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  #1  
Old 4/21/18, 12:00 PM
William B. Ogletree's Avatar
William B. Ogletree William B. Ogletree is online now
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Default Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

I'm looking for responses from people who have used HomeHubZone (not just taken a look at it) and have used Spectora for long enough to make a fair comparison between the two. I realize that those happy with Spectora are naturally inclined to sing its praises, but if you have not used HHZ, your comments may not provide the comparative element that I am seeking. So, please don't respond if you have don't have actual, in-field experience with both softwares. Thanks!

Do you feel that Spectora has shortened your post-inspection routine as compared to HHZ? If so, how?

I have a good collection of boilerplate responses, but oddball stuff comes up regularly. Compared to HHZ, is the process of creating non-standard narratives in the field easier, harder, or about the same?

If you were an HHZ user, then you know that it creates templates automatically from MLS information. In comparison, what is the process of preparing a specific property for inspection in Spectora?

Any other comparative comments (again, from actual former HHZ users) would be greatly appreciated.




William Bruce Ogletree
Ogletree Inspection Services

214-287-4630
www.ogletreehi.com
ogletreehi@gmail.com
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  #2  
Old 4/22/18, 10:15 AM
Tom Harp Tom Harp is offline
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

I am a former HHZ user... In fact, I was on the beta testing team during the iOS development.

I really liked the product, still do, and was having great success with it.

However, the straw that broke the camels back for me wasn't the software. It was their change in marketing.

I was told one thing and then out of the blue, they adopted a marketing technique that forced me into a marketing practice that was totally against my business model and would cost me if I didn't comply.

Before leaving I spoke with the owner of the company personally to make sure I understood their change of heart and they confirmed my analysis.

That is when I found Spectora. Changing was not easy and it has been time-consuming but worth it to me. I have adopted it and will not look back.

If you like HHZ and it works for you stay with it. It is a good product.
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  #3  
Old 4/22/18, 10:39 AM
John J. Villella John J. Villella is offline
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Location: Gasport, NY
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

William,

I used HHZ for a year and switched to Spectora and it was a good business decision to make. I used HHZ for over a year and I also work with the owner of HHZ for a year prior to that because it took that long that long to move my comments into HHZ. Plus, I wasn't comfortable enough to use HHZ prior to that because it lacked so much. So, over a year advising and imputing comments and a year of use in the field and I'm walking away from HHZ. There are many reasons, but two are by far the biggest. First, is HHZ and HG were purchased by the same company, and no one really knows what the end product is going to look like. I used HG fifteen years ago and left and I do not want anything to do with HG. Secondly, HHZ has not released any meaningful improvements in months or even a new release to cleanup bugs. Itís not because the software doesnít need improvement. Itís because HHZ doesnít want to invest in HHZ if itís going to go away when the two merge platforms. So, in the meantime the user gets screwed.

You asked if Spectora saves time post inspection. Yes, but let me qualify that. It all depends on the template, your inspection routine and your comments. We have always been able to deliver our reports onsite with any software we have ever used in my company. If you setup Spectora correctly, you will find that the review and corrections (if any) are reduced in time allowing you to upload faster.

As for your comment library. I imported over 4500 comments. I provided Kevin an excel doc and he uploaded all of my comments. You will still need to invest time to format and assign a recommendation. It took me 30 days to do this, but it was well worth it, and I was able to fix and change my comments. During the course of a year my comments became corrupted because of a few bugs HHZ has. Also, HHZ lacked spellcheck in some of the comment boxes, so typos needed to be cleaned up. Spectora provided this. Another problem with HHZ is the significance ratings. If you add or modify a comment the significance ratings are not the same, if you modified them at HHZ settings. They know this is a bug and they can seem to fix it. Just the other day I received an email from HHZ saying they canít seem to recreate the problem and canít fix it. Not my problem any longer. They have provided HHZ screen shots of the issues months ago, so I hope they get it fixed for the few remaining users. As for adding comments. Spectora is very easy to use. You create it on the app an can save it to your template or just have it as a one-time comment. Editing existing comments is the same.

Another feature Spectora is better at is connectivity. Spectora works with or without connectivity, unlike HHZ that would stop working if it lost connectivity. Yes, you will need some type of connectivity to upload the report. Also, Spectora allow multiple inspectors on one inspection to input data using the inspectors own login, unlike HHZ. Spectora has a sync feature that allows the data to be synced and you get to decide when to synced Ė i.e. every 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or on-demand. We like the on-demand setting, so we arenít wasting data.

