What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of purchasing appraisal software? Initial cost? Money and time lost trying to learn how to use it? Losing your brand identify and templates? Do any of those sound familiar to you?
When I speak with my colleagues in the appraisal industry (those that use Narrative1 and those that do not) there are some common myths that I hear floating around about our software. I’m here to dispel these myths once and for all...
Myth 1: You must use Narrative1 templates.
Something I hear a lot about Narrative1 is that our customers are required to use Narrative1 templates. This is not the case at all.
Narrative1 enables report customization with your brand identity, fonts and layout templates. With Narrative1 you can maintain your company’s unique style and branding elements. Data is easily merged to create reports quickly while eliminating the errors that occur when data must be re-entered multiple times.
Myth 2: Narrative1 is "comp-centric".
One interesting myth I’ve heard recently is that our database does not manage subject property data, only comparable data. The latest web-based version of Narrative1 (also known as N1-Web) is “property-centric” meaning a property record contains all relevant data for the property: subject, sales, lease, etc.
Myth 3: It takes too much time to learn how to use Narrative1.
Learning a new platform does take some effort, but Narrative1 is more intuitive than most of the solutions out there today and comes with solid training materials and support services to get you up and running. And in terms of helping appraisers, the benefits of Narrative1 are cumulative across the workflow. The amount of time it takes to learn Narrative1 and start to see a return on your investment (ROI) is 3 to 4 reports. Narrative1 is very user friendly and after working through as few as 3 reports you will make the money you spent on Narrative1 back and start generating even more business.
Everything we do is designed to help you transition smoothly from your current appraisal process into a faster, simpler, integrated workflow.
We host weekly live Narrative1 training sessions that cover a new topic every week. The sessions are led by a Narrative1 trainer and include time for Q and A. The topics range from beginner level to advanced and provide you with everything you need to get the most out of your product investment. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re ready to master advanced techniques, we encourage all customers to attend the training sessions to remain up to date on the software.
If our customers have a specific question, our dedicated support staff is on hand to help navigate any and all issues they may be experiencing.
Myth 4: I'm already using Word and Excel. I don't need Narrative1.
This isn’t necessarily a myth about Narrative1, but rather a myth about automation in general. Some commercial appraisers assume they are automating their processes because they’re already using Word and Excel to write reports, record comps, etc. but that is simply not the case. That is not automation. If you’re using Word and Excel to manage your comps and write reports, it’s all still very manual.
Virtually every national appraisal firm uses some report writing software and most regional firms leverage this technology as well. And for good reason; time savings of 25 to 40% are common. Competing against this kind of efficiency without automation is not sustainable. Fortunately, appraisal writing software is available to all, not just well funded large firms, at cost effective prices.
Narrative1 is an automated reporting writing solution built by appraisers for appraisers that seamlessly integrates with Word and Excel to simplify report generating and data analysis.
If you’re already using Word and Excel to manage your appraisal process then introducing a reporting writing solution like Narrative1 into your process will be a snap. Narrative1 enables users to work within the familiar Excel and Word environments, entering data once to eliminate redundant and error-prone entries and access it as needed throughout the appraisal process.
My hope is that this post has helped you understand Narrative1 a little better and dispelled some common misconceptions about adopting report writing software. If you’re interested in learning more about Narrative1 I encourage you to request a demo or contact our office at 408.361.5000 to speak to a Narrative1 Sales Executive.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more posts by me about Narrative1 and the commercial appraisal industry.
*Image from Shutterstock.com