• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Forum Sponsor - a la mode

Learn more about Titan Reports, our new cloud-based formfiller, SmartExchange, Titan Office, and Titan Drive to see how you can revolutionize your appraisal business.

Can We Talk About This? Software Changes

Status
Not open for further replies.

Blaine

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Hey all, as many of you know, AlaMode was acquired recently and it has caused some stir. I'm not here to add to the stir because I dont really care all that much about it. What the news did do for me, however, was to get me thinking about my software and whether or not I should at least take a look at what else it out there. I have been an AlaMode WinTotal, and now Total, user for 15+ years and have been happy with my choice thus far, but really only because I haven't tried out any others.

My question to all of you is about your experiences with other software options. I know there is a software/hardware forum but it seems a bit biased since its categorized by software maker so one has to question whether the poster is at all unbiased about their comments when its under a heading for that particular software company. Can you help by telling me what software you use, how long you've been using it, did you switch from another software and why, and the general pros and cons of your choice. I have no intentions of starting pointless debates about the different softwares, more just curious about real world experiences from users of software other than AlaMode, especially from those who may be familiar with Total or WinTotal and are now using something else. Very curious about the accounting side as well since I've been managing paid invoices via the Total software and wondering if other softwares have any kind of invoice management options? Help please!!!
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
My question to all of you is about your experiences with other software options.
I used Clickforms from 1995 to 2012 when I basically went to narrative only as I don't use software personally, The only call I made to Bradford was switch the software from one computer to another. I honestly never made a "glitch" call to them for support in all that time.

My experience with Total is from DOS days, and it was a fail then, but that is no fair comparison in terms of functionality today. I do know at the time they charged me a 20% restocking fee or whatever when I bought the software. I then went to SFREP, Appraise-It and it worked fine as a DOS program but I switched to Bradford to get away from DOS. Had no issues with SFREP. I've tried Homputer and it is basically not my cup of tea but is cheap. Wilson is now with SFREP and I would look at either them or Bradford if seeking new software.

Personally I am happy in my own format via narrative. If I have a choice between a form and a narrative, then I probably can prepare a narrative just as quickly as a form considering the substantial caveats, addenda, and expanded text necessary to do the types of rural property that I specialized in.

OTOH, there may be a benefit, especially short term, with staying with Alamode. CoreLogic may stop appraisers from switching by offering discounted access to Realist, and other data that would benefit the appraiser. They could probably give the software away and data mine your info (not that fannie isn't already) and still make a profit.
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I switched to Total from ACI 3 - 4 years ago because it was a crash fest.
Maybe it is better now. :shrug:
 

Thomas Holding

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Through the years I've used Appraise It, Click Forms, and WinTotal. In my opinion, the simplest to use were Appraise It and Click Forms. WinTotal was very cumbersome and sometimes buggy but it had one feature that all the others lacked that made it worth the trouble. It could integrate with spreadsheets and Excel. That single feature is a game changer in that it allows you fill in a report in no time flat from templates that the appraiser designs. For me, the software is mostly a form filling tool. If any other software company would implement this feature, I would switch in a heartbeat.
 

Frelan Alexander

Freshman Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Professional Status
General Public
State
Missouri
Hey all, as many of you know, AlaMode was acquired recently and it has caused some stir. I'm not here to add to the stir because I dont really care all that much about it. What the news did do for me, however, was to get me thinking about my software and whether or not I should at least take a look at what else it out there. I have been an AlaMode WinTotal, and now Total, user for 15+ years and have been happy with my choice thus far, but really only because I haven't tried out any others.

My question to all of you is about your experiences with other software options. I know there is a software/hardware forum but it seems a bit biased since its categorized by software maker so one has to question whether the poster is at all unbiased about their comments when its under a heading for that particular software company. Can you help by telling me what software you use, how long you've been using it, did you switch from another software and why, and the general pros and cons of your choice. I have no intentions of starting pointless debates about the different softwares, more just curious about real world experiences from users of software other than AlaMode, especially from those who may be familiar with Total or WinTotal and are now using something else. Very curious about the accounting side as well since I've been managing paid invoices via the Total software and wondering if other softwares have any kind of invoice management options? Help please!!!
Hey all, as many of you know, AlaMode was acquired recently and it has caused some stir. I'm not here to add to the stir because I dont really care all that much about it. What the news did do for me, however, was to get me thinking about my software and whether or not I should at least take a look at what else it out there. I have been an AlaMode WinTotal, and now Total, user for 15+ years and have been happy with my choice thus far, but really only because I haven't tried out any others.

My question to all of you is about your experiences with other software options. I know there is a software/hardware forum but it seems a bit biased since its categorized by software maker so one has to question whether the poster is at all unbiased about their comments when its under a heading for that particular software company. Can you help by telling me what software you use, how long you've been using it, did you switch from another software and why, and the general pros and cons of your choice. I have no intentions of starting pointless debates about the different softwares, more just curious about real world experiences from users of software other than AlaMode, especially from those who may be familiar with Total or WinTotal and are now using something else. Very curious about the accounting side as well since I've been managing paid invoices via the Total software and wondering if other softwares have any kind of invoice management options? Help please!!!

I have been in the appraisal business for 25 years. When we first started we used a typewriter, sketch paper, hp12c, and common sense.
Bought Homeputer in 1995 and used it until we switched to A La Mode. We have used A La Mode for the past 18 years. Still use the hp12c!

