Switching from ACI: Frequently asked questions

Written by on February 26, 2014

In recent months, we've seen a ton of appraisers switching from ACI. As a result, we've gotten really good at addressing the questions ACI users have about our services, the transition, available training, what's included, and more. So, we've compiled a list of some of the most frequent questions we're asked. Take a look and give us a call at 1-800-ALAMODE if we haven't addressed your question here. Also, you can join us at one of our regular "Switching From ACI" webinars. Click here to view upcoming classes.

Q: ACI uses Phoenix Mobile for mobile appraising. Does a la mode offer a mobile solution?

A: Absolutely! a la mode has been building mobile apps in-house since the 90s. TOTAL for Mobile is available on Apple® iOS devices and Android™ devices for free. It allows you to gather your data, take pictures, voice notes, and sketch in the field. You won’t have to pay any per-use credits either. And if you want to keep using Phoenix Mobile, you certainly can. They’re compatible with TOTAL™ and available in the TOTAL Store (https://totalstore.alamode.com).

Q: I have to pay extra for eServices right now to deliver my MISMO/XML reports. How would I do this with a la mode?

A: MISMO/XML deliveries are handled by DataCourier®, which is included at no additional cost with any of our Memberships. So, when you switch for as little as $349, those industry-standard reports can be delivered right away, without having to purchase any additional modules.

Q: What about .ENV files, Appraisal Port, RELS, and all the other proprietary delivery formats?

A: Included with your Elite System will be a MercuryDirect Contract. This will allow you to deliver to a wide range of these delivery partners. You can see the full list at totalstore.alamode.com/product/mercurydirect.

Q: Can I convert my ACI stuff to TOTAL?

A: TOTAL’s XML Importer allows you to import data from any UAD XML reports you’ve created, regardless of which software generated it. You can also directly import your photo and comps databases.

Q: My contract with ACI isn’t up for months. I don’t want to pay for two vendors at the same time.

A: Take advantage of our competitive Buyout Program. We’ll give you credit for all the time you have remaining with ACI. So, there’s nothing to lose. Click here to calculate your discount.

Q: How long will it take to get up to speed with TOTAL?

A: We’ve helped so many appraisers switch, that we’ve gotten really good at helping out. You’ll have access to free live webinars specifically tailored to ACI users, live product coaches (also free) to provide one on one consultation, and live, US-based 24×7 technical support. And remember, you’ll still have the ACI software on your computer to fall back on.

Q: Do I need to pay $1499 next year to renew the Elite System?

A: Not necessarily. We offer a solution for just about any budget – starting at just $349. It’s up to you. Also, with our new Loyalty Rewards program you can save on your renewal or even renew for free every year by referring your friends to switch. (Visit www.alamode.com/loyalty to see how it works.)

Q: Right now, I have to purchase my location maps from ACI. How much does mapping cost?

A: Our Memberships include unlimited location and aerial mapping. You don’t need to pay any subscription or per-instance fee.

Q: Flood and Census data is a pain. I have to find it on the Internet or pay ACI for a flood map. What does a la mode offer?

A: All of our Memberships include unlimited, automatic flood and census tract data. You won’t need to pay any fees or perform any research on the outside.

Q: Does a la mode offer any kind of MLS integration?

A: TOTAL has a really slick MLS text importer built into it, as well as 1004MC Worksheet capabilities. And they’re free with the software, so you don’t need to pay a third party to integrate with most MLSs.

Q: So, it’s less expensive. And it’s better. But is a la mode any better to work with as a company?

A: It’s important that your vendor has your back. a la mode was built by and has been owned by the same person for 28 years. We’ve never been “acquired” by any outside firm and have always offered solutions for appraisers to boost efficiency and raise profits in good markets and bad. Whether during HVCC, UAD, or economic downturns, a la mode has been early to the market with tools, updates, and training to help appraisers stay profitable and we price it all fairly.