PropertyAssist FAQ for Appraisers

This document answers some of appraiser's most frequently asked questions regarding PropertyAssist.

Document 1500  |  Last updated:  05/01/2020 MJY


How much does this cost?

This is provided for free to our Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Elite member customers during the COVID‑19 pandemic.


How do I use this?

First, contact the homeowner like you currently do, and let them know you're sending them an email with instructions for taking the photos. Next, open the report in TOTAL where you need the photos. Click Data in the menu on the upper left, select PropertyAssist, and click the View Link button. Then, copy the email template and URL, paste it into a new email message, and send it to the homeowner.

When the homeowner is finished, you receive an email notification to let you know the data is ready. Open the report again, click Data, select PropertyAssist, and click the Download button. When it's finished downloading, click View Photos to begin transferring the homeowner's photos to your report.

Click here for step‑by‑step instructions on using PropertyAssist.


Can I send the link via text message?

Yes, but you need to know their phone number and the provider they use. Once you have that information, compose an email message in your preferred email client, just like you were going to email them the link. Then, in the To: field, enter their phone number and their provider's SMS domain. For example, if the contact's phone number is (123) 456‑7890 and they use Verizon, you would enter 1234567890@vtext.com.

Below is a list of SMS domains for some of the most common providers:

  • AT&T: [10‑digit number]@txt.att.net
  • Verizon: [10‑digit number]@vtext.com
  • T‑Mobile: [10‑digit number]@tmomail.net
  • Sprint: [10‑digit number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
If the provider you're looking for isn't listed above, most provider's SMS domains can be found with a quick Google search. Just type the name of the provider you're looking for followed by sms email domain.

Does the homeowner have to install an app?

No. This is just a mobile‑friendly website.


Can I check the homeowner's progress?

Yes. Click Data in the menu on the upper left, select PropertyAssist, and click Refresh to update the status and view the homeowner progress.


Is this secure? Who can access the link and/or photos?

PropertyAssist generates a unique URL using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) — which is a technical term for a standard security technology that establishes an encrypted link to transmit information. The link is unique to each property and can only be accessed by those who have the link.


How do I know when the homeowner is finished? How do I access the pictures?

When the homeowner is finished, you receive an email notification to let you know the data is ready. Open the report again, click Data, select PropertyAssist, and click the Download button. When it's finished downloading, click View Photos to begin transferring the homeowner's photos to your report.


How do I get the pictures back?

You're sent an email containing the property address of the photos. Open that report, click Data in the menu on the upper left, and select PropertyAssist to download the data right into your Workfile.


Can I get other information besides pictures?

Yes — for additional notes the homeowner can use comments fields or take an additional picture. If you need more data elements, email us at info@alamode.com.


What if I need more photos from the borrower?

Contact the homeowner and instruct them to use the same URL to take the additional photos. When they submit with the new photos, you receive another notification and can download the new pictures.


Which email address does the notification go to when the homeowner is finished? What email address does it come from?

The email notification comes from info@alamode.com and it's sent to the email address on file on your a la mode account. Click here to access your account and review the email address for your profile. This is the same email address we use to contact you about billing, product information, and other services.


What if the homeowner or I am having problems?

Contact our support department and we'll help you just like we have in the past. If errors persist for the homeowner, they can call us at 866‑714‑5140. Our support hours are 9AM ‑ 6PM CT, Monday through Friday.


Why does a la mode own the rights to the photos and data?

With the copyright protection concerns around pictures, we want the homeowner to have a clear understanding that they don't own the photos. Also, in the homeowner terms of use, we explicitly state appraisers are going to use the photos. Finally, we give you access to the photos and easy use of them in your report. You'll also notice in this FAQ, we delete the photos 30 days after the homeowner's last submission.


How long does a la mode retain the photos submitted by homeowners? When does the homeowner's PropertyAssist link expire?

The homeowner's photos are deleted from our servers and the PropertyAssist link expires 30 days after the homeowner's last submission.


Are the homeowner's photos geocoded? Do they include any additional information that can be verified?

Yes. When you download the homeowner's photos, an HTML file is also downloaded and added to your Workfile. Open the HTML file, or use the Workfile's preview feature to view additional details from the inspection such as the date and time for each photo, whether or not a room is in the basement, GPS coordinates, and more.


Can the homeowner use existing images from the photo gallery or camera roll on their device that had already been taken?

No. PropertyAssist asks the homeowner to answer a few questions about the number of rooms, and then walks them through the process of taking photos for each room type using the device's camera to provide all of the necessary information.


What if my question isn't answered here?

Send an email to info@alamode.com and we will get back with you.



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