HomeGauge Loading RV Inspection Agreements Transcript:
Welcome back. HomeGauge allows me to send out agreements and have my customers agree to them using an electronic signature before the inspection. It also prevents my customers from seeing the inspection reports until they agree, if I choose to set it up that way.
Before I’m ready to book appointments and send documents to customers to sign online, the first thing I need to do is load my agreements. Agreements is the term HomeGauge uses for contracts and other documents that are legally bound.
Jason and I have consulted an attorney to be sure that contract agreement will stand up in court and we suggest you do the same.
I’ll click Appointments, then Agreement Templates. Before using this feature for the first time, I must agree to the terms. In order to do that, I would click the orange button that reads Review Terms of the Electronic Signature Feature.
I’m sure to take a moment to read the agreement terms and then click the orange button, I Agree To The Above.
There are three choices but really the only way for RV inspectors is to create a new agreement because the sample is for home inspectors and chances are no one has them loaded into the Desktop Software anyway.
The large text box in the middle is where I will put the actual contract agreement text. I will caution you, the formatting in this text box is different than most word processing software formatting so copying and pasting is a bit glitchy when working within these text boxes.
That being said, there’s a few options to help with entering text into these boxes.
One, I can send a text file to support at HomeGauge.com and HomeGauge will convert a word file or a PDF to an HTML file for me. It’s usually a five day turnaround and they will format an unlimited number of documents and the service is included with our subscription.
I think this option would be better served for Notification Templates and Report Emails and I’ll explain why in lessons on those specific types of documents.
Second, in the case of Contract Agreements and Points of Inspection documents because they contain mostly texts, I can download them from the NRVIA.org resource page and copy and paste them directly into the text box.
Remember, if I create a document in word processing software, chances are, I will need to edit it in the text box.
Finally, I can choose to do this myself and the advantage here is learning how to change all these documents using merge fields and work arounds for the RV industry.
We spent tons of time playing around with these and creating lots of work arounds just for RVs. It also helped that Jason knows how to work with HTML files to make them look professional and clean.
A good example of an agreement with HTML is the invoice file that I downloaded from the NRVIA website.
On this page, I see an agreement named Invoice, and I want to edit the name so I put my cursor in the text box and enter a space by hitting my space bar, then type “for RV inspection.”
I always liked the subject line of my emails to be specific so my customers can find them easily.
I’ve already copied and pasted the invoice into this box for demonstration purposes. Now I can click this button with the document and the magnifying glass or the preview link down here to see what the document looks like before I’ve done any editing.
The document preview opens in a new tab. I can see a nicely formatted document with the default text off centered at the top and lots of funny looking texts with symbols around them.
These are called merge fields. They serve a great purpose to pull information from other areas.
For example, remember when I uploaded my company logo a few lessons ago? It will show up here under my company name every time I send this document. And if I ever changed my logo file, it’ll auto populate the new one or anything else I update elsewhere on the Inspector Dashboard.
Notice in the column labeled Vehicle VIN Number, the merge field showing is called MLS number. That’s one of the workarounds for the RV industry and later on, when I book an appointment, I’ll be inputting the VIN number in a text box for a property’s MLS listing number.
I’ll click back to the tab that has my Edit Agreement window open now. I can see some faint gray boxes, enclosed in dotted lines. As I hover and scroll with my mouse, I can also see a dotted red line.
That is all that HTML I mentioned earlier and if I click this Source button, I can see all the HTML that goes into making this document look the way that it does.
I’m not going to pretend I understand it because I don’t. And luckily for us, Jason does. For that reason, and the fact that we don’t use this invoice file, I’m not going to edit it now.
Instead, I’ll create a new agreement by clicking on the button in the upper right corner. I’ll start to type contract and then choose Contract Agreements since I have that option.
Anytime I create a new agreement from scratch, HomeGauge starts me off with their default text and merge fields. I can choose to keep, delete or edit this default text.
First things first, I have the HomeGauge page on the NRVIA website open in another tab. I’ll scroll down the page and click.
You can download all of these by clicking on this link, which opens my File Explorer. I’ll navigate to my Downloads folder. Then I’ll click Save to save the zip file called Media 687.
When I open my File Explorer and navigate to my Downloads folder, I’ll double click the media 687 zip file and it opens the folder containing six files.
In this case, I’ll double click the file called Contract Agreement, and it opens in another tab in my browser.
By clicking anywhere on the page, and hitting the control button and the A on my keyboard, it selects or highlights all the text. Next I hit control C to copy the highlighted text in the contract agreement.
