I had forgotten all about WordPerfect. That is, until about 2 years ago. Now, not a day goes by that I don’t hear mention of a Commercial Appraiser still operating in WordPerfect. I honestly did not know WordPerfect was still being used because every computer I’ve ever used has come pre-installed with Microsoft Office and I’ve been operating under the happy assumption that everyone was using Word.
Well…I was wrong. The Microsoft Word vs. WordPerfect debate is definitely a thing. Who knew? Certainly not me. After recognizing this pattern, I thought “Does it really matter if someone is still using WordPerfect over Microsoft Word?” Turns out, it kind of does. But after speaking with a lot my colleagues in the due diligence industry I discovered that making the switch to Microsoft Word isn’t as easy as I thought. Some loyal WordPerfect users are so entrenched they can’t imagine migrating at this point (but they should!).
So, I’m here to make the case for why you should make the switch to Microsoft Word- at least if you’re a Commercial Appraiser. I could use the old standby, “All the cool kids are using Word” (well, actually, pretty much all the kids are using it. Word has claimed over 90% of the market). But for the purposes of this post I’ll offer some concrete advice.
If you’re a Commercial Appraiser using WordPerfect for your report narratives here are 4 reasons you should make the switch to Microsoft Word…
Word’s big advantage over WordPerfect is in compatibility. Due to its popularity, Word is the preferred choice for most schools and businesses forcing WordPerfect users to either join the Word party (it is a fun party) or to save files into an acceptable Word format. You cannot share WordPerfect files with people outside your office or those not using WordPerfect. Yes, you can open a WordPerfect file in Word or save a WordPerfect file as a Word document, but by the time you do all that the formatting is so screwed up the file is unreadable. I would like to meet the person who likes to reformat documents.
2. Software Integrations.
This is probably the most important reason to switch from WordPerfect to Word. Microsoft Word integrates with almost every web-based tool used by Commercial Appraisers today. Most importantly, Word integrates with those nifty tools that automate the report writing process saving you valuable time. WordPerfect is a fine word processing program and, in fact, there is something to be said about their use of tables which is practically the lifeblood of the average Commercial Appraiser. However, if you’re a Commercial Appraiser trying to grow your business, it’s time to hop aboard the Word train. To take full advantage of any automation, Microsoft Word is the is the platform you should be using. And if you’re not familiar with the different technology out there that can help you increase your revenue then we should talk…
3. Support Costs.
If you’re choosing between Word and WordPerfect for your business, using Word could help reduce support costs. If you’re adding new headcount to your business employees will likely be far more familiar with Word (remember what I said about Word claiming 90% of the market?). Implementing WordPerfect may require investing more time and money in training staff, and providing necessary technical support. That is valuable time your employees could be spent doing their jobs vs. figuring out antiquated software. Yes, WordPerfect is your basic word processing software, and functionality is about the same as Word. But there is so much more out there for Word users. Why not give your employees what they want?
4. You want to sell your practice.
So maybe you’ve been using WordPerfect for years and are happy with the results and how you’re running your business. I get it. But let me ask you this – are you one day hoping to sell your Commercial Appraisal business and retire? If the answer is yes, then you should absolutely consider making the switch to Microsoft Word. It will be much easier to sell if your library of work resides in Word. With all the reasons I listed above, most appraising professionals in 2017 are operating in Microsoft Word. To make your business more attractive to potential buyers (either now or in the future) you should be using Microsoft Word.
If you’re apprehensive about making the move to Microsoft Word, I have one question for you. Why? Are you worried you won’t be able to figure out how to use it? Don’t be. There is a reason that Microsoft Word has become synonymous with “word processing”. It’s compatible and dependable. I’m sure there are loyalists who will make the case that WordPerfect is too. But the fact remains, not as much as Word. It’s as simple as that.
Bottom line - If you google “WordPerfect” you’ll get a whole mess of articles and blogs posts (each about 10 years old) advocating for WordPerfect. Besides the fact that there hasn’t been a valid argument for the use of WordPerfect made in the past 5 years, I couldn’t find one case for why a Commercial Appraiser should be using WordPerfect in 2017. Funnily enough, WordPerfect does have a loyal (albeit, small) following and it’s made up almost entirely of lawyers. But that is beside the point. I’m not here to convince lawyers to use Microsoft Word (though they should). I’m here to help Commercial Appraisers become more efficient in their day to day operations and that all starts with making the switch to Word. I promise it’ll be worth it.
*Image from Shutterstock.com