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What reporting system do you use?


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I was wondering what reporting system you guys use. I've inspected maybe 20 houses for friends or people who know me, and I used Matrix reports for all of them. I thought they were laid out pretty well.

Now that I'm really going into this business I was wondering if there is something better. I would rather use hand written reports, but I do have a laptop and buying a portable printer is no big deal.

The problem I have with computer reports, and check me if I'm wrong, is you have to inspect the home, then go to your computer and fill out report, then print it, then put it in order.

Seems like the hand wriiten way is faster, you can inspect and fill out report kind of at the same time.

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Check out our sponsor, Inspect Express. Their software can be used in two different modes. As a full-narrative type report, or as a semi-narrative/semi-checklist type. How you do your input is up to you. You can do it with either program on-site very quickly with a touch-screen computer - pen tablet or notebook - or you can make notes and then go home and do the report at home.

Personally, I think it makes more sense to use the narrative report format for when you input data at home and then the semi-narrative/semi-checklist format for on-site reports.

Best of all, the program is dirt simple to learn.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I'm an inspection software demo junkie. I like playing around with different software thinking that I may find something that I like better than Whisper Solutions. For almost 4 years now I've used Whisper Solutions and it has been great. The developers are great and have always been prompt when tbe few problems I did have popped up. One of the nice things about the program is that it is not MS Word based. It's a data base type system instead. Plus, it can't be beat at the cost of $225. You can download it and use the full version free for 30 days at www.whispersolutions.com. It's in a Texas version, but they will customize it for you if you ask.

The other two programs that I like are Inspect Express and Nspector. If I had to start all over from scratch, I'd give both a real hard look also.

You need to try several. Get the demos and play around with all the different programs. Try each out for several days, or weeks would be better. Once you settle on a program, you'll be loyal to that program because you will not want to change your personal preferences and saved statements to another inspection program, so it's important to pick the one you like the best the first time!

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I downloaded the demo of Whisper Solutions, I really like it a lot.

One question. Once you print this out, from this software or any other, how do you guys present it to your clients? Do you 3 hole punch it and put it in a binder of some sort, or a folder? Just wondering how you present all these loose printed pages.

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Inside the Whisper Program, you can save to a PDF file. I then email it. If I print it out, I just staple it at the upper left corner. I have a custom cover page that I created in Whisper, to the cover page will be on top whether I print it or email it.

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Originally posted by Bach

I downloaded the demo of Whisper Solutions, I really like it a lot.

One question. Once you print this out, from this software or any other, how do you guys present it to your clients? Do you 3 hole punch it and put it in a binder of some sort, or a folder? Just wondering how you present all these loose printed pages.

I use pre-punched paper, and put it in a clear front folder. My front page has my logo, customer name and address, and a "beauty shot" of the house. This cost me less than $1 per report.

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I use an MS Word template developed by Jim Hemsell, a Denton, Texas inspector. It is really just for Texas inspectors meeting the Texas SOP, so I'm not recommending it per say, but it brings me to the presentation question.

My reports are 13 to 20 pages with a cover sheet identifying the parties and the property. No pictures, no folders. I just hand them the report and a paper clip and this has worked for me very well for years. It also makes emailing the report very simple. The client gets exactly the same report in person or electronically.

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Hi,

My reports are in MS Word too. I use Inspect Express and I deliver primarily by email. Occasionally I'll send them in pdf format or by fax.

Every once in a while I'll get asked to deliver a hard copy. Those I print in color with a photo of the house on the cover.

I use 120# linen-finish ivory card stock and cream colored 24# 25% cotton fiber paper with a maroon or black comb binder. The back cover is printed on the inside surface with an information sheet entitled When Things Go Wrong, that, combined with the way I do my pre-inspection briefings, goes a long way toward heading off misunderstandings about the report and has seen me through 9+ years without a lawsuit or even sitting down to arbitration.

Folks seem to like the bound report a lot - a whole lot more than the $10. binder and fluff that was included in the report that I used to deliver when I was a franchisee. My cost is about $1.50 per report.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 6 months later...

Bach,

If you are just starting out,then stick with the Matrix or Matrix Deluxe although I can't justify the expense of the Matrix Delux. The Matrix will help you to peform a more thorough inspections. Software programs take some getting use to and should be used after you get some experience under your belt. Your inspections will be more thorough with the Matrix for now. I would stick with it until you feel comfortable, the Matrix can keep you in the game if you are having an off day.

Just my humble opinion.

I use the 3D software because I feel as though it is the most flexible and customizable. I have in the past first used InspectIt, then I went to the Matrix then I went to 3D and love it.

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I have been using a check list/narrative report from the AHIT camp this program runs on top of Word. I like that the check list leads you through the house and makes data collection simple. I then make comments in the remarks fields as to any negative conditions or those maintenance recommendations I may have. Comments can be copied and sent to the summary page at the time of insertion. I also insert pictures but the place holders have to be inserted at the end and pagenation has to be manauly adjusted. My report presentation is a 35 page bound report with company cover page with a picture of the house, address, client name, date ect... I use prepunched paper with the a clear plastic cover and black back page. I have been evaluating a paper punch and comb installation machine. The pre-punched paper stock is trouble some with double feeds which is a major pain in the *** when you print double sided. The punch would allow me to use better paper stock. I have been looking at Borealis Home Inspectors program. I like that it allows you to insert place holders for pictures. At the end when you download your photo's to the program the pictures are automaticaly inserted into the proper place holder. Data collection is my either palm or laptop/tablet. Printing can be done directly from a plam pilot.

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3D works for me. Canned statements can be added easily to the pull down menu which makes it easy to customize report for your own personal preference.

Little story on myself. I had a customized report that was perfect for me. However being one of those folks that can not leave well enough alone I deleted the entire roof section while messing with report. No matter what I did or how hard I tried I could not retrieve it. I had to start all over with a new report [:-banghea.

Paul Burrell

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