out in the field, I give them the password and they can log on and download it themselves. More advantages, but I don't want to sound like an ALM add. Hope any of this helps?
     
  3. Alison Swain

    Alison Swain Senior Member

    0
    Sep 13, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Robert:

    I have had my X-Site up for a year. I pay full freight for the Platinum membership with a la mode. I'm way down the list for the Orlando area --- even way below appraisers who I know have a la mode's X-Sites but use other software companies' appraisal software. In a year, I've never gotten one order from the X-Site which wasn't from a user I had directed there myself.

    Don't sign up if your motivation is referrals. It ain't happening. I am seriously reconsidering my software options for the new year.
     
  4. Doug Wegener

    Doug Wegener Senior Member

    13
    Apr 14, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I wouldnt recommend x-site either. I have the basic x-site but I have not got one order through it. They charge way too much for what you get. There are too many other options.

    I believe Wayne, the owner of this site, sells web sites. There are also places like free web where you can build a site and add a lot of bells and whistles for a mininum amount. With site wizards, you dont have to be a web site designer anymore.

    I wont be renewing my x-site next year but transferring the domain somewhere else.
     
  5. Robert Hronek

    Robert Hronek Junior Member

    0
    Jun 3, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Nebraska
    A local appraiser I spoke with said he hasn't recieved any orders through xsite.
     
  6. Brian W Street

    Brian W Street Sophomore Member

    0
    May 17, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Indiana
    Xsite

    Robert,

    While this is my first post here on this forum, I have had my xsite up and running for over 2 years and I will tell you that it is hard to make a recommendation for or against one.

    First, I believe that you have to have some form of online presence. I try and sign up with any and all appraiser listing sites that are free, I will not pay for this additional service, many are out there and I receive a good amount of work from these free listings. The majority of your clients will contiue to fax orders, new ones are just looking for your fax number. They will not create xsite accounts just to send you an order. I even offer a discount for new clients if they order online but none have used it.

    Second, many choices are available for web site development from you doing the entire project from scratch to hiring a professional to do all of the work. Look into it, I will say that the xsite is very easy to setup but has limitations for advanced users.

    My success with my xsite has been limited, over the 2 years up and running less than a handful of orders from new clients. Of my existing clients I have persuaded only one to use the online ordering and they love it but others have tried it and went back to faxing. I wish that all would use it, the simplicity of how the orders flow directly to the desktop and the ability to give status updates is very nice.

    I do have several complaints with the Alamode product however. One, up until recently they offered 3 levels but have eliminated the middle level. Now your choices are the full package with all the bells and whistles which most appraisers will never use or a bare bones entry level package. My complaint with the 2 levels is that the upper level offers like 15 email accounts but the entry level account offers none, why? Cert mail is one of the best features; I don't under stand why the entry level can't have 1 or 2 email accounts. This is a one man shop and I believe Alamode has lost touch with the fact that the majority of appraisal firms are one man shops. My second issue would be with search rankings, I don't think that they like this type of generic web site. I change my site, add new content, personalize it to this specific location and my search results are still terrible.

    For me, if you can get your existing clients to use it, it is well worth it but if you are looking for new business look elsewhere. Give it a try; see if it works for you.

    However, for me, if Alamode does not add email capabilities to the lower level package I will be hosting elsewhere, I do not need all of the additional features the upper level offers for the added price increase.
     
  7. josephdifranco

    josephdifranco Member

    0
    Mar 19, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    Face the facts

    Lets face it, most of the work, a high percentage, is from local mortgage brokers. If that chunk of the bus. was just using the internet for each appraisal, we'd all spend thousands on web marketing. The web site is no money maker.

    I like having it just to have it, mostly. It allows me to go to new clients and let them know I have online ordering available. I can tell the mortgage processor that when they order their appraisals on my site, they will have a list of outstanding appraisals at their fingertips compared to nothing for manual ordering. I try to set myself apart, in any small way. You can have your license and insurance available there as a convenience to your existing clients.

    I use it on my voicemail, referring callers to go there for company information.

    Xsites has xsellerate(not sure at what level), a mass emailing program, but I did not have success with it, but only tried once.

    Our business is mostly referral, the web site can enhance who you are, but it won't generate the orders.
     
  8. Dona Roberts

    Dona Roberts Sophomore Member

    0
    Oct 9, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Gotta love this forum

    We are in the process of deciding to use X-site and I have just begun my research. We already have a website. Are there any other benefits to having X-site? Do any lenders, etc. require it anymore? (AmeriQuest used to)
    Your input greatly appreciated.
     
  9. Rudy Canoza

    Rudy Canoza Senior Member

    0
    Sep 27, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I like mine...

    My mom's impressed...

    The bottom line for me was when I had a client ask for my URL...oops.

    I got a URL and sent it to him...

    To me a web page is as necessary as a digital camera. Would I make money without a digital camera? You bet. It would be a PITA but I could make it work. I look at a web page that way. It's a tool in a big tool box...
     
  10. Ms. Janet

    Ms. Janet Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    27
    Oct 27, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I have the basic x-site and have only had it online for a month. It is completely generic and I have already gotten 3 calls; 1 was asking for a comp check and 2 were full appraisal orders. :shrug:
     
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