While many property appraisers still prepare their reports using a word processor program and a few spreadsheet features, there are lots of modern software solutions readily available either to be used in the form of programs installed on the computer or in the form of cloud-based solutions.
Commercial appraisal software solutions are becoming increasingly popular as more and more appraisers recognize the extraordinary benefits of these programs, but the growing demand for these solutions has also increased the number of the appraisal software products available for purchase – an aspect that makes the selection of the most suitable tool increasingly difficult. As it is the case with most products that we buy, appraisal report writing software packages can also be evaluated based on the opinions of others, so here are a few tips about the sources of information that you can use and a few of the most important aspects and features that you should try to find out about while reading commercial appraisal software reviews online.
Finding Out about Available Programs
The easiest way to find out about the appraisal report writing programs is by entering a query into your internet browser. The results page will display lots of options – solutions that vary in terms of the functions available, the type of platform used as well as in terms of pricing. Take the time to visit each of the websites that offer appraisal report writing solutions to find out about the aspects related to pricing and functions and then, if you like what you see, check whether they offer a free demo version to allow you to test the program.
Finding Out What Others Think about Commercial Appraisal Software Solutions with the Help of Reviews
You can learn about the experiences and opinions of other users from review websites and from professional forums. Many review websites compare various programs in terms of the most important features available with different softwares, while on forums you can read discussions among appraisers regarding the programs they use.
Features to Look for
Here are some of the aspects you should pay attention to when reading reviews and forum entries to compare available programs:
- Pricing – both desktop programs and cloud-based applications come for a price. In most cases, the price is not a one-time sum, but either a monthly subscription fee or a basic price, completed with an additional sum that you have to pay if you need extra features and costs related to upgrades and support, so make sure you factor in all these cost items when calculating the overall costs;
- Support for narrative reports – if narrative is your preferred report type, figure out if the program you have in mind provides help to make narrative writing faster;
- Photo management – find out if the software that you have in mind supports the type of camera that you use for taking pics of the properties that you appraise;
- Mapping – software solutions that have geocoded street maps, flood and zoning maps linked make work much easier, so make sure you find a solution that offers this function;
- Customizable templates – the best programs offer customizable templates that you can tailor to resemble the format that you have been using previously.