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Which is better HIP Pro or Palm Tech


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I am just getting started in the business and have narrowed my choices on reporting software down to HIP Pro and Palm Tech. I have done a free demo on both and I really like Palm Tech but can't decide if it is worth the extra money. I know i don't want to produce a "cheap" report but $900 compared to $500 is a big difference, is there something I am missing in the demos that justifies the price difference. I don't mind spending the money but I don't want to "throw it away" for a product that simply overpriced.

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On 9/2/2016 at 8:05 AM, platshaw said:

I am just getting started in the business and have narrowed my choices on reporting software down to HIP Pro and Palm Tech. I have done a free demo on both and I really like Palm Tech but can't decide if it is worth the extra money. I know i don't want to produce a "cheap" report but $900 compared to $500 is a big difference, is there something I am missing in the demos that justifies the price difference. I don't mind spending the money but I don't want to "throw it away" for a product that simply overpriced.

If you mean Home Inspector Pro (also called HIP), HIP is.

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Personally I use HomeGuage, but if I was going to switch to one of those two, I'd go with Home Inspector Pro.  You're going to be spending a LOT of time with your software.  Get the best one for you, not the cheapest or most expensive one.

I've seen a lot of inspectors start off with bad software and then have to make the switch a couple years later.  Just made life harder on them.

Get it right the first time.

Call their customer support lines and see what kind of responses you get.  Tutorials and customer software support is important when you're first learning to use it.  Palm-Tech's support ain't so great from what I'm seeing online in inspector discussions.

Most important, LEARN TO USE IT.

I've seen a LOT of software complaints, wishes, etc, that make it clear the user never bothered to really learn how to use the software and what it can do.  Prepare to write your own narratives or edit the pre-provided ones to suit your style.  The ones provided with the software, no matter which one you get, all suck.

Write like you talk.

 

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I have the old version of HIP and used Palmtech when I did some subcontract inspecting.

The HI Pro version I have allows me to create a pdf file on my own computer. If you go this route, backups onto an external drive or somewhere other than the laptop, easy to do, or use the Cloud storage they offer. Support is excellent.

You can easily create templates for the various types of inspections you do and can access templates written by other inspectors, but I prefer my own capitalization and grammar.

PalmTech required me to log into their website in the cloud, all very well until you find you can't log in from that particular location.

I didn't have to log in every time, so could write reports for a couple of weeks, sending reports to cloud storage when done. A link to the report is quick to send by email to the client.

Then one day you write the report, with lots of nice pics inserted and hit send and a window pops up, "You need to log in". Log in to Palmtech all right, but ... can't go back from there to the report you just wrote. It is gone. 😖

Various times I contacted Palmtech for help with their software, it was always after one of their updates but somehow the blame was always on my equipment or something I was doing wrong. This was 5 years ago so don't know if they've improved.

Tablets or cellphone cameras are supposed to make things faster, until you set the tablet down and it slides off the hood of your truck and shatters, that wasn't me thankfully. Cell battery goes dead from all the pics and you need to call the client at such and such time. I stuck with stand alone camera with a good flash, Nikon Sport or similar, and load pics quickly into a laptop with a real keyboard. Big monitor for showing clients some of the nasty pictures. Can't see much on a cellphone screen. Reports become very fast, and more time can be spent inspecting with a flashlight, ladder and screwdriver, old school. Good luck.

 

 

 

 

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No matter which you choose,  remember one thing.  These programs are generic and for the most part may not meet the minimum reporting standards required by your state.  Make sure you go through each section and make sure it complies with your local requirements. 

Anatol

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No matter what program you choose, none of report writing programs are ready to use out of the box. They have templates to work with, but most come with poorly written text book sounding comments. Some of the boiler plate comments might be OK but most are not. You will need to build up your template with your own wording for auto comments and descriptions. It's ok to use pre-worked content, just make sure to tweak it to your liking so it sounds like it's coming from you. I have been inspecting homes full time for almost 15 years and can tell you the hardest part is writing a good report that tells the story, is easy to read and understand, and keeps you from getting sued.      

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On 10/16/2020 at 10:27 PM, Marc said:

I'm not impressed with any of them. I use Word.

I have never seen acceptable canned software.

I used Word for many years until my version "retired".  Then I threw off the Microsoft manacles and switched to open source software, specifically called LibreOffice.

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13 hours ago, Jim Baird said:

I have never seen acceptable canned software.

I used Word for many years until my version "retired".  Then I threw off the Microsoft manacles and switched to open source software, specifically called LibreOffice.

 

13 hours ago, Jim Baird said:

I have never seen acceptable canned software.

I used Word for many years until my version "retired".  Then I threw off the Microsoft manacles and switched to open source software, specifically called LibreOffice.

No matter what program you choose, none of report writing programs are ready to use out of the box. They have templates to work with, but most come with poorly written text book sounding comments. Some of the boiler plate comments might be OK but most are not. You will need to build up your template with your own wording for auto comments and descriptions. It's ok to use pre-worked content, just make sure to tweak it to your liking so it sounds like it's coming from you. I have been inspecting homes full time for almost 15 years and can tell you the hardest part is writing a good report that tells the story, is easy to read and understand, and keeps you from getting sued.      

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6 hours ago, Trent Tarter said:

I have seen some real good reports written with "Word". I just don't see how it can be very efficient. I do around 275 inspections a year and need to keep things as smooth and efficient as possible. I use Home Gauge and gather data onsite with a tablet.  

The vast majority of the time that I spend on report writing is not spent finagling the format, or even the photos, it's coming up with the complete sentences that express precisely what I've seen, as simply, briefly and coherently as I can. None of that 'Inspected, Inspected, Inspected' drone that plagues so many reports. That's the true labor of report writing. No software can do that. Efficiency doesn't even enter the equation.

Edited by Marc
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