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Old 02-09-2007, 11:24 PM
Tony Blackburn's Avatar
Tony Blackburn Tony Blackburn is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the land of goofy Appraisers
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 402
Default A la Mode's focus needs to change A LA MODE>>>>>Please address these things...!!!!!

I tend to get frustrated when i see things that, IMHO, are very simple, no brainer type stuff is ignored by software companies and Ala Mode is the target of my current frustrations.

I hope that the powers "that be" at A la Mode read this stuff.

Tonight's Rant is about XSites......

Xsite: A very good concept...I like the way it works. I want to move my whole company to it, but I CAN'T!!!

The reason is the online ordering page. It has some serious flaws. So great, that I can't use it.

When a client logs in and places an order, they get to select a few things that can be abused by them or that will have to be changed on the back end by me for nearly every single order...

1: The client gets to pick the "Due date". What if I'm busy? What if I'm on vacation, What if I am not immediately available?

2: The client gets to set the fee....How do they know what I charge? Some clinets get charged differently for different products.

3: The client gets to select the "Appraiser", out of my staff. What if the person they select is an administrtive peron, or not qualified in the job type they are ordering?

4: Why in the heck do I have to have "Auto Inspection" as a product that I offer? I DONT OFFER THEM!!! But I can't edit the "Job Type". And I have several products that are fairly common, like an "Enhanced Desk Review" that are not on the "Job Type" list. It makes no sense for A LA Mode to make me be "All things to all people" through the "Job Type" list.

5: Does anyone at A la Mode realize that the ordering page does not have a Field for the "Borrower's Name"? it has one for their phone number....

These are seemingly insignificant, but in total, they are a deal killer for me and I can't use the XSite system until these things are resolved.

I'm working very hard to make the switch to Aurora. It's not an easy thing to do. Tech support is generally responsive and good.

I like the A la Mode products in concept. I'm just not impressed with the finish. These things are simple fixes and IMHO....are "No Brainers".....

A LA MODE>>>>>Please address these things...!!!!!!

Last edited by Tony Blackburn : 02-09-2007 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:32 AM
Thomas Blake's Avatar
Thomas Blake Thomas Blake is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: LA County-50%, Orange County-50%
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 36
Default xsite online ordering funcionality

Tony, all good very points.

I wish I could take advatage of the online ordering through my xsite,. But the main reason I don't is simple really. I do no work at all for financing purposes. Yet the online ordering form is totally geared toward financing. I do valautions for a variety of other purposes, i.e. dissolution, trust, estate, retrospctive/historical, bail security, partition, stigmatized property, etc.
Old 02-12-2007, 10:00 AM
Doug Quenzer Doug Quenzer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
State: Wisconsin
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 86

I have decided that I will probably stop using the XSITE. I am having a company that helped develop a website for me in another business I owned a few years back. I need to have a good web site, because I do generate a fair amount of business from it.

I have many of the same problems with the ordering page. Most of my clients don't like it, and simply don't use it. Also it is geared entirely toward lenders. I have many people who find my web site for doing estate, divorce, tax assesment, selling evaluations etc, and it would be nice for these one time users to be able to order and pay for it on line. They don't want to establish an account and try remembering a user name and password. That's really stupid for Wintotal to demand. They could easily develop another system for ordering or at least give us a choice of the kind of system we want to use. If they did that I would keep it.
Old 02-27-2007, 05:10 PM
Gregory Beck's Avatar
Gregory Beck Gregory Beck is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Fort Lauderdale
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 1,432

I have not generated one bit of business using x-site and I have had it since it started.
Old 02-27-2007, 05:38 PM
Greg Bell's Avatar
Greg Bell Greg Bell is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
State: Louisiana
Professional Status: Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
Posts: 3,023

I use it to convert to lighthouse..
Old 02-27-2007, 06:12 PM
Couch Potato's Avatar
Couch Potato Couch Potato is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Chapel Hill
State: North Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 14,075

Funny? My XSite order page has a place for the borrower's name. I currently still have an XSite, but I quit using it for delivery of appraisals when I had a client complain about not being able to access the site. His office has a ban on using Internet Explorer. I think his rational for the ban is erroneous, but it is not my place to tell my clients what software to use. I chose to keep the client and drop the XSite.
Old 03-01-2007, 08:04 PM
Chris Low Chris Low is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
State: Utah
Professional Status: IT Professional-Appraisal Related
Posts: 6

