Rick Bunzel, a professional inspector and certified firefighter with an IT computer background, expounds on the features he uses in the 3D Inspection System software. He relates how he lightened his toolbag by switching hardware equipment, how he created a new form to inspect a large apartment complex in less than an hour, and how he uses premier Office Management features to keep tabs on his business trends. Rick has owned inspection companies in two states and is also an accomplished speaker and published article author.

Rick Bunzel“I have posted on many forums the virtues of owning 3D since I purchased it in 2002 and for the record it continues to be a great software package. I came from an Information Technology background and have been in computing since the birth of the PC. I have working with many, many software packages so you could call me a discerning buyer. The version I initially looked at was version 4 and way back then had a very attractive set of features: database driven, highly customizable, modular and allowed pictures to be integrated into the report. Although I didn't need it when starting out, being able to add the office manager module was attractive.

The learning curve wasn't too steep and pretty quickly I was generating a nice, but not great, report. I also recognized that I had a couple of competitors running 3D so I wanted to differentiate myself through my report. This was where some of the more hidden but powerful feature come into play; being able to customize the look and feel of the report to the nth degree. I looked at the very best home inspector's reports and set out to incorporate them into my report. I create a dynamic cover page, summary letter, color table of contents, and unique section headers. When I was done I had a unique, very powerful easy to read report and I did that in the first three months I owned 3D!!

One of the challenges I saw was that either I had to lug my laptop to the inspection or use the printed form and transfer it to my desktop computer. I started looking at the [mobile] module and decided it was time to upgrade to the full [Premier] 3D Inspection System. We were already running QuickBooks so it would nicely integrate with our current accounting system. I picked up a Compaq iPAQ and was off and running. I picked up a folding keyboard and was actually faster inputting the inspection information than with the laptop. The unexpected bonus was my tool bag was 15 lbs lighter without the laptop in it. Later I added a portable printer for those customers who needed a copy of the report at the inspection.

Another powerful feature is the comment database. Recent changes allow you to update your comments on the fly. This really nice because of the dynamic nature of the issues we are documenting. As I see new information I have the option of updating those comments during the creation of a client's report or going back later and updating the forms. Another capability is the ability to create a custom report for large inspection projects. Last year, I was hired to inspect a large apartment complex. I was able to create a report template for each building and the apartments within it in less than 1 hour. This gave me the ability to capture specific information about each building and the units within it. We have a lot of marinas in our area and we will be bidding on inspecting those in the coming year. I am confident that I will be able to create a report just for doing those as easily as I did for the apartment complex.

The Summary feature quickly creates a summary page that busy clients and REALTORs love. With one click I can create it and in color! I color safety issues in red, corrections in blue, further evaluation in orange and upgrades in green. The summary is highlights of the inspection reports in a couple pages and its one click operation makes it super easy to create.

In recent versions of 3D the picture handling capability has been greatly increased. In home inspections, pictures are a lifesaver and a major differentiator. The thumbnail view of the pictures, ability to crop, notate and group multiple pictures on one line is fantastic. I don't know of any other programs that will do this.

I am a report junkie - I set high goals for our company and I want to see where we are at compared to where we want to be. The Office Management module allows me to do that and more. I can also see what our referral REALTORs are doing and who is giving us business and who's not. Our 3D reports can quickly give us a sales snapshot and help determine what we need to do to reach our business goals.

Home Inspection is a service industry with a product - our inspection report. It is the lasting document of our inspection. For our company the 3D Inspection System allows us to produce a superior report that kills the competition. I am always comparing my report to my competitors and asking Realtors for feedback on how to improve my "product." I don't mind saying that my report kicks competitor’s butts. In this tough real estate market, my company needs every advantage it can have. My 3D Inspection System's report is my weapon of choice!”

Rick Bunzel
Pacific Crest Inspections
Anacortes, WA