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  1. #1
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    Default Thinking about 3D software?

    I have to say, like Scott, I have about had it with 3D.
    I have used their software for 15 years, about 4500 inspections. I am apparently on the "black list" because I have had to re-activate so many times. Now I have to call and plead with them to allow me to activate on a new device. Apparently, I activated too many times one year and now they think I am black marketing their software.

    The reason I had to activate so many times was because of problems with their software!! (not to mention OS changes).
    Yeah, right, we home inspectors are black marketing their software, give me a break!

    They told me if I didn't reactivate for a couple of years, "maybe" I would be off the list.

    I am constantly trying out laptops, tablets, etc. trying to find faster ways to do reports, they don't like that and don't believe it.

    I probably add at least 1 change to my comments every report. Alot of changes over 15 years. If I was assured I could import all of my changes to HIP, I would probably switch software.
    Oh, did I mention that all this grief costs me $200 a year to keep my software updated??

    If anybody from 3D wants to PM me about these issues, I welcome it as they are apparently a sponsor.
    I will probably bite the bullet and go wit HIP even though I have thousands of hours invested in 3D.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    HIP is less than half the cost, the support is free and fast and I think Dom has an import utility for 3-D comments. Easy choice for me. $1200 or $500? Hmmmm, let me see?

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    The change was not all that bad.. Dom has a conversion program that will move 99% of the verbiage from 3D into HIP. Then you just have to build the report however you want it to look or use one of the many templates that folks on the HIP network will share or use the ones that come with the software.

    I used a pre made template until I learned the program and built my template to produce the report that I liked. I have been using HIP for about 7 months now and have it down pretty good. It does have a learning curve just like all programs will have and you have to realize that it is not 3D and will not work or look like 3D. That was the most difficult thing for me to get over, but once you do then it is an easy system to learn.

    As others have said the support from HIP and Dom is the best that I have seen in this profession.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Thanks guys, I think I will give it a shot.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    We're here for you Benjamin. If you'd like I can have Dan call you and do a remote session and perform the library conversion on your computer. Then I can set you up with a 1 on 1 session (usually around an hour) to walk you through the software.

    Scott & Dana, thanks for the positive words!

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Scott, what did you not like about 3D? I'm going to have to find another program. HIP just isnt a good fit for us. Too many issues, and I guess Im the only user who is experiencing them. Customer service, however, is top notch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The change was not all that bad.. Dom has a conversion program that will move 99% of the verbiage from 3D into HIP. Then you just have to build the report however you want it to look or use one of the many templates that folks on the HIP network will share or use the ones that come with the software.

    I used a pre made template until I learned the program and built my template to produce the report that I liked. I have been using HIP for about 7 months now and have it down pretty good. It does have a learning curve just like all programs will have and you have to realize that it is not 3D and will not work or look like 3D. That was the most difficult thing for me to get over, but once you do then it is an easy system to learn.

    As others have said the support from HIP and Dom is the best that I have seen in this profession.


    Last edited by Marc M; 11-25-2012 at 10:09 AM.
    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    What issues Marc? I just went through every ticket you submitted and we've gone out of our way to get features added that you requested. The only thing you've requested that has not been resolved is that you dont like the dictionary in the program. Am I missing something?

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Maricic View Post
    What issues Marc? I just went through every ticket you submitted and we've gone out of our way to get features added that you requested. The only thing you've requested that has not been resolved is that you dont like the dictionary in the program. Am I missing something?
    Yea, you are missing something(s). And, incorrect, the dictonary isnt the only thing.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    I went through a years worth of emails from you. There was another question you had about photos that I replied to and never got a response from you. When you get a chance, put all your thoughts together and email me a list so I make sure it's put on the to-do list.

    We have 3 huge features going into HIP right now but anything small might be able to be squeezed in. Remember the best way is to discuss things on our message boards. The more guys discuss and request a feature, the higher up the to-do list it goes. We let you guys help shape the future of the software as you're the ones in the field.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Maricic View Post
    I went through a years worth of emails from you. There was another question you had about photos that I replied to and never got a response from you. When you get a chance, put all your thoughts together and email me a list so I make sure it's put on the to-do list.

    We have 3 huge features going into HIP right now but anything small might be able to be squeezed in. Remember the best way is to discuss things on our message boards. The more guys discuss and request a feature, the higher up the to-do list it goes. We let you guys help shape the future of the software as you're the ones in the field.
    I'll have michelle re send the list.
    I dont agree with putting this stuff on the message boards. Too subjective. My standards for the use of the software (finished product) we use are not the same for those who just use software out-of-the-box, and low standards for their finished product. IMO, just beating a dead horse before it's dead.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    You can always just send it directly to me too if you want.

