The Inspector's Journal Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Join TIJ Forums
Lost Password?
Subscribe to TIJ's Newsletter

All Forums > Technical Forums > Computers & Reporting Systems Forum >

E-mailing computer generated reports

Previous Topic: Do you save your notes? - Topic - Next Topic: Is this board slow? New TopicReply to TopicShare Topic
Posted By  
Holt, Michigan
Posts: 3
Joined: May, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
Thread Start First Page
[#1] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 4:43:30 PM
Reply with Quote
I'm looking to transition from a hand written report to a computer generated report. I'm considering 3-D as they seem to have the best support in helping me get up to speed. I noticed, based on the survey results in this forum, that many inspectors E-mail reports to clients. My question is, how do clients feel about having to print out a 40-50 page report with pictures using their own paper and home printer? Or should I market the fact I will mail the report. Your insights will be appreciated.

Kevin Goff
Goff Home Inspections, LLC

Kevin R. Goff
State: Arizona
Posts: 758
Joined: Jun, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#2] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 4:51:32 PM
Reply with Quote
Myself, I use 3D, post the report to my website, email if they want and mail a hard copy. It saves me any printing for the agents, but the clients seem to like the hard copy. But, I don't have to worry about how quick I get the hard copy to them.
View Profile
Fuquay Varina, NC
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#3] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 5:29:05 PM
Reply with Quote
I use Home Gauage and they supply a server to upload to. The clint gets a password and username and the report will be there for 5 years. They don't have to print it and they can foward to anyone they wish.
I only have to print 1 or 2 a year. The rest are email.
Mike

Mike
View Profile
Chicago, IL
Posts: 10589
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#4] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 6:22:53 PM
Reply with Quote
I've been emailing .pdf files for about 6 years. It's the only way to go. I get about 2 customers per year that don't want email; honestly, if they don't want the report emailed, I don't want them.

Emailing .pdf is the future. The new "mlsConnect" feature that the realtorzoids are rolling out is all about .pdf file transfer.

5 years ago I had to explain it; now everyone wants it because it's easier for everyone. (I also happen to live in Chicago where pretty much everyone is computer savvy; if you live somewhere where they aren't computer savvy, or where broadband is hard to get, it would probably be problematic.)

Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


View Profile
Kenmore, WA
Posts: 15727
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#5] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 6:25:51 PM
Reply with Quote
Hi,

You can do the same thing with InspectExpress. They'll even give you a little website and you can upload the reports to it so that clients can come and get their own report. It's an extremely easy program to learn and customize. Folks always want to write their own boilerplate so they made it dirt simple to replace the existing boilerplate with your own.

Costs less than most of the others too. http://www.inspectexpress.com

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

View Profile
Chicago, IL
Posts: 10589
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#6] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 6:55:45 PM
Reply with Quote
Inspect Express is nice in that they include a .pdf "print engine" w/the software.
Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


lawrenceville, georgia
Posts: 354
Joined: Sep, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#7] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 7:48:50 PM
Reply with Quote
I noticed, based on the survey results in this forum, that many inspectors E-mail reports to clients. My question is, how do clients feel about having to print out a 40-50 page report with pictures using their own paper and home printer? Or should I market the fact I will mail the report. Your insights will be appreciated.

Kevin Goff
Goff Home Inspections, LLC
[/quote]
__________________________
Kevin;
Why 40-50 pages? I have an economy 3 page report that says it all and is easily and quickly understood by client. I have a full report (3D)That is 10 to 16 pages depending on condition and size of home. Can't see any reason for more.

But of course human nature being what it is client's think more is better even if they never use most of more and apparently they don't mind paying for more even if they don't need more.

What did I just say maybe I need more budweiser.

Paul Burrell

View Profile
Algonquin, IL
Posts: 71
Joined: Mar, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#8] Posted: 03/21/2006 - 9:12:08 PM
Reply with Quote
Kevin,
I use Inspectvue for my reports. It has an encrypted server for me to upload the reports to, and if my clients are absent, (In Washington, Aruba, or Switzerland) they can view the report from any terminal that has web access. This makes it great if their moving in from out of state as well and cannot be there for the inspection.

It also gets everyone on the same page, by the next morning after the inspection by the client simply sharing the client name and password. I use my Website and then place an Icon on the desktop that automatically opens a secured browser to the server.

Since I include Digital Photos in my report, my typical file is about 20megs. Most e-mail servers can only handle a banwidth of 10 megs.

Hope that helps, Good Luck!!!

Brad

inspect@dls.net
www.premiuminspections.com
View Profile
Mount Pleasant, SC
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#9] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 05:04:21 AM
Reply with Quote
Brad,
You need to resize your pics!! I can send a report (30 pages) with 35-40 pictures that doesn't exceed 2mb. I use HomeGauge and Primo .pdf to to 'print' and then send them as attachments. I also use Reporthost to upload to (similar to the HG upgrade hosting, but free)...

