Edited June 24, 2016 to Add New Options
We get asked this question a lot, and it can take many forms. If you’ve been in the business awhile you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time making sure that the report you give to your buyers meets a number of your most important criteria.
From font colors to labels, headings, and what goes in the summary, there are choices to be made to give the homebuyer the information they need in an easily digestible format, keep the realtor happy, and to protect yourself from litigation.
Here are the top 11* things we get asked on a regular basis and where HomeHubZone stands on providing the functionality:
1. How do I highlight the significance of concerns in the summary?
Unless you are in a highly litigious state, you will most likely want to easily let the buyer know the severity of all of the concerns you’ve uncovered, especially if they are safety hazards or might cost the homebuyer a lot of money.
Report Summary Page Layout – Style 1
For inspectors coming from other software packages, this question often takes the form of “How do I include colors in my summary page?” since colors are often used as a method of differentiating severity.
HomeHubZone provides two methods for drawing attention to the significant findings in your report:
1. Grouping Concerns in the Summary
Whether or not you choose to customize your colors, we recommends using our built-in functionality to group concerns by significance in the summary page. Groupings to make it perfectly clear how significant concerns are, even to the color blind. There are currently three different choices in Report Summary Page Layout Settings for grouping and ordering concerns.
2. Using Colors in Your Reports*
You can now customize your colors to your heart’s content. HomeHubZone gives you control over the colors for all of your Concern significances, as well as Item Status labels and their associated icons. You can also pick a highlight color to use throughout your report.
2. How do I get rid of the color red in my report?
HomeHubZone currently uses the color red in the body of the inspection report to add extra emphasis to safety hazards and major concerns. Some inspectors and industry advisors recommend avoiding the color red in your report all together.
As mentioned above, HomeHubZone gives you complete control over your label and heading colors, so you are able to completely eliminate the color red from your report and choose the colors you think work best.
3. How do I limit what goes in the summary page?
One of the time-saving features that HomeHubZone provides, is autogenerating the summary page based on the concern significance. We don’t require you to make concern by concern decisions and take an extra step to make sure something is included in the summary. Instead we build out the summary automatically, grouped and ordered by what you specify for each Concern Significance*.
While HomeHubZone will default to include concerns of every level in the summary, you can easily choose to hide selected concerns by choosing Do not show in summary.
4. How do I use my own language for significance groupings, legends, etc.?
We realize that you’ve come up with a nomenclature for your reports over time that best represents how you want to communicate concerns to your homebuyer. That’s why HomeHubZone let’s you change the text for pretty much all the labels and headings in the report.
What You Can Change:*
- The Report Legend Status Text (for Item Statuses)
- The Report Summary Significance TextLabels for Concerns, Disclaimers, and Descriptions
- Problem Significance Labels
- Item Status Text
- Every Section of the Report
5. How can I pick and choose what information shows on the cover page, headers, footers?*
HomeHubZone provides a set of checkboxes to pick from, including your name, company, phone, email, and address; and realtor name, phone, and email address.
There are also settings to customize your Headers and Footers with the Property address, Inspector company, Inspector name, and Custom text.
6. Can I use my favorite fonts?
We have heard that this is important for some of you, but many of our users have told us that some of the other enhancements are more pressing. We will continue to monitor and may include this ability in an upcoming release.
7. How can I control page breaks in the report?
HomeHubZone recommends posting your html report for your buyers and realtors to access. In addition to not having to worry about page breaks, we also see several advantages to posting vs. emailing a pdf:
You don’t have worry about a large pdf being refused by a recipient’s ISP.
An html report can be easier to read on a mobile device.
You can add large photo files and inline video to your heart’s content, without worrying about file size.
The report will always be available with the link, vs. pdf files that can get lost on someone’s machine.
There are no pesky page breaks.
For those who do want to save off a pdf and have more control over white space, we are currently looking at options to provide more control at creation. Half of you want less white space and half of you want more controlled page breaks, so this will likely be an option for you to choose.
8. How do I create a report in a narrative style?
We have been hearing from some of you that you’d prefer to forego many of the automatic subheadings and produce a report that has a more narrative style. We’ve heard you and have this enhancement on our to do list!
In the meantime, check out our Tabular (semi-narrative) style in combination with the new Condition Summary. You may now be able to save time while creating the style of report you and your customers have become accustomed to.
9. How can I add my SOPs?
We will be including a free form, formatted text area where you can add your SOPs shortly. You’ll also be able to put your invoice in this area, if you wish.
In the meantime, you can add your individual SOPs as System Disclaimers, and pick which ones should automatically appear in your reports by default every time in the Web App.*
10. How can I add maintenance tips?
This is another feature we have our eye on. We have some great ideas. Stay tuned!
11. How can I make my report look like the TREC standard?*
Through settings, disclaimers and report footer options, you can make the report match the TREC standard. See the blog post on the Texas Format.
I know it seems like we talk about what’s coming an awfully lot in the above, but we are rapidly adding new features based on your feedback all the time. In fact, we had to update this draft post, as we had already added some of the above features while writing.
*Updated June 24, 2016 to add new settings and options, many of which will release the week of June 27th. See the announcement for this release. You can also see a list of blog posts that detail new feature updates by clicking here.