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What Type of Reporting Method Do You Use?


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I began by thinking I wanted to deliver on site computer generated reports. I am shifting to narrative reporting with pictures imbedded, compiled off site and delivered by email, snail mail, hand delivered, which ever way is suitable for the situation.

I'll put it on a CD if the client wants as well. As you might expect, 99.9 % of the time the delivery method will be email.

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Don't go by me, but I was able to do the HI job and write the report at the house, with a laptop and printer on a kitchen table. Whether I worked with my co-inspector or solo, I could usually get the job done in a couple hours, at least on a plain-vanilla medium-sized not-too-old house.

If an HI's spending a lot of time writing reports, he might want to increase his typing/editing speed.

People told me that 9th-grade typing class would be the most useful class I'd ever take. They were right.

WJ

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

People told me that 9th-grade typing class would be the most useful class I'd ever take. They were right.

Yeah, but when you and I were in 9th grade, they had no idea what was coming. I wonder how long it will take to move the general population away from qwerty. Electrons move a bit faster than those mechanical bangeroos we knew. No need to slow us down anymore with qwerty, but I really can't imagine typing much faster than I do now on anything else.

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Hi,

Like Walter, when I had a co-inspector that could inspect, explain issues to the clients, and who could type rapidly and work with a computer, I was able to produce on-site reports pretty easily. We kind of sped things up by wearing FM intercoms while we worked. We did a walk-n-talk and call it the School of the House (still do). Whoever was sitting at the computer in the house, was listening to every word that the other inspector was telling the client. As soon as Steve would say that there was a rot-damaged clapboard that needed to be replaced, because someone had piled earth against the side of the house, I would choose the appropriate drop-down, slam in the boilerplate, and customize it to fit that house. Usually before he'd moved onto the next issue. However, when Steve left the business to go into repairing doors and windows that need correction in order for home transactions to move through after inspections, my co-inspector became my wife Yung. Yung is very good at what she does, and has made some incredible finds over the years - stuff that I had or would have missed - but she can't talk to the clients or work a computer, so I reverted back to taking notes on-site and compiling the report at home.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Whoops,

Just realized that this thread was two years old and that I just repeated what I'd said in January of 2005. Oh well, two years older and my CRS is advancing so rapidly that I'm going to order up at least 10 years worth of Depends and plenty of pacifiers so that when my mind finally does go I don't completely suck the skin off my thumb.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 5 weeks later...

The software I use is XL Pro titanium from bestinspectors.net.

I cant imagine (especially as a new inspector) producing reports on site. It takes me usually 3 hours to complete a report (most of that time is spent looking up info in the ever growing stack of books in my office and posting questions on this site.)

I went to the AHIT school but didnt care for the checklist style of report writing. I personally feel as though there is too much "garbage" in the checklist style reports and I want to be responsible for writing a narrative on a defective item (versus checking the box defective.

The best part of the software I chose is "George." George is the person at the help desk. He's been a HI forever and he ALWAYS calls me back within 1 hr... I spent HOURS on the phone, chatting about everything and anything HI related. He's wonderful!

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  • 3 months later...

Been in the biz for 3 years. have tried plenty all kinds of reporting software. finally settled on Homeguage. tried 3-d for awhile .

cannot imagine doing on site reports. the legal aspects alone would scare me to death.I retun to office and review notes & pics. then do the report in about 3 hours.After reviewing I send it email/pfd

Homeguage is a good way to go ,not perfect but I have found it can be made pretty good.

RJ

www.RKhomeinspections.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I use TWI Systems reporting system that gives me the option of hand writing within a reference guide and delivering on site immediately with documented photos emailed later that same day or emailing the entire report later that same day with the photos set within the emailed report. My home buyers are impressed with these reports.

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I started out 15 years ago working for a company that delivered a two page report on-site (handwritten notes and no pictures). Glad to say that I am no longer in the stone age (Digital camera, voice recorder, computer with wireless broadband internet card, and a printer I rarely use).

I use HomeGauge software and it has served me well. The people at HomeGauge have added a great feature in the newest version which allows the user to display / store the reports in pdf format right from the program (keeps the file size down to a minimum). I always try to deliver the report on site. First I go over the entire report with my client on the computer. To do so, I set my tablet PC on end on an easel so it can be viewed in portrait mode (14" screen). Then after all questions are answered and any modifications are made, I email the report using a Verizon Wireless Broadband Card for my tablet PC. The only time I print is if my client and agent want to write up a contingency on-site. Then I'll print a summary with no pictures.