    We have thousands of home inspectors using Home Inspector Pro that we want to make happy.The benefit of the message boards is that we can get lots of feedback on a suggestion, which not only helps shape the suggestion into the best way to implement the feature, but helps prioritize as well.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Marc, the largest problem I had with 3D after using it for almost 15 years was their customer service. It came to a head when I switched to a new computer in the office with Windows 7 and they wanted me to pay basically for new software for around $900 because they did not offer an update unless you subscribed to their service plan. My software worked fine (still works on the old machine) I just had a new computer I wanted to put it on. My version of software was only two updates old. I had been vey happy updating about every five years since they really never had major changes. Previous updates cost me around $200 to $300. Also I found with every update it screwed something up that I needed to get get help straigting out the problem. The updates never installed smoothly....

    Dom and his elves have been great to work with; pretty much everything I have needed or asked for they have gone out of their way to help me. I have also found the HIP network on their site to be a great resource and sounding board for ideas.

    Marc, it kind of sounds like you might need to have some custom software built for your specific needs.

    I look at HIP and all of the reporting software as a chalkboard or a notepad that allows me to build the reports to my needs and it works for about 75% of my reporting needs. The times that it won't fit my needs, I write it from scratch in WORD. Those tend to be consulting and EW jobs that reporting software just does not work well for me.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 11-25-2012 at 08:24 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Marc, the largest problem I had with 3D after using it for almost 15 years was their customer service. It came to a head when I switched to a new computer in the office with Windows 7 and they wanted me to pay basically for new software for around $900 because they did not offer an update unless you subscribed to their service plan. My software worked fine (still works on the old machine) I just had a new computer I wanted to put it on. My version of software was only two updates old. I had been vey happy updating about every five years since they really never had major changes. Previous updates cost me around $200 to $300. Also I found with every update it screwed something up that I needed to get get help straigting out the problem. The updates never installed smoothly....

    Dom and his elves have been great to work with; pretty much everything I have needed or asked for they have gone out of their way to help me. I have also found the HIP network on their site to be a great resource and sounding board for ideas.

    Marc, it kind of sounds like you might need to have some custom software built for your specific needs.

    I look at HIP and all of the reporting software as a chalkboard or a notepad that allows me to build the reports to my needs and it works for about 75% of my reporting needs. The times that it won't fit my needs, I write it from scratch in WORD. Those tend to be consulting and EW jobs that reporting software just does not work well for me.
    I agree, We looked into getting custom software but it was cost-prohibitive. We even offered to help finish IV5.
    We have multiple inspectors, but there are only two of us using HIP, the others are still using IV4. I'd like to get everyone using the same software. But I didnt want to spend anymore money or expect the others to buy software if its not long term.
    Thanks for the heads-up on the 3D..

    Last edited by Marc M; 11-25-2012 at 09:16 PM.
    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    I am exhuming this thread because I have been going through 3D problems myself.

    I have been working with 3D for years. Once up and running, the software works fine. But, the upgrades and installs NEVER seem to work. I feel like I always have problems with the validation and end up spending hours with tech support trying to work it out. The latest is the upgrade to bring in an Android tablet/phone to gather inspection info. I ended-up with Heather at 3D taking over my computer remotely for a couple of hours with no success. She finally stated that the problem is with my Windows 7. So, I tried to install to a brand-new Windows 8 computer, with pretty much the same result (yes, I'm licensed for 2 computers).

    I had pretty much decided to go with HIP, but cannot seem to get it to do what I want. I worked with Dominic and his associate Dan, to get my comments moved over and started fiddling with it. I have to say their support is excellent. But, I have a couple of problems. One is that HIP does not seem to have any database to track inspections. Apparently, that needs to be done with Access or Excel or some other program. Another is the way the summary works. I only want to put a problem into the summary, not the recommendation.

    How do others track inspections?
    Who is using what program and what do you like and don't like about it?

    Thanks

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Hello Gunnar. Working with HIP. I found it quirky at first but second nature now.
    To edit an existing comment, double-click it.
    I've set mine up so there are no "observations" and few "materials" headers. Too many superfluous words for me.
    I have no exterior and interior sections, it is all one list.

    I used to add a lot of comments to pictures, but those can't be saved and reused. So add your comments in the text sections where possible. You can clear the pictures and use that report as a template, and the comments will be there to reuse.

    To put some comments into the summary, but not others, you want to have two "damage panels" for that item. If your template has only one panel, the comment is simply highlighted to make it appear in the report, but it won't appear in the summary.
    To change to two panels I think you have to remove the single panel section, go to Edit Template then edit the list on the right, and then add a two panel section.
    Then you want your recommendation comment to be separate lines from your problem comments. The program uses 'black' or 'red' buttons to arrange comments.

    You can change the final summary font color if you don't want red text.

    I understand HIP has an arrangement with another software company for tracking inspections.
    I use an MS Access program for that. It means extra typing, entering data, so my way ain't the best.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 05-19-2013 at 10:32 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Thanks John,

    Yes, like Scott already remarked, it's going to take some changes in my thinking to use HIP.

    I used Access to track inspections prior to a 3D upgrade and 3D uses Access as well in their Office Manager portion of the software (actually, they use the same file extension and it can be opened with Access). Unfortunately, my original Access database was different from 3D's and I could not import it. I guess I can keep the Access database used by 3D to track or move it over to Excel. There was some rumor that Microsoft is trying to dump Access.

    I had not thought of your solution with the summary. The one problem is that I like to have two summaries. One for hazards and the other for your run-of-the-mill wrong or worn-out stuff.

    Have to do some more thinking, but you did give me some alternative thoughts. Thanks again.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    If you go to Report Settings - Formatting - Advanced Colors you can turn in unlimited color options to have a multiple color coded summary which might be what you're looking for.

    We stopped developing our off system years ago when I saw ISN (inspectionsupport.net). There stuff was so far ahead of anyone else's that it just made the most sense to connect fully with them so they could focus on the best tracking/office software, we could focus on the best inspection software and inspectors get the best of both worlds. Check them out, they give you 60 days free and can import your access database.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Maricic View Post
    If you go to Report Settings - Formatting - Advanced Colors you can turn in unlimited color options to have a multiple color coded summary which might be what you're looking for.

    We stopped developing our off system years ago when I saw ISN (inspectionsupport.net). There stuff was so far ahead of anyone else's that it just made the most sense to connect fully with them so they could focus on the best tracking/office software, we could focus on the best inspection software and inspectors get the best of both worlds. Check them out, they give you 60 days free and can import your access database.
    I agree ISN offers a good product and they are very nice people, but it is just too expensive. I would estimate that 50% or more of their database/ office management/tracking product is just too much for the typical inspector. You really do not need all of the bells and whistles the offer..

    Simple name, address, date, inspection details and agent information is all that most really need.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    That depends. Being able to track income week over week year over year makes it MUCH easier to sell your inspection business if that's ever your plan. Plus being able to have the database of not only clients but buyers and sellers agents and which refer jobs to you regularly, daily emails with maps to all your jobs, cell phone app with all detail about the inspection (paid/done/phones, etc) are all helpful. One of the biggest thing is the automated emails and text messages going to all parties. That way you don't have to think about the automated email that gets sent to remind people to get utilities on, follow ups for reviews and warranty inspections, etc. We figured out for the integrated technology talk that I do (which I'm doing at IW 2014) that a system like ISN saves you around 15 to 20 minutes per inspection. It's over 30 once you consider the integration into your report writer, call center, recallchek, Home Owners Network, Air Quality reports, etc.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Thinking about 3D software?

    Being as computer challenged as anyone, I found 3D tech support to be excellent. For solutions I can search either their support forum or video library, as well as, contact them via email or phone. I do pay a very reasonable annual subscription fee, which provides me with software updates and cloud service, that I use with their 3D phone program.

    The company is owned by a former home inspector, who has an exceptally talented programmer. They have developed an inspection program that has multiple features and is so flexible, you can produce a inspection report on any structure ranging from a railroad shack to the Taj Mahal.

    Inspectors that like to have pictures included in their reports, which can be time consuming. These pictures can be installed directly if using a smart phone or tablet camera. Since, I am not impressed with my Motorola phone camera, I use a separate camera, but can import my pictures based on the time picture was taken and time an report entry was made.

    3D often offers a 2 day seminars in Ft. Meyers, FL, the speakers include Carl the business owner, Charles the programmer and Heather one of the support techs. It is a good time to learn more about program capabilities and new features. Also, users can make suggestions and voice issue they may have.

    At no additional cost other inspection report forms are available, such as ASHI 4 point and Florida wind mitigation reports. Which are time savers.

    Last edited by Jack Wingo; 05-28-2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: spelling

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