Saving Photos as an Appraiser

It is no secret that we as appraisers take a lot of photos. I probably take about 20-25 per house that I inspect. Then there are all the comp photos. While I have a saved copy for most of the photos I take in my report, I also like to keep backups of my appraisal photos. I end up needing a lot of photo storage, and that is just for work. I also have many personal and family photos that I want to save. To put it simply, I have sometimes struggled to know where and how to save all my photos conveniently and securely. 

Before I get to that however, one feature of Total I want to point out that I do use daily is the Workfile. This is a section of Total that allows you to save additional documents, notes, and photos that you want for your personal records but that will not actually go in the physical report. I use most of the photos I take in the report, but there are always at least a few photos that I take but do not actually use in the report.  I keep notes for the office in the Workfile and any extra photos that I take. 

I used Dropbox to store my photos for many years. About once a month I used to clean my camera roll of any unwanted photos and then upload them all to Dropbox. The problem was that as I uploaded my photos into dropbox, they simultaneously downloaded to my computer. As a result, my computer storage quickly began to fill up. I think Dropbox is a very useful tool and one I use for many different purposes, but I have found a better way to store my photos.

Thankfully, I have found a solution to my photo storage problems: Google Photos. This tool used to be free and offer unlimited storage space, but now you pay for what you use – though it is very affordable. I also love the search technology available. The facial recognition and how things are organized by date. If I ever need to find a photo, it is extremely simple to find it by either going back to the date it was taken or by using the search bar in the system. I highly recommend looking at using Google Photos, but I would also like to know what other tools you have used as an appraiser to store your photos. 

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode:

4 Comments on “Saving Photos as an Appraiser”

  1. Pingback: Saving Photos as an Appraiser - Appraisal Buzz

  2. I like the feature in Dropbox that automatically uploads photos from your phone to your computer. When I’m almost done the with appraisal report, I simply drag the photos from my Dropbox “Camera Uploads” to the work file in Total. Then I have the photos forever in the a la mode Vault but my computer and Dropbox never fill up.

  3. I use Microsoft One Cloud. I get 1 terabyte free storage with my Office 365 subscription and it integrates with my Android phone to automatically upload any photos taken with it. Similar to Google except more storage that I get for free because of the subscription.

  4. I save all my comp photos on my computer. Each photo gets labeled with the comp’s address so I can search for and reuse recent comp photos when needed. I also do the same for property cards and MLS data. I work in rural areas where my comps are sometimes 10-20+ miles apart. 100-200 mile adventures are quite common these days, so to be able to cut down on unnecessary trips for photos is important. I don’t retake photos because of snow or other seasonal cues unless I happen across a property on the way or because I forgot to search for prior photos of a comp when mapping out my route. If the photo was taken prior to when the property sold, I usually retake it, unless the property was under contract at the time of the photo.

    I use Google Drive to back up my work files for the current year and OneDrive for the prior years. I should use Total’s workfile to back up each file as well, but sadly I don’t.

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