My ability to deliver on site is driven by time. My inspection times are 9, 12:30, and 4. I allot 3 hours total for most standard inspections with 1/2 hour travel in between. If the house is difficult or the client wants to eat my time up, I'll deliver the report that night or next day.

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  • 1 year later...

I use a written report on site "home tech". Then go home and create a computer generated detailed summary of discrepancies and digital photos to enhance and expand on the report. Between inspection and computer time I figure I spend approximately 4 hours per inspection. I have looked at computer generated reports but am not enthused with the learning curve. I believe the client gets an immediate report on site, in their hands, and then a comprehensive emailed report that anybody can read and understand without being at the inspection. I deliver the computer report that evening so they will have it first thing in the morning when they check their email.

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  • 2 months later...

I use a pocket computer to collect data on the job. After the inspection, I USB the data into the corresponding software on my laptop and edit the report. Editing usually takes as long as the physical inspection itself (2-3 hrs). I use a signature pad so that the report can be Emailed (signed reports are required in Louisiana). I try to get the report out on the same day as the inspection but only guarantee 24 hours on that.

My software is 3d but I have my own customized item list that has been developing for the last 6 years and has completely replaced the original 3d items. Individual editing allows a highly customized and productive report. Average report has a couple dozen photos.

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  • 7 months later...

I've done inspections on site, printed out of truck for 6 years. I try not to allow my customers with me when I'm taking notes, instead doing a walk through after printing. Most inspections take me 3 1/2 hrs. Second year I did 4 in one day, too much so try to limit it to 2 a day with a 3rd on an emergency basis. Over 700 inspections only 1 claim which would have been won in court but my insurance wanted to settle because it was cheaper.

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  • 4 months later...

I've been using the Horizon package from Carlson Dunlop for about 3 months. It allows me to prepare the report on site and print a short summary before I leave. Then later that night I add the pictures and more detailed content.

The system automatically generates the PDF, sends an email to the client with a link to the report on their servers. I think it generates the best reports by far.

Another nifty feature is reporting templates. If I know I'm going to a 8 year old house, I pull up that template and the report is 50% done when I arrive. If I run into something that is unusual for a home of that age I can change it quickly.

My two cents...

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  • 1 month later...

I do the 20+ page checklist written report (AHIT) onsite, and then go home and input all the data again in my software and deliver it with pictures via e-mail. I'm getting faster at it, but it's annoying and time consuming writing the same report twice. I'm thinking "tablet PC" this year.

Hello Julie,

Scrap the tablet PC idea. I had the same intention with a new 14" Gateway tablet. It's too big to carry around and it's too time consuming to shuttle back and forth to record findings.

Look for an inspection software that syncs with a pocket computer. I'm a little dissatisfied with 3d which I've used for 8 years. Take a look at InspectExpress.

Marc

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I use a pocket computer to collect data on the job. After the inspection, I USB the data into the corresponding software on my laptop and edit the report. Editing usually takes as long as the physical inspection itself (2-3 hrs). I use a signature pad so that the report can be Emailed (signed reports are required in Louisiana). I try to get the report out on the same day as the inspection but only guarantee 24 hours on that.

My software is 3d but I have my own customized item list that has been developing for the last 6 years and has completely replaced the original 3d items. Individual editing allows a highly customized and productive report. Average report has a couple dozen photos.

I do the same with HomeGauge. It's petty cool to do all of your info collection with a touchscreen that rests in the palm of your hand and a tiny camera. Between those two, you can pretty quickly gather everything. The only trick is remembering which room thing are in, but I've pretty much overcome that by always moving the same way every time and taking a picture of the room I enter before I photograph problems. That reduces site time to a bare minimum.

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Interesting. My experience with a hand held and 3D was not good. This has been years back mind you. I took way too long to click through to where I want to be in the program; never mind typing a comment. I work off of a laptop acting as a hub. Inspect a little and type a little. Other than importing photos and any lengthy narratives, the report is done when I leave.

I toyed with the idea of a touch screen but being the frugal man I am, I opted for a more powerful laptop and a much lower price tag. I've also ditched the bulky tool belt. One pouch with several three light testers and the camera. When my FENIX TK15 arrives the belt will no longer have the weight of the Streamlight on it. I'm already enjoying not having to do the HI dance around furniture in a tight room! I don't know how I'd feel lugging a computer around with me.

Don't consider the pros much. Focus and think though all of the con to each method of data input and you will be able to make a choice that hopefully will be the right one for you.

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