I'm the type that likes to demo software and this past couple of weeks I have downloaded and prepared reports from every vendor.
I don't work for AMC's and only need to generate pdf and xml reports.

I purchased Homeputer. It's not "pretty" but who cares? If I worked for AMC's it would still work.
I had my template created in less than 5 minutes.
I prepared identical reports in both Total and Homeputer.
I uploaded my xml report from Homeputer and it was accepted with no revision request.
When I look at both pdf documents from both vendors they look basically the same.

Paperless office:
Instead of Total's Vault I will use either Onedrive or G drive.
I would suggest this even if you stay with Total.

If you like A La Mode and the purchase by Corelogic does not bother you then you can't beat the price at $349.

My wife is sticking with A La Mode. She is about to retire and doesn't like change. We have different opinions regarding Corelogic.

Total does have a great sketch program. Not crazy about Homeputer sketch software but I honestly haven't gave it a chance.

As for the other Vendors, they are too expensive in my opinion.
I would probably buy Clickforms if they offered a basic package that would compete with Total $349.
Clickforms was the most intuitive if moving from Total.
SFREP/WCA was not for me.

I don't like paying for things I don't need. Why are appraiser's paying for floodmaps, census info, etc?

If you go with a different vendor consider the cost of a good sketch program.

If you switch you will miss Total's built in accounting software. I use it and like it.

Hope that helps.

Corelogic: Too many times they would accept my fee. I would set the appointment. Appraisal would get cancelled sometimes just the day before. No phone call, just cancelled.
Found out from my appraiser friends that they got the assignment for $25 less. My time or money was not important to Corelogic. I could have set appointments for other clients for
those days. Finally told them to quit calling and remove my profile.
I hope this type of mentality does not infect the good folks in Oklahoma.
 

Alan Gertner

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
When I started my appraisal business, I evaluated the available appraisal sw products. There were so many issues with the available appraisal sw products, I considered them unusable. I could not write my appraisal reports in the available appraisal sw products due to the issues and lack of functionality.

Out of necessity, I wrote my own appraisal sw built on commercially available product(s). The sw is a tightly integrated system that covers all my appraisal business requirements. Fifteen years later I’m still happily using my own appraisal sw.

I’ve also noticed other appraisal sw vendors are adding features that I've had for years. It’s about time.

I’ve also noticed other appraisal sw vendors are hyping features that I tried and dropped years ago. As the other vendors acquire a better understanding of the problem(s) they are trying to address, I expect they will realize the issue(s) and drop them too.

The biggest problem I’ve encountered is the large appraisal related sw company(s) and some client(s) have attempted to keep out the smaller appraisal sw company(s). For example, I’ve documented cases where the company(s)/client(s) have implemented appraisal report validation tools which reject valid appraisal reports which do not come from their preferred appraisal sw vendors. The rejected appraisal reports are valid reports, but were not generated by one of their preferred appraisal sw vendors. They tried to force appraisers to use one of their preferred appraisal sw vendors. This is actually sad they’ve stooped to this level to try to kill the competition.

Bueno suerte.


It could integrate with spreadsheets and Excel. That single feature is a game changer in that it allows you fill in a report in no time flat from templates that the appraiser designs. For me, the software is mostly a form filling tool. If any other software company would implement this feature, I would switch in a heartbeat.
Beginning to see the light . . .
 

Fargo1

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Dakota
I started with ACI, I switched to NCVForms when ACI forced me to spend an additional $300+/- to create an xml file of my report. After learning the new software I found I liked NCVForms much better. But a couple years later JDBiggers had to drop NCVForms due to legal action from Bradford. I tried Clickforms and I much prefer it over Total. It is much more intuitive and has fewer bugs. However, Clickforms cost twice as much as doesn't have all the features of Total. So I am currently using Total. But there appears to be a new crop of appraisal software just around the corner. So I am currently sitting tight and waiting to see what my options are in the near future.

SFREP has a new 64bit version coming out soon that looks very promising. Total and ACI have cloud based software coming out and I would be surprised if we don't see more from Clickforms as well. I think by this time next year the software landscape is going to look very different. My best advice is to be willing to install software from several different vendors and to be on the look out for what is coming.
 

Blaine

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Thanks all! Your responses are all very much appreciated! over the past week or so I tried out ClickForms and one other and wasn't all that impressed. I'm sure its just fine for what its supposed to do, but after using AlaMode for as long as I have, I was a bit surprised at how basic and somewhat pedestrian the others appeared. They looked a bit like the old DOS programs i remember from RadioShack computer days. Not that a form filling software needs to be pretty, and I agree with Frelan that theres no need to pay for things not needed or used, but I've come to really rely on the look, feel, and function of AlaMode's software even if at times pissed off at it. Again, I really appreciate all of your input and look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of us with the never ending changes in our shared worlds. All the best to all of you!
 

OSU Beavers

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Oregon
I took another look at ACI by doing a demo. It is still lousy. Of course Alamode still refuses to fix some errors and now they will most likely sell our Vault files to Big Data.
 

Frelan Alexander

Freshman Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Professional Status
General Public
State
Missouri
I took another look at ACI by doing a demo. It is still lousy. Of course Alamode still refuses to fix some errors and now they will most likely sell our Vault files to Big Data.
I keep hearing about some new software that will be available this June. Wish we could get some info. on this.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks