Celebrating 35 Years
Written by Hunter Meek on July 7, 2020
It was July, 1985. Back to the Future premiered in theaters, the original Nintendo made its debut in the US, and a la mode began its mission of helping appraisers with new, innovative software.
This month, we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary. We’re thankful to have had the opportunity to help tens of thousands of appraisers over the years and are excited to continue doing so.
Technology has certainly come a long way over the years. Imagine someone in the ’80s telling you that in a few decades, you could complete an entire report (including pictures, comps, sketch, maps, your signature, etc.), then deliver that report, bill your client, and get paid, ALL from an electronic device you can hold in your hands. No paper. No pencil. No clipboard. No film. No floppy disks. It’s pretty incredible when you stop and think about it for a minute.
How many of you remember calling our sales department, ordering software, and waiting for a physical disc to be shipped to you through the mail? Now, you just purchase and install immediately, or in the case of Titan Reports, just open a web browser, sign in, and get to work!
Obviously, a lot has changed since ’85. But, our mission remains the same: Help appraisers do better work in less time with innovative technology and world-class support.
Another aspect we’ve stayed focused on is our dedication to providing expert training. As we’ve added new products and features, we’ve continued to offer abundant training and coaching resources to help users get the maximum benefit from our software.
As we look back on the appraisal industry and technology over the years, we love to hear customer memories. Here are a few we wanted to share:
“Back then, we were typing our reports on electric typewriters and printing them on dot matrix printers. It was a time of glue, double-stick tape, and Polaroid cameras. We even used carbon paper, if you can imagine that.
Since the beginning, a la mode has kept up with the appraisal industry’s requirements and provided updated software to meet all the guidelines required by the appraiser. The software is easy to use and has every tool available to produce an appraisal report that is accepted by every bank and mortgage company that I have worked for.
Top that off with top-notch customer service, and there’s really no reason to look elsewhere.”– Marilyn Gibson
“For those old-timers, I’m sure you remember “Forms and Worms”, a company that provided appraisal forms that we would fill out by hand. Photos of front, rear, and street were required and performed by a Polaroid camera.
Comps were found by going to Realtors’ offices and begging them to go through their files. Data was written/printed on 3×5 cards, in alphabetical order. God forbid you messed up their order because you were not welcome back – I brought in donuts as a gesture of good will!
Things have come a long way since then. Let us never forget the luxury of digital photography, a la mode software, MLS access, email, and all the other forms of technology that have helped us produce a better, more professional appraisal.”– John Welter, The Welter Appraisal Group, Inc.
“I’ve been a residential Real Estate Appraiser since 1973. Back then, reports were filled in by hand or typewriter. Sketches were done by hand and photos glued to the report. MLS data was delivered weekly to your office in large books.
Then, in the early 1990’s, typewriters were fitted with computer interfaces and Total would actually check the boxes and write comments onto the form which you fed into the typewriter. HP came out with the IIP laser printer and you could then print the entire form.
My favorite improvement was the digital camera. Buying film, making multiple trips to the photo store, and gluing photos was expensive and time consuming. Of course, you then had to hand deliver the report to the client until email came along. Over the years, a la mode and TOTAL have continued to progress with technology and keep me current.”– Dan Golden, Golden Appraisals
We’d love to hear more of your stories about appraising back in the 80s. Feel free to send us your memories at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may just add them to this blog post!
Don’t forget to enter our iPad giveaway here.
Cheers to 35 years, and many more! We’ve been happy to serve you, and look forward to continuing our relationship with appraisers!