Spectora is not HHZ. Spectora is a template based platform and the MLS doesnít impact the report. Spectora is a location driven software and uses location identifiers to place in the comment. HHZ uses rooms to accomplish this. Iíll be honest, I did like the platform HHZ hadÖinspect by rooms and report by system. You can accomplish the same by using the location identifiers. You can set your template to mirror HHZ, but I wouldnít recommend that. Just create a great template and use the location identifiers. Nothing will change Ė we still inspect the same way, but just enter the data slightly different. We did a side by side comparison and Spectora won. It takes fewer clicks to add a comment, with a location and photo. Clicks = time and time = money.

Both provide a HTML link, but Spectoraís PDF is superior to the junk PDF HHZ creates. Spectora has also released 4 upgrades since Iíve started with them. The new releases have fixed known bugs and provide enhancements from the users. Spectora uses a system to allow users to help drive the ship. Users have a say as to how and what the software looks like, unlike HHZ. Plus, Kevin and Michael have been great to work with and are available at the strangest hours of the day to get a response. They are working hard to make Spectora successful, not only for them, but for the users.

Hope this help. Like I said, I invested hundreds of hours trying to guide HHZ to a better place and hundreds of hours getting my HHZ account ready to go live and decided to walk away. Spectora has been good to me, good for my business. I wish HHZ much luck in the future.

John Villella, General Manager
All Pro Home Inspection
(716) 772-2548 - Office
www.AllProHomeInspection.com
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  #4  
Old 4/22/18, 11:53 AM
William B. Ogletree's Avatar
William B. Ogletree William B. Ogletree is online now
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

These are great responses, and make sense based on what I have seen while testing the Spectora software.

I have been annoyed at some of the peccadilloes and limitations in HHZ and with the necessity to come up with work-arounds for bugs that they can't/haven't fixed for whatever reason. I have been hoping that when the HHZ-HG product hits it will be unicorns and rainbows.

I plan to delve further into Spectora, but it dawns on me that I need get started copying my narratives. If the new HHZ and HG merger is not to my liking or ditches my comments, I would be out a year of cumulative work.

Some at this forum have voiced objections to the subscription-based model, but doing the math, I see I may be better off going with Spectora and ditching ISN. I figure in an average month ISN is costing me about 50-60 bucks. This number will go up as my business grows, and ISN's decisions of late don't exactly give me the warm fuzzies. Paying an extra 10-20 bucks a month does not bother me if the experience is a superior one.

While I have your collective ears, let me ask a few questions. These could be answered by any users of Spectora:

1. It appears that Spectora includes a Repair List generator, correct? Is this free of any strings?
2. Does the monthly fee cover unlimited transactions?
3. When creating narratives, can they be categorized per importance (Safety, Major, Significant, Minor, Cosmetic, etc?). If so:
4: Can a text color be assigned to these categories?
5: Can they be coded such that "Minor" or "Cosmetic" don't trigger a tick in the "Recommendations" box?

Thanks for your input!




William Bruce Ogletree
Ogletree Inspection Services

214-287-4630
www.ogletreehi.com
ogletreehi@gmail.com

Last edited by wogletree; 4/22/18 at 11:58 AM..
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  #5  
Old 4/23/18, 2:17 PM
Ray Thoroman Ray Thoroman is online now
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

This is helpful. Hopefully more will comment. I'm looking into Spectora. I've been with HG for over a decade.

I need a software that I can highly customize and adapt more for commercial needs.



Providing Residential Inspections in Georgia
Providing Commercial Inspections in GA, FL, AL, SC, NC, TN, KY
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  #6  
Old 4/24/18, 12:02 AM
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Kevin Wagstaff Kevin Wagstaff is offline
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Location: Denver, Colorado
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

Hi William, thanks for giving us a look!

Here's a few answers to your questions:

1. Yep, our reports automatically generate Repair Request text for the agent to use. We get great feedback from this feature. We're also cooking up a Custom Reports feature that will allow more flexibility for sharing subsets of a report (eta summer).

2. Yep, everything is unlimited - transactions, inspections, storage, photos etc. We like simple pricing!

3. Yep, we allow you to customize your categories! We allow up to 3 severity categories, like Maintenance Items, Issues, and Safety Hazards for example. The limit is based on agent/client testing, like many of our features, where too many got overwhelming.

4. You can use colors in your text comments, though they are not linked to the category you choose. The photo annotations, however, are linked to the category of the defect. We believe this provides a more visually-appealing and readable report to the client/agent.