-Mike

www.atozinspector.com
Alexandira, VA
Posts: 35
Joined: Aug, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#10] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 05:13:12 AM
Reply with Quote
I started out using ITA reports only. Now I go through the inspection taking pictures of all of the defects and on-site I still use the checklist (still have about 70 left) to report the makeup of the house, and when I get home I create a defect list with pictures and then email that to them. This way the customer gets something at the inspection and then they get the defect list that evening. No complaints so far. Most of the defect lists are 10-20 pages long.

I use OpenOffice to create the document and then just save as PDF. I hate paying for software and OpenOffice is free.

When I run out of the ITA reports. I will write my own report software and go from there.

Kevin Teitel
House-Pro Inspections

Holt, Michigan
Posts: 3
Joined: May, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#11] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 05:53:55 AM
Reply with Quote
Thanks to all who responded to my question. Your comments are helping me continue to sort it all out. Between the 3-4 software packages I'm considering,(3-D, IE, Home Gauge, and InspectVue) I like them all. I'm looking for the one that provides the best support (i.e., a DVD, video, or some type of "visual learning" aide).

Unfortunitely I will not know if I made the right decision until after my purchase. Paul B., the only reason I stated 40-50 pages was based on the sample report I viewed on the 3-D web site. I'm hopeful mine will not be that large. Mike, thanks for the comments on the pic sizes. I would not have known to ask or consider this issue.

If anyone can comment on how fast they were able to transition from a written report to a computer generated report and why (how did you learn), I would appreciate hearing from you. One last fact. I still plan on giving my clients a written summary report (1-2 pages) on-site so that they can address their inspection contingency, and then my full computer-generated will follow.

Kevin Goff

Kevin R. Goff
View Profile
Spring Hill (Nashville area), Tennessee
Posts: 3660
Joined: Nov, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#12] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 06:00:59 AM
Reply with Quote
I think that any report over 30 pages is too much. I use 3D and a large home with many problems will be around 25 pages, and this includes several photos. 3D allows you to place 1,2,3, or 4 photos per line if you want. My normal 3D report is around 18-20 pages and that includes about two or three pages of fodder.

I email about 99% of my reports and I have never had anyone complain about printing the reports and I have been emailing for about six years.

Scott Patterson
http://www.traceinspections.com

"Minds are like parachutes they only function when open"
View Profile
Kenmore, WA
Posts: 15727
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#13] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 07:13:35 AM
Reply with Quote
Oh,

Well, if you're looking for a visual aid then you should check out I.E. because they have a video tutorial to walk you through the process. It's on their site. Check it out. You can also download a demo and do some live inspections with it to get a feel for the product before you decide if you want to purchase it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

woodland park, co
Posts: 21
Joined: Feb, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#14] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 8:40:28 PM
Reply with Quote
HG also has video tutorials....also, if you are afraid to make the wrong choice, you can lease HG w/out a contract..if you decide you hate it....you aren't out much cash. I don't think IV does that....good luck.
AtEase Home Inspections
Colorado
State: Arizona
Posts: 758
Joined: Jun, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#15] Posted: 03/22/2006 - 9:15:49 PM
Reply with Quote
Again, my clients WANT the hard copy. They like the .pdf because it is quicker but they really like the printed report.
View Profile
DeWitt, Mi
Posts: 3613
Joined: Jan, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#16] Posted: 03/23/2006 - 04:27:57 AM
Reply with Quote
Kevin
Our company went to computer generated and then switched back because of local market conditions. We are in process of figger'it out again, but mostly for our benefit. Customers and clients still like that hard copy in their hands. Hopefully we will devise a product that meets everyone's expectations.
Ain't it wonderful that we are couple of miles apart and communicate via Mike's board?

Les
Bellingham, WA
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#17] Posted: 03/23/2006 - 9:21:51 PM
Reply with Quote
Hi -
I use Report Host - an online report. Pic.s are limited in size, so they will not take up huge amounts of space in the report. I then e-mail the link to the client, and also most likely their agent. ( I have permission to send to the agent first.) No pdf.s - it is great.The report is available on line - forever - at least this is what the guys at Report Host say.
As a service I do often mail a printed copy, it is not the norm around here, but I like to make this offer to the client.
Cyndy

View Profile
Prattville, AL
Posts: 181
Joined: Dec, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#18] Posted: 03/25/2006 - 1:24:40 PM
Reply with Quote
I email and follow up with a hard copy. I use Inspect Express and I am the only guy in my area not using a checklist or partial narrative. My report format is a strong marketing tool for me, and I am seeing real benefit from using a full narrative report professionally formatted with TOC, headers and footers etc. I have differentiated myself from my competitors and I get a comment on nearly every inspection alluding to how my format is superior to any the client has seen before. Choosing IE when I started is the best business decision I have made.

Tim
www.rqahomeinspections.com

View Profile
Rochester, MN
Posts: 129
Joined: Apr, 2002
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#19] Posted: 03/25/2006 - 3:35:49 PM
Reply with Quote
As has been mentioned on this subject before, when going from your handwritten report to a computer generated report you can plan on it taking more time, not saving time. But after the learning curve I don't think you will want to go back. I have used 3D for 6-7 years now and am a great supporter. My report usually runs 22-25 pages. I do not do an on-site report, but I do carry an HP450 printer that I then print a summary page via infrared beam from my iPAQ for the client to have at the end of the inspection. I then write the full report back at my desk at the end of the day and email or print off a hard copy for the client. I'm not aware of a DVD type instruction for the 3D system, however I've found the technical support to be very good.