I've communicated with Anthony we've discussed that most of what he's asking for is already in the XSites product. Let's go down the list:

1. Due Date. Almost all of the appraisers who use XSites to manage their orders tell us that they demand that field and it needs to be required. If you're busy or out of the office, you can configure that in your XSite Admin. Log into My Office, then click go to My Office/User Management. At the bottom of that screen you'll see a place to set up when you'll be out of the office. If somebody tries to set an order with a due date inside of those Out of Office times, they'll get a warning and be forced to pick a different date. Each appraiser can set their own schedule. So it depends on which appraiser is selected what the schedule will be.

2. Setting Fees. The Fee field is there because it is tied to the Job Type. In Business Management, you can preset the fee for the job. Then, when the user picks the Job Type from the drop down, the fee is automatically populated. To set this up, Log into My Office, then go to Business Management/Settings. Click on "Client Fees." That's where you're able to set up fee tables and assign fees for each job in the table. A nice thing is that you can create as many fee tables as you want, so that no two customers have the same fee for the same job, if that's what you want. Just double click on a job type in the table to change its fee.

3. Selecting the appraiser. You can determine who shows up in the Appraiser field by setting privileges for your XSite Users. This is done in My Office/User Management. At the bottom you'll see a "User Privileges" section. Only those with the "Online Ordering" privilege will show up in the dropdown on the order page.

4. Job Types. This is the next thing we plan to add - the ability to create custom job types and delete predetermined job types from the list. We're working on that right now. We don't have announced date of when that will be released. But we realize that for those of you who do a lot of non-lender work, it's important that you are able to show a custom list of products that reflect your business, and not show up as "just another lender" login page.

5. Borrower's name. There is a field for the borrowers name, along with phone numbers on the order page. The field order is Name, followed by two Phone Number fields. We put two phone fields in there so you can add in a mobile phone or home phone number as a secondary contact.

As far as generating business on your XSite, and getting your clients to use their login, we've recently added some XSellerate campaigns that you can use to send to your clients and educate them on the tools that are available to them on your XSite, as well as the advantages of using them. You can find the campaign by going to the Ad Library in XSellerate when you log into your XSite Admin. We've found that educating clients with campaigns like this really do help with site traffic as well as establish the credibility of the site owner. For more tips on getting clients to use your XSite, see

Those that say that they aren't allowed to use Internet Explorer in the office can STILL send orders via the XSite using the DirectFax order form. The form is bar coded for your XSite and will show up in the ordering system when faxed in. And the client will continue to get status updates on the order via e-mail. To see a sample of how it works, check out my site:

I hope this helps.

Chris Low
Product Management
a la mode, inc.
Old 03-02-2007, 12:20 AM
Doug Quenzer Doug Quenzer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
State: Wisconsin
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 86

I realized that I need to have an Xsite because of course it replaces the Mercury enhancements to deliver appraisals to RELS etc. So I'm stuck with it. But I HATE the ordering process. Lenders hate it. Individuals hate it. I find it cumbersome myself. I had one lender who couldn't download an appraisal so I had to send it a different way. This ordering process just has to be simplified. I talked to a sales rep and they said, "Well we have to do it this way because of privacy issues etc." I have major appraisal management companies that send me orders via email and even fax. If privacy was an issue they would certainly find a different way. This privacy issue is a load of crap, and it was just an excuse for failing to make a product that is useable.

I have gotten business off my Xsite by people finding my web page. So having a web site is important. Most of them are not lenders. That's why this thing has to be made simpler. And it should not be totally geared toward lenders. Lenders tend to look on appraiser specific "yellow pages" like etc.

No one just orders an appraisal off the web site. People tend to call me before they order an appraisal. I tell them to simply email me or fax the request. It's just simpler. I don't have to try and explain to them how to log in etc. etc etc.

I simply ask, "If I can't get people to use it then why am I paying for it?"

PLEASE PLEASE Alamode get your act together and make this ordering process simpler and user friendly.
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