5. We have a "Custom Ratings" feature that allows you complete control over the ratings (Inspected, Not Inspected, Not Present, Recommendations).

I hope that's helpful info! Feel free to reach out with any other questions. We also have an in-app chat, which we try to answer within 5 minutes during our business hours. Just look for the green bubble on the bottom-right of our website.

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 4/25/18, 10:13 AM
William B. Ogletree's Avatar
William B. Ogletree William B. Ogletree is online now
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

Kevin,

Thanks for your answers.

I noticed you have a room-by-room template, which I find appealing, but soon realized that the report (naturally) presents the results room-by-room. Unfortunately, this does not melds with TRECS pointlessly regimented way of doing things. I don't suppose there's a way to collect the information by room and have it presented in the report per the TREC format.




William Bruce Ogletree
Ogletree Inspection Services

214-287-4630
www.ogletreehi.com
ogletreehi@gmail.com
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  #8  
Old 4/25/18, 10:59 AM
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Kevin Wagstaff Kevin Wagstaff is offline
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

Sorry William, we do not have that feature! If that's a must-have, I think HHZ is the only one doing that. Just double-check that they'll continue to support the product now that AFI purchased them and HG!

For what it's worth, we've been collecting anecdotal data on the room-by-room and system-by-system debate and our systems guys seem to complete reports just as fast or faster once they've transitioned.

This is also helps keep your template management clean and simple, since you're only updating your "Electrical" defects in one place as opposed to in each room for example.

Hope that helps!
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  #9  
Old 4/25/18, 11:23 AM
Toby Adamson Toby Adamson is offline
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

I usually wouldn't respond in another's vendor forum. But since HomeHubZone was brought up, I feel it is important to provide an update on some of the considerations. Especially since we have been quiet since the acquisition as we were involved in a formal study of HomeGauge and HomeHubZone users in order to learn more about the features they love and what they desire in the future. Now I'd just like to respond to some of the statements made here.

I understand the concerns about our business model change that impacted your marketing practices. When we launched HomeHubZone, the software could be free, 9.99 / month or 25.99 / month, depending on your subscription level. Then in January 2017 we announced a partnership with Inspector Services Group (ISG) whereby HomeHubZone was free if you used the RecallChek and Full Concierge services from ISG. And if you chose not to, the price was anywhere from $3/inspection to $10/inspection. This was implemented in May 2017. Users of ISG services were elated with this arrangement, but others were not so happy about the impact on their marketing practices. The feedback was clear. In November 2017, based on this feedback and aligned with the acquisition of HomeHubZone, we ended the partnership and returned to our original pricing model. We hope this experiment wasnít too difficult for you, or any home inspector. It helped shed light on unmet needs in the industry and we feel that we are now a better company because of this complicated and difficult transition.

We are also excited to announce that we have entered our next phase of growth, as part of the HomeGauge acquisition. Expanding both our development and support teams, we can now release products faster and maintain our great customer support among our growing customer base. We recently added two new engineers with three more coming soon to help us build out new features and integrations. Based on immense feedback from inspectors, we have an exciting roadmap ahead for both HomeHubZone and HomeGauge. We know many of you may have looked at HomeGauge in the past, but this is not your fatherís Chevrolet. More details about upcoming features will be released soon, but I am confident that you will find our updated product suite even better than before and better than anything else on the market. We have many users that are super excited about our funding and our direction. Stay tuned!
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  #10  
Old 4/25/18, 6:36 PM
William B. Ogletree's Avatar
William B. Ogletree William B. Ogletree is online now
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

There are some really great people in the business (like Toby) always looking for innovative ways to better serve their clients. Often that means having the courage to try some different, and that comes with risks.

I'll be excited to see the changes coming in HHZ.

Looking at Spectora, I see a lot of that same forward thinking. I have to say, though, I'm pretty hooked on the room-by-room approach, and so far HHZ is the only solution that has managed to do that and produce a Texas-compliant report.




William Bruce Ogletree
Ogletree Inspection Services

214-287-4630
www.ogletreehi.com
ogletreehi@gmail.com
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  #11  
Old 5/10/18, 8:55 PM
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Jeff Writer, HI-1883 Jeff Writer, HI-1883 is online now
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Default Re: Any former HomeHubZone users switched to Spectora

I started out with HHZ and its pretty good. I went to Spectora and never looked back. Pretty stout software.
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