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ACI vs Win Total vs Others

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Well Adjusted

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Minnesota
Hello,

Just looking for some discussion on ACI vs Win Total vs like click forms ect. Does anybody have any experience using both. I just got certified and trained on ACI but I am looking to see if maybe the other products are better?

Thanks
 

BlueDog007

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
South Carolina
I have used ACI for 14 years. It's simple, but is behind technology speaking. Always has been, probably always will be. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles that WinTotal has, but from demo'ing Total, I think that program may just have too many goodies to speed anything up. I just created a thread on this within the past couple of weeks, and there are several good comments there. Check it out.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
If you do only residential, can use all the bells and whistles then the big three is WinTotal, Clickforms, and ACI. Its a choice. I demo'd Wilson and frankly I liked the demo.
 

Joyce Potts

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
My question continues to be: Are there any appraisal software programs that AFFORDS, PROMOTES, ALLOWS, ENCOURAGES data mining?

Perhaps Rich Heyn of ACI would care to comment.
 

Scott McCallum

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Try WCA

I currently do work with ACI and WCA. I started using ACI at the demand of one of my clients in excess of one year ago. I would strongly recommend WCA (which is also sold as SFREP). WCA is a much more user friendly software. WCA has a real photograph management program that comes with it - one that saves time. WCA actually completes (or carries over) field/cells that ACI requires manual completion of (specifically in the invoice, in the 1004D, in the USPAP addenda, etc....). Currently they are reworking some of the software to make it even more powerful. The software itself takes less time to load. The difference between the two softwares is time. WCA is so much faster that I often write my reports on WCA and convert it to ACI (a downside to WCA is that as far as I know, they currently do not have the ability to convert other appraisal software to their format). WCA uses the "F" keys (not the swear word, but the one's located at the top of your keyboard) for stored common responses. Okay, so that appears to limit them in responses, but by hitting F2, additional responses can be seen if they are stored. The majority of my frequently used stored responses are readily available on the F keys. WCA comes with a sketching program and incorporates APEX at an additional fee. FYI, I am highly computer literate - so learning curve or personal preferences are not impacting my input. I don't work for WCA and am not affiliated with them. I really feel that if, years ago, they had done a better marketing job, ACI and Wintotal would be gone.:fiddle: BTW, even though I might be rated as newbie, I have in excess of 18 years of appraisal experience and though I do not post frequently; I view to board daily
 
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Lobo Fan

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
A number of AMC''s require ACI or prefer it. LSI and Landsafe prefer ACI and require reports to be sent in via Lighthouse (ACI's conversion program). RELS and Quantrix require ACI or Wintotal only.

So if you go with alamode, you will likely need Lighthouse too. If you go with ACI then you are good with almost everyone. ACI converts your reports to a form that can be databased more easily by the vendor. Landsafe hired FNC, the parent of Appraisal Port to set-up their new database, FNC is a notorious date miner. They will gleefully sell you back your own data through a program they call Collateral DNA.

I have concerns about how ACI handles the signature. I also have concerns about ACI due to my poor experience with the Lighthouse program.
 

Couch Potato

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
It's all about personal work style.

In my opinion RealEasy (WCA), Appraise-It (SFREP) and ClickFORMS (Bradford) are all better choices than either WinTOTAL or ACI. I did not like DayOne or WebForms much at all. Once you outfit the chosen package with all the bells and whistles, there is little price difference between the different companies. Some companies are better than others at allowing you to purchase less than an "everything and the kitchen sink too" package, which allows you to substitute cheaper alternatives for some parts.

None of the above companies is a good choice for purchasing a web site, IMHO. I believe the sites offered are at best double the cost of the value they offer. If you somehow get one for free or as a bonus for a package you bought, it might be a worth while site to use. Do take the time to replace all the pre-filled content. You don't want Google's bot to think your site is just a mirror of a thousand other sites.

I do not give data mining a second thought. Though some seem to promote it more than others, they all support it in the way they deliver reports through their electronic systems and they all support delivery of PDF files (which are only marginally harder to mine.)
 

Birdman

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
I have SFREP and have used it for 8 + years. It is simple and does the job. Yes I have used the "TOTAL" back several years ago. Had it for 100 days. The deal then was money back for 90 days. Of course Dave wouldn't give us our money back. Great guy that Dave. You will spend more money per year for "maintenance" to keep the Total running that it will cost you for SFREP software and you don't need support. THINK ABOUT THAT. I have heard that clickforms is pretty much trouble free. "Our lives are complicated enough without some huge software problems that is far from trouble free."

Steve

P.S. Just type in Wintotal on the search engine and read for an hour or two.:) Lots of people love the "stuff", but look at how much down time they have trying to keep it running smoothly. I have a few hobbies and don't want to spend all my free time dealing with TOTAL.
 
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Pat Butler

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I used Appraise-It for many years and it was a very stable program. Problem was that it was so stable becasue they rarely did any substantial updates to the program- so the underlying code rarely changed. I believe it' still an old 16-bit program that doesn't allow for a lot of expansion. Also, many of the companion programs to AI were written by other companies and don't blend well with the hose application- just a bunch of somewhat related applications duct taped together.

Eventually I got burned one too many times as a result of Wayne's business practices. Back in the day, he never did implement the CAFE standard, never implemented the ERC-Ready protocal despite promises, and I finally got burned big time on his field acquisition program using the Palm. I bought a new Palm and his software and it was so buggy that it was unusuable. Wayne seemed to be too busy as the years went by in order to spend time on his customers.

If you do decide on AI then I'd buy from WCA which is a more reputable company. I had started buying some of my upgrades from them.

Am now with CF's and it's a nice program. Problem is, they've changed their business practices during the last year or so and have really emphasized the online services and other add-on's they are selling, to the detriment of keeping the host program fresh. So I'm sticking with them but losing patience waiting for some prior promised upgrades and bug fixes.

Wintotal has to be the most bloated piece of software. I got shafted by Alamode many many years ago when they took my money and refused to refund it after they advertised their vaporware that I paid for. If you read the forums here in the AF you'll find Alamode's business practices to be questioned as much as their software.

ACI- didn't they invent Lighthouse?? Nuff said.
 
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