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Appraisal Software Decisions

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lasmith

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Help! Help! Help! Trying to decide which appraisal software to go with for a network: Alamode or Appraise-It. We are currently using MCS and must get with the times and upgrade. I have received demos from both companies and played with both of them. They both seem to have all of the bells and whistles, but Alamode seems to have a few more. Would love to hear pros and cons from people who are currently using either of these programs. Thanks so much for any input!!

Lisa :eek:
 

BarbaraNJ

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Have AlaMode, never tried Appraise-It.
The alamode is good, easy to use (generally) and does have many features. The only thing I can warn you about is the fees and upgrades.

The yearly "support" fee you will pay will be like buying the software over and over again. Although they tell you all the upgrades are included, they seemed to change their tune when upgrading to Apex Sketch from Win Sketch. Not only is it "extra", but they will no longer support the Win Sketch they sold you in the first place. Like buying a car, paying for extended coverage, then the manufacturer changes their mind and tells you that they don't repair your model anymore!!!

If both of the software systems seem similar in quality and ease of use, then I would compare how much it will cost you in the years to come.

I once purchased a reasonable laser printer, and then found out that with the number of copies I was running, the drum and toner replacements were like buying a new printer every year!!!

Shop around; Wayne also lists other software companies; I hear that Day One is also quite good.

Good Luck!!!
 

David Mullen

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
I would order even more free demos from other companies. I did that and after trying several, settled on one that met my needs.

You may find one you like even better than the ones you have tried so far.

Most of the programs I tried were very nice and some offered more features than the one I eventually selected Since I did not need most of the extra features, I could not see any point in going through a much steeper learning curve.

As for annual fees, they are an annoyance. I would not have to pay them for my software because I have never needed tech support but I do pay for the lowest priced version of it to get software updates in case something is added such as new forms or new technology.

I purposely did not mention the name of my software because this is not an ad. Just trying to suggest that since there are so many alternatives out there, and trials are free, it would be worth the time to try out several of them.
 

EDWARD BERRY

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I have still have the old DOS MCS.

Since you have MCS I would at least try the new ACI.(they have 30 days free)

I just might transfer some of your old data.

If you like the new ACI, beg them for a good price.

Do not try to run the new 32 bit ACI on an old computer. It might run but

presonally I would not do it. The new computer are so cheap that with new software you will have it OK for about 1.5 to 2 yaers.

Good Luck-ed in arkansas
 

bobburnitt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
I definetly would NOT go with Appraise-It. The program is "buggy" and their tech support sucks.

The only two programs worth their salt are WinTotal and Bradford.

Learned the hard way!!!!!!!!!!!!

BB in Texas
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I have been using ACI for the last 2 years, so far, no problems. Its keyboard friendly and has not crashed.

tc
 

Rick Neighbors

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Wintotal gets my vote! Toolbox would be 2nd, would never use appraisit again. I would rather use a typewriter or #2 pencil!!
 

paulbailey

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Texas
Look elsewhere!. I have been using Appraise-It for about the last 7 years. It was good in its day, particularily its data entry, but has not been updated to take advantage of current hardware and it lacks basic bells and whistles. It's comp database is virtually useless as the data fields are truncated so that the line data in the report is only partially saved in the database. You then have to go back to the original report to view what the data source, etc. says. They say that they are not going to correct this. The software has some serious issues such as significantly slowing down to a crawl after entering or editing about 5 files. I have to save the file I am working on, exit the program and start the program over. I have a 1.2 gig barnburner and running XP. Other appraiser friends of mine state that they have the same problem. SFREP say is the because of Windows memory handling, but I seriously doubt this because no other number crunching software that I have demonstrates this behavior. Last week, I discovered a math error on comp #3 as it failed to add the net adj and sales price correctly. Really strange. I emailed the grid of the report to prove the math error. Have not heard a word. I will be changing to another program. I have lost confidence in this program.
 

BigBlueGA

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Choosing any appraisal software is basically choosing the lesser of the evils.. I've yet to see a competent programming company put out decent appraisal software.

From what I've seen though, your best two choices are either WinTOTAL or HighPerForm. We run HighPerForm at our office and I guess I'm somewhat happy with it. It has several bugs that they have been slow to fix and there are some features that are lacking that make me stop and think "WHY?". However, once you get used to the data entry and macro techniques you can do some pretty quick URARs.. I can do a full URAR in minutes in it (excluding time choosing comps and such).

Network in HighPerForm might be debatable.. I have played around with it at home but haven't been able to really test it out, and from the documentation and talking to their tech support staff I get the feeling that it might not be the end-all network powerhouse that you are looking for.
 
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