And I’ll go back to the tab with my Inspector Dashboard and highlight only the words “Replace this with your agreement text” and hit the control V to paste the text in the text box.
I’ll click the Preview button to open the agreement in a new tab so it’s easier to see what I want to edit. It’s very important to read EVERY line because as I can see, the first two lines are repeated.
Now for a couple of fun workarounds. Instead of having a line after brand, model and type of recreational vehicle, I’m going to use a different merge field to have HomeGauge auto-populate the year, make and model of the RV.
To do this, I’ll click back to the Edit Agreements window and click the Replacements link under the text box and all of the valid merge fields for this document will open in a new tab.
I’ll scroll down a bit to find the Pet Instructions merge field, and highlight and copy it.
It’s much better to copy the merge fields, to reduce errors that may occur. If I type it. Back on the Edit Agreements page, I’ll highlight the line and hit control V to paste the Pet Instructions merge field in its place.
When I click Preview, I notice my merge field is not on the same line as the text, so I need to clean up the spacing.
Back to the Edit page, I’ll place my cursor at the end of the sentence with the MLS merge field and hit the Enter key to insert a space after that sentence.
Then I’ll place my cursor after the colon at the end of brand, model and type of recreational vehicle and delete that space so the merge field ends up on the same line.
Next I’ll move my cursor to the end of the merge field and hit, enter to insert a space. I’ll place my cursor in front of the word fee and hit enter for better spacing and enter again.
I’ll follow the same process to delete the line after State and Location where the recreational vehicle inspection is to take place.
I also know from experience that if I keep the lines on either side of the next few merge fields, they will show up on the document on either side of the information that HomeGauge fills in so I want to clean that up as well.
Another important thing to note when loading agreements is updating any agreement with a third party disclosure for HomeGauge, which ensures that customers know that their information is stored securely.
The default clause shown when I click on Show under the text box is aimed to help protect my company should I later opt in to any future vendor programs through HomeGauge.
I’ll click back over to my Edit Agreements window. Because I’ve preloaded some inspection services, I can click Associate with Services. If I was starting from scratch, I would associate the agreements when I load the inspection services, which is the next lesson in this series.
In the pop-up window, I can see four different service groups that I’ve created with various services under each tab.
Because this is my main contract agreement and I only perform one level of inspection, I’m going to click to put a check in all these boxes by clicking in the service box and then click Select Services.
After clicking Save Agreement Changes, I can see that this contract is associated with eight services.
Now I want to take a look at the Points of Inspection agreements that I’ve already loaded into my Dashboard so I’ll select the motor home Points of Inspection from the dropdown menu.
First, the name of the agreement is fine for me, but the customer may not know right away that POI stands for Points of Inspection.
So I’ll edit the agreement name to say “motorhome Points of Inspection for”, and then go to the tab open with replacement variables and copy the Pet Instructions merge field one more time.
When I go back to the edit page, I can paste it into the agreement names so it will now read motorhome points of inspection for the specific year, make and model of the unit to be inspected.
Okay. Now when I click Preview so that I can proofread my document, “I immediately notice that the third line has an incorrect merge field.
If I read it aloud the way it is here, it would say “we at Mary Smith appreciate your business” because the merge field is actually for the customer name and it should be for the inspection company so my company information is generated.
I’ll click the tab with the replacement variables, scroll down to find inspector company, then highlight and copy it.
Going back to the Edit Agreements page, I’ll highlight the incorrect customer name merge field, and paste the inspector company merge field in its place. This is why it’s so important to read EVERY line of every document multiple times.
Lots of customers don’t pay attention to these details, but there will be some that do. And they won’t hesitate to point out mistakes and neither will their attorneys, if it ever comes to that.
To elaborate on that, this specific contract agreement is for an Essential Plus inspection with one fluid sample included.
Personally, we don’t include a fluid sample with any of our inspections so I don’t want the Points of Inspection to include that text.
We also don’t tell the customer the number of photos that will be included, but that’s partly because we only perform one level of inspection and partly because on a good unit, there may be less pictures and on a bad unit, there may be many more.
I’ll highlight and delete both of those paragraphs now and adjust the spacing.
Another important thing to note, if you are going to perform different levels of inspection is to be sure that the Points of Inspection match what is being inspected.
In other words, lesser inspections should have less POIs so the agreement must be edited accordingly.
Also, I always remember to click Save Agreement Changes every time I edit.
See you next time when I’ll explain Loading Inspection Services and Creating Service Groups.