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Again..Which Software Do You Use, and Why?

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Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
I'm shopping around for new appraisal software. I'm seeing all kinds of prices, and all kinds of promises. I have the new advertisment from Alamode, which seems pricey: WinTotal Professional, 250 Interflood maps, Silver membership and Pocket Total with Pocket Apex for $995. I don't need all of that...I already have the Interflood maps and don't know what I would do with Pocket Total. For the money, which do you like the best? This is getting very confusing! :?:
 

David Mullen

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
You should download the free trial version of Toolbox and try it out. It is a fully functional program.

I did that several years ago and tried many other programs as well. Selected Toolbox because it is so simple and intuitive.

Never had to use any tech support yet because the program just keeps right on running without problems.

It is not perfect nor were any of the others that I tried but the problems are minor and do not slow you down at all.

I have recommended it to several friends who ended up buying it after using the free trial that Bradford offers.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Got to agree. Maybe not as versatile as WinTotal, but I have not called Support in 7 years. Again, I have no need of much of what some packages offer. Toolbox always did have the easiest photo pages, which works much the way WordPerfect handles my exhibits addendum.

Double click in the graphics box and it asks for the file. I have downloaded my pix from camera to a folder named after the report
and use xx-front.jpg; xx-rear.jpg; xx-street.jpg; etc. shop, barn, well, etc.

I find this much simpler than trying to read the file directly from the camera. I scan maps, plats, legals, etc. into paperport and save as .gif or .bmp files to that same directory and you load those into the appropriate page the same way.

Wintotal is pricy. Pocket total or any other small handheld device is useless for any but eagle eyes and my old peepers are pretty much shot.

If you think you must go with WinTotal, call them, ask if they will upgrade from what you use now and give a discount for a bare bones package. Haggle over the price until you get one you like.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I will have to put in my word for Day 1 / Nova. I have used Day 1 products since 1987 and still very pleased with it--although occasionly I do do some swearing. I don't need bells and whistles--I just need to type up a report, create a pdf file and send it on its way. The photos are easy to retreive and insert into a file, it integrates with Apex real well and it prepares a very neat, professional looking package. I bought the basic program as I don't need office management, flood maps, street maps or anything else. The data base system is the greatest feature. I have been developing mine now for 5.5 years--nothing is computerized in my area so my data base is the only computerized data base all all residential sales and listings (both MLS and FSBO) for my two counties. When I search my data base, find comparables and then insert into a report, all the info is there including the photo. You can download a demo and try it out. I have found the secret to be to do the msconfig dance on my computer, so that nothing else is running in the background.
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Charlotte, I use TOOLBOX. It works well for my small shop. You would not be disappointed. However, I have'nt used any of the other, modern software. My advice to you is to listen to the folks who have used or tried several different ones and then decided on one. They will give you the most solid answer.

I began to consider buying new software in 1999+- before I found this forum. I tried ALAMODE's demo first, primarily because of their advertisement showing their market share in a pie shaped graph. I was impressed. After it locked my computer up I decided to keep the old DOS software. I was spooked about moving forward. It cost me a lot to stay with the old software. Once I found this forum I read many good post about how stable TOOLBOX is as well as simple. I studied hard and made a decision that was best for my office. Good luck and please let us know what you decide on, why, and how it works out for you.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Charlotte,


I use Toolbox also but whatever software you buy...try the old competitive upgrade BS when you talk to the sales rep. Remember the days when Microsoft would offer a competitive upgrade(much reduced price) to get you to switch from Wordperfect? Try the same scenario on the new software vendor. Tell them you're calling to check out pricing and that you're not happy with your current software....and are currently considering other vendors..well, you know what to say right? They make more money on the annual contracts than the software sales and most would be happy to have you aboard at a price far below what they advertise. When its time to renew the annual contract, I usually let it expire for a few months and then I sit back and watch the reduced price offers they give to get you back...

Man, I was down in your territory two weeks ago in exciting Hartly, DE doing one for a friend. Nice drive down from NJ. I usually only go as far as Middletown but hey, sometimes you have to go to the boonies. :lol: :lol:

Oh ,by the way, Toolbox is available as a fully functioning demo on the www.appraiserstoolbox.com

site. It's only like 8 or 9 megs so it's not too bad to download and to mess around with.

Ben
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Thanks...so far, so good. I've contacted Appraiser's Toolbox for the demo and have lots of questions for them: I have Apex, Interflood, Geolocator and Acrobat Writer. Can they be intergrated? Can my old MCS files be intergrated? How much will this cost? What's the difference between 16 bit and 32 bit? (showing my green here) .....This is scary stuff for me, since I've had 2 crashes in 10 years. ....... I saw a blurp within the Alamode sales pitch...something about....if you have Windows 2000 (me) there may be a crash! 8O But they think they've fixed that problem now.

So, Ben, hope you enjoyed Hartly, DE and trust that you got to view the beautiful downtown area (the Post Office). :lol: I believe I'm correct in saying you do commercial work? We are in need of commercial appraisers around here. I refer everything that comes in here to Phil McGinnis in Dover, my mentor from 1988 to 1993. Maybe you'll learn to love it down here :wink: and help us out more, especially since you know the Hartly area now :wink:
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I am not too smart with computers but the 32 bit is the more modern version, so whatever software you get, make sure it is 32 bit or else you will need to change again in the near future. Also all programs that you want to intergrate will need to be the same--all 32 bit or all 16 bit. If your Apex, Interflood, Geolocator and Acrobat Writer are already 32 bit, then you can buy just the forms package from Day One/Nova. Or if your existing programs are 16 bit, then you would need to buy the 32 bit programs with Nova. There is a demo of the forms you can download from their website. http://www.day1.com
 

John Hassler

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Charlotte

I've been using Toolbox since 92/93 and have had no major crashes. There were many bugs in the early days but nearly all seemed to be worked out now and there is an upgrade maybe once or twice a year. PDF works fine and they offer Geolocator and Apex as an option. You can demo the current 16-bit progran (ver. 9.86) and the 32-bit (ver. 10) for free.

Toolbox has been easy and intutive. I can't remember ever opening the manual. It's not perfect by any means but it is not on my top ten peeves of running an appraisal shop.

John Hassler
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Charlotte,

I am a Certified General in DE but I went down to Hartly to do a ranch on 2 acres for the aunt of my favorite underwriter. Truthfully, I'd rather go to DE to appraise than the Jersey shore. I actually found several comps within one mile which was surprising for the boonies. If I was in Cumberland County, NJ, it would have been an all day affair so I lucked-out. I'm in New Castle county at least once a week as it's only about 45 minutes away.

Yes, I did see the exciting Post Office in Hartly..I shot a comp right down the road from it which I did not use.

I'm always jealous when I hear what you pay for real estate taxes....this guy was paying less than $600 per year. My quarterly payment in NJ is over $1,200...

Hey, I finally found out what a hundred is....DE has a website explaining it....

Ben
 
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