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FIELD DATA GATHERING

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EDWARD BERRY

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
AN OPEN LETTER TO ACI AND USERS OF ACI.

LISTED below are highly editied posts about POCKET TOTAL and its use for ACI on the tech forum.

What it amounts to in Arkansas language is for several years we have needed a field data gathering system so that the data can be entered into the report form in an efficient manner.

Our assignments come in slugs, rather in a level manner. Thus it is not uncommon to inspect 4-9 properties in a day. This means that even with canned responses it is going to take 4 days to complete the asignments. However if the field data could be input to the reports it would only take about 1-2 days. SPEED is EVERYTHING.

From the posts, it apperas that the products are now available.

However, from what USERS say, the ACI program is no good.

From the posts, it appears that POCKET TOTAL is what appraisers need.

BUT, will not work with ACI unless they put some"htmls hooks" on it.

According to the posts, ACI thinks they do not need to because theirs is OK.

Thus in a kind way, would it be possible for me to pay ACI their standard fee for their ACI MOBILE, and get the "HOOKS" rather than a program that is no good?

That way, I can continue to use ACI AND have a field gathering (POCKET TOTAL) system?

I am loosing money and customers because it is impossibe to increase productivity without this system.

Think about it---5-10 extra appraisals a MONTH extra is not bad.

After inspecting 3-5 properties and driving 150-200 miles, I am just too tired to work any more that day, BUT if the data was in the report and comps typed in, I could review, proof and sign at least two of them.(wireless)

What say ye, appraisers of the world?

Am I just some nut that has done 7,500 appraisals and needs to make more money easier or not?

What say ye, ACI?
HOPEFULLY-ed in arkansas

following are parts of earlier post on the tech forum.
ay 13, 2002 10:01 am Post subject: Re: POCKET TOTAL

Ed --

It's a complete rewrite. Not one line of code was retained. The old version used a "list" approach, and this one looks like the forms. There's no comparison at all. And I can assure you that those trying it are saying "Yes" in a big way. There have already been posts on this and other forums from new users who love it. It's literally "flying off the shelves" here.

ACI would have to do the integration work themselves. They have to put some "hooks" inside their program to write out the XML files and send them to the Pocket PC, and vice versa (read an XML file) when you return from the field.

Here's a link to the screens. Just use the Next button to see more...

http://www.alamode.com/pocket/pkt1.htm

Dave Biggers
Ceo


Frederick --

Pocket TOTAL can already be integrated with ACI or any other forms software. We built it to use XML on the desktop for synchronization. If your vendor, ACI I assume, already supports AI Ready (and they do), then they have all the XML expertise needed to seamlessly link their desktop software with Pocket TOTAL and Pocket Apex combined. It would take any vendor less than a week to do it, and you wouldn't have to spend any money buying new desktop software.

Just tell ACI you want them to get moving on integration with Pocket TOTAL, and you can be using it -- and Pocket Apex -- quickly if they listen. Otherwise, they're leaving you in a bad spot: Either forcing you to be stuck with slow Palm devices and no Pocket Apex, or getting much faster Pocket PC's with Pocket TOTAL and Pocket Apex by switching to WinTOTAL.

Since it sounds like you don't want to switch, they need to try not to force you to do so. As I said, in about a week of simple programming on the desktop, they can have it all perfectly integrated and working for you and all the other ACI users.

Dave Biggers
CEO
a la mode, inc.
 

cgjerdetu

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Way to go Ed :D

We should start a "I want MY Pocket Total" campaign with ACI.

I really do think that Pocket Total can be a time saver.

Carolyn
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Pocket this and pocket that; if your really concerned about getting more work out, why not set up a van ready to go - portable computer; satalite dish; mobile phone; fax and anything else you need. If your going to do the work one time, why not from a van.

A few years back when the big changes were taking place, I remember an article about this fellow in Nevada or Arizona and he set up a van as a mobile office, did everything on the road and when he got home, it was all his time; his comment was "I love it"; I think it was a Chevy or Ford - it was set up quite comfortably.

If your going from a palm or anything else, you still have to go back to the office and work on it more.

Just a thought 8)
 

cgjerdetu

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California

If your going from a palm or anything else, you still have to go back to the office and work on it more.

Just a thought 8)
But with a handheld device, you don't need to record the data gathered on-site twice.

Wouldn't it be helpful to take notes on-site and have those notes transfer directly into the report, draw the sketch on-site -- it would have to save time.

Of course realistically there is going to be a learning curve.

I'm really a fan of doing a task once. Prior to being an appraiser I worked for the operations side of a national mortgage banking firm -- they had a slogan "one and done." The fewer times a file needes to be worked on, the more productive and profitable it is. I'm not saying that "one and done" means to cut corners. I 'm not talking about quality, rushing through an assignment, or not proofreeding an appraisal. The idea is that you don't spend time doing the same thing more than once. For example, if I measure the house, I should only have to record that measurement once, in the sketch program.

I see handheld appraisal software as a way for me to spend less time on data entry and more time on data analysis. What does the information mean vs. just recording what is there. Of course I would hope it would also allow me to do a couple of extra appraisals.

Go Mercury! :twisted:
 
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