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Instant Delivery of Accurate Information
David Bloys, Davick Services
   

Do you research the official public records direct from the courthouse, completing more than eight a day, and warrant your searches to be timely, complete and accurate?  If you answered yes to this question, you can provide a level of service that is beyond the reach of your competitors.

 

A mobile research office will enable you to receive search requests remotely by fax or e-mail.  Upon completion, you can immediately return complete and precise reports that guarantee an accuracy others cannot.  Additionally, your turn-around time will drop drastically, sometimes by hours, as some searches will be returned to your client within minutes of receipt.  With online companies promising increasingly faster turn-around times for their title reports, abstractors are constantly challenged to improve timeliness without threatening their search’s accuracy.  Through the use of a mobile research office, you can guarantee your clients just that!

 

The mobile research offices used at Davick Services have dramatically reduced the time from receipt of an order to delivery of a completed report.  Our record is 17 minutes from receipt to return of simple document retrieval, and 22 minutes for a simple current owner report.  We are not working any faster; we are simply processing the orders as they are received and delivering the reports immediately upon completion.

 

An efficient mobile research office will require a commitment in time and money that only the most dedicated independent abstractors may care to undertake.  A mobile research office is not a single system available off the shelf.  You will need to integrate components from software, hardware and online services.  The components you use are up to you.  The examples used in this article are from our first installation in a Ford Explorer.

 

Some of the components used in our mobile research offices may not be necessary for your needs, as you may already have some of the equipment and software you need.  You may want to start as we did with the basics and develop your system to meet your needs.

 

Basic System

  • Notebook Computer, wireless network card, mobile Internet provider, Internet Fax service, and handheld scanner

We started with a Compaq Presario X1000, Sierra 750 AirCard network card, T-Mobile wireless Internet service, Efax service, and a Hewlett Packard CapShare handheld scanner.  Hewlett Packard stopped producing the CapShare in 2000.  If you can find one, you can expect to pay between $750.00 to $1,500.00.  An alternative is the Docupen R700, priced around $199.00.

 

This basic system allowed us to receive and send our orders from the field, but there were problems.  The notebook battery only lasted for four hours, and we had no way of printing special forms clients sometimes requested.  We attempted to solve the first problem by adding an inverter that plugs into the cigarette lighter, but this was a waste of money as it wasn’t strong enough for the work we were doing.  We decided the only solution was to upgrade to an installed inverter similar to that truck drivers’ use.

 

 

Power System

  • Inverter, cables, deep cycle battery, and cables.

We chose a 700-watt inverter from Harbor Freight Tools.  Installation required the use of expensive 4-gauge wires placed as close to the battery as possible.  We bought a set of inexpensive booster cables and clipped off the clamps to save some money and give us a color-coded two-wire cable. A deep cycle dual-purpose performance battery replaced the original.  We installed the inverter under the left rear passenger seat and routed the cables under the car to the battery.  It is important to position the inverter so you can reach the switch.  Depending on your vehicle, it may be necessary to install a heavy-duty alternator.  If you are uncomfortable with doing this installation yourself, a good battery shop or mechanic can do it for you.

 

Completing the System

Now that we had the 120-volt power, we could use any equipment we utilize in the office.  The only limitation was space.  We installed a HP 4110 Multifunction printer behind the front passenger seat.  The rear passenger seat on a Ford Explorer folds down to provide a level surface within easy reach of the driver.  The HP 4110 has a small footprint and used the same ink cartridges as our office printer.  Most importantly, it has a multiple sheet scanner.  We are not able to use the hand-held scanner in every county we serve.  We can now scan copies from these counties while driving to the next county, and also print our reports in any form the client desires. 

 

In order to provide a stable platform for the notebook.  we attached an oak platform to hold the notebook computer using an adjustable mount from a surveillance camera.  Note the hole and slots to provide ventilation. The non-slip surface came from toolbox liner material purchased at Home Depot.  A slide-out tray with mouse pad completed the platform.  You can buy a similar system from A2Z Mobile Office for $379, or an AutoExec desk that straps to the passenger seat for $140.

 

We bought a replacement power cord for the notebook computer and routed it under the front seats back to a surge protector connected to the inverter.  A USB cord was routed from the notebook platform under the passenger seat and then to the HP 4110.  The HP power cord connects to the surge protector under the left passenger seat.

 

Though we have installed some enhancements recently, this information should assist you in creating your own mobile research office.

 

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