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Online Appraisal Tracking Programs

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Heather Guzman

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Tennessee
I am looking into some of the different online web tracking programs. I have 5 appraisers working for me and am looking for ways to "streamline" the appraisal status process. I've gotten price quotes for Appraisal Tracker 2002, Appraisal Track, etc. Does anyone use any of these online tracking programs or have any ideas? Thanks!
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
What software are you using? Wintotal has a built in tracking program.
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
Heather,

This may seem oversimplied, but it works great. There are 3 of us. No secretarial staff.

We use the enamel write on/wipe off boards. Eac h person has a board and the board has 14 lines top to bottom. The lines go Mon-Sun and Mon to Sun. There's enough space on each line to write up to 3 appointments. Each line has Day of week, Date, Address, Appt time, Type of report.

It is quick to update, or erase. Appoints beyond the two weeks we write at the bottom of the board and move them into place when we open up that date. We even put personal appointments on the board...this way we do not double schedule someone.

At a quick glance from anyplace in the office you can see what is coming up and available appointment times.

We then use MSWorks to log in all jobs and do the generalized record keeping of paid invoices etc. Again this is super simple to use. We keep an ongoing log sheet on the table. Every couple of weeks we just update the MSWorks file and print out the new pages.

Other than the boards, nothing special to buy. I hate having to sign onto the computer to see the status of something....takes too much time, too many times.

Terry
 

Susan Priore

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I'm actually looking into this right now for my company...however, I'm too busy to truly dive into the project, I'm meeting a Techie in two days to discuss the possibility of creating my own web-based tracking and receiving program though.

An associate recommended ETracker... however I have not had the time to call him about the service. My associate really likes ETracker and says it tracks appraisal status and accounts receivables... The contact information she gave me is: Vlad (610) 220-1100. He is located in Philly, PA area.
 

Anthony Blackburn

Sophomore Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2002
The thing I don't like about online solutions is the pay per file system. You pay a fee per file. Over time, that adds up. I have never found a great tracking system, with one exception. http://www.tac-data.com/ Todd Cheffer is a former appraiser turned geek and he has developed tracking software that we are implementing Monday 2/24. I was involved in the design and he is extremely accomodating on customising the software.

Regards
 

john brown

Sophomore Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I took a look at Etracker - Could not find out anything about the company. Search engines brought me to links showing that it was somehow related to another shop mla appraisers www.mla-inc.com . Not sure if I would like to turn over my customer list to another appraisal company.
 

Justin Czerniak

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
I have used crystal reports and track it and I have also built forms for of all things outlook.
for other companys inthe past.
just to give you and some other ideas.
 

Vlad Bien-Aime

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2003
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Pennsylvania
I saw this posting and I wanted to clarify some information about eTrac. Our software would allow the 5 appraisers that work for you to update their status from anywhere they had Internet access. The system could also be setup to auto-notify your clients of any status changes. eTrac is not a pay per transaction service like many other systems that penalize your business for growing. We charge a flat monthly fee for our service that includes a web site, domain registration, ordering, tracking, accounting, scheduling and delivery.
We are a technology company and we make the most comprehensive web based appraisal management program on the market. We are not affiliated with any appraisal company. MLA Inc. (NY) was one of our 3 primary beta testers from 2001 and now are one of our clients. Reape Jeffers and Associates (PA), and Appraisal Solutions (CA) where also major participants for the requirements in developing our product. Our servers are hosted in multiple secure data centers and no one has access to any data but their own. Mr. John Brown I would urge you to use caution, and get the facts before you make such uniformed posting. Incidentally Susan Priore whom you see in this thread is now also one of our many happy clients.
I have worked in technology field my entire life and for the past 5 years specifically with appraisal companies offering custom solutions. There are many services available on the market and you should investigate them all thoroughly to find the right solution for your needs. Here are some things to pay special attention to when you look for an online appraisal management solution.
1. Database reliability – does the software utilize a desktop database not designed for multi-user access such as Microsoft Access, Filemaker Pro, FoxPro, etc..
2. System redundancy- if there is a system failure how will down time be prevented?
3. Tech Support – toll free tech support?
4. Subscription Terms- month to month, free trial, transaction fee?
5. Data privacy – is your data being used by anyone besides your company?
6. Data mining- is the data delivered in a format to populate an AVM?
7. Cost of ownership- does the solution require any additional hardware, software, personnel or licensing?

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 877-693-8722.

Thanks,

Vladimir Bien-Aime
Technical Manager
[email protected]
http://www.MyeTrac.com
 

Pat Butler

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Since when has MS Access not allowed for multi-user access?
 

Vlad Bien-Aime

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2003
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Pennsylvania
Pat, I apologize if I was unclear. I didn’t mean that Microsoft Access could not be used in a multi-user environment I just think it should ONLY be used in low volume environments. We have the fastest product on the market and the primary reason is our database technology (SQL Server Enterprise). Access is slow and faulty under stress because it is not a client / server architecture. I love MS Access and we still use it for many applications in-house but would never considering running a system that had more than 10 concurrent users on it.

The prototype we developed in early 2000 used MS Access. The prototype became sluggish and stopped responding after about 15 simultaneous users became active. Although Microsoft says it can handle up to 255 users they recommend only 25 – 50 simultaneous users. In our “real world“ experience we have witnessed poor performance between 15 and 25 users depending on what the users were doing. Some database operations put more stress on the system than others. Again it always comes down to; the right tool for the right job. If you need a program to handle 50 of your clients, 10 of your appraisers and 3 of your office staff than MS Access is not going to work real well for you.

MS Access is not designed for mission critical operation where you need access to the system 24 hours a day. It is also very unsecured in a networked environment because users need access to the MDB file. They can literally copy the file to anywhere they want directly from your network drive. The password protection is easily bypassed with the freely downloadable lost password tool from Microsoft. The MS Access database is also prone to error, hence the compact and repair tool that come with many applications developed with Access. You can’t even backup the database while anyone is using it, so most people never even back it up. So, if you have an Access based product as your database grows you will see a significant decline in performance. You also have a 2-gig limit to watch out for. Bottom line if it’s valuable information, like your client list or receivables, I would NEVER have them in Access. I have included a few links from if you are interested. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Vladimir Bien-Aime
Technical Manager
[email protected]
http://www.MyeTrac.com
877-693-8722

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default....lientserver.asp

http://www.sacmasq.org/presentations/Acces...L/contents.html

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default....ml/acmsdeop.asp
 
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