Robert E Lee
GENERAL Home Inspections, Inc

woodland park, co
Posts: 21
Joined: Feb, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#20] Posted: 03/26/2006 - 7:23:30 PM
Reply with Quote
I always wonder about his, but as I am pretty new perhaps I am just sloooow still.

My summary is where all the difficult writing is located and I am never ready to write it until I am relaxing in my office with some tunage....I don't ever envision myself writing this best seller summary in the home with everyone waiting on me....

How do you do it?

AtEase Home Inspections
Colorado
View Profile
Prattville, AL
Posts: 181
Joined: Dec, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#21] Posted: 03/27/2006 - 08:24:30 AM
Reply with Quote
Quote:Originally posted by tneumann

I always wonder about his, but as I am pretty new perhaps I am just sloooow still.

My summary is where all the difficult writing is located and I am never ready to write it until I am relaxing in my office with some tunage....I don't ever envision myself writing this best seller summary in the home with everyone waiting on me....

How do you do it?


It seems that I do it much like you do. Back at the office, agonizing over every word, taking a looonngg time. The upside is that I am developing my own archived boiler plate, and my archived comments are slowly starting to get repeated use. I can envision the day (when I get to 1,000+ inspections), where many of my observations will be archived and will just need a little editing for the individual house. I dont think I will ever do a report onsite (unless the market demands it), I'm just too slow.

Tim

www.rqahomeinspections.com

Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 137
Joined: Oct, 2002
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#22] Posted: 04/05/2006 - 2:56:21 PM
Reply with Quote
I e-mail 99%. If they don't have one, I send it to their agent or a relative or neighbor - anybody that has one.
I use Whispersolutions.com reports. They originally just had a Texas report - now they have one for all. It's great and less expensive than all that I've heard of. I tried a couple of others before. Thumbnail Pics, picture edit w/arrows, text, etc., spell check, pdf, a bunch of stuff that I don't understand and apparently don't need to, Create your own boilerplate. pass word protect if desired, 30 - 40 pics - approx 2mb. 30 day free trial. Free updates. The only thing I give clients on site is a hand written receipt on the back of a business card if they pay in cash. I write and e-mail the report later.
Edit: There is no separate summary - the report is a summary.

View Profile
Comer, GA
Posts: 1193
Joined: Apr, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#23] Posted: 04/07/2006 - 06:08:09 AM
Reply with Quote
Some of you guys make me feel like a close-mouthed Quaker when I feel like garrulous talk-a-matic because I generate my 3000-4000 word narratives that still only run to 12-16 pages.

Kevin said, ..."I use OpenOffice to create the document and then just save as PDF. I hate paying for software and OpenOffice is free..."

I do my report on Word, which has given a little trouble lately when going from hard-drive or e-mail doc to printer. It throws my formatting around sometimes and makes my hard work look disorganized and stupid. Maybe because I still run Word '97 on new XP machine, but I say why buy new software when the former editions are way sufficient for what I need to do.

I have downloaded Open Office and have begun to look at it. Kevin, when you say you save as PDF I guess that means you bought the full Acrobat?

I e-mail most of my reports as Word attachments and every body seems to like it.


"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, for only ourselves can free our minds"-Bob Marley
woodland park, co
Posts: 21
Joined: Feb, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#24] Posted: 04/07/2006 - 06:24:25 AM
Reply with Quote
There are many free pdf creators....I use primopdf.com Others I know use cutepdf...
AtEase Home Inspections
Colorado
View Profile
Mount Pleasant, SC
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun, 2005
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#25] Posted: 04/12/2006 - 04:44:36 AM
Reply with Quote
Primo pdf rocks. It has never hung up my print spooler like cute would occasionally do... and it's totally free...

Can't beat it!

-Mike

www.atozinspector.com
Alexandira, VA
Posts: 35
Joined: Aug, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
E-mailing computer generated reports
[#26] Posted: 04/17/2006 - 05:48:15 AM
Reply with Quote
I use OpenOffice to create the defect list. I put the full size image (1600x1200) in the regular file and then just drag the image to the size I want in the report. Once the report is complete I just go to File, select save as PDF, and then select reduce image to 100dpi and it will reduce all of the images to 100dpi on the fly. A report with 50 pictures is around 500k. Not too large to email and the images are fairly good quality. If the client needs the full image, I will send it upon request. Have not had any complaints so far.

Kevin Teitel
House-Pro Inspections

   
Previous Topic: Do you save your notes? - Topic - Next Topic: Is this board slow? New TopicReply to TopicShare Topic
Jump To:
The Inspector's Journal Forums © 2002-2013 all topics or replies that are posted on The Inspector's Journal
are copyrighted material of the original author that posted the topic or reply.
Go To Top Of Page 
 
Pick an RSS Feed

The views expressed on this website are the views of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the sponsors.
© 2002-2013 Copyright DevWave Software Inc.
Find a Home Inspector

Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000