Whether the PC is your best friend or a necessary evil, you can’t get by without them in the world of modern business.
Once upon a time, appraisers had to spend time getting film developed and physically deliver or mail inspection photos to the client. Now we are saved that hassle, but at the tradeoff of increased demands on our time in other ways.
Over the years, turnover rate requirements have gotten more and more stringent, while the size of an average file has gotten larger and larger.
More forms to fill out, more portals to work through, more requirements for supplement files – its always more, more, more. And, at the same time, many clients want to pay less, less, less.
So, in this competitive industry, how do we take back our time and maximize our efficiency and profitability?
We sharpen the tools of our trade.
Let’s talk about software, and how investing time upfront to learn a new system can pay off many times over.
Claims Management Suites
Your bread and butter program, where your business database is housed and accessed. You’ve probably been using it for years, and you’re very comfortable with it. Many appraisers have been using the same program for over a decade.
But the last decade has seen massive advancements in software and computing. You might be missing out on features that save you huge amounts of time and hassle. Let’s take a look at the basics of this type of software.
Tracks your company’s assignments
Log relevant dates
Keeps data, photos, notes, etc, for each file bundled together
Search to find a particular file by VIN, claim number, owner name, etc
Management tools for employees, remote offices, subcontractors
Format and create appraisal reports
Common Secondary Functionality:
Email files out directly from program
Track invoicing, financials associated with a file
Many appraisers are using old, outdated, obsolete programso
Causes software errors, database corruption, and most importantly WASTED TIME
An old program may seem comprehensive and familiar, but you don’t know what you’re missing
Its hard to switch. You have to disrupt your entire workflow for however long it takes to make the transition to a new system.
Incompatible with other modern programs.
Outdated software can often only export to OTHER outdated software. For instance, one popular Appraisal Management suite from the 90’s that is still in common use and still for sale, can still only export spreadsheets formatted to the 1997 version of Microsoft Excel.
The Solution? Upgrade.
*** Cloud Capability ***
Where older programs can send files and talk to other offices through FTP or Email, modern claims management suites can have Cloud networking capability, allowing separate people or offices to access files remotely without extra hassle, files are automatically backed up to the cloud, and are more easily sent out to clients. Less space is wasted locally, keeping your personal computer from getting clogged up with old files. The benefits of Cloud Capability can’t be overstated.
Automatic remote backup
Send files more easily
Take up less local storage space on your computer
Access files remotely, from home, from different offices, etc without extra hassle
Modern computers can do things that simply weren’t possible ten years ago. Modern programs often have Work Flow Automation that lets you work smarter, not harder. For example:
Set automatic reminders for overdue supplement docs or overdue invoices
Fill out forms automatically
Generate reports automatically
Sync with Mobile App
Many modern software solutions come in the form of a mobile app, or come paired with their own proprietary mobile app. This adds flexibility to your workflow and lets you complete more in the field.
These are only a few examples of how more modern programs and tools can enhance your efficiency and improve your quality of life as an individual, or especially if you are an appraisal company manager.
To remain unbiased, IADA cannot advocate or promote any specific programs. Below, you can find a list of various programs and tools which you may be of help to your business. Some of these are paid programs, some are subscription-based, and some are completely free. IADA has not been paid to promote any of these products.