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H.O.M.E.S. Lite F.A.Q.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions about H.O.M.E.S. Lite

   
Q: Does H.O.M.E.S. Lite restrict the quantity of projects as well as the number of lots/units per project?
A: No, H.O.M.E.S. Lite only restricts the number of lots/units per project. If you have a large project and you don't mind splitting it up into 2 or more smaller projects, you can do so but remember your report totals will reflect just that of the individual project. If you will be exceeding the lot/unit capacity per project of H.O.M.E.S. Lite, unless you are dealing with an entirely new project or a new separate phase of an existing project, we recommend upgrading to the standard H.O.M.E.S. system which has no restriction on the number of lots/units.
   
Q: When we need to move up from H.O.M.E.S. Lite to H.O.M.E.S., is there a less expensive upgrade so we don't have to pay the full H.O.M.E.S. purchase price?
A: Yes, if you exceed the capacity of H.O.M.E.S. Lite and wish to upgrade, we will credit you with the full list price of H.O.M.E.S. Lite toward your purchase of a H.O.M.E.S. license. You will only have to pay the difference.
   
Q:

We prefer to maintain our own data, and what if Internet access is lost? Won't our operations grind to a halt? 

A:

No, unlike other web-based/ASP model systems, with H.O.M.E.S. your systems remain functional even if Internet access is lost or unavailable because H.O.M.E.S. is typically installed on your own hardware at your head office. You need not be reliant upon several 3rd parties to stay up and running.

With H.O.M.E.S, normally only remote sales offices and construction site offices need Internet access to connect to your head office.

While H.O.M.E.S. will best link your offices in real-time via the Internet, if access is lost your operations will not grind to a halt as they will with any hosted ASP model which will completely cease to operate if Internet service is down for you, your ASP provider or anywhere in-between! Click here to read more about why to use HOMES vs a web-based/ASP system.

   
Q:

If we want to link our sales office in real-time via the Internet, does that mean we have to install there too, and will it require more expensive hardware and administration?

A:

No, you do not have to install at remote sales and/or construction site offices to use H.O.M.E.S. via the Internet. You just need an inexpensive computer or laptop with Internet access, and a compatible printer.

We recommend the use of "Remote Desktop" technology which is already included with Windows, and is a free download for other operating systems like Mac®, (also available for iPad®) to directly connect to your head office without having to transmit your private data over the Internet. Since in fact the program is only running at the head office, only encrypted keystrokes, mouse movements and screen updates are transmitted via the Internet. It works similar to remote control software: it seems to the remote user that they are working locally, but in fact the program is running at head office so performance is much better, your sensitive data remains at your head office and if the connection is lost there is no threat of data corruption. When you reconnect (from anywhere) H.O.M.E.S. is still running and waiting right where you left off!

   
Q:

We already have an accounting system with administration features. Can we use H.O.M.E.S. just in our sales offices?

A:

Yes, while you will still use the head office module for project setup, you can use H.O.M.E.S strictly as a sales office system. Even if you don't need all of the administration features built into H.O.M.E.S., it can provide features and benefits you probably don't get from your accounting system, including the ability to automatically keep project information synchronized between your offices.

H.O.M.E.S. provides unsurpassed organization and control when used at the sales office. You can eliminate errors such as selling options or finishes that are not applicable to the selected model, or selling the wrong model for a specific lot/unit, as well as provide purchasers with professional looking documents without double-entry. In addition, H.O.M.E.S. will significantly reduce the work load at each office, especially if used at both sales offices and the head office, since all project information need only be entered once, and can then be distributed to all offices, thereby ensuring everyone involved with the project is kept up-to-date regarding all details for every lot/unit.

 

 

Q:

Must we use a remote sales office to use H.O.M.E.S.?

A:

No, if you don't wish to use a computer at the sales office, or you don't have a remote sales office, you can still use H.O.M.E.S. at your head office. In fact, you can enter offers, extras, amendments, and colour charts for a project at the head office, the sales office, or both. Also, you can operate H.O.M.E.S. in head office mode or sales office mode from anywhere with Internet access.

 

 

Q:

Our sales agents are not very computer literate. Is H.O.M.E.S. difficult to learn and use?

