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Software Question

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Jim Hill

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I have for the past ten years used ACI software but I think it might be time for a change.

I am tried of purchasing software from companies that when you have a question about their expensive software tell you to buy a service contract if you need help.

Are there any companies that offer great tech support and stand behind their product with good customer service?

I would like to hear from other appraisers about what software they are using and why.

I have seen some real basic programs for appraisers and I have also seen the programs that seem to have more extras then most appraisers will every use.

I know that many lenders also have software in mind that they would like us to use.

Jim Hill
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Hi Jim --

I've used ClickForms and AppraisersToolBox since forever, and I'm generally pleased with the functionality of the software and tech support from Bradford Technologies -- although the current version (5.9) has a toolbar "feature" that makes me want to revert to a previous version.

When I was a trainee, my supervisor used WinTotal from a la mode. I didn't care for it, but it's good software for a multi-appraiser firm. As a one man shop, the straightforward functionality of ClickForms works for me.

There might be some cheaper alternatives, but I'm a generally satisfied user.
 

EDWARD BERRY

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Why,

Once You Get It Set Up It Works--except For VA Addendum.

Lot Less Expensive.

Arkie Ed
 

Couch Potato

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Jim, you seem to be saying you want a company that will continue to give you service even when your contract for that service has expired. What you are expecting of ACI is like a client asking you to add a clarifying comment to an appraisal report you completed two years ago. Would you not expect payment for the additional service?

I don't think you are looking to switch for the right reasons and likely would be disappointed with any choice. You probably ought to stick with ACI. (Keep in mind you could not pay me to use ACI. I think it is the worst piece of crap I've ever used.) If you want to switch, my preferred program is also ClickFORMS; however, that choice is related to the function of the program not the price. When all is said and done all the programs cost about the same when similarly equipped.

If low cost is your goal use PDF copies of the forms with Acrobat Professional. You can create form fields or use the Typewriter function. There are templates to create the forms with OpenOffice which would be another option. Or you could use Excel to make your own templates. There is no shortage of alternatives.
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I've never known ACI to act that way and I haven't bought a service contract in 4 years.

TC
 

Jim Hill

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Couch Potato:

I am not looking for a Free Serivce Contract at all.

I wanted to see what others are using and why.

It does seem like we live in a day and age where you spent a great deal of money for software and when you ask a question the next thing you hear is do you have a service aggreement.

Some compaines are better then others and that is why I asked the questions I asked.

You seem to have read more into what I said then I meant.


Jim Hill
 

BlueDog007

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
South Carolina
Jim-

I agree with Couch for the most part, with the exception to his comments about ACI. I too have used ACI for a long time (15 years). It's simple and gets the job done. I looked into WinTotal not too long ago, but it just has too many bells and whistles in my opinion. I dislike paying the $395 yearly service agreement fee to ACI, but I consider it "insurance" and supportive of ACI's development of the software. And Couch's analogy of one of your clients coming back to you for additional information for a file you completed 2 years ago is right on target. You would, or should, expect to be compensated for additional work that far down the line. Pay the service agreement fee and stick with ACI. Or, post your problems here in the ACI forum and hopefully a member will respond to help you out. Even though I pay their fee, I rarely have to call their technical support office. Unlike many other software providers from what I understand.
 

Gregory Beck

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I use wintotal and have been for 10 years I like their service, their side by side view of the comparables is great, the ease of maps, flood maps etc the ability to have a paperless file because of their workfile the 24/7 support., the vault my xsite.I think their the most innovative and ahead of everyone else in the appraisal software buiness.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Clickforms is $299 per year...

They have more expensive deals, anywhere from $49 on up per month, but I found many of the extras included were just not needed. I use the $299 per month and buy the extra add ons when actually needed.
 
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