Is The Apple iPad a Real Estate Must Have?

Yesterday Apple released their long awaited iPad, and I’ll admit that my response time that morning was noticeably slower as I read every update. Now that it’s out, the question arises: is this a nice to have or a must have for the active real estate agent?

Note: I’ve written an update on this topic here: Using The iPad In Real Estate. Yesterday Apple released their long awaited iPad, and I’ll admit that my response time that morning was noticeably slower as I read every update. Now that it’s out, the question arises: is this a nice to have or a must have for the active real estate agent?

I would say it is an absolute must have, especially for those agents looking to plug the last remaining paper holes in their paperless transaction. To understand why it’s a must have, let me tell a story of how I normally take clients out on real estate showings:

First, I print out paper copies of all the listings we’re going to see. Then, I pack my laptop in the trunk “just in case” we need access to a computer while we are out and about. Then I fold the paper listing sheets into my paper notebook, and carry that around with me to showings. I take notes in my paper notebook, or scribble them on the listing sheets. If he wants to write an offer or do anything requiring a computer, I either promise to do it as soon as I get back to the office or go drag my laptop out of the trunk.

When I get back, I either throw away the paper statements, or wedge them in to an ever expanding file of seen listings that will get thrown away eventually anyway.  One day, people will look back and realize how ridiculous it is to ever print anything just to throw it away in a few hours or days. Hopefully, I carefully transcribe my notes into one of the various web based programs I use to keep track of things.

With an iPad, a real estate agent could:

  • Save paper by easily bringing along a pdf of all listing info sheets
  • Take notes that will be instantly saved and synced across all their computers
  • Search listings while walking down the street or at all the places where a laptop is just too akward
  • Effectively search listings and find all the useful information that cant be easily displayed on the iPhone
  • Give a listing presentation using full color, animations, even music with spending a penny on printing
  • Email that listing presentation right to the client, during the presentation
  • Use it as an awesome signup tool at open houses, by letting prospects enter their info right into your database.
  • Actually encourage prospects to signup by letting them play around a bit on your website/mls search/ keynote presentation about how you work with buyers

These are just a few ideas, and I’m personally hoping we’ll see some innovative real estate apps in the pipeline!