A:

H.O.M.E.S. is specifically designed to be extremely intuitive to use and easy to learn, especially at the sales office to simplify and streamline operations. Only the features specifically required at a sales office are included in the sales office module, and those features are made to be as effortless as possible. All project setup is done at the head office so that sales agents need only select lots/units, models, options etc from pre-defined lists, and as much information as possible (such as pricing etc,) is filled in automatically. The entire sales office system consists of either multiple-choice, or fill-in-the-blanks information fields. In addition, numerous checks and validations are built-in to ensure no required information is missing or overlooked. H.O.M.E.S. even filters model, option and colour choice lists to ensure only valid choices may be sold for the selected lot or unit.

Most of our current clients' sales agents have little or no computer experience, and the longest sales office training session to date was only slightly more than 2 hours! In addition, H.O.M.E.S. includes exceptional and comprehensive on-line help to assist new users should a question arise. H.O.M.E.S. truly has a short learning curve, and makes sales office operations easier and more trouble-free than ever before, not to mention greatly reducing the head office workload in the process!

 

 

Q:

What if an offer received from the sales office is not approved at the head office?

A:

All offers, amendments and extras are assigned a status which determines how it should be treated. Assuming approvals are done at the head office, when a sales office submits an offer for approval it is typically assigned a status such as 'Awaiting Approval'. When it is received at head office, if it is not approved you just change the status to say: 'Approval Denied', make any applicable changes or notes to the sales agent, and then the sales agent can make the necessary changes, or delete it outright. If however the offer is approved, the status then becomes 'Conditional' or 'Firm', the lot/unit is flagged as sold, and the offer is then included in all applicable sales reports etc.

Since the list of statuses is programmable and you can have as many statuses as you wish, H.O.M.E.S. can adapt to however you wish to work regarding approvals.

 

 

Q:

We have a separate decor center and therefore don't wish to permit the entry of extras and colour chart selections at the sales office. Can we limit the features available at the sales office?

A:

Yes, there are many options available when setting up a project including those that determine where extras, amendments and colour charts may be entered, and who may do the editing.

 

 

Q:

We work with fixed pricing and therefore do not negotiate offer prices with customers. Can we still use H.O.M.E.S. and will it control pricing for us?

A:

Absolutely. When setting up a new project you have the option to permit or deny negotiated offers. If you opt to deny negotiated offers, H.O.M.E.S. will then work with a fixed pricing scheme. You can apply as much control over pricing as you want, including assigning a maximum discount for options, or completely denying discounts. This ensures a minimum profit margin will always be attained.

 

 

Q:

Your sample documents and reports seem to imply that all prices are tax-inclusive. We prefer to break out the taxes for offers and extras. Can H.O.M.E.S. work this way?

A:

Yes, you have the option to work with or without tax-inclusive pricing, and the sample document templates you receive with the H.O.M.E.S. system include examples appropriate for use with either pricing scheme.

 

 

Q:

We are starting a new phase of an existing project that we would like to keep separate. Does that mean we have to re-enter all the models, options etc?

A:

No. When you create a new project you have the option to selectively copy information from another project to the new project. Even if the new project is not identical to any prior project, it is much easier to copy information from another project and then just make whatever changes are necessary using the easy batch list editing features.

 

 

Q:

What if we need to change the purchase agreement half way through the course of a project? If you use templates and don't store a different document for each lot, won't you get the wrong purchase agreement if you reprint for a lot sold before the template was changed?

A:

No. Just be sure the template is replaced with a new template filename, rather than editing the original.

If you must edit a purchase agreement for a project in progress, you should always leave the original template untouched. Make a copy of the original template and give the copy a new filename such as 'ABC Project Purchase Agreement Revision 2'. Then make whatever changes you need to the new template and assign it to the project using Setup...Documents...Purchase Agreement. H.O.M.E.S. will keep track of which purchase agreement template was used for each lot/unit so you don't have to worry about mix-ups. Just be sure that document templates that have already been used for the project are not changed, but rather replaced.

 

 

   

If you have a question not answered here or on the other FAQ pages, please contact us  at (705) 652-1999, or e-mail to: Sales/General Information.

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