What is your back up plan?

Real Estate Appraiser with AmcAppraisalsinc.com

As an appraiser, I rely on data.  I rely on keeping my files safe and secured, and for maintaining them for a minimum of 5 years after they are produced per USPAP and licensing laws.

A number of years ago I decided to go paperless.  So no more file cabinets, manilla folders and printed hard copies.  Now, everything is contained within the appraisal file itself and thus the need for effective back up solutions.

For my appraisals themselves, I use the Vault by Alamode. For $200 a year, I can safely store 1000 files and retrieve them as needed.  I really don't need to retrieve them usually - but it's nice to not have to remember to move files to an external hard drive, or back up to CD/DVD media.

Recently though, I also found the need to back up everything else.  An external hard drive I use to back up copies of old photos, office documents and music, suddenly decided to go POOF with a large amount of smoke!  Needless to say - EVERYTHING on that drive is toast!

There are a few different options out there - but the best, most economical I have found is CloudZow.

Cloudzow Back Up Comparisons

Think about the things you need to back up as a real estate professional.  

  • Client correspondence
  • Contracts
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Financial records
The list can go on and on I am sure.  The main message here is DO something and have a back up plan.  For $5 per month per computer - you can do an automated back up with UNLIMITED storage space with Cloudzow. I like them because the program does not use a lot of memory resources and runs nicely in the background.  So any time I make a change to a file - it sends the new update to the cloud.
If you do not yet have a back up solution for your laptop, external drives, etc - check out Cloudzow for a 15 day free trail.
Don't wait another day.   At any moment - your hard drive or laptop could just....................................
Scary thought right? 

Comments (6)

Alisa McKeel Willson
Appraisal Pros in Texas - Huntsville, TX
Certified Res. Appraiser


Timely and useful blog...thanks!

I'm very interested in online back up...how often do you run yours?  Have you tried any of the others? I was considering Carbonite....Also, do you run it while you are working or at night? Was it easy to set up? 

Aug 18, 2012 07:32 AM
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

Hi Alisa!  Thanks for the kind words!

I have used other backup programs.  This one with Cloudzow runs very smooth in the background.  I particularly like that it is not a resource hog while it is running.  It basically watches all of the folders you tell it to, and any time you change a file (update it, delete it, etc) - it mirrors that out to the back up server.

So if you ever have a meltdown, and had to get a new laptop for example, you can install Cloudzow on that new laptop and request all of the latest files to come back down from the cloud.

I run it all the time while I am working so it is always copying the latest changes to files out to the cloud.  For $5 per month - it is a great peice of mind for my laptop!

Aug 20, 2012 12:14 AM
Tony Cappaert
Contactually - Washington, DC

Richard- Back-ups are critical in this day and age, thanks for sharing with the community. We've heard of a majority of the services listed above, but not Cloudzow. The combination of $5 + Unlimited is pretty impressive! Keep us posted on how it's working for you. 

Aug 24, 2012 03:37 AM
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

So far so good!  I have 78GB backed up - and now I think I may add some more!  For $5 it has been worth the $ for the added confidence!  Especially all of my music and pictures of the kids!!

Aug 30, 2012 12:43 AM
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Good reminder. Am not 100% backed up. Rather a hodge podge. I have used open drive as you can back up external hard drives also. They are all slow if you have alot of video and photo files. But sooner or later - something will crash big time!

Aug 31, 2012 12:48 AM
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

Eileen - I am still trying to see if I can resurrect my old hard drive.  But that cloud of smoke was a sure sign - I need to be residing in a different cloud!! :)   You are right - it's when we least expect it that something bad happenss to all those documents and data!!

Sep 04, 2012 01:25 AM